The race to the 2018 Academy Awards kicked into high-gear on Monday morning with the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations, with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leading the pack with seven nominations while Steven Spielberg’s The Post and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri linger not far behind with six apiece.
But what bearing do the nominations have on Hollywood’s top prize — the Oscars — and how this year’s race is shaping up?
1. Wonder Woman and The Big Sick have an uphill climb
Despite major critical acclaim and strong box office, both Patty Jenkin’s blockbuster Wonder Woman and Kumail Nanjiani’s indie charmer The Big Sick were completely shut out of the Globes race.
Aside from being the biggest hit of the summer, Wonder Woman won praise from audiences for its feminist slant on an action flick. Many critics predicted that Jenkins would get recognition for helming the highest-grossing female-directed movie ever, and there’s still a chance the Academy will do so. But from the lack of Globes nominations, it appears a superhero movie won’t get top honors this time around.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Big Sick was a film that snuck up on audiences this summer and charmed everyone who saw it. It was expected to find love in the comedy/musical Globes race but came up short in all categories. While it may not have a shot at the big prize, the Academy Awards may still reward Holly Hunter for supporting actress.
2. All the Money in the World and The Greatest Showman are last-minute contenders
Though audiences won’t be able to share their feedback on late releases from these two films until later this month (All the Money in the World hits theaters Dec. 25, and The Greatest Showman comes out Dec. 20), it’s clear the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the group that votes on the Globes — liked what they saw.
The Hugh Jackman-led musical inspired by P. T. Barnum scored three nominations, including best motion picture in the comedy or musical category, best actor for Jackson and best original song.
A month after dropping star Kevin Spacey due to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him, All the Money in the World, which recounts the real-life kidnapping of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty’s grandson, landed three Golden Globe nominations. Christopher Plummer, who took over Spacey’s role, was one, for best supporting actor in a motion picture.
3. Mudbound might come up short
Aside from Mary J. Blige‘s best supporting actress nod and a spot in the best original song category for her ballad “Mighty River,” Mudbound is out of the running for the major awards at the Golden Globes.
The Sundance gem directed by Dee Rees was released on Netflix, and the Oscars have yet to embrace a major title from the streaming service (the Academy ignored Beasts of No Nation two years ago). However, heartfelt performances from Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell may be able to bridge the divide.
4. The Post, Shape of Water and Three Billboards are surefire locks for major nods
These three films were all expected to do well, though they are vastly different.
The Shape of Water leads the film nominations with a whopping seven categories, including nominations in the director, lead actress and supporting actress. The R-rated fairy tale combines old Hollywood with science-fiction.
The Post, a journalism drama, may follow in the footsteps of Spotlight and snag the best picture award. Having acting heavyweights Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, both multiple Oscar winners, on board doesn’t hurt.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark comedy that took home the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, a major predictor for best picture success (eight of the last 10 winners have gone on to score a best picture nomination).
5. Get Out is in the race
Jordan Peele’s surprise hit of the year Get Out also nabbed two nominations in the best picture category and one for lead actor Daniel Kaluuya.
The decision by the film’s backers at Universal to submit the thriller as a comedy raised some eyebrows earlier this year, but Peele told Deadline, “When I originally heard the idea of placing it in the comedy category it didn’t register to me as an issue. I missed it. There’s no category for social thriller. So what? I moved on.”
Luckily, the Oscars doesn’t separate films by genre, so there will be no such scandal should it score some nominations.
The Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC on Jan. 7.