Golden Globes Switch ‘Promising Young Woman’ to Drama, Maria Bakalova Moved to Lead for ‘Borat’ (EXCLUSIVE)
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has completed its annual review of film submissions for the Golden Globe awards, and Variety has learned exclusively that many films and performances have been switched from the studios’ intended submissions.
“Promising Young Woman” from Focus Features was switched from comedy to the drama categories. Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, the film that tells the story of a woman seeking revenge on those who wronged her was not accepted by the voting body. Starring Carey Mulligan, the film has received a considerable amount of awards buzz, even rumored to be a big hit with the HFPA themselves. Mulligan recently won best actress with LAFCA.
Per the HFPA rules, after all the studios submit their entries in the numerous categories, which are split between drama, comedy, lead and supporting, an initial committee reviews the submissions. According to the official rules, members can then vote to accept the studio’s submission requiring a 2/3 vote to overturn. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association currently includes 89 journalists from more than a dozen countries.
Another change befell breakout star Maria Bakalova in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” who was submitted for best supporting actress in a motion picture but was moved to the best actress in a comedy or musical category. Bakalova currently leads in critic’s wins and is one of the leading contenders for the Academy Awards. Past Oscar-winners like Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Chicago” was moved to the leading category by the HFPA, losing to her co-star Renée Zellweger. Zeta-Jones went on to win the SAG, BAFTA and the Oscar in supporting actress. Abigail Breslin was also switched to the lead category for her work in 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine,” and failed to nab a Globe nomination while her co-star Toni Collette was shortlisted. Breslin went on to be nominated at the SAG and Oscars for best supporting actress.
Another source with knowledge has confirmed that Helena Zengel’s turn in Universal Pictures’ “News of the World” from Paul Greengrass was also flagged and could move from supporting to the leading drama category. Alicia Vikander’s work in 2015’s “The Danish Girl” was also moved from supporting to lead, where she was nominated at the Globes before winning both SAG and Oscars in supporting actress. Universal Pictures did not confirm this reporting.
Several sources share that other films and performances have not been accepted in their submission standing. Amazon Studios’ “One Night in Miami” is in the midst of an awards campaign where Kingsley Ben-Adir and Eli Goree are vying for leading nominations, while Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr. are competing in supporting. The HFPA did not accept the four actors being split, and will place them in the same category. The final decision of lead or supporting has yet to be confirmed.
Another Odom Jr. project, Disney Plus’ “Hamilton” from Thomas Kail, has been submitted and accepted by the Golden Globes in the comedy or musical categories. Odom Jr., along with Lin-Manuel Miranda will compete in the lead categories. Phillipa Soo, along with the other cast members, will seek love in supporting.
Saoirse Ronan’s turn in “Ammonite” was submitted in supporting actress by Neon, but concerns raised that she should be competing in lead actress in a drama alongside her co-star Kate Winslet. From a source with knowledge of the situation, it seems as though Ronan’s categorization will be accepted.
Other performances and films said to have been questioned include George C. Wolfe’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which was raised for a switch to the comedy or musical categories. Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne’s work in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was also discussed to be moved from supporting to lead classifications but it’s not clear if the Netflix featured ultimately prevailed.
Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” from A24 will follow the precedent set by Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” last year and will not be competing in the best picture categories, instead it will be considered in foreign language film because it is primarily in Korean. Stars Steven Yeun and Yeri Han will still be eligible in the leading acting categories in drama.
It should be noted that the Screen Actors Guild Awards honors all submissions by the studios. The Golden Globe nominations will be announced on Feb. 3. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Feb. 28.
Update: Helena Zengel’s Golden Globes submission in best supporting actress in a motion picture has now been accepted despite being debated for possible switch to lead, a Universal Pictures representative confirms.