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Barbie brings her pink party to Golden Globes

Barbie brings her pink party to Golden Globes
Margot Robbie attends the European premiere of Barbie in London, Britain, July 12, 2023..
PHOTO: Reuters file

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood stars are preparing to dance the night away as box office smash Barbie leads nominees for Sunday's (Jan 7) Golden Globes, the kickoff to the industry's glitzy awards season.

The first big party in Tinseltown since contentious labour disputes last year, the Globes will honour the best of film and television according to roughly 300 entertainment journalists from around the world. That is a change from the past, when about 80 people chose the winners.

Barbie, the female-empowering doll adventure, tops the field with nine nominations. The movie directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie is expected to claim the trophy for best film musical or comedy over The Holdovers, Poor Things and others, according to experts polled by the Gold Derby website.

Historical drama Oppenheimer, with eight nominations, is the favourite for best movie drama. The story about the man behind the atomic bomb had competed with Barbie over the summer in a box office clash dubbed "Barbenheimer".

Barbie reigned as the highest-grossing film of 2023 with US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) in ticket sales. Oppenheimer finished third with US$952 million.

"I can see both of them doing really well on Sunday night," said Joyce Eng, senior editor at Gold Derby.


Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who played Barbie's boyfriend Ken, are nominated in acting categories, as is Cillian Murphy, who portrayed J. Robert Oppenheimer, and co-star Robert Downey Jr.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone are contending for Globe acting honours for Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese's film about the murder of Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma.

Bradley Cooper is in the running for best actor and best director for Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro.

The Globes are the first major awards show since Hollywood endured two bitter strikes by writers and then actors last year. The work stoppages shut down film and television production, as well as many red carpet events, for months.

Known as a booze-fuelled celebration more relaxed than the Oscars, the Globes nearly became extinct. A 2021 Los Angeles Times report revealed ethical lapses and a lack of diversity among members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that previously voted on the Globes. The 2022 ceremony was scrapped while the organisation made reforms.

Last year, the Globes were sold to new owners and the association was disbanded. Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions now operate the awards, with a voting body of 300 journalist members from 75 countries with 60 per cent racial and ethnic diversity.

There are 27 first-time nominees for this year's Globes.

'Love a good party'

Hollywood's top talent appears ready to move forward with the Globes, said Chris Gardner, senior staff writer for The Hollywood Reporter.

"They love a good party and they also love the recognition," Gardner said. "This is a show that is looser than the other shows you see on television."

Sunday's ceremony will be hosted by comedian Jo Koy, a comic of Filipino heritage, in his first major hosting gig. It will be broadcast live on CBS and streamed simultaneously for subscribers to Paramount+ with Showtime.

One possible guest in the A-list crowd is pop superstar Taylor Swift. Her concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, was nominated in the new category of cinematic and box office achievement. It is unclear whether she will attend the ceremony.

In the television field, Succession is expected to win accolades for its final season about the high-stakes battle for control of a global media empire. It leads all nominees with nine nods, followed by restaurant dramedy The Bear with five.

Winners of the film awards are closely watched as they can provide a boost in the race to the Academy Awards in March.

The Globes were known in the past, however, for some unexpected choices. Awards watchers will be looking to see whether that changes with a larger voting body.

One category to watch, Eng said, is best original song, where three Barbie songs are competing. They are Billie Eilish's soul-searching What Was I Made For?, Dua Lipa's upbeat Dance the Night, and Gosling's lamenting power ballad I'm Just Ken.

"It would be a total Globes thing to give it to I'm Just Ken," Eng said. "It's like a novelty song and it's kind of quirky."

ALSO READ: Barbie edges Oppenheimer to lead Golden Globe nominations

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