On Thursday, this year’s Golden Globe Award nominees will be announced, including the contenders in the often unpredictable best motion picture, musical or comedy category.
How unpredictable? Last year, “The Tourist” was nominated, a move that only made sense because it teed up some jokes for Ricky Gervais to eventually make at Johnny Depp’s expense during the Globes ceremony.
Fortunately, this year there’s a solid, deserving crop of potential nominees in this category — so many, in fact, that it’s hard to predict which five films will make the cut. But I’ll give it a shot.
Four films strike me as locks in this category, with the fifth slot open for debate. Let’s start with the locks.
“The Artist”: The current Oscar front-runner is approaching the Globes in the more light-hearted of the two best picture categories. Given all the praise surrounding it and the fact that it’s a French production, there is no way the Hollywood Foreign Press will shut this out.
“Midnight in Paris”: A clever Woody Allen comedy and a surprise box office hit, plus it’s basically a love letter to the rich artistic history of Paris? I will be shocked if this doesn’t make it into the mix, too.
“My Week With Marilyn”: Yes, Michelle Williams does sing briefly in her role as Marilyn Monroe. But in my eyes at least, this movie is neither a musical nor a comedy, although there are some laughs in it. Presumably The Weinstein Co. submitted this for contention here so the “Hugos” and “Descendants” of the world can duke it out on their own for best drama. So, even though this is a strange fit, I expect to see it on the best musical or comedy list come Thursday.
“Bridesmaids”: The most talked-about comedy of the year is likely to score a best actress in a musical or comedy Globe nod for Kristen Wiig. (Melissa McCarthy may face more of a challenge since the supporting categories do not distinguish between drama and comedy, but I suspect she may be recognized, too.) Of the four locks, this one may be the least certain. But I still think it’s pretty certain.
The possible fifth nominees:
“The Muppets”: If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in life, it’s this: Never count out Kermit the Frog. Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s Muppets reboot was well-reviewed and is very clearly both a musical and a comedy. I would be convinced of a nomination, if it weren’t for the next movie I am about to mention.
“Young Adult”: This dark, vinegar-filled comedy from “Juno” collaborators Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody cannot be ignored. Why? Because the Foreign Press has nominated every movie Reitman has directed so far. It’s possible this will be the first one not to make a Globes best picture list ... maybe.
“Beginners”: Rope of Silicon has boldly declared this Ewan McGregor/Christopher Plummer film as one of its final five nominees in this category. At the very least, Plummer will certainly be nominated for his portrayal of a father who comes out of the closet in the autumn of his life.
“50/50”: As a big fan of this movie, I would love to see it sneak into the pack. But given the competition, I am not sure it can manage it. It’s a shame some of these movies were not in contention last year, when the nominees in this category were so glaringly weak.
“We Bought a Zoo”: Ditto for this earnest and moving effort from director Cameron Crowe, another movie that deserves to be nominated but probably won’t because the field is too crowded.
“Carnage”: With a top-notch ensemble of actors in the lead roles — Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet and John C. Reilly — and Roman Polanski in the director’s seat, this would seem like ideal Foreign Press bait. And it might be, but only if all the aforementioned films are ignored.
Which of the movies would you like to see nominated in this category? Do you think “The Muppets” can overcome the Reitman factor? Weigh in by posting a comment.