Golden Globes Nominations – Oscar’s cooler cousin yields its fair share of surprises

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling show off their moves in La La Land
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling show off their moves in La La Land

The Golden Globes are widely regarded as the tackier sister of the Oscars. The glittering glamour of the Oscars is replaced by sparkly silliness in the wake of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s considerably more off-the-wall lists of nominations. This year was no different, with Globes voters dishing out some surprising nods to a few very strange picks and chucking some major awards favourites to one side in order to make room for their less traditional tastes.

Old Hollywood-inspired musical La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, is leading the pack with seven nominations and looks set to dominate the musical/comedy categories en route to an inevitable run for Best Picture at the Oscars. It’s followed by the far more subdued drama Moonlight, which looks to be the biggest contender to topple Damien Chazelle‘s universally adored film when the Oscars are handed out in February. Outside of those two heavyweights, though, the Golden Globes nominations were characterised by oddball nods and weird picks.

Heavily tipped for awards gold, Martin Scorsese‘s religious epic Silence was entirely shut out by HFPA voters. Late screenings that voters weren’t able to attend might have been more of a factor in this than the film’s quality, but it was a notable omission. Similarly upset will be the team behind true life drama Sully, which was also totally shut out, shocking those who thought that the film was a shoo-in for a Tom Hanks acting nod at the very least. Both feel more like movies for the Academy, though, and are exactly the sort of straight-faced fare that gets bounced by the lighter voices at the HFPA.

Elsewhere, Fences had its Oscar chances dented by its absence from the drama field here and Love & Friendship was sadly missing from the acting categories entirely. A single nomination, even if just for Tom Bennett‘s remarkably silly comedic performance, would have been very welcome in recognising one of the year’s best hidden surprises.

Ryan Reynolds as wise-cracking Marvel antihero Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds as wise-cracking Marvel antihero Deadpool

It’s easy to talk about snubs constantly when discussing awards, but in the Golden Globes nominations, it was those who were recognised that were more interesting than the gaps in the field. Most surprising, perhaps, was the HFPA’s decision to give its traditional weird spot in the musical/comedy acting categories to Ryan Reynolds for his superlative sweary superhero work in Deadpool. Reynolds’ performance deserves recognition and, given the popularity of Deadpool, it certainly merits being placed as amongst the best comedy movies of the year.

There were also some pleasant surprises over in the female comedy category, which found room for Hailee Steinfeld‘s tremendous work as a troubled teen in The Edge of Seventeen. Steinfeld has largely been away from the awards scene since her debut in 2010 western remake True Grit, but her work has always been awards-worthy. It’s one of the joys of the Golden Globes that the comedy category opens the field up for performances that do not get recognised by the other awards bodies.

Most brilliant, though, is the HFPA decision to nominate John Carney‘s utterly magical musical Sing Street in the best musical/comedy category. The film, Carney’s follow-up to Once and Begin Again, is a feel-good movie in the truest sense of that otherwise unbearable cliché. It’s a wonderful film that shows just how powerful a musical can be in eliciting an emotional response from audiences. Carney’s film doesn’t stand a single chance of being nominated at the Oscars and it isn’t going to win at the Golden Globes, but awards clout will put eyes on the movie who never would’ve picked it out of a DVD rack. For that alone, the nomination is significant.

Ferdia Walsh-Peelo leads the cast of Irish musical Sing Street
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo leads the cast of Irish musical Sing Street

Throughout this field, the Golden Globes nominations are full of pleasant surprises. This is a set of nominees mostly free from fusty awards season snobbery that recognises cinema in all of its diversity. The fact that a superhero movie is rubbing shoulders with a classical musical and the weightiest dramas that Hollywood has to offer is something that should be championed. HFPA voters should be congratulated for their desire to nominate movies such as Deadpool and Sing Street. These films might not be dominant at other awards ceremonies, but they deserve the time in the spotlight at the Golden Globes.


What do you think of the Golden Globes nominations? Which films did you love that didn’t make the list? Were there any nominations you were surprised to see? Let me know in the comments section.


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