Sussing out the HFPA’s comedy/musical field

Posted by · 2:47 pm · November 16th, 2010

In the latest Gurus o’ Gold survey, David Poland asked us all to contribute the usual rankings for Best Picture, added in the supporting actor and supporting actress categories, then popped the question regarding the Golden Globes comedy/musical category.  It’s interesting to get perspective on the latter this (relatively) early in the season.

A couple of things: First of all, three Gurus included “Toy Story 3” in their ranking, which with Gregory Ellwood’s #1 placement was enough for it to be chalked up at #5 on the collective.  Ever since the HFPA instituted an animated feature category, animated features have been ineligible in the Best Picture categories.  So that’s gone.

The #6 spot went to “Get Low,” but I’ve confirmed that film as a drama consideration for HFPA, so it won’t be in the mix.  Meanwhile, only Steve Pond and myself included “Nowhere Boy,” which is a film that went over really well with the association and will be competing as a musical.

Most seemed to toss a lazy vote toward “Love & Other Drugs,” but I was skeptical, going with “Easy A” (and happy to see I wasn’t alone), while “How Do You Know” and “The Kids Are All Right” (yes, it will compete as a comedy) filled out the top of the survey for most.

I was frankly surprised to see “Made in Dagenham” fall down to the #7 spot.  I would imagine it will have an easy trip to the field, certainly a better shot than “Love & Other Drugs,” but maybe I’m wrong.  I’ve heard the HFPA wasn’t keen on “Burlesque,” so it’s probably not a player, while fellow musical (and one-vote wonder) “Country Strong” is yet to be seen.

Another film only mentioned once (by USA Today’s Anthony Breznican) that could make a dent in this field — especially considering the star power and the HFPA’s star obsession — is “The Tourist.” If it’s ultimately not good enough to get a Best Picture nod with the group, expect Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie or both to at least be nominated in the acting fields.

The rest…meh, probably not in the mix.  But “Alice in Wonderland” is an intriguing consideration.  Check out the full survey at Movie City News.

[Photo: The Weinstein Company]

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31 responses so far

  • 1 11-16-2010 at 2:55 pm

    Dylan said...

    The Kids Are All Right
    Made in Dagenham
    Love & Other Drugs
    How Do You Know
    *I Love You Philip Morris

    *no guts, no glory

  • 2 11-16-2010 at 3:03 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Wow, The Kids Are All Right is going to cruise this one.

  • 3 11-16-2010 at 3:10 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Kids Are All Right
    How Do U Know
    Love and Other Drugs
    Made in Dagenham
    Nowhere Boy

    But if Burlesque is big, I see it taking one of the other 5 out.

  • 4 11-16-2010 at 3:10 pm

    Marshall said...

    I thought animated films were INELIGIBLE for Best Picture Musical/Comedy now that Animated Feature is there. I don’t think it’s an unwritten rule; I think it’s just a flat out rule.

  • 5 11-16-2010 at 3:12 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I was under that impression too.

  • 6 11-16-2010 at 3:13 pm

    Joe said...

    Um, not a single vote for Morning Glory? While this site apparently likes to hate on the film that I think is much better received them some are giving it credit for, I think it’s in the running, especially with their obsession for star power films.

  • 7 11-16-2010 at 3:14 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    What’s with the big split between you and almost everyone else on Black Swan? I haven’t seen the film yet, but if I had to make a guess I would lean a little more towards it not getting a Best Picture nomination, but I just wonder why some of the other Oscar prognosticators are so sure of its chances. None of Aronofsky’s films have been nominated for picture before, so I don’t know why the Academy would absolutely nominate his newest film.

  • 8 11-16-2010 at 3:14 pm

    JJ1 said...

    The funny thing about the Globes are that … while they’re certainly starfu*kers, they’re also big on the Brits. This is why I see a Burlesque/How Do U Know/Love and Other Drugs should mix well with Made in Dagenham and Nowhere Boy.

  • 9 11-16-2010 at 3:19 pm

    Graysmith said...

    What about Red? Critics liked it, audiences liked it, it was a bonafide hit ($80m and counting).

    I put that one in with Alice in Wonderland (on star power + box office alone), The Kids Are All Right and Made in Dagenham. I had Toy Story 3 in there too, but since you made the excellent case of animation not making it in the main categories I took it out.. No idea really what to put in. Easy A seems like it’d be a good choice, but it might more be a play just for Emma Stone.

    Pretty pathetic year for comedies. The highest-grossing non-animated ones were Grown Ups and The Other Guys, highly unlikely they could get in… Get Him To the Greek? At least it got good reviews and did fairly well, like Easy A.

    Pretty sure the comedic actresses will be Emma Stone, Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts and Sally Hawkins, though.

  • 10 11-16-2010 at 3:24 pm

    tim said...

    I still don’t understand the critics love for Easy A. This movie just didn’t have the humor, the charm nor the intelligence of Clueless or Mean Girls ( or even Sixteen Candles) . It was just completely flat. Amanda Bynes & the always incredible Stanley Tucci were the standouts. I was embarrassed for Patricia Clarkson ( trying too hard), and normally reliable Lisa Kudrow and Thomas Haden Church were out of place.

  • 11 11-16-2010 at 3:39 pm

    m1 said...

    10-Could you explain exactly HOW Mean Girls was better than Easy A? Easy A fired on all cylinders throughout, and Mean Girls, while good, was mostly hit-and-miss in my opinion. It was not up to the level of Juno, however.

    Best Actress (Comedy):
    Annette Bening
    Anne Hathaway
    Emma Stone
    Sally Hawkins
    Rachel McAdams

  • 12 11-16-2010 at 3:40 pm

    Eli said...

    Looking at your Supporting Actor predictions, I seem to recall that you were rather high on Colin Farrell’s performance (and chances) in your original review of The Way Back, and yet he’s only at #7, and below Ed Harris from the same film? Also, none of the Gurus o’ Gold are feeling the love for Farrell either. Do you know why that is.

  • 13 11-16-2010 at 3:59 pm

    m1 said...

    Best Actor (Comedy):
    Jake Gyllenhaal
    Luke Wilson
    Ben Stiller
    Jason Bateman
    Harrison Ford

  • 14 11-16-2010 at 4:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Patriotsfan: If I’m honest, I think it’s because this is the time of year when prognosticators who don’t spend a whole lot of time focused on Oscars year round begin to get ahead of themselves with this or that. I think Black Swan has a shot. I do. But I think it’s a bit too much of a given in some quarters.

    Eli: I can’t speak for the rest. If I were to guess, it’s because Farrell ducks out of the movie just past the half-way mark, and isn’t the beginning-to-end presence that Harris is. I nevertheless think he gives a sensational performance, but these two portrayals are the definition of a showy supporting turn versus a co-lead supporting turn, in some ways.

    Marshall: Indeed.

    Joe: My opinion doesn’t equal the opinion of “this site,” but I think critical consideration speaks for itself on that one. Maybe Ford can nail down a supporting actor nod, though (a la Will Ferrell in “The Producers,” for instance). Or maybe there’s enough room in lead comedy.

  • 15 11-16-2010 at 4:31 pm

    Graysmith said...

    No takers on Red?

    I want to compare it with Burn After Reading, which got a Best Comedy nomination and a Best Actress in a Comedy nomination for Frances McDormand. Both films skew towards an older audience, both did well with critics and at the box office and they both have an all-star cast (a plus at the Golden Globes).

  • 16 11-16-2010 at 4:39 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Burn After Reading” was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

    “Red” was directed by Robert Schwentke.

    You might want to factor that into your theory.

  • 17 11-16-2010 at 4:57 pm

    m1 said...

    16-Right, because the Golden Globes are SO considerate of nominating the best, which is why A Serious Man got a nod…oh, wait.

  • 18 11-16-2010 at 5:29 pm

    j said...

    Yay Easy A. ‘Course it’s because of a suck field but still.

  • 19 11-16-2010 at 6:38 pm

    Graysmith said...


    I can’t imagine the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical hinging a great deal on who directed it, and let’s not forget that the likes of Legally Blonde, Hairspray and Mamma Mia were nominated in this category. The bar to get a nomination isn’t extremely high.

    I’m not suggesting that Red is a similar kind of film to Burn After Reading, just that they share some aspects. At the very least, I think Red deserves consideration because there really aren’t very many films in this category that did as well as it did, critically and financially.

  • 20 11-16-2010 at 11:32 pm

    Alex (in Movieland) said...

    I think Alice in Wonderland (even as awful as I found it to be) has a good shot at making the list. Especially considering Johnny IS probably going to be nominated for his performance there.

    other than that, I have seen just one trailer of The Tourist. Since when is it a comedy?!

    Seriously, this year needs a The Hangover somewhere around.

    But I’m going with:
    How Do you know
    Made in Dagenham
    Love & Other

  • 21 11-16-2010 at 11:43 pm

    Glenn said...

    “-Could you explain exactly HOW Mean Girls was better than Easy A?”

    While I’m not 17 anymore like I was at the time that “Mean Girls” was released, I can’t see how “Easy A” has at all entered the pop culture universe at all like “Mean Girls” did almost instantly. Thanks mostly to Tina Fey’s amazing screenplay (WGA nominated if I remember correctly) and Lindsay Lohan basically screaming “here I am!” ala Cate Blanchett. Sure, we all know how that went down after the fact, but at the time…

    I dunno, Emma Stone has surely impressed enough people for a solid career, but does the film have any one-liners to enter the lexicon? I mean, hello, people STILL quote “Mean Girls” (“so fetch” for instance).

    Although, neither of them are “Clueless”, so…

    Has there been confirmation on where “Eat Pray Love” is going? I haven’t seen it so it might be an obvious drama choice, but I wasn’t sure.

    Anyway, all of this is futile since “Piranha 3D”‘s Oscar campaign is clearly going to get the boost it so rightfully deserves by sweeping the Musical/Comedy category. Although, perhaps more seriously, what about “Cyrus”? Weren’t people big on that for a while there? Or, hey, what about “The Runaways” if we’re taking “Nowhere Boy” into consideration?

  • 22 11-17-2010 at 2:50 am

    Teresa said...

    What about Justin Timberlake in Friends with Benefits? It will have a 2010 or a 2011 release?

  • 23 11-17-2010 at 4:41 am

    m1 said...

    21-I almost forgot about The Runaways. Additionally, I found Mean Girls all right, but not great.

    22-It is coming out next year.

  • 24 11-17-2010 at 6:13 am

    JJ1 said...

    It does seem that ‘Red’ could be a contender if it goes over well with HPFA, no? Best Comedy/Musical and Malkovich (maybe)?

  • 25 11-17-2010 at 7:51 am

    Bing147 said...

    Red actually seems like a possibility but I wouldn’t bet on it. I wouldn’t bet on Easy A for more than an actress nom though and even that’s not assured… the film wasn’t a big enough hit to guarantee it. If I was predicting right now, I’d go:

    Best Picture (Comedy/Musical):

    How Do You Know
    The Kids Are All Right
    Love and Other Drugs
    Made in Dagenham
    Nowhere Boy (seems RIGHT up their alley…)

    Dark Horse: Burlesque

    Best Actor (Musical/Comedy):

    Johnny Depp-Alice in Wonderland
    Robert Downey Jr-Due Date
    Jake Gyllenhaal-Love and Other Drugs
    Paul Rudd-How Do You Know
    Ben Stiller-Greenberg

    Dark Horse: John C Reilly-Cyrus

    Best Actress (Musical/Comedy):

    Annette Bening-The Kids Are All Right
    Anne Hathaway-Love and Other Drugs
    Sally Hawkins-Made in Dagenham
    Julianne Moore-The Kids Are All Right
    Gwyneth Paltrow-Country Strong
    Reese Witherspoon-How Do You Know

    Just a feeling on Paltrow and Witherspoon and the 6 nominees in actress…

    Stone is in play here but somehow I don’t see them going for the film…

  • 26 11-17-2010 at 8:34 am

    Ivan said...

    The Kids Are All Right
    Love & Other Drugs
    Morning Glory
    Toy Story 3

  • 27 11-17-2010 at 9:43 am

    Graysmith said...

    Easy A wasn’t a hit? It cost $8m and has made $57m and counting. It obviously wasn’t a HIT a la $100m+, but it did very well.

  • 28 11-17-2010 at 9:46 am

    Graysmith said...

    My objection to predicting a Nowhere Boy nomination is the fact that it has made nearly no money at all, and is as such practically invisible. Couple that with the lack of star power and it seems doomed to get lost in the shuffle. It could happen, certainly, but films so far under the radar rarely get nominated by them.

  • 29 11-17-2010 at 10:37 am

    Joseph said...

    I’d like to add Date Night into the conversation. A modest Spring hit with likeable stars (Carrell, Fey) in a fairly weak comedy year.

    Best Actress is the strongest category. There isn’t any need for filler nominees this year. They could all be Oscar contenders: Bening, Moore, Hathaway, Hawkins, Paltrow. Then you have stars from glossy pics like Witherspoon and Stone.

  • 30 11-17-2010 at 10:55 pm

    Glenn said...

    Remember when “Across the Universe” was nominated for Best Picture Musical/Comedy and NOTHING ELSE. Yeah… betting against actual musicals is risky.

  • 31 11-21-2010 at 10:12 pm

    Otto said...

    Actress is so good compared to actor. Actress is very competitive (reminds me of 2007: Adams, Blonsky, Bonham Carter, Cotillard, Page… and they didn’t even nominate Russell, Linney or Wood). I hope Emma Stone gets nominated, instead of someone who would get on name recognition alone, like Reese Witherspoon