Golden Globes 2015 – 10 big surprises from the film awards nominations

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to present the Golden Globes 2015

The full nominations for Golden Globes 2015 have been announced. Offbeat comedy Birdman leads the pack with seven nominations, including Best Film – Comedy or Musical and Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for Michael Keaton.

As expected, Boyhood and The Imitation Game also made strong showings, with each film nominated five times by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

However, there were some notable absentees from the list and some surprise inclusions as well. Here are the ten most surprising things we learned from the Golden Globes 2015 nominations.


10. Variety

Maps to the Stars picked up a nomination at the Golden Globes 2015

At Golden Globes 2015, well over 30 films have been nominated across all categories. Despite the strange nature of some of the choices, this is the kind of variety that the Oscars rarely attains.

It’s great to see diverse film choices, such as David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars (above) and Inherent Vice getting nominated alongside the standard awards season pack.

The final awards will likely go to the expected recipients, but it’s still nice of the HFPA to shine a light on some more interesting and overlooked films.


9. Quvenzhane Wallis and Helen Mirren

Quvenzhane Wallis is nominated for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes 2015 for the Annie remake

Much has been made amongst film journalists of how thin the field for Best Actress is this year. Now, more than any other awards ceremony, this leaves the Golden Globes in a rough place because it has two categories that cover Best Actress – ‘Drama’ and ‘Comedy or Musical’.

The latter category, this year, is filled with very odd choices. The remake of Annie is yet to get its release in UK cinemas, but it seems odd to position Quvenzhane Wallis in the same arena as Amy Adams for Big Eyes and Julianne Moore for Maps to the Stars.

Helen Mirren is a safe choice in any awards category, but it seems bizarre that she is nominated for foodie caper The Hundred-Foot Journey.

These choices are particularly tough to understand given the conspicuous absence of a perfect contender – Keira Knightley for Begin Again. There will be more on that one later.


8. St Vincent

St Vincent is nominated for several prizes at the Golden Globes 2015

There was muted surprise yesterday when Naomi Watts turned up in the nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her supporting performance in St Vincent.

That surprise has morphed into genuine shock today, as the film picked up two nominations for the Golden Globes 2015.  Watts is absent, but St Vincent received a nod for Best Film – Comedy or Musical and a Best Actor – Comedy or Musical nomination for Bill Murray.

The film (review coming soon) is punishingly mediocre and doesn’t really deserve to exist in the same field as Pride and The Grand Budapest Hotel.


7. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum missed out on a Best Supporting Actor nod for Foxcatcher at the Golden Globes 2015

Whilst Steve Carell is rightly being lauded as the lead performer in Foxcatcher, it’s surprising that the Best Supporting Actor nominations are going the way of Mark Ruffalo rather than Channing Tatum.

Tatum’s performance is actually the emotional heart of the film, with his struggle to escape from the shadow of his brother (Ruffalo) the central driving force for the narrative.

For an actor best known for weepie dramas and macho comedy, Tatum’s work in Foxcatcher is genuinely revelatory and it’s strange that neither Golden Globes 2015 or the SAG Awards chose to recognise it.

If, as seems likely, Tatum and Carell are both being pushed as contenders for the lead actor category, then that is robbing Tatum’s stellar turn in the film of a chance at awards recognition.


6. Begin Again

Begin Again missed out in all categories at Golden Globes 2015

Back in August, Harvey Weinstein chose to re-release his company’s brilliantly upbeat musical drama-comedy Begin Again in attempt to secure a big push for the Best Original Song Oscar.

The film is, therefore, conspicuously absent from that category – and indeed every other one – at Golden Globes 2015. In a Best Song field that includes Noah and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, it seems unusual that a film about songwriting, which features several excellent tracks, should be snubbed.

It is perhaps even more of a shock that the HFPA chose not to nominate Keira Knightley in the Best Actress – Comedy or Musical category, given some of the bizarre choices it did make there.

Begin Again is a sweet little film that deserves a tonne of praise, but it seemingly isn’t getting it from the awards bodies.


5. Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson picked up a Best Director nomination at Golden Globes 2015 for The Grand Budapest Hotel

There has been considerable awards buzz around The Grand Budapest Hotel ever since its cinema release earlier this year. Writer-director Wes Anderson seemed a safe bet to repeat the achievement of Moonrise Kingdom and bag a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

It was, though, something of a surprise to see Anderson’s name crop up on the Golden Globes 2015 shortlist for Best Director as well. Anderson was nominated, whilst hotly tipped contenders such as Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) were sidelined by the HFPA.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a decent film, but Anderson’s nomination is a huge surprise given the weight of competition.


4. Unbroken

Jack O'Connell-starring Unbroken failed to pick up a single nomination at Golden Globes 2015

Out in the UK this month, Angelina Jolie’s historical drama Unbroken has awards season heavyweight written all over it. It’s an adaptation of a real-life, patriotic story, with an A-list director and a surging young star on the marquee in the shape of British actor Jack O’Connell.

However, the film was completely absent from the Golden Globes 2015 nominations. Early reviews have suggested that the film is nothing more than relatively solid awards bait, but it seems to be failing to bait the awards bodies.

It’s a shame for O’Connell, who has had a terrific year, but it looks as if Unbroken is going to be completely overlooked during awards season.


3. Pride

Pride picked up a surprise Best Film nomination at Golden Globes 2015

One of the best British films of 2014 was Pride – the story of a group of gay men and lesbians who raised money for a village of striking Welsh miners in the 1980s. Powered by a mischievous sense of humour and a talented cast, it told its story in hugely entertaining fashion.

The film picked up the Best Film prize at the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday night and it now has a shot at winning across the pond. It gained a surprising, but well-deserved, nomination in the Best Film – Musical or Comedy category at the Golden Globes 2015.

Pride is unlikely to win the HFPA gong, but the nomination will give a terrific film a tonne of exposure.


2. David Fincher and Gone Girl

Gone Girl picked up several nominations at the Golden Globes 2015

Amongst this year’s awards season films, David Fincher’s pulpy thriller Gone Girl is a bit of an unknown quantity. It isn’t clear whether the film is going to strike a chord with voters, who are traditionally a little dismissive of films that could be called mainstream popcorn entertainment.

Gone Girl missed out on a Best Film nod at Golden Globes 2015, but David Fincher is amongst the five people nominated for Best Director and Rosamund Pike is up for Best Actress – Drama.

This raises questions about the film’s chances at the Oscars, where Pike stands a good chance at a nomination, but the film and its director may suffer from the Academy’s more traditional sensibilities.


1. Whiplash

Whiplash was almost completely snubbed at Golden Globes 2015

When I saw Whiplash at the BFI London Film Festival back in October, I was completely blown away by this “hurricane of a movie”.

First at the SAG Awards and now at Golden Globes 2015, Whiplash has only achieved a single nomination. JK Simmons looks likely to win Best Supporting Actor, but the film deserves far more than that.

Given its absence from the awards race so far, it seems unlikely that Whiplash is going to make a splash at the Oscars, which is a real shame. Damien Chazelle’s film is a real thrill ride that should be showered with gold.


What did you think of the nominations for Golden Globes 2015? Will you be watching the awards? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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