The Golden Globes Nominations: Snubs, Smashes, and Surprises

The Hollywood Foreign Press anointed most of the wide field of contenders in a still-murky awards season.

Warner Bros.

Every year, the Golden Globes function largely as a precursor to the Oscars. This year’s Academy Awards race already featured a broad group of contenders without a clear frontrunner, but Thursday morning’s Globe nominations did little to narrow the field. This was perhaps predictable: The Hollywood Foreign Press divides the awards into two categories, drama and comedy/musical, allowing a bigger pool of nominations and a better chance to have major stars attend the ceremony.

While the film nominees were a predictable bunch, the television picks were more surprising—and diverse. It echoed last year’s ceremony, where the film winners were more staid, while the TV section included underdog champions like Transparent and Jane the Virgin. As they often do, the Globes leaned toward new shows like Mr. Robot and Empire, leaving last year’s winners like The Affair and Jane the Virgin largely in the cold. They also doled out nominations to streaming networks like Amazon (for Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle), Hulu (Casual), and Netflix (Narcos, Master of None, and Orange Is the New Black), reflecting the boom in Internet-only television in the past few years.

After the major film critics groups chose a historically large batch of winners, the Hollywood Foreign Press anointed most presumed Oscar contenders, like Spotlight, Room, Carol, and The Revenant, while giving crucial support to outside shots like Will Smith in the NFL drama Concussion and the Bryan Cranston film Trumbo. In all this, one thing remains clear—there’s still no juggernaut positioned for an easy Oscar sweep.

Todd Haynes’s acclaimed romantic drama Carol was the most-lauded film of the day, picking up five nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), and Best Score. Other expected drama nominees were Spotlight (which also nabbed Director and Screenplay nods), the frontier-survival film The Revenant (also nominated for Director, Score, and Lead Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio), and Room (whose lead Brie Larson and writer Emma Donohue were also acknowledged).

In the more nebulous “comedy” category, the NASA space thriller The Martian (which somehow slipped in here based on a wisecracking screenplay) was nominated for Best Picture, Director (Ridley Scott), and Actor (Matt Damon). David O. Russell’s biopic Joy also made the list, along with its lead actress Jennifer Lawrence—a welcome bit of recognition for a presumed contender after she was shut out of the Screen Actors Guild nominations on Wednesday. Adam McKay’s furious Wall Street satire The Big Short hit it big as well, scoring nods for the lead actors Christian Bale and Steve Carell, as well as one for its screenplay.

But the most heartening news of the day was the attention lavished on Mad Max: Fury Road, a critical favorite that has a difficult path to Oscar success because it’s a big-budget movie about flaming cars racing through the desert with next to no dialogue. But the Globes gave it Best Picture and Best Director nominations. Other box-office winners, Trainwreck and Spy, received nominations in the comedy categories, with nods for the stars Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy.

Perhaps the strangest story of all is that of Trumbo, a Jay Roach film about the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, which stars the awards favorite Bryan Cranston but drew shrugs from critics on its release. Never underestimate a film about the film industry, though—Trumbo received Globes nominations for performances by Cranston and Helen Mirren, right after receiving three SAG Award acting nominations. Prognosticators are largely baffled, though perhaps they should have foreseen the awards appeal of a work about Hollywood insiders (though it’s made less than $5 million in a month at the domestic box office).

On the TV side, the Globes followed their usual policy of picking things that are fresh and hot. Empire, Mr. Robot, Narcos, and Outlander were new nominees alongside Game of Thrones in the drama category, and comedy picks were Hulu’s Casual, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, Veep, Silicon Valley, and Orange Is the New Black. Rachel Bloom was a surprising and deserving Best Actress pick for her underseen CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the terrific Rami Malek snuck in for Best Actor.

The Globes have always functioned as a stamp of approval for whatever’s currently hot in television—it’ll give Best TV Series trophies to new shows like Brooklyn Nine Nine or The Affair, then drop them from the nominations roster entirely only a year later. Shows like Narcos and Mozart in the Jungle have added appeal because of their international quality, something the Hollywood Foreign Press has always embraced, but it’s undeniable that the TV nominees are far more diverse than film, reflecting a stark difference between the two industries. Only a year after the Oscars picked 20 white acting nominees out of 20, only two of the Globes’ 30 acting nominees are people of color. That means it could be another depressingly whitewashed Oscar ceremony in 2016.

The full list:

Best Picture, Drama

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Best Picture, Comedy or Musical

The Big Short
The Martian

Best Director

Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro Innaritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian

Best Actor, Drama

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actress, Drama

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Actor, Comedy

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Actress, Comedy

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress

Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Screenplay

Emma Donoghue, Room
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Original Score

Carter Burwell, Carol
Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto, The Revenant

Best Original Song

“Love Me Like You Do,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love,” Love & Mercy
“See You Again,” Furious 7
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Writing's On the Wall,” Spectre

Best Animated Feature Film

The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Foreign Language Film

The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Son of Saul

Best TV Series, Drama

Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot

Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange is the New Black
Silicon Valley

Best TV Miniseries or Movie

American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Flesh and Bone
Wolf Hall

Best Actor, TV Drama

Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovan

Best Actress, TV Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Best Actor, TV Comedy

Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Best Actress, TV Comedy

Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Best Supporting Actor, TV

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Best Supporting Actress, TV

Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair

Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Idris Elba, Luther
Oscar Isaac, Show Me A Hero
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Patrick Wilson, Fargo

Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Queen Latifah, Bessie