Yet the group’s choice of “The Power of the Dog” as the year’s best drama reflect what feels like a message to other award shows — a major nod to the power of streaming — as the entertainment industry wrestles with the shift away from theatrical viewing to at-home consumption, especially for prestige films.
Simply put, box-office dollars, the most obvious metric for weighing a movie’s popularity, no longer tell the whole story. And if award voters have any interest in recognizing movies that people have seen — and will thus harbor some rooting interest in the choices — the calculus needs to shift to how many watched them, not strictly how many have directly paid for the privilege.
The “crowds,” pretty obviously, are at home, scattered from communal viewing to consume entertainment on their schedules. And that has produced “crowd-pleasers,” or at least movies that have generated buzz, just as Netflix intended when it embarked on the mission of seeking to establish its movies as credible award candidates, after growing to rival HBO in TV’s awards race.
Such plans don’t always work out, but with “Spider-Man” propping up the theatrical movie business almost single-handedly, if ever there was a year to invite a superhero to Hollywood’s biggest party, it’s this one.
Whether that math persists forever is unknown, but for now, “The Power of the Dog” is the sort of “hit,” however fuzzy the streaming data, which could help bring additional sizzle to an awards system challenged on multiple fronts.
The Golden Globes have been a mess, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that presents them remains enmeshed in the process of cleaning up its collective act. Nevertheless, in assembling their nominees and winners for 2022, they seem to have embraced a reality that much of Hollywood has been slow — and perhaps understandably reluctant — to grasp.