Three films were nominated in four categories each: The Big Short, about the financial crisis, The Revenant, a frontier revenge story, and Steve Jobs, a biopic about the Apple Inc. co-founder. The nominees were announced live Thursday on NBC, which will carry the awards on 10 January in a ceremony hosted by Ricky Gervais.
The Golden Globes, awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, mark the unofficial start of office pools and water-cooler debates that will reach a crescendo with the Academy Awards on 28 February. The publicity helps the film industry sell tickets and can turn a niche film like the critical favourite Carol into a strong earner.
“It is a terrific film," said Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief at Rottentomatoes.com, a website that aggregates reviews. “It is easy to see why that gets nominated, and it’s got the glam factor. The movie is beautifully shot."
Carol was already chosen as best picture by the New York Critics Circle. Set in 1950s New York, it features Rooney Mara as a department store clerk who falls in love with a married older woman played by Cate Blanchett. Todd Haynes received a nomination for his direction of The Weinstein Co. movie, which is based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Blanchett and Mara were both nominated for best actress in a drama.
The Globes produce two winning pictures, one for best drama and the other for best comedy or musical—sometimes the differences between the two categories are hard to discern. There are also two categories each for best actor and best actress.
The Big Short, distributed by Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, tells the story of a group of investors who foresee the collapse of the US housing market and credit crisis. Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell feature as investors and traders who seek to profit from the greed and ignorance that surrounds the bubble. The film was directed by Adam McKay, who infused it with comedic flair and cameos by celebrities like Anthony Bourdain. It is based on the book of the same name by author and Bloomberg View columnist Michael Lewis.
“The Big Short" was nominated for best musical or comedy, where it will compete with Joy, The Martian, Spy, and Trainwreck. Bale and Carell each are up for best comedic actor.
Contending with Carol for best drama are Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Spotlight and The Revenant.
Set in the 1820s, The Revenant features Leonardo DiCaprio as frontiersman Hugh Glass, who is seeking revenge against those who left him for dead. The violent drama comes from the filmmakers behind last year’s Oscar best-picture winner Birdman. Released by 20th Century Fox and co-produced by New Regency Pictures, it is directed and co-written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who took home last year’s best director Oscar, with two-time Oscar winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson also star.
Heading into Thursday’s announcement, Spotlight was the award pundits’ favourite to win the Oscar best picture, with 9-2 odds, according to industry website GoldDerby.com. That would be a first for theater-backed distributor Open Road Films.
The film was nominated in three Golden Globe categories. It stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams as the Boston Globe journalists who exposed the complicity of the Catholic Church in the pedophile priest scandal. The movie, directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy, is being distributed by Open Road Films, a joint venture of Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the two biggest theater owners. McCarthy is up for the directing award.
The Martian, from 21st Century Fox Inc., is one of the year’s top-grossing movies with $221 million in US and Canadian ticket sales. It was ranked second at at GoldDerby at 15-2, and The Revenant, also from Fox, was third at 8-1. The Martian received three nominations, including best musical or comedy.
Best motion picture, drama
* Mad Max: Fury Road
* The Revenant
Best motion picture, musical or comedy
* The Big Short
* The Martian
Best director - motion picture
* Todd Haynes - Carol
* Alejandro Iñárritu - The Revenant
* Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
* George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
* Ridley Scott - The Martian
Best actress in a motion picture, drama
* Cate Blanchett - Carol
* Brie Larson - Room
* Rooney Mara - Carol
* Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
* Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy
* Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
* Melissa McCarthy - Spy
* Amy Schumer - Trainwreck
* Maggie Smith - The Lady in the Van
* Lily Tomlin - Grandma
Best actor in a motion picture, drama
* Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
* Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
* Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
* Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
* Will Smith - Concussion
Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy
* Christian Bale - The Big Short
* Steve Carell - The Big Short
* Matt Damon - The Martian
* Al Pacino - Danny Collins
* Mark Ruffalo - Infinitely Polar Bear