The 2018 Golden Globe nominations were announced early last week, and as always, there were some surprises. Nothing at all for The Big Sick? Really? And though it may have been her first time in the director’s chair, why was Greta Gerwig left out of the Best Director category? Lady Bird garnered nominations for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf) and Best Screenplay (Gerwig herself), but it’s difficult to have a movie that wonderful -- and critically acclaimed -- not have an award-worthy person at the helm.
But snubs aside, I’d really like to talk about the voting categories. The Golden Globes Best Motion Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress awards have five nominations apiece in two different genres: Drama and Musical or Comedy. On the one hand, that’s a good thing: double the awards and a greater opportunity for these films and actors to score a nomination. On the other hand, while Musical would seem pretty obvious, what criteria are used to distinguish Drama from Comedy? And where do you put films that don’t necessarily seem to fit in either bucket?
Two films in particular stand out to me this year: Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Get Out was nominated as Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. I think we can rule out the “Musical” part -- I don’t remember anyone breaking into song whilst being terrorized or murdered. So that leaves “Comedy.” And while there were some good laughs, I’m not sure that was the film’s main focus. On the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Get Out is billed as “Horror, Mystery, Thriller.” I think that’s entirely accurate. So was it pigeonholed into the Musical or Comedy selection because writer/director Jordan Peele is known almost exclusively for his comedy (Key and Peele, MADtv, etc.), and it’s just assumed his directorial debut must be a comedy as well? Or is Horror simply too specific?
At the same time, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is, in my opinion, a comedy first and foremost. A very, very dark comedy, and with plenty of drama, but I firmly believe writer/director Martin McDonagh would categorize it as comedy (of the blackest ilk). According to the Award Consideration Rules (goldenglobes.com), “Motion pictures shall be entered in the category that best matches the overall tone and content of the motion picture.”
So… what to do? Should there be even more categories at the Globes (e.g., Horror/Myster/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animated Feature)? That gets my vote, as I think some of these films are too often overlooked. Of course, the more stratification, the better one’s chances of winning (and the longer the broadcast), but for those who love quirky, less mainstream films, that might be just fine.