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.