If you're looking at this morning's Golden Globe movie nominations and asking yourself, "Wha...?", you're not alone.

It's not that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's list was so full of surprises -- though there were a few. It's more that the HFPA, like many other awards groups this season, was especially fond of movies most audiences have yet to see -- either because they haven't been in theaters yet or were small, independent films that didn't find much of an audience earlier this year.
The biggest hits on the list are "The Martian," with three nominations, and "Mad Max: Fury Road," with two. Otherwise, by sheer number of nominations, the Globe front-runner would have to be lesbian romance "Carol" (pictured), nominated in five categories -- one more than the number of theaters in North America currently showing the film. Close behind are four-time nominees "The Big Short" and "The Revenant" (not yet released) and "Steve Jobs" (flopped). Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" (three nominations) and the Jennifer Lawrence-led "Joy" (two nods) also have yet to be released.

One of the bigger surprises is the prominence of "The Martian" in the comedy/musical categories. Did you think the space epic was a comedy or a musical? This is one of those weird cases of category fraud that occasionally plague the Globes. A couple years ago, it was "The Tourist," the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie thriller, that inexplicably turned up in the comedy category, perhaps coincidentally after distributor Sony winded and dined the Globe voters.
Granted, "Martian" is likely to be a big player at the Oscars and other awards shows this season. But competition is always stiffer among dramas than comedies, especially since none of the other major awards groups split comedy films into their own category. That the Globes do, however, allows them to double the number of lead-role movie stars they get to invite. It also results in head-scratcher nominations like Al Pacino in "Danny Collins" and Mark Ruffalo in "Infinitely Polar Bear," two little-seen movies from earlier in the year that will certainly not be recognized by any other awards group.

One of the biggest snubs? Denying acting noms to the cast of "Spotlight" -- even though the movie is generally considered a front-runner for Best Picture at the Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild awards, and in the Globes' Best Drama category. (Globe voters also nominated it for Best Director and Screenplay.) Then again, the SAGs, whose nominations were announced yesterday, also put "Spotlight" on their list for Best Ensemble (their equivalent of Best Picture) without nominating any individual members from it except Rachel McAdams.
Cartoon fans will probably be miffed that "Minions" was left off the list of Best Animated Feature nominees, apparently in favor of "Shaun the Sheep Movie." But remember, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members are entertainment journalists with international roots, and "Shaun" was a big hit everywhere but in America.

Otherwise, there weren't as many surprising inclusions in the Globes' movie categories as there were in its TV categories -- save for the questionable performance of Lady Gaga getting a nod for "American Horror Story." Four of the six comedy series nods went to streaming sites, including Amazon (a big winner last year for "Transparent") and new-to-the-awards-game Hulu. HFPA voters were also first to recognize this summer's cult hit, USA's "Mr. Robot," and the CW's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" star and co-creator Rachel Bloom.

With movies, however, there's a clean slate every year and little chance for the Globe voters to play trendsetters. They did manage to crown a new starlet in Alicia Vikander, nominated for both "The Danish Girl" and "Ex Machina." There's some category confusion with her, too. The SAGs nominated her for Supporting Actress for "Danish Girl," but here, she's a lead. Same with Cate Blanchett's "Carol" co-star Rooney Mara.
There were no nominations this year for such early-touted awards-hopeful films as "Black Mass," "Macbeth" (Fassbender fans in the HFPA either preferred his "Steve Jobs" performance or haven't seen his Shakespeare adaptation yet), or "Sicario" (even though it's one of the year's biggest indie hits).

One more thing: This year also saw a virtual whiteout among the Globe's film acting contenders. Out of 30 slots, only two went to an actor of color (drama lead Will Smith, in "Concussion," and supporting actor Idris Elba, in "Beasts of No Nation"). Sylvester Stallone earned a well-deserved supporting nod for "Creed," but star Michael B. Jordan was snubbed. No one from "Straight Outta Compton" was nominated. (At the SAGs, they nominated it for Best Ensemble but picked none of the individual actors.)
The HFPA's TV acting nominations tell a different story; they're a much more diverse group that includes such performers as Taraji P. Henson ("Empire"), Viola Davis ("How to Get Away With Murder"), and Rami Malek ("Mr. Robot").

Which only shows that, when it comes to telling stories about more than just a select group of people, even the best movies have a long way to go in order to catch up to TV.