As this morning's Golden Globe nominations announcement suggested, it's going to be a weird awards season.
The current rebellion in Hollywood -- marked by the drive for inclusive representation in front of and behind the camera, and the toppling-domino takedown of power players accused of sexual harassment or assault -- means that all bets are off when it comes to predicting whom Globe voters still favor and who they don't want showing up on the red carpet at their televised party on January 7. Here, then, are some of the selections and omissions that baffled us this morning.
Unlike the Oscars, the Globes divide movies into two categories: dramas and comedies or musicals. That allows for twice the nominees in several fields, as well as providing recognition for movies the Academy seldom considers weighty enough to recognize. And yet... where the heck is "The Big Sick"? It's one of this year's most beloved comedies and it's been considered a likely awards favorite for months. But the Globes gave it nada - nothing for co-screenwriter/star Kumail Nanjiani, or co-star Zoe Kazan, or even supporting actress and awards-season perennial Holly Hunter.
Also completely snubbed was "Beauty and the Beast," which is only the top-grossing film of the year to date. (Keep your pants on, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" fans.) You'd think they'd have nominated Emma Watson just to see her dazzle on the red carpet, but nope.
Indeed, the Globe comedy/musical categories are often a weird grab bag. This year, they decided that satirical horror film "Get Out" was a comedy, and they did nominate it in the comedy categories for Best Picture and Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya). But nothing for any of the other actors, or for Jordan Peele's whip-smart screenplay or his sharp direction.
In fact, "Get Out" should consider itself lucky to be nominated at all, given the HFPA's sudden hostility toward genre movies. Last year, they gave a nod to "Deadpool," but this year's "Wonder Woman," which became a political and cultural touchstone for reasons far beyond its success as a superhero franchise movie, got bupkes. No nods for star Gal Gadot or director Patty Jenkins -- or, for that matter, any of this year's other acclaimed women directors, such as Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Dee Rees ("Mudbound"), and Kathryn Bigelow ("Detroit"). And nothing for other acclaimed performances in genre movies, like Patrick Stewart in "Logan" or Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner 2049." Although "Baby Driver" wheelman Ansel Elgort outraced such potential Best Comedy/Musical actor nominees as Nanjiani, Adam Sandler ("The Meyerowitz Stories"), Matt Damon ("Downsizing"), and Channing Tatum ("Logan Lucky").
Then again, no one faced a more drastic omission this year than Kevin Spacey. When it was his turn to be implicated as an alleged serial sexual assailant, his completed performance in "All the Money in the World" was cut from the almost-finished film, and director Ridley Scott replaced him at the very last minute with Christopher Plummer in reshoots.
Now, to add insult to injury, Plummer has landed a Supporting Actor nomination, over such likelier prospects as Mark Rylance ("Dunkirk"), Ben Mendelsohn ("Darkest Hour") and Michael Stuhlbarg ("Call Me By Your Name"). The film also saw a somewhat surprising Best Actress nomination for Michelle Williams, over such prospects as Gadot and Kate Winslet ("Wonder Wheel"). Maybe the HFPA just doesn't like movies with "Wonder" in the title; the current Julia Roberts drama hit by that name got nothing either.
Still, the HFPA will always love Denzel Washington and Helen Mirren. Washington got a nod for the otherwise unloved "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," while Mirren was named in the Best Comedy/Musical Actress category for "The Leisure Seeker," which few critics have seen and which won't be released stateside until January. But both the Best Actor and Actress fields are so shallow this year that it's hard to say who got pushed out -- "Stronger"'s Jake Gyllenhaal, maybe? Emma Watson or Zoe Kazan?
Given the Foreign Press's fondness for foreign directors this year (the only American on the list is Steven Spielberg for "The Post"), you'd think they could have found room for Luca Guadagnino ("Call Me by Your Name") or Joe Wright ("Darkest Hour").
Oh, and if you're a fan of "The LEGO Batman Movie" wondering why it didn't get nominated for Animated Feature while something called "The Breadwinner" did? Don't be so surprised. A story about an Afghan girl who disguises herself as a boy to find work and support her family, "Breadwinner" comes from Nora Twomey, the Irish animator behind such recent surprise nominees as "The Secret of Kells" and "Song of the Sea."
For all the Emmy love shown over the years to "Veep" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the Globes have never nominated the show or its star, and the shutout continued this year. The long-awaited return of Larry David and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" didn't make an impression either.
The even longer-awaited return of "Twin Peaks" may have been the most critically beloved show of the year, but it landed a nomination only for star Kyle MacLachlan. Globe voters did like the return of "Will & Grace" enough to nominate the show for Best Comedy and Eric McCormack for Best Actor, but none of the other three stars made the cut.
The Hollywood purge of accused sexual harassers has made past Globe favorites Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor unwelcome at this year's awards, along with their shows, "House of Cards" and "Transparent."
At least "Transparent" streamer Amazon is represented by "I Love Dick" (with a nod for co-star Kevin Bacon) and recent release "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (nominated for Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actress, for Rachel Brosnahan). Three of the broadcast networks (CBS, Fox, and the CW) didn't get nominated at all. The game really has moved to the streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu), where you can watch nominated shows like "Mrs. Maisel," "Master of None," and "The Handmaid's Tale" that speak to the current moment and practice inclusivity -- if you're comfortable enough to spare a few extra bucks per month for streaming subscriptions.