Golden Globe nominations: Box office champs and movies with female protagonists lead the way

The movies nominated in some of the major categories for the Golden Globes include 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'Carol,' and 'Room.'

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    'Mad Max: Fury Road' stars Tom Hardy.
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Now that the Golden Globe nominees have been announced, films like “Carol” and “Spotlight” have cemented themselves as awards season frontrunners, while movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road” have had their awards season chances boosted by snagging major nods.

The nod for “Max” in the prestigious best drama category is a nomination for a mainstream movie rather than a little-seen indie – “Max” was one of the biggest box office success stories of the year. 

Meanwhile, the movies “Carol,” “Max,” and “Room” show the continued presence of female-led movies this awards season, something that is not always the case. “Carol” centers on the relationship between two women, while “Room” is the story of a woman and her son who are kept imprisoned. “Max” was praised by many for its strong female character, portrayed by Charlize Theron.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association splits movies into “drama” and “comedy or musical” categories. The movies that are contenders for the best drama prize are “Carol,” “Spotlight,” “Room,” “The Revenant,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Nominees for the best musical or comedy prize are “Joy,” “The Martian,” “The Big Short,” “Spy,” and “Trainwreck.” 

“Max” had been selected as the best film of the year by the National Board of Review but was still viewed as more of a long shot for the Oscars than, say, “Spotlight” because action movies aren’t often nominated for, let alone win, the Best Picture prize. But the chances of “Max” appearing as a Best Picture nominee have certainly increased with the Golden Globes recognition. 

Those behind “Joy” and “The Martian,” movies which had missed out on earlier nods like those by the Screen Actors Guild Awards, are no doubt happy to see the movies appear as best comedy or musical nominees. However, because the HFPA nominates movies in two categories, not all these movies will get a nod for Best Picture. Chances seem extremely slim, for example, that “Spy” or “Trainwreck” will appear on the Oscar Best Picture ballot. 

As for the movie acting races, Bryan Cranston was nominated for “Trumbo” in the best actor in a drama category, as were Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs,” Will Smith for “Concussion,” and Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish Girl.” This is almost the exact same list that was named by the SAG Awards – now Smith and Johnny Depp, who was nominated by the SAG Awards for “Black Mass,” may be vying for the last slot in this category for the Oscars. 

The list for the best actress in a drama race was a bit different than that for the SAG Awards. Cate Blanchett was nominated for “Carol,” as was Saoirse Ronan for “Brooklyn,” Rooney Mara for "Carol," Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl," and Brie Larson for “Room." For the SAG Awards, “Carol” actress Mara and “Girl” actress Alicia Vikander were nominated in the supporting category, but those behind the Globes put them in the lead actress category. 

As for the comedy/musical acting races, the contenders for the best actor in a comedy or musical prize are "The Big Short" actors Christian Bale and Steve Carell, Al Pacino of "Danny Collins," Matt Damon in "The Martian," and Mark Ruffalo in "Infinitely Polar Bear." The actress contenders for a comedy or musical are "Trainwreck" actress Amy Schumer, Maggie Smith of "The Lady in the Van," "Grandma" actress Lily Tomlin, Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy," and "Spy" actress Melissa McCarthy.

For the Globes, the best supporting actor race for drama, musicals, and comedy are combined. For best supporting actress, Kate Winslet was nominated for “Steve Jobs,” as were Vikander for “Ex Machina,” Jennifer Jason Leigh for “The Hateful Eight,” Helen Mirren for “Trumbo,” and Jane Fonda for “Youth.” 

Other than Winslet, the nominees in this category were completely different than those for the SAG Awards. Vikander was nominated in the SAG category but for a different movie (“The Danish Girl”), and Leigh and Fonda were nowhere to be seen. Rachel McAdams was nominated for a SAG Award for “Spotlight” but is missing for the Globes. 

Those who earned nods in the best supporting actor category were Idris Elba for “Beasts of No Nation,” Mark Rylance for “Bridge of Spies,” Michael Shannon for “99 Homes,” Sylvester Stallone for “Creed,” and Paul Dano for “Love and Mercy.” 

Elba, Rylance, and Shannon seem like sure things for this race after receiving SAG and Golden Globes nods, while Stallone and Dano’s nods are crucial after having missed out on a SAG nomination.

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