Golden Globe Nominations: The Film Analysis

I go through this tirade every year.  Much like the Masters, it is now “a tradition unlike any other…Dan complains about the Golden Globes.”  It’s not that the Globes do an awful job with their selections.  Once again, they did fine.  It’s more about the Globes themselves.  They really don’t matter.  Why pay attention to the JV awards when we have the Oscars right around the corner.  The Guild Awards are also much more important, as there is a ton of cross over with the Academy Award voters.

Despite all that, it is technically considered one of the “major” award shows, so I feel obligated to talk about it.  It’s also the first indication of what the Oscar race could be, so I like to think of the Golden Globes as a mini scouting report, even though the Guild nominations are more indicative of what you’ll probably see.  Remember, the Globes are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, not the Academy.

It’s also important to note that because the Globes are so early, some films late in the game may get lost in the shuffle.  In 2014, American Sniper got zero Globe nominations, but cleaned up in Oscar nods.  American Sniper was a late release, and may not have been screened yet.  I’ve got to think movies like Martin Scorsese’s Silence, and possibly Patriots Day may get some buzz, but they just weren’t “Globe ready.”

Okay, enough with my preambles.  Let’s get to it.  My analysis on the major film nominations!

Best Motion Picture – Drama: Hacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterLionManchester by the SeaMoonlight

The only real surprise is the Arrival snub.  I really hope this doesn’t happen come Oscar time.  A discussion for another day.  Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight were lay-ups, and you can already pencil those in for Oscar Best Picture nods.  I’m thrilled to see Hell or High Water not get left in the dust.  It seems to be making noise across the board.  I’m happy to see Hacksaw Ridge make the cut.  I really thought the Mel Gibson baggage would do this film in, but it’s a deserving movie, and one of the year’s best.  I hope it stays in the Oscar race.  The only movie on here I’m going to make a big stink about is Lion.  I’m sorry, in this year’s crop of great films, Lion doesn’t come close to the caliber of these other movies.  This will be on the bubble come Oscar time.  Hopefully, its bubble will burst.

In seeing these nominations, it seems like once and for all we can bury The Birth of a Nation.  Not only did it get zero Globe nominations, but it’s not even being mentioned in other Award bodies.  To borrow a phrase from the great Jerry Seinfeld, “that’s a shame.”  There’s no doubt the Nate Parker controversy torpedoed it, but you know what else killed it?  The movie wasn’t good.  You can read my review for that.  It just goes to show you can’t always bank on subject matter.  A good movie has to go with it.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: 20th Century WomenDeadpoolFlorence Foster JenkinsLa La LandSing Street

First and foremost, La La Land won.  This isn’t even fair.  For it to be in this category is like the Cleveland Cavaliers playing in the Eastern Conference.  20th Century Women seems like this year’s little quirky comedy that could.  I don’t know if that translates come Oscar time.  I’m surprised Florence Foster Jenkins is here.  I think two people saw that movie, and it came out months ago.  To be fair, I haven’t seen Sing Street yet.  I’m sure there’s a segment of people dancing in the streets at its nomination.  Whatever.  Maybe it’s awesome, I don’t know.  But it is that little movie your annoying friend keeps telling you about, and the more you hear about it, the less likely you are to see it.  I know, I’m being unfair.  I’ll check it out.

Let’s address the giant red elephant in the room.  Deadpool.  Okay.  Everybody relax.  Yes, this is a cool achievement.  Absolutely well deserved.  Credit to Deadpool.  Congrats.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  I want to be very clear about this – are you all paying attention?

Deadpool has a 0.000000000000% chance of getting an Oscar Best Picture nomination.

I will repeat: Deadpool has a 0.000000000000% chance of getting an Oscar Best Picture nomination.

Don’t do this to yourself.  Don’t get your hopes up.  It’s not happening.  The end.

Best Actress – Drama: Amy Adams (Arrival), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie)

I’m not sure Jessica Chastain and Isabelle Hubert will get in the Oscar race once some of the carryover from Comedy/Musical comes into play, but we’ll see.  With no Emma Stone here, Natalie Portman will win.  I think this is Amy Adams’ 800th Globe nomination.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Lilly Collins (Rules Don’t Apply), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Another easy win for La La Land.  Yawn.  I suppose Annette Benning has a 3% chance to upset, but not really.  You can never count out Meryl Streep come Oscar time, but that nomination might be tough.  Hailee Steinfeld is a long shot for a nomination, and after the Globes, you can wave goodbye to Lily Tomlin.  I don’t think Warren Beatty saw Rules Don’t Apply.

Best Actor – Drama: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic?  He was good, but come on.  Also, that should be in the Comedy category.  Thrilled to see Garfield in, and I got a good feeling about him come Oscar time.  If Silence catches on though, Garfield might be in a Mortal Kombat mirror match with himself.  I’m a big Joel Edgerton fan, but I could take or leave his performance in Loving.  I haven’t seen Fences yet, but come Oscar time, this should be an absolute nail-biter between Denzel and Casey Affleck for the Oscar win.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Jonah Hill (War Dogs), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Why does Florence Foster Jenkins keep popping into my life?  I guess I need to see it.  I’m convinced it can’t be good because of how bad the poster is.  Jonah Hill getting a nomination here is awesome.  What a great call by the Globes.  This should be another win for La La Land, but it’s not a slam dunk.  Gosling’s best competition will probably be Colin Farrell.  It’s going to be a very close call on Gosling getting an Oscar nod.  Call me crazy, but there’s a slight chance Ryan Reynolds could snag this.

Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), Dev Patel (Lion), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

This category is an absolute mess.  Last year it was one of the most fascinating categories ever.  I’m also not a big fan of who’s being left out.  I know Bleed for This didn’t resonate with anyone, but for Aaron Eckhart to be completely ignored everywhere is really pissing me off.  Also, no Hacksaw Ridge calls?!  Hugo Weaving?  Vince Vaughn?  Come on!  Again, do I really need to watch Florence Foster Jenkins?  Where did this come from?  Dev Patel is ridiculous.  Cut me a break.  Also, why is he in the Supporting Actor race?  Makes no sense.  Nocturnal Animals is another one I have to see, but I find it hard to believe that Aaron Taylor-Johnson gives an Awards worthy performance after what I saw from Godzilla.  As I always do, I’ll give it a chance.  I have no problem with Jeff Bridges here, but I wasn’t blown away by his performance in Hell or High Water.  Chris Pine was the stand out.  When I first saw Moonlight, Ali’s performance was great, but he’s not in the film long enough.  In thinking about it more, I’m actually okay with it, and quite honestly, he could be your Oscar front-runner right now in a weak category.

Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

With a lot of love for The Lobster, I’m surprised no one here got it.  You had four legit choices in Ariane Labed, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux and Angeliki Papoulia, but perhaps they all boxed each other out.  Nothing too earth shattering here.  Much like Best Actor, this should be a battle between Fences (Viola Davis) and Manchester by the Sea (Michelle Williams).

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Where the hell did Tom Ford come from?  I thought that spot would have gone to David MacKenzie for Hell or High Water.  Other than that, this was all expected.  Mel Gibson deserves this spot.  Does it mean I think Mel Gibson is a model human being?  No, but he directed one hell of a movie.  Yeah, it will be uncomfortable when his name gets announced, especially in the drunken crowd that is the Golden Globes.  This is probably a three-way battle between what will be the three Best Picture favorites in Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight and La La Land, with the award going to the later.

Best Screenplay: La La LandNocturnal AnimalsMoonlightManchester by the SeaHell or High Water

How is The Lobster not in this category?  The screenplay is its strongest asset.  Whatever.  This will probably be a fight between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.  It’s the one category La La Land may take a back seat to, although don’t sleep on its dialogue scenes.

Best Motion Picture – Animated: Kubo and the Two StringsMoanaMy Life as a ZucchiniSingZootopia

I was never expecting Sausage Party to get nominated, but it still hurts.  This was a strong year for animation though, so it’s going to be tough come Oscar time.  It’s got a shot though.  Zootopia won, and even though I haven’t seen Finding Dory, I am taking great pleasure at its lack of a nomination.  Stop doing sequels, Pixar.


Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.