The unpredictable whims of the Golden Globes inject boundless amounts of delight and frustration, in equal parts, into the awards season each year.
This year is no exception. On the film side, critics are no doubt cheering the love for Mad Max: Fury Road, cinema’s most badass dystopian feminist car chase yet, but a genre flick many assumed would be overlooked by major awards organizations. On the TV side, however, they’re probably shaking their fists that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association passed on the chance to give Mad Men a goodbye kiss for its final season.
Predicting the mass case of itchy scalps TV reporters curiously wake up with each December, there’s the usual head-scratchers in the television categories. A showering of love for buzzy streaming series was to be expected, but Mozart in the Jungle? Really? But, hey, at least Mr. Robot got a ton of nods!
No one can say exactly how the Golden Globes helps or hurts a film or actor in the Oscar race, but let’s just assume that getting passed over by a major awards organization isn’t the best thing for an awards campaign. If that’s the case, Johnny Depp is probably bummed this morning, as are Tom Hanks and the producers of Bridge of Spies. Conversely, that Mad Max team is doing dusty dystopian cartwheels today.
You can check out the full list of Globes nominees here. And here are our picks for the day’s biggest snubs and surprises.
Surprise — Mad Max: Fury Road
Critical consensus is that the stylish action flick deserves Best Picture kudos—it’s made a huge showing at critics’ awards so far—but most pundits assumed the film wasn’t traditionally “awards-y” enough to make it into major categories at ceremonies like the Globes. Its Best Picture — Drama nod over the likes of more awards-friendly flicks like Bridge of Spies, Steve Jobs, and Brooklyn is now getting our hopes up for Oscar time.
Snub — Bridge of Spies
Nothing says “awards-bait” like a period thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. The movie doesn’t have the heat or the buzz of race ponies like Carol or The Revenant, but the pleasantly reviewed, well-liked film and its pleasant, well-liked star were expected to receive courtesy nods in the major races anyway. It’s far more exciting to see movies like Room and Mad Max in the race instead, of course, and at least the film has Mark Rylance competing in Best Supporting Actor.
Snub — The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s three-hour, hyper-violent new film didn’t make a strong showing at yesterday’s Screen Actors Guild nominations or this morning’s Globes announcements. Part of that could be due to the difficulty voters have in seeing it—rather than send out DVDs to voters, voters have to attend screenings of the film in theaters showing it in 70mm, at Tarantino’s behest. But the fact that Jennifer Jason Leigh showed up in Best Supporting Actress while the film and Tarantino were snubbed in Best Picture and Best Director hints that maybe it wasn’t a matter of convenience; the voters might just not have liked it.
Snub — Johnny Depp
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is so gaga over Johnny Depp that he’s racked up 10 Globe nods over the years, including controversial ones for films that no one would consider a legitimate awards contender, like a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel and, famously, two nods in the same category in 2011 for The Tourist and Alice in Wonderland. It’s surprising, then, that his performance in Black Mass, which many thought would guarantee him entry into every awards race, was passed over by the organization that loves him most.
Surprise — Michael Shannon and Paul Dano
Until this week, the question was how many Spotlight cast members would show up in the Best Supporting Actor race at major awards, with Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schrieber all in contention. No one thought the answer would be “none,” but that was the case at yesterday’s SAG announcement and at the Globes today. Michael Shannon’s nod for 99 Homes officially upgrades him from dark horse to serious contender for an Oscar, while Paul Dano is getting the recognition he deserves for Love and Mercy, which critics were afraid he wouldn’t get. As for the Spotlight gang, at least Ruffalo has a random Best Actor — Comedy nod for the little-seen Infinitely Polar Bear and Schrieber is in contention in the TV race for Ray Donovan. Sorry, Keaton.
Surprise — Will Smith
Will Smith is famously choosy about what roles he takes on at this point in the career (though he’ll never be able to justify why After Earth made his criteria). It’s no big shock, then, that Concussion is the perfect showcase for his movie star charisma and dramatic chops, but as a late entry into the race, pundits weren’t sure what kind of contenders the film or Smith would be. The actor’s Best Actor nod today over the likes of Tom Hanks suggests he’s one that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Snub — Mad Men
With the exception of a nomination for Jon Hamm in Best Actor, Mad Men was shut out of farewell nods from the HFPA for its final season. Maybe it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering the series hasn’t competed in Best Drama at the Globes since 2011. But given the series’ significance and the praise for its buzzy final episodes, we’d have imagined the HFPA sending it off with a little more love.
Snub — Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Given the fact that an astonishing four streaming series are competing for Best Comedy, it’s a surprise that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, with former Globes host and winner Tina Fey in charge, wasn’t among them. In fact, it was expected that Kimmy Schmidt, arguably the buzziest and most critically respected new comedy of the year, would be showered with Globes love. Instead, it comes up empty-handed.
Surprise — Best Comedy Series (Mozart in the Jungle?!)
The Globes are famous for favoring hot new shows over veteran stalwarts. It’s what makes the awards so fun, in contrast to the Emmys, which rubber-stamp the same nominees year after year. What’s unexpected, however, is for a whopping four streaming series to dominate the race. Joining expected contenders Orange Is the New Black and Transparent is Mozart in the Jungle and Casual, two series that no one saw coming and the latter Hulu’s first Golden Globes bid ever. We’ll cheer for Casual, one of the best new series for the year. Mozart in the Jungle? That one gets a curious eyebrow raise.
Snub — Amy Poehler
Despite winning two years ago and hosting the ceremony twice in a row, Amy Poehler missed out on a farewell nod for her performance in Parks and Recreation. Instead, the Best Actress in a Comedy category is rich with new blood, with CW breakout star Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex Girlfriend), Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), and Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie) competing for the first time against previous winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin). (Interesting fact: Despite her steamrolling of the Emmys year after year, Louis-Dreyfus has yet to win a Globe for Veep. Her one victory there was in 1994 for Seinfeld.)
Snub — Broadcast TV
The sole broadcast show in either the Comedy or Drama Series categories is Empire, a huge sign as to what the Globes think of the future of programming. Heck, of the 11 Best Series nominees, five are streaming series. That’s good news for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but not so great for Modern Family, The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory, and black-ish, all of which were thought to be big Globes contenders.
Surprise — Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga's first foray into television paid off with a nomination for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie. Given the Globes’ tendency to fawn over big stars, it’s maybe not a huge surprise that they jumped at the chance to hand Gaga an invite to this year’s ceremony. But the pop star made it into the category over Nicole Kidman, who was in contention for the disastrous Grace of Monaco, which suggests that Mother Monster’s acting really did impress the voters.
Surprise — Outlander and Narcos
As far as freshman dramas go, Mr. Robot racked up all the nods it was expected to for its breakout first season: Best Drama, Best Actor (Rami Malek), and Best Supporting Actor (Christian Slater). What was unexpected was the strong showings for first-time Globes contenders Outlander and Narcos. Both show up in Best Drama Series, with Outlander also picking up mentions for stars Catriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies, and Narcos star Wagner Moura getting a Best Actor nomination, too.
Snub — Downton Abbey and House of Cards
We're not complaining that Downton Abbey only received one nod this year, for Joanne Froggatt in Best Supporting Actress. But given that the series has been nominated for Best Drama every other year it’s been eligible, it’s a surprise that the HFPA didn’t follow suit this year, too. Similarly, House of Cards has been a major Globes contender, racking up seven nods over its first two seasons and winning a trophy a piece for stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. This year, only Wright is in contention.
Surprise — Eva Green
Critics have been trying to get Eva Green awards attention for her intense, transfixing performance on Penny Dreadful since the show’s first season. Maybe Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Kerry Washington, or Ruth Wilson aren’t so jazzed that she finally got it. But we are.