Oh how I love awards season. I don’t, however, like it for the red carpet, the who wore it better specials, or other trash fashion shows. I, unlike most people it seems like, actually enjoy awards season for the nominations and to see who goes home the winner. I love the nominations almost as much as watching the shows because it presents the perfect platform for me to complain about those who were selected for the shortlists and those who were left out. Now, I have the utmost respect for those who choose the nominees and understand that everyone has their own opinion, but as a stubborn British young adult, I like to think my opinion is the right one and people should listen to me. Plus, what would be the point of these awards if it didn’t open the door to potential debate, right?
For this article, I’m going to go down the list of nominations and at the end of each section I’ll make comments on my thoughts of each of the categories. I won’t make any predictions for the winners because I will do that in a different article that I will write later on this week. I’m also restricting myself to commenting on the movie categories since I don’t watch enough TV to be comfortable making reputable judgments. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the nominations for the 2016 Golden Globe Awards.
Best Motion Picture (Drama): Carol, Mad Max, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight
My thoughts: This is an overall solid list with some great films and no real clunkers (albeit I haven’t seen the Revenant yet since it won’t be released until January, but the reviews so far have been very positive). I am intrigued by the “Mad Max” nomination, however. “Mad Max” is a great film and one that I have adored from this year, but I’m not convinced it is a film that belongs on this list. There are other “Drama” films that have been released this year that could have been nominated such as “Creed”, “Bridge of Spies”, “Sicario” and my personal favorite “Beasts of No Nation.” “Mad Max” is a great film, but I don’t think it should have been nominated over these options, especially “Beasts of No Nation.”
Best Motion Picture (Comedy): The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck
My Thoughts: I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the Best Picture nomination being broken up for Drama and Comedy but I tend to not have an issue with it at the Golden Globes since the Academy Awards extended their nomination list to exceed five films. Still, I have more issues with this list than the Drama category. “Joy” hasn’t been released yet so I can’t comment but most of the reviews that have come in so far have been very average. Also, while Spy and Trainwreck are decent films it does seem a bit of stretch for me to nominate these films. There are other comedy films out there that are better such as “Inside Out”, “Slow West”, and “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl.” If we’re basing these movies solely on how funny they are, I can understand “Spy”, but then “The Martian” being nominated wouldn’t make sense since it is a drama with some funny moments. This category should evaluate comedy films on how good they are overall, and in this case the three aforementioned films that didn’t receive nominations should all have been nominated over “Joy”, “Trainwreck”, and “Spy.”
Best Director: Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max), Ridley Scott (The Martian)
My Thoughts: I don’t have many issues with this list. While I don’t agree that “Mad Max” should be a Best Picture nominee, George Miller did a fantastic job directing the film and should be recognized. I would’ve liked to see Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) on this list but I can live without it. I am glad to see Inarritu on this list after hearing that “The Revenant” was shot with all natural lighting…God bless his soul for attempting that.
Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
My Thoughts: This list is exactly right. Good job Golden Globes!
Best Actor in Motion Picture Drama: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Will Smith (Concussion)
My Thoughts: Are we still on a “Theory of Everything” high for Eddie Redmayne? Potentially, but I can’t argue too much with the nomination, despite the film being overwrought with awards cliches. I haven’t seen “Concussion” since it hasn’t been released yet, but it’ll be interesting to see how Smith’s performance stacks up to Jonny Depp (Black Mass), the actor who was definitely snubbed in this category. Also, I am surprised to not see Tom Hardy in this category after his dual performance in “Legend.” Tough year for male acting.
Best Actress in Motion Picture Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van), Lily Tomlin (Grandma)
My Thoughts: Now, I can understand the Best Picture nominations being broken up into those for Drama and those for Comedy since it allows the Golden Globes to give more recognition to various films, but it seems a bit redundant to continue this categorical separation through to the actors’ awards. None of these female nominations (besides potentially Jennifer Lawrence) are particularly noteworthy or comparable in any way to the talent that has been pulled in the Drama section. Yes, it is easier to act in a Drama and to be recognized as more influential so it is tough for the Comedy actors to compete, however, when the options are so slim, such as they are for this year, it doesn’t make sense to keep the award. Every now and then they may be a phenomenal performance in a Comedy film and that is great, but they can be recognized in a general acting award rather than splitting the group up. These nominations are fine for the category, but the category itself seems unnecessary and redundant, with its weaknesses very visible during this round of nominees.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Matt Damon (The Martian), Al Pacino (Danny Collins), and Mark Ruffalo (Infinity Polar Bear)
My Thoughts: While this set of nominees is slightly stronger than their female counterparts, I still have the same argument that I made above. The Supporting Actor/Actress award isn’t divided into two categories based on Drama or Comedy, so neither should the main acting awards. Get rid of these categories, I don’t want to see them ever again.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Jane Fonda (Youth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Helen Mirren (Trumbo), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
My Thoughts: Not an overwhelming abundant category of talent this year, but still a decent enough list to make things interesting. No standouts, but a lot of great performances all around make this one of the more competitive categories of this season. Congratulations to Alicia Vikander for being nominated twice for two different movies. Also, I love seeing “Youth” and “Ex Machina” getting some recognition since they were two great films that flew under the radar this year.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Paul Dano (Love and Mercy), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
My Thoughts: I think this list is great and that the Golden Globes did a great job of recognizing some performances in lesser known films such as Paul Dano in “Love and Mercy” and Michael Shannon in the great “99 Homes.” Idris Elba and Mark Rylance should be the frontrunners for this award after each were brilliant in their respective roles. Stallone is an interesting one for me though. While he is actually quite good in “Creed” I would argue that Seth Rogen’s performance in “Steve Jobs,” Jason Segel’s performance in the great indie film “End of the Tour,” and Benicio Del Toro’s thrilling role in “Sicario” all could have jumped Stallone for a spot on this list. Jacob Tremblay also did a phenomenal job in “Room.”
Best Screenplay: Emma Donoghue (Room), Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight), Charles Randolph and Adam McKay (The Big Short), Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs), Quentin Tarantino (Hateful Eight)
My Thoughts: Despite it not being released to the general public yet, is anyone really surprised to see Tarantino on this list? He is the master of screenplay writing and most have to think he is a favorite for this award another time around. I thought the screenplay for “Bridge of Spies” or “End of the Tour” could have made a push here but all in all I’m pretty content with the quality of the list.
Best Animated Motion Picture Award: Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep
My Thoughts: The Best Animated Motion Picture Award is always terribly under appreciated in my opinion because animated films can be some of the best of the year. “Inside Out” should have been nominated for the Best Picture Comedy award at this year’s Golden Globes and I would be willing to make an argument that it should be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars as well. Overall, though, this is an incredibly stacked group from the creative brilliance of “Inside Out” to the narrative strengths of “Shaun the Sheep” to the apparent excellent animation in “Anomalisa.” This has been one of the best years for animated films in some time. Not since 2009 when we were gifted with “Up,” “Coraline,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” have we been so spoilt, and I think this year may be even better in terms of overall, consistent quality.
Best Foreign Language Film: The Brand Testament, The Club, The Fencer, Mustang, Son of Saul
My Thoughts: If “Son of Saul,” the winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival, didn’t make this list I would be done with the Golden Globes entirely so good for them for getting at least that right. While I can’t judge a lot of this list since I haven’t seen the four other entries, I still believe I hold the right to be utterly baffled by the decision to leave “Timbuktu” out of this list. “Timbuktu” currently sits in my Top 10 films of the year and will be tough to knock it down, so it blows my mind that it didn’t receive a nomination.
Which movies did you hope to see but didn’t? Any movies or performances you are happy to see nominated? Do you think I’m talking a bunch of nonsense? If so, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on this year’s Golden Globe nominations.