At any other time in the history of the glitzy film industry awards season, the news of seven Golden Globe nods for a movie would have been announced with great fanfare.
Monday’s unveiling was a rather restrained affair, with little to no hype or shouting from the rooftops.
The team behind Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast chose instead to focus on the 11 nominations from the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards.
It’s quite the tally and not the first time the film has been in the running for 11 gongs. Just recently Belfast picked up 11 nods at the British Independent Film Awards but was left empty-handed when the accolades were dished out.
The Golden Globes, once considered indicative of how the Oscars might go, have undoubtedly lost some of their shine.
Widespread criticism over a lack of diversity among its voters forced the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Golden Globes, to overhaul its membership and lose its televised awards show.
TV network NBC won’t televise this year’s show after it was revealed that none of the 87 members of the HFPA were black.
And even though steps have been taken to address that — the group has since added a chief diversity officer; inducted 21 new members, including six black journalists and updated its code of conduct — it’s a case of too little, too late for many within the industry. But let’s not ruin the moment for Branagh’s Belfast. While the Golden Globes may be tarnished, it’s still quite the achievement to pick up seven nods.
And more importantly, the film has secured the same number of nominations as Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story — the most nominations for any film — in the hugely prestigious Critics Choice shortlist.
The Critics Choice has sought to fill the position once occupied by the Golden Globes and it’s hardly a coincidence that it will be broadcast on the same day as the Golden Globes are expected to take place.
But with no live home for the Globes, the Critics Choice awards ceremony looks set to be the better indicator of Oscar glory.
Should Belfast win at the Critics Choice, then chances are it will follow through at the Academy Awards. And with 11 categories acknowledging Branagh’s ode to the city of his birth, surely it will pick up a few nods at least.
I’m not a betting woman, but I am optimistic, mostly. And if I were to have a punt, I’d say Belfast will be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, with nods for Hinds, Dornan and Balfe as well.
Given how well the film has been received by audiences and critics, Branagh’s Belfast may well sweep up at the Golden Globes. But should that happen, it’s unlikely that triumph will be trumpeted far and wide.
We’ll leave that for the Oscars.