Esther McCarthy.


Ireland's five hopefuls for Golden Globes success

Saoirse Ronan and Midleton’s Nora Twomey are among the Irish hopefuls for the Golden Globes on Sunday, writes Esther McCarthy.

Ireland's five hopefuls for Golden Globes success

The Golden Globes aren’t as obvious an Oscar indicator as they’re often claimed to be, but they can be crucial in building momentum in the run-up to the Oscars — and this year’s race is all about momentum.

The 90 or so members of Hollywood’s Foreign Press Association will bestow their awards on Sunday, just five days before the ballots close for this year’s Oscars vote. With no clear frontrunners in many categories including Best Picture in the most wide-open race in years, a Golden Globe win could provide a crucial swing.

As in the past few years, the Irish can hold their heads high on the night, having been whittled down to the best in their fields across several categories.

Saoirse Ronan

Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes are awarded in two categories for key nominations — split into comedy/musical and drama. With Frances McDormand nominated in drama for her terrific work in Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missouri this gives Ronan a great chance to take home her first Golden Globe on the night.

She’s in the running for playing a precocious teen seeking independence in actor-turned-director Greta Gerwig’s much-loved Lady Bird. I’m predicting a win for Ronan at the third time of asking, with Margot Robbie, excellent in I, Tonya and Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes) the main threats.

Nora Twomey

The Midleton animator, a founding member of Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon, has bagged a nomination for her first solo feature, The Breadwinner. The tale of an Afghan girl who dresses like a boy to provide for her family has been widely praised on the critical and festival circuit, while Twomey has an experienced ally by her side in the form of Hollywood royalty, Angelina Jolie, an executive producer on the film.

Pundits are predicting a Best Animated Feature win for Pixar’s Mexican-set movie, Coco, with Twomey’s film running a close second. But in what’s been a wobbly year for animation, anything could happen.

Martin McDonagh

The London/Irish filmmaker’s terrific Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missouri became a major awards-season contender when it was shortlisted for six Golden Globes.

Frances McDormand is a force of nature as a bereaved mother who tries to push the police to secure a conviction for the violent death of her daughter.

As well as Best Picture, Best Actress (Frances McDormand) Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell) and Best Score, McDonagh himself is up for director and screenplay nods. A Golden Globe for McDonagh’s screenplay looks like a decent bet.

Caitriona Balfe

The Golden Globes honour achievement in TV as well as film, and Balfe is flying the flag for Ireland on the small screen. The Monaghan supermodel-turned-actress has picked up her third nomination in a row for Outlander, the historical drama that has made her a major star in the US. Competition is fierce.

Also shortlisted are reigning Globe winner Claire Foy, up again for The Crown, Elizabeth Moss for The Handmaid’s Tale, Katherine Langford for 13 Reasons Why and Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Deuce. Both Moss and Foy have won so it could be third time a charm for Balfe, as the HFPA clearly admire her work.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Born in England but long resident in Ireland, Day-Lewis — who enjoys dual citizenship — is in the running for the forthcoming Phantom Thread, which he has said will be his final acting performance.

Most pundits are predicting a win for Gary Oldman, excellent as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, or Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name —but again, there is no frontrunner in this category.

  • The Golden Globe awards take place on Sunday night in Hollywood. Highlights will be broadcast on Monday night on RTÉ2 at 9.30pm

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