Hugh Grant spent most of the 1990s and early 2000s being king of the rom-com. Now in the midst of a career resurgence Grant could pull off a big upset if he should win Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor for his work in “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Not all actors are up to the task of starring opposite the formidable Meryl Streep, but Grant proved her comedic equal playing her second husband St. Clair Bayfield, who plots and plans the music career of Streep’s title character, an heiress who cannot sing, while making sure nothing negative ever gets out. We’re led to believe that the couple have a marriage of convenience, but we realize that in his own way he does love her.
Grant has been campaigning for Oscar as a supporting actor, and that’s where he recently picked up a SAG nomination, but the Hollywood Foreign Press decided that his performance would have to compete in the lead category, which makes it all the more impressive that he earned a nom, demonstrating just how much the Hollywood Foreign Press likes him and the film.
At the Golden Globes Grant will face off against Colin Farrell (“The Lobster”) and Jonah Hill (“War Dogs”), the only nominees for their respective films; Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool”), whose film also competes for Best Film Comedy/Musical; and Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”), who is in the most nominated film of the year with seven.
But “Florence Foster Jenkins” is the second most nominated comedy or musical this year, up for four awards: Best Film Comedy/Musical, Best Comedy/Musical Actor; Best Comedy/Musical Actress (Streep) and Best Film Supporting Actor (Simon Helberg). And Grant is a past winner in this category for “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994), with additional nominations for “Notting Hill” (1999) and “About a Boy” (2002). Farrell is the only other past winner in this category (2008’s “In Bruges”), so Grant may be in a pretty good position to upset. And the Globes are known to spread the wealth around, so if they do not want “Florence Foster Jenkins” to go away empty handed this could be the category they choose to award the film.
Currently according to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds Gosling is predicted to win with odds of 2/5, Reynolds sits in second place with odds of 4/1 and Grant is third with odds of 33/1. Grant is also expected to receive an Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actor) with odds of 14/1, so he has been on an upward trajectory this awards season.
Grant is one to look out for going forward also because he gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches in Golden Globe history, and the Hollywood Foreign Press might be ready to give him an encore. He is a well-liked member of the acting community at a career best. If he should win the Golden Globe and give a typically charming acceptance speech as his Oscar audition, momentum in the whole awards race could easily turn.
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