We’re barely into this year’s awards season and 2024 is already serving (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
‘Can someone please explain why I am nearly 40 years old and I am DEVOURING this Kylie/Timothée/Selena/Taylor drama?’
This was a genuine WhatsApp message sent by a former editor and fellow journalist days after the Golden Globes last Sunday, the first big hurrah of the annual awards season.
At first glance, yes, this looks like your regular gossipy message about the goings-on at the Globes, which saw Hollywood kick start 2024 with a glamorous bang.
But on closer inspection, it nails a general psyche that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore – could this year be the best awards season we’ve had in a long, long time?
And not because of the films alone (although yes, they help – more on that later), but because we’re all gobbling up every morsel of showbiz havoc, hearsay and every bit of TikTok analysis in a way like never before.
We’ve been starved of an awards season like this, and now we’re about to be fed.
Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift’s conversation at the Golden Globes fed us the first tasty morsel of awards season showbiz gossip (Picture: Getty)
And it’s a delicious concoction of tasty individual ingredients: the calibre of the celebrities making the rounds, the elite level of drama that’s already been brought, and the accessibility of the films competing thanks to streaming platforms and Barbenheimer’s enticing summer of cinematic love at theatres.
But back to that gossip though – who would have thought the intense conversation between Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez at the Globes would spark wildfire rumours of a drama between Selena and Timothée Chalamet and his girlfriend Kylie Jenner?
Lip-reading predictions riled Selena up enough anyway to give a rather unconvincing explanation and announce a social media break, again (which she’s already finished).
There’s younger celebs in attendance, like Timothée Chalamet and girlfriend Kylie Jenner (Picture: CBS via Getty Images)
‘Willem Dafoe texting his gc like “you will never believe what I just heard”,’ joked Surina Belk-Gupta on X, underneath a clip of the conversation in question, referencing Taylor’s actor tablemate, who appeared to be on his phone with his head down.
‘I am William Dafoe pretending to text but actually listening,’ added @therealllsanch, capturing the mood of most of us.
There’s also huge anticipation over Ryan Gosling hopefully taking to the stage at the Academy Awards for a live rendition of *the* song from Barbie, I’m Just Ken (fight me), as is traditional for the (pending) best song Oscar nominees.
Barbie was a cinematic highlight of 2023, and Ryan Gosling could be a highlight at the Oscars if he sings (Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
‘The last one please!!!’ begs writer and editor Carmen Paddock when we discuss what she’s most excited about this awards season, alongside referencing the red carpets ‘as always’.
PR Maria Stapleton also confirms Gosling’s no-doubt iconic performance would be ‘a defo must-watch for me’.
The only other song that’s come close to stirring up the masses in a similar way recently is Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s deserved resurgence thanks to Saltburn’s use of Murder on the Dancefloor for a pivotal naked scene.
It’s another blessing of TikTok’s huge interest, which also made it the hit film of Christmas.
But there’s something truly 2023 about Gosling’s full-throated commitment to being Barbie’s number one accessory. The moment has redefined the career of a two-time acting Oscar nominee who’s previously been more associated with serious fare like Blue Valentine and First Man.
It also feels like this awards season is redefining the whole industry affair too, as they feel more relevant than ever to the public.
Barry Keoghan has been the toast of town after baring all in Saltburn, which hit big on Prime Video over Christmas (Picture: Getty)
The younger stars involved in the 2024 awards season like Barry Keoghan, Oppenheimer’s Florence Pugh, Barbie star Margot Robbie and Emma Stone with her bonkers sexcapade film Poor Things also attract a different sort of audience than the Meryl Streeps and Denzel Washingtons of this world.
Incredible though both performers are, their stalwart presence at the Oscars normally signals more challenging and worthy fare (and The Devil Wears Prada). Kissing Booth alum Jacob Elordi has also been nominated for an EE Rising Star Bafta Award.
This appeal to a younger audience is also something filmmaker Christopher Nolan noticed with how Oppenheimer was embraced, often in a fancy-dress double bill with its fellow film Barbie.
He’s grateful for the ‘great connections’ he’s had with audiences over the years, which seemingly peaked with Oppenheimer, meaning he could finally get his hands on the Oscar that bafflingly still eludes him.
‘Particularly with the number of young people who’ve gone to see it multiple times and really watch the film in the spirit that was intended,’ he told me.
Christopher Nolan (third from L) and the Oppenheimer team struck gold at the Globes, meaning he could be well on his way to finally clinching that Oscar (Picture: CBS via Getty Images)
Audiences always enjoy history-making moments like Michelle Yeoh’s victory last year, or spectacular Oscar comeback wins for Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan.
For 2024, it’s likely to be Lily Gladstone who could be crowned best actress for her work as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon – the Golden Globe winner would also be the first indigenous woman even nominated for the accolade.
Killers of the Flower Moon is also one of several front-runners for the year’s most prestigious film award financed by, or snapped up by, a streaming platform, thanks to Apple TV Plus.
But there’s also Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein opus Maestro on Netflix, alongside best film in a foreign language hopeful Society of the Snow.
Saltburn and Ben Affleck’s Nike film Air are on Amazon Prime Video, while Todd Haynes’ shocking tabloid-inspired dramedy May December is available via Sky Cinema in the UK.
Killers of the Flower Moon’s Lily Gladstone has been making history this awards season (Picture: Getty)
There are also incredible smaller films everyone is losing their minds over, like All of Us Strangers (Picture: Parisa Taghizadeh/Searchlight Pictures via AP)
I’ve also not yet had the chance to mention other fantastic films like The Holdovers, American Fiction, word-of-mouth favourite Past Lives, Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott in All of Us Strangers – the list goes on and on.
Truly, 2024 seems to be giving us quality like never before in its offerings, making it all the more brutal that just one will be singled out as the Oscar-worthy best of the year.
I predict this year though, after Barbenheimer’s overwhelming dominance, that the conversation will keep going as to the overwhelming merits of the movies bestowed on us as contenders in this awards season.
With the Sag Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and the Baftas (hosted by debut compere David Tennant) still to come ahead of the Oscars in March though, we’re far from reaching the peak of this year’s showbizziest season.
And this year, it seems like we are all ready for that ascent.
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