Golden Globes and SAG Awards set the stage for an inclusive season

Diverse stories were celebrated by Golden Globes and SAG Awards voters
Ruth Negga in “Loving,” top left, Mahershala Ali, left, and Alex Hibbert in “Moonlight,” and Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in “Fences.”
(Ben Rothstein /Focus Features; David Bornfriend / A24; David Lee / Paramount Pictures)

The Golden Globes rewarded a diverse year in film. The SAG Awards did too, even if its voters made some odd choices. And neither group nominated Tom Hanks, a disappointment mitigated by the idea that he might someday make a movie comedy with Bill Murray.

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.



Golden Globes nominations arrived Monday, and with them came an implicit, early message to Oscar voters dogged by the #OscarsSoWhite label: There can be no excuses this year.

Last year, when faced with criticism for yet another all-white slate of acting nominees, some members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences argued that there simply had been too few nonwhite choices. This year, the 85 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. identified an array of possibilities that included nominating six black actors — Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for “Fences,” Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris for “Moonlight,” Ruth Negga for “Loving” and Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures.” Also nominated: “Lion’s” Dev Patel, British-born to Indian parents.

“It is nice to have more inclusion — and inclusion across the board,” said “Moonlight” writer-director Barry Jenkins, whose coming-of-age drama received six nominations. “Looking at the types of movies nominated in the best picture categories, especially in this post-election world, it’s really this beautiful snapshot of what America is right now. And it’s not just a monolith. I think that’s the biggest statement.”


You can read my roundup of the nominations here. For complete L.A. Times coverage of the Golden Globes, head over here, where you’ll find reactions from the nominees, a defense of Jonah Hill’s nod and “Atlanta” star Donald Glover’s plans for the ceremony: “I want to get drunk with Tom Hanks.”


Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea.”
Casey Affleck in "Manchester by the Sea."
(Claire Folger / Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios )


SAG Awards voters chose “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Hidden Figures” and, surprisingly, the anarchic family saga “Captain Fantastic,” as their nominees for best film ensemble.

Notably absent: Damien Chazelle’s musical, “La La Land,” presumed by many to be the Oscar front-runner. The last time a movie won the Academy Award for best picture without being nominated in the SAG Awards’ ensemble category came two decades ago when Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart” prevailed at the Oscars.

I looked at the reasons behind “La La Land’s” omission and broke down SAG’s five film categories here. (Emily Blunt? For “The Girl on the Train”? Really?)

Since “La La Land” is essentially a two-hander starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, its omission in the ensemble category makes sense. But for the sake of perception, it probably puts more weight on Stone winning SAG’s lead actress category when the awards are handed out next month.


Tom Hanks, star of “Sully”
Tom Hanks, star of "Sully"
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )


I spoke with Tom Hanks recently, and I had to get his take on this viral photo showing Bill Murray with a mom and her crying baby, with Murray mimicking the baby’s inconsolable expression. Only it didn’t look like Murray. It looked like Tom Hanks.

“Honestly, that looks more like me than Bill Murray,” Hanks said. “As soon as you look at the eyes and nose … I don’t know. It’s kind of spooky.”

This led Hanks, a man always up for pursuing any path that leads to whimsy, to offer this: He and Murray should play brothers in a film. That would be a movie comedy he’d be happy to make right now.

We talked more about that prospect, movie comedies in general and, of course, his strong work in “Sully” in a lengthy interview here.


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