Snubs From the 2016 Golden Globes Nominations

The Golden Globes suffer from something that the Academy Awards recently remedied quiet easily. The format of the Golden Globes is to have two separate categories for Best Picture, one for drama and one for comedy or musical. The Academy Awards, by comparison, have one Best Picture category, but they allow up to 10 movies where the Golden Globes categories each are limited to five.

The problem is that this separation of genre leads to lopsided categories. The drama categories leave out movies and actors that certainly deserve the credit, and the comedy categories let some movies and actors slip in that should never be there in the first place.

Keep this in mind as we go through the biggest snubs of the 2016 Golden Globe nominations.


1. Spotlight: Snubbed


Ensemble drama Spotlight, about the Boston Globe investigation of the Catholic church and pedophiles in the priesthood, was largely considered the favorite going into award season this year. Based on the number of nominations and the notable absences from the Golden Globe list, it seems that the film’s chances for big Oscar success have taken a nosedive.

The film is being heralded for its ensemble cast, winning ensemble awards at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards, among others.

Yet, in spite of this, the film garnered exactly zero nominations in the acting categories. It earned three nominations total, for Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Screenplay. While these category nominations are totally valid, the film should have had at least one acting nom.

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams gave performances that would get nominated and win easily in a slower year for drama films. Instead, the drama categories are flooded with other potential candidates, and the comedy categories get nominations for actors in movies that most people didn’t see (Danny CollinsThe Lady in the VanInfinitely Polar Bear, etc.).

The point is, despite this discrepancy between comedy and drama, at least one of the actors from Spotlight should have eclipsed Will Smith and Bryan Cranston. Smith is in a movie that looks like Oscar bait without substance (although I have yet to see the film, so I won’t do more than speculate as such), and Cranston pulls out a fine, but not Oscar-worthy, performance.


2. Depp Down


In a way, I saw this coming. Black Mass wasn’t a huge success of a film. It was your run-of-the-mill mobster flick with little traction behind it. But what it did have was Johnny Depp playing Whitey Bulger, a performance that people were talking about all year leading up to the September release of the film.

Depp’s performance was the saving grace of the film. Perhaps I enjoyed his turn as the mobster simply because it was a fresh take for Depp, not his usual zany caricature that got old when the second Pirates movie came out.

Still, a lot of people thought he was going to get a nomination. Given what I said previously about Spotlight, Smith or Cranston could easily be replaced by Depp in this regard.


3. Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in


I will admit that this was a long shot to begin with, given the stellar year for movies that we are having in 2015. Still, I was under the impression that Brooklyn was more likely to get a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture than Mad Max: Fury Road. The coming of age romance (Brooklyn, not Mad Max), about a girl moving to Brooklyn and finding herself caught between love and family, is a huge critical success.

Brooklyn features a star making performance from lead Saoirse Ronan (who did get a nomination, the film’s sole nod), and had all the trimmings of your standard award season movie. However, the HFPA went with the crowd pleasing Mad Max: Fury Road instead (not that I’m complaining, or anything).


4. The Kids Aren’t All Right


I understand that it’s hard to compare the talent of a child actor to the talent of adult actors. This being said, this year’s Room features an outstanding performance from a nine year old boy by the name of Jacob Tremblay. The film is the story of his character, and he plays the lead role without fault. Given the sheer amount of screen time for this young actor in a heavy role, he certainly deserves award recognition.


The Post-Script

For all that the HFPA left out, it did do some things surprisingly right. Alicia Vikander earned two nominations (one for Ex Machina, a film I thought would be long forgotten by this time of year). It also recognized Mark Rylance’s quiet but scene stealing performance in Bridge of Spies (the film’s only nomination). And George Miller, of the previously mentioned Mad Max: Fury Road, received a much deserved nomination for helming that visual beast so superbly (his first Golden Globe nomination ever).

As always, thanks for reading!

What do you think? Who didn’t get the award recognition they deserved? Let me know in the comments!

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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