Thursday, January 7, 2016

Science fiction, fantasy, and horror at the Golden Globes

I've talked about "The Big Short" and "Spotlight" at the Golden Globes, but I haven't focused on nominees in this blog's primary entertainment specialty, science fiction, fantasy, and horror yet.*  It turns out I've already covered most of them.  First, "The Martian."
Despite the inherent tragedy of the housing crisis, "The Big Short" is considered a comedy and the Golden Globes, which recognizes comedies as a separate category from dramas in their movie awards, have treated it accordingly.  The Variety listed it among the Golden Globes nominees for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical along with "Joy," "Spy," "The Martian," and "Trainwreck."  In addition, Christian Bale and Steve Carell were nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.  They're competing against Matt Damon for “The Martian,” Al Pacino for “Danny Collins,” and Mark Ruffalo for “Infinitely Polar Bear.”  Based on possible vote splitting and influence of box office, I expect Matt Damon to be the favorite.
Next, "Mad Max: Fury Road."
"Spotlight" was nominated for Best Dramatic Film at the Golden Globes.  The good news is that it's not competing with "The Big Short," which is a nominee for Best Comedy Film.  The bad news is that it is contending for the award against the movies in the graphic, "Carol," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Room," and "The Revanent," although that's bad news for the other films, particularly "Mad Max: Fury Road," for reasons I'll explain later.  At least the two science fiction films nominated at the Golden Globes won't have to compete against each other, as "The Martian" is considered a comedy.

In other categories, Tom McCarthy of "Spotlight" was nominated for Best Director against Todd Haynes for “Carol,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu for “The Revenant,” George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and Ridley Scott for “The Martian.”  In this category, the two critically acclaimed sci-fi films are competing directly against each other.
The only science fiction nomination I missed was the Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture nomination for Alicia Vikander in "Ex Machina."  She's competing against Jane Fonda in "Youth," Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight," Helen Mirren in "Trumbo," and Kate Winslet in "Steve Jobs."  Among them, I'd pick Helen Mirren, but that's just a guess based on reputation.  All of them are fine actresses who deserve their nominations.

It turns out the nominations I really need to look at are in television.  Follow over the jump for those.

It should come as no surprise that "Game of Thrones" was nominated for Best Drama, which it won at the Emmy Awards.  The real surprise is "Outlander," which blends historical drama with science fiction and fantasy.  It earned three nominations to "Game of Thrones" one.  It's competing against "Game of Thrones" for Best Drama, along with "Empire," "Mr. Robot," and "Narcos."  "Game of Thrones" might win that contest.

Variety thought the next category worth describing:
Best actress – TV series, drama will be a race between Emmy winner Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”), Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”), Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”).
I'm glad to see Eva Green get nominated.  She deserves it, so I'll be rooting for her over Balfe as my favorite in the speculative fiction nominees.  However, I expect the award will go to one of the other three nominees, who star in more mainstream crime/politics dramas.

The final nomination was for Tobias Menzies as Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie.  His competition consists of Alan Cumming in "The Good Wife," Damian Lewis in "Wolf Hall," Ben Mendelsohn in "Bloodline," and Christian Slater in "Mr. Robo."  I'm rooting for Alan Cumming, but I wouldn't be surprised if Slater took it.

An odd category to mention is Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy.  There is a horror nomination for Jamie Lee Curtis in "Scream Queens" in there.  I'm not rooting for her.  Instead, I'm splitting my vote between between Julia Louis Dreyfus in "Veep" and Gina Rodriguez for "Jane the Virgin."  The other contenders consist of Rachel Bloom for "Crazy Ex Girlfriend" and Lilly Tomlin in "Grace & Frankie."

The final category is Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie, where Lady Gaga is nominated for her role in "American Horror Story: Hotel."   The other nominees include Kirsten Dunst in "Fargo," Sarah Hay in "Flesh & Bone," Felicity Huffman in "American Crime," and Queen Latifah for "Bessie."  I don't think Lady Gaga will win this one.  She should just be happy to be nominated.

*The secondary specialty is music.  I mentioned a few of those nominees briefly in Music for moving pictures at the 58th Grammy Awards.  Stay tuned for more details on Sunday.

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