The awards season for musical achievement became a little clearer this morning with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe announcements for song and score.
Films about major African-American personalities dominated the song category, with new tunes from “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” accounting for three of the five slots. And, intriguingly, four of the five song nominees are from streaming services, not traditional studios.
Also, following Globes tradition, major stars as both performers and writers were named (H.E.R., Leslie Odom Jr., Andra Day). Odom and Day each managed to score double nominations, as both were also nominated for their acting performances in those films — Odom as crooner Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami,” Day as blues singer Holiday in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
Most of the song nominees are first-timers at the Globes. But three are previous nominees: Diane Warren (a past winner for her Cher song in 2010’s “Burlesque”), nominated for her song in the Sophia Loren film “The Life Ahead”; Raphael Saadiq (previous nominee as co-writer of the Mary J. Blige song in 2018’s “Mudbound”), co-writer of the “Billie Holiday” song; and Daniel Pemberton (two-time previous nominee for a song in 2016’s “Gold” and score for last year’s “Motherless Brooklyn”), co-writer of the closing song in “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
The only real surprise was the failure of the Globes to nominate either of the comedic songs being widely touted this campaign season: “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” and “Wuhan Flu” from “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” despite the latter film’s nomination as best motion picture, musical or comedy.
With 105 songs in contention for the Oscar, today’s Globe picks may figure in this week’s Academy voting for the Oscar shortlist, as music-branch members have not seen many of the films and could be guided in their choices for some of the 15 available shortlist slots.
Choices in the original-score category were largely predictable, with three of the films having been scored by previous Globe winners. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won both Globe and Oscar for 2010’s “The Social Network,” are double nominees this year in this category for their jazzy score for “Mank” and their otherworldly sounds for “Soul.”
And in a rare instance of three composers being cited for the same film, Reznor and Ross share the “Soul” nomination with co-composer Jon Batiste, who supplied all the jazz in the acclaimed Pixar film. Only seven times in the 73-year history of the score category have three composers been listed for the same film, and only once have they won (1987’s “The Last Emperor”).
Two science-fiction films were nominated for music. Alexandre Desplat, a two-time Globe winner (2006’s “The Painted Veil” and 2017’s “The Shape of Water”), received his 12th nomination for George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky.” Ludwig Göransson, a previous nominee for his “Black Panther” score, received a nod for Christopher Nolan’s time-travel saga “Tenet.” And James Newton Howard, twice previously nominated (2005’s “King Kong,” 2008’s “Defiance”), was cited for his score for the Tom Hanks Western “News of the World.”
The complete lists:
“Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.) – H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas
“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Daniel Pemberton, Celeste
“Io Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead” (Netflix) – Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi
“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami” (Amazon) – Leslie Odom Jr., Sam Ashworth
“Tigress & Tweed” from “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Hulu) – Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq
“The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) – Alexandre Desplat
“Tenet” (Warner Bros.) – Ludwig Göransson
“News of the World” (Universal) – James Newton Howard
“Mank” (Netflix) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
“Soul” (Pixar) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste