“Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” has the same feel-good factor that made the original such an infectious, joyous thrill back in 2008. Meryl Streep and company lit up our screens with the warm glow of the Greek sun and made us sing, dance, and laugh. That feel-good nature endeared “Mamma Mia” to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. earning it a Best Comedy or Musical bid as well as one for Streep. Could the sequel equal that showing?
Four of the last five musicals to be nominated for Best Musical/Comedy Picture were also nominated at least once in the acting categories at the Golden Globes, too. “The Greatest Showman” earned Hugh Jackman a Best Actor bid, while “La La Land” won Best Actress and Best Actor for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, respectively. While “Sing Street” didn’t garner any further nominations, both Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt were nominated for “Into the Woods.” And “Les Miserables” won Globes for leading man Hugh Jackman and supporting player Anne Hathaway.
While Streep is barely in “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,” this new film has two leading ladies who could be cited by the HFPA: the returning Amanda Seyfried and newcomer Lily James. They might not be as big stars as Meryl, but they carry the emotional weight of the film.
Seyfried reprises her role as Sophie, the daughter of Streep’s character Donna, who is missing her mother in the sequel. As Sophie prepares for the re-opening of Donna’s hotel, she has several emotional scenes in which she pays tribute to her mother. James plays the younger version of Donna who is full of life. We get to see how Donna came to live in and fall in love with Greece. We also get to see how she meets each of the three possible fathers of her daughter: Harry (Hugh Skinner), Sam (Jeremy Irvine), and Bill (Josh Dyland) – whose grown-up versions in the present are played by Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Skellan Skarsgard, respectively.
Then there is Cher who steals every scene she is in as Ruby Sheridan, Donna’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother. She is estranged from the family but reunites with her granddaughter at a crucial time. The audience cheers every time she appears. She sings “Fernando,” one of the most famous tunes in the ABBA catalogue. This three-time Globe champ doesn’t appear in films very often (it has been almost a decade since “Burlesque”) so the HFPA may jump at this chance to nominate her.
And watch out for Christine Baranski who plays the man-eater Tanya Chesham-Leigh, the best friend of Donna and Julie Walters‘ Rosie. Tanya is a sharp, sophisticated, sexy women who delivers some memorable zinegers. Barankski has been nominated at the Globes before (as Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series/Miniseries for “Cybill”) but hasn’t won. This two-time Tony winner is well-regarded and Globe voters may well want to invite her to their party.