From two of the year's most stunning directorial debuts being ignored in the Best Director category to one of 2017's best animated movies getting passed up for mediocre hit "Boss Baby," we can't help but wonder what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was thinking when they did nominate this or totally ignored that. It happens with every awards show, but the Golden Globes have always been a little more unpredictable, and yet at the same time totally predictable.
With that oxymoron, it is clearly time to dig into the most WTF revalations about the 2018 Golden Globe nominations.
Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele Directly Snubbed
It's a good thing Guillermo del Toro is Mexican, or the nominations for Best Director would be a field of white men. In a film landscape where there is more diversity in front of and behind the camera than ever before, how were two of the most powerful directors in the field missed? Jordan Peele has been everywhere for his stellar work on the undefinable "Get Out," while Greta Gerwig helmed the year's most acclaimed film in "Lady Bird."
The two most talked about and best reviewed films of the year did score six combined noms, and will battle it out for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, but these are singular stories by two visionary filmmakers. Both Gerwig and Peele wrote and directed their respective films. "Get Out" continues to be talked about nearly a year after its release for its challenging subject matter and genre-defying tone. Meanwhile, "Lady Bird" has the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of all time. How do you honor the films, but not the groundbreaking creators who brought them to such vivid and beautiful life?
We only raise the question because it seems that the HFPA has forgotten, as the awards show staple was completely ignored for its sixth season and it makes no sense. In this politically charged atmosphere, "Veep" is as relevant as ever, and the show remains as consistently brilliant as it has ever been.
Even more surprising, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been nominated for Best Actress, Television Comedy, for the past five years in a row, with the show getting a nod for Best Comedy in the past two. While she's never won a Globe for this portrayal, she has won six Emmys in a row, while the show is on a three-year win streak. So how did the most topical, critically-adored performance on television get completely ignored all of a sudden after five years?
Sure, Helen Mirren is Hollywood royalty, but that doesn't mean she gets a free nomination for everything she does. And yet, there she sits with a nod for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy, for her work in "The Leisure Seeker." The film doesn't even come out until January 2018 stateside, but it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September, so it qualifies.
Mirren peers out from under a bad wig alongside Donald Sutherland in this road movie about an older couple heading to Florida. Despite that pedigree, critics have not been impressed, calling it "insipid" and "predictable." Jay Weissberg of Variety wrote, "Not even two actors as talented as Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland can save this dreadfully predictable Alzheimer's road movie." Did anyone at the HFPA actually watch this?
"The Big Sick," Kumail Nanjiani's semi-autobiographical story of the merging of his Pakistani family with his wife's white family remains one of the best reviewed films of the year, receiving critical acclaim across the board and sitting at a 98 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes. Judd Apatow produced the film, while Michael Showalter directed. Globe favorites Holly Hunter and Ray Romano both knock it out of the park as a pair of parents forced to awkwardly hang out with their daughter's ex-boyfriend they never met before while she lays in a coma.
It's already been ranked as one of AFI's Top Ten Films of the Year, and received six nominations for the Critics' Choice Awards, including nods for Nanjiani and his co-stars Hunter and Zoe Kazan, as well as picks for Best Comedy and Best Picture. With a separate comedy category, the Globes seemed the best place for "The Big Sick" to get recognized at a major show, so how did the HFPA seem to miss that this existed at all?
There's a problem that plagues awards shows when it comes to television nominations, and it's all about familiarity. When in doubt, pick the legacy nominees you know ... even better if it's a big movie star "slumming it" on television. This is why Liev Schreiber's sleepy performance on "Ray Donovan" gets nominated year after year, even after everyone has stopped watching. Wait, did they ever start?
Bob Odenkirk keeps getting nominated because "Breaking Bad" was great, while William H. Macy has become a staple in TV comedy actor for his work on "Shameless" because the HFPA probably loved him in "Fargo" two decades ago. Legacy nominees are lazy, and make it look like the voters aren't even bothering to watch any of the shows available to choose from. "I know that name." "That's a big movie star." Done and done.
It was bold, because filming had been completed and he had a release date in less than two months' time. Plummer was called and quickly showed up on set, refilming all of Spacey's work in just ten days. Already getting a heavy push for awards season for Scott, Spacey and the film, it still came as a bit of a surprise that Plummer's rush job managed to score him a nod alongside his director and co-star Michelle Williams. Perhaps the studio was sending the HFPA dailies of Plummer's performance from set.
Will Arnett's Batman was the breakout character of 2014's critically-acclaimed "Lego Movie," leading to a quick greenlight on a sequel. "The Lego Batman Movie" came out in early 2017 and continued that streak, currently sitting at 91 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes. A family-friendly love letter to superheroes and friendship, "Lego Batman" was easily one of the funniest and most entertaining films of the past year.
Meanwhile, early reviews of bullfighting film "Ferdinand," which did get nominated, have been mixed at best. The film comes out Friday, so most audiences haven't even had a chance to see it yet. "Boss Baby" also secured a nomination, despite sitting not-so-pretty on Rotten Tomatoes with just a 51 percent approval rating from critics. It begs the question, did the HFPA forget about the Bat? January was a long time ago, but not so long ago that "Lego Batman" doesn't deserve better.