The Golden Globes are known for being random, for both clarifying in some respects the awards race by being the first major show (though the voting body has little overlap with those who vote for the Oscars) and for throwing a total wrench into it. Those Globes choices are supposed to be as unpredictable and silly as the boozed-up show itself! At least, historically speaking.
So it’s alternately surprising and refreshing that there’s little to rage about Monday morning with the ultimate slate of nominees, which were led on the film side by The Shape of Water (7 nods), The Post (6), and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (6), and on the TV end by Big Little Lies (6 nods) and Feud: Bette and Joan (4).
Oh, there’s still enough to be huffy about. But hardly on the level of Burlesque or The Tourist being a Best Picture nominee, and barely a “Who?” showing up in the TV races. (Those merit a reaction more like “interesting…” instead.)
There are certainly reasons to harrumph. In a year when the female-led Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman are the highest-grossing films of the year and Lady Bird is the best-reviewed, it’s certainly disheartening and arguably tone-deaf to see a Best Director category lacking any female contenders. (Justice for Patty Jenkins and Greta Gerwig, though the latter did have a good morning when it comes to Lady Bird nominations.)
The Big Sick
Best Comedy or Musical is always the wildest Globes category. Usually that’s for what they choose to include, not for who they snub completely. The Big Sick was thought to be a deserved shoo-in in the comedy categories, but instead got shut out in favor of nominations for the Globes-friendly circus musical The Greatest Showman (which we are barred from officially talking about yet) and, perhaps more confusingly, a scene-chewing supporting performance from Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes where lead actor Kumail Nanjiani deserved to be.
All the Money in the World
Is the Hollywood Foreign Press just bragging that it's seen Ridley Scott’s 11th hour heroism by handing out major nominations to All the Money in the World? This is infamously the J. Paul Getty thriller that was rushed into reshoots following allegations of sexual misconduct against former star Kevin Spacey, with the cast reuniting to re-film the disgraced actor’s scenes with Christopher Plummer in the role instead over the Thanksgiving holiday. Though critics have yet to weigh in on the film, the HFPA is rewarding that nobility with nominations for Scott in the competitive Best Director race, Plummer in Best Supporting Actor, and, most surprisingly, Michelle Williams in Best Actress in a Drama.
Jordan Peele - Get Out
Ridley Scott and All the Money in the World, perhaps because of its last-minute finessing, has yet to become a major part of the awards conversation. Someone who has, however, is Jordan Peele, whose Get Out contends for major awards including Best Comedy and Best Comedy Actor (Daniel Kaluuya) but is confusingly absent from the Best Director and Best Screenplay categories. Peele is exactly the type of rising star celebrity filmmaker that the Globes tend to toss trophies out to (and he deserves it, to boot), making his exclusion this morning in favor of more traditional nominees—that Best Director category is an establishment snooze—a little out of character for the wild card Globes.
Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird
It’s not that Lady Bird had a poor showing. Far from it, with the film nabbing four big nominations: Best Comedy, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), and a Best Screenplay nod for Gerwig herself. But Gerwig has been racking up nods for directing the popular film at most critics’ awards, and has been pegged as the best chance at a rare female director nomination at this year’s Oscars. There hasn’t been one since Kathryn Bigelow won in 2009. With Gerwig, Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, Mudbound’s Dee Rees, and First They Killed My Father’s Angelina Jolie all in contention this year, we would’ve thought that the Globes could found room in their otherwise stuffy Best Director category (Guillermo Del Toro, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Martin McDonagh ... groundbreaking) for a female voice.
Ansel Elgort - Baby Driver
The fun of the Golden Globes is typically the inclusion of left-field contenders who, because they star in comedies, haven’t been part of the more staid awards conversation. In the movie categories, at least, the Globes seem to be toeing the party line, with the exception of Ansel Elgort’s surprise Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical nod for Baby Driver.
Luca Guadagnino and James Ivory - Call Me By Your Name
Guadagnino’s succulent Italy-set romance Call Me By Your Name certainly did well at the Globes this morning, with nominations for Best Drama and stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. But the film’s helmer, Guadagnino, is thought to be a major contender for the Best Director Oscar (which had seemingly little room for outside the box nominees this year) and even more so in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for James Ivory’s script. This could be a silly case where both the eventual Best Original Screenplay (Peele’s Get Out) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ivory’s Call Me By Your Name) Oscar winners aren’t even nominated by the Globes.
Mariah Carey and Nick Jonas
The HFPA’s reputation for being wooed by big stars seems remarkably restrained in the acting categories this year, but returns guns-a-blazing in Best Original Song, where tunes from Mariah Carey and Nick Jonas appear (for The Star and Ferdinand, respectively) at the expense of tracks from Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name), Andra Day and Common (Marshall), and even the seemingly Globes-friendly Beauty and the Beast. Speaking of…
Beauty of the Beast and Wonder Woman
Did the reviews for Disney’s massive live-action adaptation of its popular animated musical really merit major Globe nods? Certainly not. But its status as the highest-grossing film of the year would’ve excused an inclusion in Best Comedy or Musical, or even a crazy nod for Emma Watson’s leading performance. Honestly, between Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman, which barely trails behind the musical in the year-end haul, it might have been nice for box-office girl power to be reflected at the Globes.
Was it all that grumbling over the fact that it kept showing up (fairly ridiculously) on so many “best movies of the year” lists that kept the Showtime Twin Peaks revival from where it belonged, on the Best Limited Series shortlist at the Globes? At least star Kyle MacLachlan snuck in.
Jessica Biel - The Sinner
Then again, Limited Series is where the HFPA really embraced its fast-and-loose reputation this year and nominated Jessica Biel and her USA thriller in the major categories. Listen, her show is great and fun! It’s not a “bad” nomination per se. It’s just that these are two of the most competitive categories, and it’s a tad jarring to see Biel’s name alongside the likes of Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman, and Reese Witherspoon instead of, say, Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Coon, or Felicity Huffman.
Despite its three-year reign as the Emmys’ Best Comedy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s record six wins as Best Actress, Veep has never won a Golden Globe in any category. And this year, it’s not even nominated.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Neither is Larry David’s return to Curb Your Enthusiasm, which returned after six years with the kind of fanfare that the Globes typically salivate over, but was rewarded with bupkus Monday morning. And Curb actually won the Best Comedy award in 2003...
Will & Grace
Which is more than Will & Grace can say. It’s been nominated 29 times for a Golden Globe, seven times for Best Comedy, and has never won once. It contends this year again in Best Comedy for its celebrated revival season, but, strangely, Eric McCormack is the only cast member of the critically beloved quartet of stars with a corresponding acting nomination.
Freddie Highmore - The Good Doctor
The Globes love to throw nominations at hot new shows and actors, which this year weirdly means rewarding the star of ABC’s Doogie Howser-esque medical drama, The Good Doctor’s Freddie Highmore. The show’s rampant popularity hasn’t ceased to stun critics, so maybe Highmore’s Globes nod shouldn’t be surprising either, even though his inclusion came at the expense of more traditional contenders Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), and even Globes favorite James Franco (The Deuce).
Katherine Langford - 13 Reasons Why
We’ve been wondering if and when the massive popularity of the obsessively binged—and obsessively debated—13 Reasons Why would reflect in awards season, and a Globes nomination for its buzzy star seems perfectly appropriate. The Globes love to crown an ingenue, which means Langford’s nomination left Winona Ryder (Stranger Things), Keri Russell (The Americans), and Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) out in the cold.
The Globes love to embrace new shows, and this year one show in particular reaped the benefits of its unpredictable fondness for new blood: SMILF, and its star Frankie Shaw. The scrappy, if uneven, Showtime series joins The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and its star Rachel Brosnahan as this year’s shiny new things at the Globes.
Kevin Bacon - I Love Dick
I loved I Love Dick. But I would’ve thought any awards attention for the hyper-feminist Amazon series would go to its exhaustless female star, Kathryn Hahn. Or is Kevin Bacon’s inclusion in Best Comedy Actor filling the slot typically reserved for Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor? Both shows were created by Jill Soloway, and Tambor has won this category before. But given the turmoil over sexual misconduct allegations against him, it’s hardly a surprise that he was skipped over this year.
The Leftovers and The Good Place
After all our dissection of the nominations, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that 2017’s actual best drama series and actual best comedy series left with zero nominations.