The Hollywood Foreign Press Association sounded off this morning on the heels of yesterday's SAG nominations, adding fuel to the campaign fire of many a project. Flagging contenders like The Martian, Joy, and various acting hopefuls got some badly needed exposure, while the unlikely Oscar player Mad Max: Fury Road kept its engines purring with a pair of citations in top categories. The nomination leader: Critics' pet Carol, which continues its maddening lethargic roll-out. It had damn well better speed up after this successful showing.
Check all the feature film categories with some quick thoughts of mine:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Looking more and more like Spotlight is the only movie in this scattered season with enough widespread approval to make it a frontrunner. It may be that everybody else is just playing for nominations now, but there are important battles to be won in that contest; The Globes have been proving themselves far cooler than the Academy for a few seasons now, and here's AMPAS's chance to keep in step. Putting these five on the Oscar Best Picture ballot would be a good start (I know I say this without having seen Carol or The Revenant yet, but I have high hopes, and the other three are highly deserving).
Best Picture - Musical/Comedy
The Big Short
Important windfalls here for the imperiled awards prospects of The Martian and Joy, though both with aid of a debatable 'comedy' categorization.
Todd Haynes - Carol
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu - The Revenant
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott - The Martian
Not too shabby. Gotta say, the Globes have been doing a pretty good job at picking the directors these last few years.
Best Actress - Drama
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Rooney Mara - Carol
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Look at that, studios! Push Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander in their proper categories and they can still both get nominated!
Best Actor - Drama
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
Will Smith - Concussion
Does this sting Johnny Depp's Oscar aspirations? Black Mass debuted "way back" in September while four of these gentlemen's films haven't even opened in my market yet!
Best Actress - Musical/Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Melissa McCarthy - Spy
Amy Schumer - Trainwreck
Maggie Smith - The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin - Grandma
I hear tell that Dame Maggie is a stealth threat for her work as (quelle surprise) an adorale curmudgeon in The Lady in the Van. At least we only get one autopilot nomination for Helen Mirren (in Supporting) as opposed to the two we got yesterday!
Best Actor - Musical/Comedy
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Steve Carell - The Big Short
Matt Damon - The Martian
Al Pacino - Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo - Infinitely Polar Bear
Should be Damon's in a spacewalk, as the only one with a reasonable Oscar shot (though you never know about Bale...).
Best Supporting Actress
Jane Fonda - Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
This is becoming interesting for Vikander. Hopefully this can jolt her campaigners into doing the smart thing and plugging her as a lead for The Danish Girl. Who do you suppose is the frontrunner of this group?
Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone - Creed
Once again, as with yesterday's SAG noms, the men of Spotlight appear to be cancelling each other out. Is McAdams seriously going to be the only acting nominees from that amazing cast?
The Big Short
The Hateful 8
Am I really going to have to see The Big Short? Most of what I've heard hasn't sounded too appealing, but I guess we'll see.
Best Animated Film
The Good Dinosaur
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep
Could very well be our Oscar lineup.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Brand New Testament
Son of Saul
Son of Saul has been the pre-ordained Oscar winner since Cannes. The question is, can it break into any other categories?
Best Original Score
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
I'll be stoked for Carter Burwell if he can finally find that first career Oscar nomination. Hope this helps!
Best Original Song
"Love Me Like You Do" from 50 Shades of Grey
"One Kind of Love" from Love & Mercy
"See You Again" from Furious 7
"Simple Song #3" from Youth
"Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre
We could end up with zero overlap between this and the Oscars, although I hear the song from Youth is exactly what tickles the music branch's fancy.