Golden Globes 2022: Will Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Win Big?

Once again, award season is here. And as is usually the case, all eyes are on the Golden Globes. The awards — given out annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — often steers the conversation for which movies might be winning Academy Awards. This year, none other than Steven Spielberg is at the center of the awards buzz again. But can his West Side Story remake become the big winner at the 2022 Golden Globes?

Steven Spielberg wears a suit and speaks onstage in front of the logo of his ‘West Side Story’
Steven Spielberg | Jesse Grant

‘West Side Story’ was a Golden Globe winner in 1961

Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, the 1961 West Side Story became a phenomenon when it hit theaters. Like Spielberg’s movie, the original is a film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, which draws inspiration from Romeo and Juliet. Starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as doomed lovers Maria and Tony, West Side Story has remained one of the most popular movie musicals of all time.

In fact, the film swept much of the awards race that year. Of its 11 Academy Award nominations, West Side Story won all but one, including Best Picture. Likewise, the movie walked away with three Golden Globes. These include Best Motion Picture — Musical, Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris, and Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno. Now with Spielberg‘s highly acclaimed new take on the material, history just might repeat itself.

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Steven Spielberg’s remake could perform similarly in 2021

When word came that Spielberg was working on West Side Story, many fans didn’t know what to think. Sure, Spielberg’s reputation precedes him, but remaking such an iconic movie felt like a risky move. Thankfully, most fans and critics are very much enjoying his version. And the HFPA has recognized the 2021 West Side Story with four nominations. And there’s a strong chance Spielberg’s movie might repeat at least some of the original’s wins.

Both movies were nominated for Best Director, though the original movie lost that one. And the 1961 West Side Story received a Best Actor nod for Beymer. This time, Rachel Zegler has the lead acting nod. And the 2021 film might struggle to win either category. Rather, where it has the best chance in repeating the original’s wins are in Best Picture — Musical or Comedy and Best Supporting Actress for Ariana DeBose’s updated role as Anita.

Could ‘West Side Story’ be headed for a Best Picture win?

At this point, the 2022 Academy Award nominations have not yet been announced. Still, it feels like West Side Story is destined to get some love. It remains to be seen whether it will come anywhere near the 10 nominations of its predecessor. But Spielberg’s film will likely be a strong contender in the Best Director and Best Picture races.

Perhaps the movie’s best chance at Oscar gold lies with DeBose. After all, Moreno won for her role and returns to this new film in a different role. This fact alone highlights Anita’s place in the story even moreso. And DeBose’s stellar performance is certainly worthy of acknowledgment. Fans will find out soon if she’s officially in the race.

The 2022 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Feb. 8, 2022.

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