The nominations for the 2023 Golden Globe Awards were announced on December 12, 2022.
Alas, no female directors were nominated this year for Best Director, and none of the Best Picture nominees were directed by women. Notable snubs for Best Director include Sarah Polley for Women Talking and Gina Prince-Bythewood for The Woman King. Both films are not only critically acclaimed but were well received by audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, Women Talking scored an 89% fresh critical score and 88% audience score, while The Woman King scored a 94% critical score and 99% audience score!
Best Musical/Comedy Series Category [TV]
This year, female representation at the Golden Globes seems to be much stronger in television. Two of the five shows nominated for Best Musical/Comedy Series are ABC’s Abbott Elementary and HBOMax’s Hacks. Both series are created by women, who also penned several episodes.
Abbott Elementary, a show created by and starring Quinta Brunson is a hilarious mockumentary-style sitcom about the dedicated, quirky teachers (and their self-centered principal) of a predominately Black elementary public school in Philly.
What makes the show great, besides the laughs, is that it’s rooted in what it means to work at an underfunded, underserved school in the United States. It means constantly going above and beyond just to make sure your students have basic resources. Brunson’s character Janine Teagues is a relentless optimist who will go above and beyond for Abbott and her students—with mixed results. In a season two episode titled “Juice,” to the dismay of veteran teacher Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), Janine advocates for a healthier juice option in the cafeteria which leads to a nightmare scenario involving a school of young students with full bladders and not enough working bathrooms.
The HBOMax dramedy Hacks was co-created by Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. The series explores the “dark mentorship” between aging female comic legend, Deborah Vance (played flawlessly by Jean Smart) and Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder), an out-of-work Gen Z TV comedy writer. The show’s premise began with Deborah in a creative rut and Ava is reluctantly hired to help the older comic freshen up her jokes. The dynamic between the intergenerational duo is a funny—and at times emotional rollercoaster. One of my favorite moments in the show is when Ava suggests they take edibles to ease Deborah’s discomfort after having plastic surgery. This, of course, results in funny hijinks but it also allows the characters’ guard to come down and for the first time we see Ava and Deborah’s bond strengthen after Deborah opens up about a major misconception from her past.
Best Television Limited Series Category [TV]
Elizabeth Meriweather’s The Dropout has also been nominated for Best Television Limited Series. The Hulu series is the true story of the rise and downfall of Elizabeth Holmes, founder, and CEO of Theranos. Holmes, played by a superb Amanda Seyfried, founded the blood-testing company at 19, after dropping out of Stanford. Theranos claimed it could run a full range of blood tests from a single finger prick of blood, something that would revolutionize the healthcare system. The problem was, the technology didn’t work. The series does a great job of showing how Holmes’ ambition transformed into con artistry and we see how she managed to fool major venture capitalists and private investors for so long.
List of 2023 Women Golden Globe Nominees
Here is the full (albeit too short) list of Golden Globe nominated female writers/directors/showrunners:
Sarah Polley: Best Screenplay- Motion Picture for Women Talking (Women Talking opens in selected arthouse theatres today.)
Domee Shi: Best Motion Picture- Animated for Turning Red
*Available on Disney+
Quinta Brunson (Creator): Best Musical/Comedy Series- Musical or Comedy for Abbott Elementary
*Available on Hulu, ABC, and HBOMax
Lucia Aniello & Jen Statsky (Co-creators): Best Musical/Comedy Series- Musical or Comedy for Hacks
*Available on HBOMax
Elizabeth Meriweather (Creator): Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television: The Dropout
*Available on Hulu
New Rules/New Opportunities
The Golden Globes will make their return to screen on January 10th after a year and a half of scandal. Last year’s televised ceremony was canceled and winners were announced via Twitter. This was due to an LA Times investigation in 2021 that found that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association [HPFA] had no Black members (an open secret), as well as other allegations of unethical business practices including HFPA members receiving gifts and other perks from networks and studios in exchange for their votes.
Since then, the HFPA has implemented numerous reforms, including revamping its membership to include more diversity. Their expanded membership resulted in adding 103 international nonmember voters and 21 additional HFPA members—six who are Black. Currently, the voter pool is 52% female and 51.5% ethnically and racially diverse.
New rules also require members to sign a new code of conduct which places limitations and restrictions on gifts or promotional materials to members from studios or publicists.
These reforms are a welcomed change, but the Golden Globes still have a long way to go with including better representation of their future nominees. The LA Times exposé indeed forced their hand, but it’s also up to us to keep the momentum going. Here’s hoping to next year!
© Alicia Newkirk (1/6/23) — Special for FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Sarah Polley’s 2012 film Stories We Tell was one of the “100 Hundred Films Directed by Women” celebrated by Turner Classic Movies in 2020.
Gina Prince-Bythewood was featured in the Half the Picture. Click here to read FF2 interview with director Amy Adrion.
Click here to read Fiona Flanagan’s review of Turning Red for FF2.
Find complete list of 2023 nominations here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured photo of Abbott Elementary’s Quinta Brunson courtesy of ABC/Gillespie Mingasson. All Rights Reserved.
Bottom image from Domee Shi’s Turning Red is based on a scan of the DVD cover. Rights are owned by Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved.