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Barbie and Oppenheimer in pole position for the Golden Globes

After dominating the box office last summer and being the subject of countless diversions crossing their two universes, the films Barbie and Oppenheimer leave favorites on Sunday for the Golden Globes in full quest for renewal, after accusations of racism and corruption.

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Barbie and Oppenheimer in pole position for the Golden Globes

After dominating the box office last summer and being the subject of countless diversions crossing their two universes, the films Barbie and Oppenheimer leave favorites on Sunday for the Golden Globes in full quest for renewal, after accusations of racism and corruption.

Released the same weekend, they gave birth to the viral phenomenon “Barbenheimer”, which pushed many spectators to watch the two films in theaters. As a result, the duo boasts $2.4 billion in box office revenue and 17 Golden Globe nominations. “They are so different from each other, and yet they have both been successful,” observes the producer of the ceremony, Glenn Weiss, to AFP.

Also read At the Golden Globes, Anatomy of a Fall slips into the “Barbenheimer” duel

Directed by Greta Gerwig, Barbie takes advantage of the global aura of the plastic doll to deliver a scathing satire on misogyny and highlight the emancipation of women. The film leads the way with nine nominations and is notably tipped to win the prize for best comedy and best screenplay. With the biggest theatrical receipts of the year, it is also the favorite for a new award created to honor box office success.

Oppenheimer, which also attracted the crowds last summer, has eight nominations and seems well on its way to the prize for best dramatic film. This feature film, which could recognize Christopher Nolan as best director, dissects the life of the scientist, played by Cillian Murphy, responsible for leading American research on the thermonuclear bomb through his rivalry with a powerful politician in the form of Robert Downey Jr The two actors are serious candidates for the prize for best actor and best supporting role.

The hype around the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon is timely for the Golden Globes, recently bought and reformed by private investors. Long considered a springboard to the Oscars, Hollywood's former favorite party, renowned for its relaxed atmosphere, has been undermined by corruption and racism scandals in recent years.

To get out of this bad situation, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which had created these awards and focused the accusations of ethical breaches and amateurism, was dissolved. The new organization has greatly diversified the jury, inviting critics from all over the world. Enough to convince the American channel CBS to broadcast the 81st ceremony on Sunday. “The Globes have made a new start,” assures Mr. Weiss. The presence, or absence, of guests will tell whether Hollywood is really ready to turn the page.

In addition to cinema heavyweights like Leonardo DiCaprio (Killers of the Flower Moon), the nominees include music stars: Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa compete for best song and Taylor Swift is in the running with her recent concert film. The organization is hoping for renewed interest in its red carpet, after the double strike of actors and screenwriters which paralyzed the industry for six months. Deprived of promotion during the social movement, many stars could want to make up for lost time and promote their film with a view to the Oscars.

“We want it to be a big season opening party where everyone will feel this energy,” ambitions Mr. Weiss. “We have all experienced strikes together. We are now out of that period.”

Besides the “Barbenheimer” duet, Bradley Cooper’s Maestro lurks in ambush. With this biopic of the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, the American can claim the double best director and best actor, which would be a first. Native American actress Lily Gladstone is seeking the award for best actress in a drama film, thanks to her role in Killers of the Flower Moon. A historical fresco where Martin Scorsese retraces the massacre of a tribe by white despoilers, which has seven nominations.

On the comedies side, it is Emma Stone who holds the rope for this award, with her role as a female Frankenstein in “Poor Creatures”, crowned best film at the Venice Film Festival. Finally, in the television categories, the drama series Succession, chronicling the power struggles within a family at the head of a media empire, and the comedy The Bear, which explores the back kitchen of a restaurant in Chicago, start favorites.

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