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Wonderful win for Jane Campion

Editorial

The Golden Globes awards night might have been a damp squib but the accolades won by Dame Jane Campion and her film The Power of the Dog are not diminished by the diversity controversy which, along with the surge of Covid-19 cases in the United States, saw the “ceremony” downgraded to a private event with announcements made via live blog (not even a livestream).

The dark western filmed entirely in New Zealand, including the Hawkdun Range in Central Otago as a stand-in for the landscapes of Montana, won three of the seven awards it was nominated for — the two major awards of best motion picture - drama and best director for Campion, and best performance by an actor in a supporting role for Australian Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Campion, 67, was also up for best screenplay for her adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name — focused on two rancher brothers who become increasingly estranged — but was beaten by Sir Kenneth Branagh, for his gritty autobiographical drama Belfast which was also up for seven awards. The two are tipped to duel it out again at the Oscars.

Campion is a shoo-in for a best director Oscar nomination which will make her the only woman to have been nominated twice. The first was for her 1993 period drama The Piano, for which she won best original screenplay, having won the Palme d’Or in Cannes.

Last night Campion became the third woman to win the best director award in the Globes’ 78-year history. Barbra Streisand was the first for her 1984 musical drama Yentl, then Chloé Zhao last year for Nomadland.

Campion also won the Silver Lion prize for best director at the Venice Film Festival last year for The Power of the Dog, and one of France’s top cinema honours, the Lumière Prize.

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive David Strong told RNZ the Golden Globe wins were a wonderful accolade for Campion, and for everyone who worked on the production: “New Zealanders can be proud of what Dame Jane has created. It is also testament to the highly skilled Kiwis who worked alongside her on the film.”

The Golden Globes ceremony was boycotted by many actors, filmmakers and studios due to continuing controversy over a lack of diversity among voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which had not had a Black member for 20 years. It has added 21 members, six of whom are Black, to 105 now, and also implemented diversity and sexual harassment training.