The Golden Globe nominations are almost always controversial. Unlike other awards ceremonies, the Globes cover both TV and film. Its categories also cast a wider net than other awards, meaning there’s always bizarre outliers, strange snubs, and the other stuff that makes awards shows fun. And 2018 is no exception, as we’ll see below.
- The Best Motion Picture — Musical Or Comedy category has some weird nominees. “Musical/Comedy” is recently something of a strange category for the Globes. Thanks to a shortage of musicals (and, depending on your opinion, comedies), it’s increasingly where the Globes puts movies they’d like to nominate as dramas but apparently can’t. That was thrown into particularly sharp relief this year with the nomination of Jordan Peele’s horror movie Get Out, which is not only scary but a piercing look at racial issues that’s racking up wins and nominations left and right with critics and is starting to gain real steam for an Oscar campaign. The Globes’ categorization prompted Jordan Peele to respond that it was a documentary.
The Globes saw the mockery and blowback for this decision and went ahead and did it anyway. And that’s not the only weird nomination in this category. Greta Gerwig’s autobiographical funny-but-not-really-a-comedy Lady Bird, is one of its rivals, as is I, Tonya, the Tonya Harding biopic that features, among other things, a montage of Harding (Margot Robbie) getting violently abused by her husband. Meanwhile, Kumail Nanjiani’s critically acclaimed surprise box-office success The Big Sick was completely shut out.
- Wonder Woman, and superheroes in general, got ignored: Superhero movies never do well at awards shows, but it’s a bit arresting that Wonder Woman, one of the year’s top-grossing movies and one that earned considerable critical acclaim, got absolutely nothing, not even a technical nod or what should have been an easy nomination for Gal Gadot. Still, that may be because of who got the most nominations this year…
- The Shape Of Water edges out the most nominations: Guillermo Del Toro’s brand of fantasy is a bit more awards-friendly than most fantasy movies. But The Shape Of Water — a romantic spin on The Creature From the Black Lagoon set against the paranoia of the Cold War — was a risky project by any standards. Still, it paid off; Water was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actor for Richard Jenkins, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Score. It managed to top both The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, with six nods each, in the movie categories. For fans of the Oscar race, that’s something of an announcement it’ll be a competitor.
- Audiences haven’t seen some of the nominees yet: Interestingly, The Greatest Showman, out Christmas day and not exactly drawing a lot of early positive buzz, got two nominations, for comedy/musical and best actor for Hugh Jackman. Also interesting, Christopher Plummer’s last-minute replacement work on All The Money In The World got a nomination.
- Brace for controversy: So, in a year where Jordan Peele delivers a record-breaking, critically acclaimed work of socially conscious horror, Greta Gerwig delivers the most highly acclaimed indie drama of the year with Lady Bird (which racked up four nominations), and the Globes TV category is more diverse than ever, the Golden Globes nominated four white guys and one Mexican man in the best director category. Granted, the structure of the Globes, wherein movies and actors get two categories to shine in but writers, directors, and composer get one, makes this slightly tougher. But this is particularly glaring in the case of movies like Dunkirk, which had its cast completely shut out, and All The Money In The World, which didn’t get a Best Picture nod, somehow got the nod for Best Director from Ridley Scott. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will likely face some very pointed questions about that.
- Premium cable and streaming services almost completely dominate: One of the more stunning conclusions from the TV nominations this year is that Globes voters have stopped watching broadcast TV. Out of ten nominees, This Is Us, Black-ish, and Will & Grace were the only network shows. And aside from a nod for Freddie Highmore’s performance in The Good Doctor? Well, that’s it. Broadcast TV got just eight nods, out of 55 total possible nominations. Ouch.
- The “limited series” awards are just a fight between two shows: In the “limited series” category, it’s almost entirely a fight between FX’s Feud: Bette And Joan, about the infamous war between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, and Little Big Lies, the sunlit noir about rich women jockeying for social status in a placid California town. (Which, despite that category, is returning for a second season.) While Jessica Biel’s The Sinner made a reasonably good showing, these shows are practically fated to walk away with at least some awards.
- And it’s a good year for female-led shows generally: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, SMILF, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Crown all got multiple nominations, with shows like 13 Reasons Why eking out a surprise nomination for Katherine Langford as Best Actress In A Drama.
- Game Of Thrones has an off year: Game of Thrones has been gotten exactly one nomination, for Best Drama Series. That’s a bit surprising in of itself, and fans will likely argue over whether that’s due to the season or just the flood of great shows.
- There are a surprising number of one-nomination wonders: Nominations tend to run in packs; a show nominated for best series will tend to rack up awards in other areas. But while that’s true this year, there’s a surprising number of contenders in the mix, with Ozark, Insecure, Shameless, I Love Dick, Glow, Outlander, Ray Donovan, Genius, Twin Peaks, and Mr. Robot all sneaking into various categories to snag a nomination.
- The Good Place gets forked: Michael Shur’s afterlife comedy has an impeccable writing staff that’s spun wonders from a premise that would fall apart in lesser hands — namely making a sitcom about what happens after we die. It has a cast packed with charismatic actors — led by Kristen Bell and Ted Danson — and a devoted following who obsess over the show’s background puns and cleverly written fantasy setting. It’s even got a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also picked up not a single nomination at the Globes, for the second year running, despite being easily one of the best shows on TV. What the fork, guys?