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Barbenheimer’s back! Battle of the blockbuster movies (part 2)

It was this summer’s clash of the movie titans: a film about the creation of something so vast, so monumental that the world would never be the same again. And Oppenheimer.

Now the Golden Globes nominations have resurrected the battle of Barbenheimer, with the two box office smashes going toe to toe to accumulate the most awards.

The films and TV shows in contention for the annual ceremony were revealed in Los Angeles on Monday. Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster comedy Barbie led the pack with nine nominations, followed by Christopher Nolan’s epic Oppenheimer with eight.

While both films are nominated in different categories – the former in Best Film, Comedy/Musical and the latter in Best Film, Drama – the duo will be battling to become the most-awarded film of the night.

Both films were released in cinemas on the same day (21 June), which spawned a global phenomenon that breathed new life into cinemas on both sides of the Atlantic.

Barbie became the biggest film of the year, amassing takings of $1.45bn (£1.15bn), while Oppenheimer earned $953.7m (£759.9m) to become the highest-grossing biopic of all time, surpassing Bohemian Rhapsody.

Many of the main actors in the films, Barbie’s Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling alongside Oppenheimer’s Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Robert Downey Jr, have been nominated for awards.

Meanwhile, Gerwig has scored her first Best Director nomination for the film, having been snubbed for Lady Bird in 2018, while Nolan has picked up his third nod following Inception and Dunkirk. The pair are nominated in the same category, though neither has won before.

Following close behind in the nominations pack are Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things, which have seven nominations each.

In the TV categories, Succession is the most nominated series, with a total of nine, followed by The Bear and Only Murders in the Building, which have five apiece.

Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’ (Universal Studios)
Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’ (Universal Studios)

It’s a big year for the Brits, with nominations for Carey Mulligan, who stars in Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, and Emily Blunt for her role in Oppenheimer.

Elsewhere, Rosamund Pike snuck in a surprise nomination for her supporting turn in Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn.

British actors have made a strong showing in the TV categories thanks to nominations for Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie in The Last of Us, and Sam Claflin for Daisy Jones & the Six, as well as Imelda Staunton and Dominic West for their respective roles in The Crown.

Perhaps inspired by Barbenheimer, the forthcoming ceremony has also introduced a new category: Best Cinematic and Box Office Achievement. The former has led to a nomination for Taylor Swift for her concert film The Eras Tour – but Swift is not the only musician to be nominated for a Golden Globe: Billie Eilish received her first acting nomination following her role in horror series Swarm.

‘Barbie’ is the most-nominated of the two big summer movies (Warner Bros)
‘Barbie’ is the most-nominated of the two big summer movies (Warner Bros)

This year’s nominations arrive after a huge membership shake-up for the ceremony’s voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which, in 2022, was accused of a lack of diversity in a Los Angeles Times exposé.

At the time, the HFPA did not have a single Black member, but it has since expanded its membership and enforced what was described as a strict code of conduct among voters. This led to the approval of many celebrities who, one year after boycotting the event, decided to attend the 2023 ceremony.

Despite this, according to reports, the Golden Globes is struggling to find a host.

CNN claims that Chris Rock and Ali Wong, as well as Will Arnett, Sean Hayes and Jason Bateman, who were reportedly approached to host as a trio, have all declined offers.

A spokesperson for the Golden Globes declined to comment on the search for the host. However, a source close to the situation said there are “three very serious conversations” going on with potential presenters.

The ceremony takes place on Sunday 7 January 2024, and will be available to watch in the US on CBS and in the UK on Paramount+.