Spike Lee is nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Film Director for “BlacKkKlansman.” It’s his first nomination since he received bids for writing and directing “Do the Right Thing” (1989) almost 30 years ago. On top of that, the film also received nominations for Best Film Drama, Best Film Drama Actor (John David Washington) and Best Film Supporting Actor (Adam Driver). But no black filmmaker has ever won a Globe for directing. Could Lee be the first?
“BlacKkKlansman” tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (Washington), who becomes the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department in the early 1970s. He sets out to prove his worth by infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with help from his Jewish colleague (Driver).
When Spike Lee was nominated for “Do the Right Thing” he was the very first black director ever to recoceive a Golden Globe nomination. Since then only three more have gotten such recognition from the Globes. In 2013 Steve McQueen picked up a directing bid for “12 Years a Slave.” While his movie did win Best Film Drama, he lost Best Director to Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity.”
Then in 2014 Ava DuVernay became the first black woman to be nominated for her work on “Selma,” but she lost to Richard Linklater for “Boyhood.” And in 2016 Barry Jenkins contended for “Moonlight”; like “12 Years a Slave,” that film won Best Film Drama, but Globe voters picked a different director: Damien Chazelle for “La La Land.”
According to the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users, Lee ranks third with 4/1 odds for Best Film Director. Ahead of him are Bradley Cooper in second place for “A Star is Born” with 19/5 odds and the aforementioned Cuaron in first place for “Roma” with 82/25 odds.
But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association usually likes to spread the wealth, so they could take care of Cuaron by awarding “Roma” Best Foreign Language Film. And Cooper could be rewarded for Best Film Drama and Best Film Drama Actor. That would free up voters to honor Lee here for the first time in his career.
“Do the Right Thing” was completely shut out of its four nominations in 1989. The same could potentially happen to “BlacKkKlansman,” which isn’t forecast to win any of its categories this year based on our odds. If HFPA members would like to throw the movie a bone, what better place than Best Director? It would give them a chance to make history, pay back Lee’s Globe IOU, and maybe even set the stage for him to win his very first competitive Oscar.
Be sure to make your Golden Globe predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on January 6. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Golden Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.