What do The Apartment, Annie Hall and Shakespeare in Love all have in common? They were entered in the “Musical/Comedy” category at the Golden Globes. I surveyed many of my Twitter followers to ask them whether or not they considered those films romantic comedies or not. The conclusion was mostly than none of them fit the mold completely.  In romantic comedies the guy usually gets the girl. He only gets the girl in The Apartment, which is more drama than comedy. In both Annie Hall and Shakespeare in Love the ending is bittersweet. The guy loses the girl but keeps her permanently in his heart. Yes, I’m aware that all three of these movies – with the possible exception of The Apartment – follow the arc of a male character. What else is new? Even now, in 2012, most of the films heading into the Oscar race follow the arc of the male lead. The exceptions – Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom (to a degree it’s about both).  And now, if it is one of the films in consideration, Middle of Nowhere. Zero Dark Thirty hangs on the intel of a female character.

Why does any of this matter? Because romantic comedies that hang on men tend to do better in the race than those that hang on women, which are few and far between.

Now, Silver Linings Playbook is in the lead to win Best Picture if you go by Fandango’s Dave Karger and The Wrap’s Steve Pond. It will be put in the category of comedy at the Globes. But that puts it against Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables. That’s kind of like putting your bishop in front of your queen.

Only Annie Hall lost the Globe for Best Picture, Comedy and went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.  The Goodbye Girl, which won the Globe that year, beat High Anxiety, and musicals New York, New York and Saturday Night Fever. But neither The Apartment nor Shakespeare in Love went up against a musical. Not only is Les Miserables a musical but that’s all it is – pure musical. There are no speaking parts. That would mean that if Silver Linings Playbook wins instead that ups its chances significantly to win the Best Picture Oscar, although Les Miserables has what it doesn’t: gravitas.

It’s possible that 2012 will be a year a comedy wins Best Picture.  Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan, Annie Hall beat Star Wars – but really had no competition beyond that. And The Apartment remains not only one of the best films ever made but one of Oscar’s best ever decisions for Best Picture.  It beat nothing, particularly, as it too had no competition.  So really only Shakespeare in Love had a strong competitor in Saving Private Ryan. While Shakespeare in Love is the better film overall, Private Ryan’s standing in film history and its first 40 minutes seem to indicate that it would have been the better choice for the prize.  This is backed up by John Madden failing to win Best Director; a strong Best Picture winner, even relatively light fare like The King’s Speech and The Artist won Best Director too, legitimizing their wins. A weaker win, a closer vote, will fail to drag the director along – Chicago, Crash, etc.

To sell Silver Linings Playbook, though, The Weinstein Co. will have to sell David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper too.  2012 is one of the best years for film overall, with one masterpiece turning up after the next. After 13 years covering the Oscar race I know that it’s foolhardy to think one of those will ever win Best Picture. We aren’t talking rewarding the best film of the year. We are talking about the film most of the 6,000 voters in the Academy can agree upon as the best. In my life I’ll never really understand the majority vote. But it is what it is.

The drama category at the Globes is likely filling up fast too.  But it’s still too early, believe it or not, to proclaim. The Globe voting body can be even more sappy than the Academy. The fate of Beasts of the Southern Wild is uncertain – will it be too hard core, too ugly for them?

Because of Oscar’s date change, the HFPA will likely screen many of the film

Here are some possible titles for the Globes drama:

Life of Pi
Anna Karenina
The Sessions

And then:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Master
Django Unchained
Zero Dark Thirty
The Promised Land
The Impossible

You just never know with the Globes how they will go. But look at those titles. It’s hard to know if they will go for The Master or not.  They tend to go for weepy over complex and since so many are unsure what The Master is even about it’s hard to imagine that the HFPA will go for it. Conversely, Anna Karenina seems right up their street. The Weinstein Co. tends to do very well with the HFPA — Jennifer Lawrence will likely win Best Actress for Musical/Comedy and Bradley Cooper will go head to head with Hugh Jackman for the win. We don’t yet know where Dhango Unchained will place. They love Tarantino.

As for Musical/Comedy at the Globes you have:

Silver Linings Playbook
Les Miserables
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Moonrise Kingdom
Hyde Park on Hudson

I’m wondering about:
Magic Mike
Hope Springs

Usually the Globe nominations don’t have that much of an impact on the race because they came too early. But Oscar ballots are going out earlier so who knows.

How about you, readers? What are your early Globes picks?



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  • I took a stab at Golden Globe Predictions on the Awards Circuit.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if The Sessions go Musical/Comedy though its a foolish choice.

    Lincoln will likely win Drama and lose every other award of the season. Just making a guess.

  • cecilia

    This does seem like a pretty great year for films, many of which are yet to be seen which makes it hard to predict what makes the cut. At this point in time my GG predictions for drama would be

    Life of Pi

    I think Master will be seen as ‘too important to miss’. As Sasha said, HFPA loves Tarantino plus the film contains lots of stars which GG loves. Argo has the star pedigree and zeitgeist, which makes it a GG lock in my mind. Life of Pi – HFPA likes Ang Lee plus his films tend to be pretty international which is more likely appeal to HFPA than more American AMPAS. Lincoln is in, too if it’s a critical/financial success but if not, it might miss in favor of something else like Anna Karenina or Flight etc.

    I feel Sessions and Beasts are too small for GG, and that Impossible doesn’t have enough star power in such a competitive year. I have no idea what to expect with Zero Dark Thirty. It could surprise or be altogether ignored.

    For Comedy/Musical, Silver Linings Playbook and Les Miserables are locks and one of them will be a winner. This category can be quite random but I think Hitchcock might be classified as comedy in which case it would be in. The other places are a wash although I would love if something like Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street or Pitch Perfect would get in instead of stuff like Hyde Park on Hudson, Marigold, Hope Springs etc.

  • cecilia

    Clayton, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere recently that Sessions will be classified as Drama for Golden Globes.

  • cecilia

    Ugh, sorry to spam with repeated messages but there’s no edit button…

    Anyways, I said that GG comedy/musical is between Silver Linings and Les Mis but knowing the Globe’s love of musicals, I don’t see Les Mis losing unless is a critical and financial bomb. However, since it’s not been seen yet, I can’t call it a lock just yet and have to keep Silver Linings Playbook as an option since it has been seen and received well.

  • Ivan

    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Life of Pi
    The Master

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Les Miserables
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Sessions
    Silver Linings Playbook

    Daniel Day Lewis/Lincoln
    Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Master
    Anthony Hopkins/Hitchcock
    Joaquin Phoenix/The Master
    Denzel Washington/Flight

    Jack Black/Bernie
    Bradley Cooper/Silver Linings Playbook
    John Hawkes/The Sessions
    Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables
    Bill Murray/Hyde Park on Hudson

  • Amanda

    This isnt surprising as Harvey wouldnt want it to compete with The Master in Drama. Why win 1 when you can win 2. It’s the same reason he add the musical numbers in My Week with Marilyn last year. Both Meryl and Michelle won and Harvey was happy. The big question will be who does he push for come Oscar time. He totally dropped Michelle and put all the Weinstein efforts behind Meryl. Harvey has an opportunity to sweep big time this year. Picture, Director, Actor, supporting Actor, Actress, Adams wont win for SA but he can get her nominated and maybe give her a little push. God Harvey must be in heaven.

  • Ivan

    Marion Cotillard/Rust and Bone
    Keira Knightley/Ana Karenina
    Helen Mirren/Hitchcock
    Quvenzhané Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Naomi Watts/The Impossible

    Judi Dench/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Greta Herwig/Frances Ha
    Jennifer Lawrence/Silver Linings Playbook
    Barbra Streisand/The Guilt Trip
    Meryl Streep/Hope Spings

    Alan Arkin/Argo
    Russell Crowe/Les Miserables
    Robert DeNiro/Silver Linings Playbook
    Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained
    Matthew McConaughey/Magic Mike

    Amy Adams/The Master
    Anne Hathaway/Les Miserables
    Helen Hunt/The Sessions
    Nicole Kidman/The Paperboy
    Maggie Smith/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Life of Pi
    The Master
    Silver Linings Playbook

    Ben Affleck/Argo
    Paul Thomas Anderson/The Master
    Michael Haneke/Amour
    Tom Hooper/Les Miserables
    Ang Lee/Life of Pi
    Steven Spielberg/Lincoln

  • d2

    1. High Anxiety (1977) was not a musical. It was a comedy/thriller spoofing Hitchcock films.

    2. BOTSW probably won’t do well here. Maybe screenplay? Maybe score? It could be this year’s “District 9” at the Globes

    3. Lincoln will not win here. Everyone said War Horse would win, but it didn’t. This Spielberg-obsession must stop. Until he makes a movie without the aid of John Williams and rids himself of that emotional sap he calls art, I will stop believing in him as an awards contender.

    4. Look for J-Law to do well here, but Les Miserables to win the Best C/M top prize and acting honors for Jackman and Hathaway

    5. Frances Ha is now a 2013 release, sadly. Buh-bye

    6. Moonrise Kingdom as the spoiler if there is a vote-split b/t Les Mis and SPB

  • D@

    Excuse me, let me say that Best Exotic may be the spoiler, not Moonrise Kingdom…

  • mecid

    “Lincoln will not win here. Everyone said War Horse would win, but it didn’t.” – You feel this is pointless?

    War Horse is based on children’s book, Lincoln serious book. War Horse was not actor’s movie, Lincoln is and so on.

  • Surprised The Sessions is being pushed as a drama. I haven’t seen it, but the trailer sells it as a comedy-drama, and those normally fall into the Musical / Comedy category to beef it up. Looks like neither category needs much beefing up this year, though, the way things are shaping up.

    Don’t forget about Quartet! It looks like the kind of the HFPA would love. I agree that Anna Karenina is also right up their street, but, if we’re talking weepy over complex, it hardly qualifies as a weepy.

    Also, Magic Mike is by no means a comedy, even though Channing Tatum as Marilyn Monroe remains the funniest thing I’ve seen in the cinema all year.

    They might hate The Master, but sometimes the HFPA surprises you. Beasts of the Southern Wild isn’t even on their radar. This year’s District 9, d2? District 9 got a screenplay nomination at the Globes (undeservedly). I’m not sure Beasts can even pull that off.

  • lazarus

    Why does a Romantic Comedy have to end with the guy getting the girl? Must it have a happy ending, or that specific kind? Shakespeare doesn’t get the girl (well he does, but he loses her), but she survives a shipwreck and begins a new life in a new land, while Shakespears “uses” her story for his new comedy.

    So idiotic to try and force things into boxes, especially when every day on this website we hear about how this or that demographic doesn’t get enough opportunities.

    Is it primarily about a romance? Is it also funny more than it’s sad? Then it’s a FUCKING ROMANTIC COMEDY.

    The Apartment, Annie Hall, and Shakespeare all fit this description.

  • Maxim

    I can only hope that the wondergful “To Rome with Love” makes a comeback.

  • lazarus! It’s OK! You don’t need to get so worked up! Fucking calm down!

    I don’t know where you’re directing your vitriol, either. Rereading the article, I can’t find any part which suggests that The Apartment, Annie Hall and Shakespeare in Love aren’t rom-coms. It might be wise to ensure that you fully understand things before you blow your head off.

  • I think Les Miserables has the Globe in the bag. They will relish the rare opportunity to award a good musical (seriously, how bad could it be?). It’s also probably more dramatic then anything that could possibly show up in the drama category, so they’ll respect it even more.

  • Ivan

    Les Miserables could be ignored entirely by the Golden Globes since it comes out pretty late in December

  • winston

    Has anyone actually seen and reviewed Les Miserable? At this point it’s just a lot of speculation. Eventually someone actually has to see the movie and determine if it’s any good. Or is that now just a formality?

  • cecilia

    There really is no chance for Les Mis being ignored by the HFPA. It doesn’t matter that it comes out late -Universal will organize early screening for necessary groups and the movie is such an event that members won’t vote before seeing it. Same with Django, Harvey will make sure that everyone will see before voting. What will suffer are the late releases with less hype.

    Anyways, Harvey is planning a big campaign for the Intouchables ( so it’ll most likely be one of the foreign language nominees and could pop up in the best comedy/musical category plus get a nomination for Omar Sy. He is supposed to be good in the role plus he won the Cesar last year over Dujardin.

  • The Globes got it right in 1977, too. 😉

  • Winston

    Actually from the comments it seems that the Golden Globes are viewed as a rancid joke. The basic consensus is that any musical, no matter how mediocre, is a surefire Golden Globes winner unless it is historically bad. And am I the only one who finds something wrong with all this (premature) award’s season giddiness for a film based on a novel that has been remade a dozen times? OK. So this is the pure musical version of a novel cinematically done to death. Maybe next year someone will think up an all musical version of Jane Austen. (My goodness I hope the world end’s before that idea inevitably comes down the turnpike).

  • If Les Mis delivers (which I think/hope it will), it should take the Globe. The HFPA tends to favor musicals over comedies, a la Sweeney Todd and Dreamgirls topping Juno and Little Miss Sunshine, respectively.

  • RJ

    I’m thinking we’ll see Jennifer Lawrence score the double nod this year — in Lead Drama for “The Hunger Games” and in Lead Comedy/Musical for “The Silver Linings Playbook”.

    Maggie Smith could triple — Lead Comedy/Musical for “Quartet”, Supporting for “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, and TV Supporting for “Downton Abbey”.

    I would also say we shouldn’t count “Pitch Perfect” out of the conversation just yet. A Lead nod for Anna Kendrick would be just fine, and an “out-of-nowhere” Supporting nod for Rebel Wilson wouldn’t be totally out of the realm of possibility (just since anything can happen when the Globe voters get together). It’s a certified hit already, and will only continue to be a part of the greater pop culture conversation as it expands into wider release. The Globes like their hits, and the fact that the singing makes it count as a Musical in addition to Comedy is a point in its favor.

  • @Winston I don’t think you fully understand the concept of this version of Les Miserables. You can’t compare this to someone “thinking up an all musical version of Jane Austen”. It’s the first time we are seeing this version, which is based on a HIGHLY acclaimed and well-established stage musical. They didn’t just come up with it on a whimsy, it’s been highly lauded on the stage for many years and it has never been done theatrically. For example, some of the characters and plot lines in this version are hardly even present in previous film versions. Furthermore it’s sung-through, so there’s hardly a line of dialogue.

    I have no reason to assume it’s going to be bad. It’s not like they are adding dialogue or changing the songs…so it can’t really fall that far from it’s stage origins. As someone who enjoys film, I prefer to hope that all the expected Oscar bait is going to live up to their potential. I hate people who imply that something is going to be mediocre, just for the sake of arguing. Why not be positive instead?

    So yes, I predict Les Miserables will be a strong Golden Globes contender. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Maybe it won’t live up to expectations, but for now I will remain positive.

  • TED, ftw baby!!! WOOT lol I dunno. This year is stacked. Let’s just call it a 30-way tie, shall we? 🙂

    I saw half of THE MASTER so I can half talk about it. It looked like half a nominee not half a winner. Joaquin though looked solid and is always attractive no matter how creepy/weird. His to lose, right? I think it’s the right time for him too. What surprised me was how much I still payed attention to PSH with all that Joaquin was doing. It’s a level of charisma I don’t think I’ve seen from him before and essential for a character in that position. I don’t know how you act charisma but he didn’t seem to have that much before. lol That sounded bad.

    I don’t think I’ve seen enough to properly guess the Globes yet. I hope Tom Cruise gets in for ROCK OF AGES though. He definitely deserves it. He did his own singing and played guitar and went so against type.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    As someone said 25th Dec. release date means nothing if the filmmakers want to get nominated. They’ll throw a scre… ahem… party for HFPA.

    Are you most likely to vote for a film that got you party hard with Hugh Jackman last week or the one where you had a drinking contest with John Hawkes much much earlier? I know one HFPA voter personally, so I’ve been following these party photos first hand the whole year. You can tell which films are strong.

    But yeah, if the filmmakers decide, you may also NOT throw a soiree – Extremely Loud did not and was not nominated. It was not a great film anyway.

    Antoinette, Tom Cruise is a sure-nominee in Musical/Comedy. It’s Tom Cruise.

  • Jake

    Life of Pi
    The Master
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey(winner)

    Comedy or Musical:
    Les Miserables(winner)
    This is 40
    The Sessions
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Moonrise Kingdom

  • Insider

    I like John Williams music for Spielberg films (not counitng the last Indiana Jones and War Horse). Munich, Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can were outstanding.

  • Winston

    @Squasher88-So you are saying that Les Mis is even LESS original than I thought. There are literally just taking the Broadway play that has been around for thousand years and just doing it on film? I honestly didn’t thnk anyone could be that creatively sterile, but I guess I was wrong. Wow. The filmmakers are so lazy they didn’t even change the songs. That has to be awards worthy. Anyway, setting the bar that low, let’s see how it goes.

  • Pat

    I agree with Paddy! Don’t forget about ‘Quartet’! It’s a lovely little gem of a film (one of my favourites this year). It could be in the running if Weinstein Co pushes it and ‘Silver Linings’. Smith is great, but hopefully Tom Courtenay will be in the Best Actor race, and Pauline Collins & Billy Connolly in supporting. (As they all should be.)

    Oh, and ‘The Sessions’ is def a drama. It has some funny bits, but it’s a true tear-jerker.

  • zazou

    Les Miserable is fine as is and it is liked as is,so why would Hooper or anyone connected with this movie production ,”change the songs?”

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    does anyone recall the year that the woefully mediocre THE PRODUCERS took the lion’s share of GG nominations? i think the HFP nominated it sight unseen based on the popularity of the stage triumph. anyway…still hoping the LES MIZ the movie is good. WEST SIDE STORY good.

  • @Winston You have a very narrow-minded approach to this. Have you seen a film version of this musical before? Should we stop adapting popular books because that’s not being creative enough? Stop being such a troll. You are bashing something that has obvious potential to be great and everyone else is anxious to see.

    True film fans would be excited about the first (or at least one of the very few) musicals to be sung live and the first film version of a stage musical that many people would love to experience but are unable to get the opportunity. The trailer looks fantastic, the cast is phenomenal, the director is talented, the songs are beautiful. I seriously don’t know why you wouldn’t be excited for that. When was the last time we even had a truly great musical? I would love to see another great one that wasn’t a remake of a previous film.

    Again, you may think this is a remake but it really isn’t. A stage musical is not the same as a film. It’s a completely different style of acting and a different visual scope.

  • RemainAnonymous

    Bare in mind also that ‘Seven Psychopaths’ could gain a few noms in the ‘Musical/Comedy’ category since it appears the HFPA are fond of the work of the McDonagh Bros (the nominations recieved by Martin’s ‘In Bruges’ in 2008 and John Michael’s ‘The Guard’ in 2011).

    Also bare in mind that if ‘Les Miz’ doesn’t make the final noms list or is underwhelming, then there’s always the Australian musical ‘The Sapphires’ as an alternative.

  • kasper

    My mom saw Marigold Hotel three times in the theaters!

  • Winston

    Squasher88-I’m not excited about it because already saw the play. That’s the actual “live” version. But who knows? To each their own.

  • Delinger

    I think “Amour” is gonna be a major player at the globes. Unlike the Oscars, It’s very possible for two foreign actors to be nominated at the globes. Of course I’m talking about the brilliant Emmanauelle Riva and Marion Cotillard. M.C has already been nominated twice for “La vie en rose” and “Nine”, she won the first one. I think it will be:


    The Master
    Life of Pi
    Beasts of the Southern Wild


    Joaquin Phoenix/The Master
    Anthony Hopkins/Hitchcock
    Daniel Day Lewis/Lincoln
    Brad Pitt/Killing Them Softly
    Daniel Day-Lewis/Lincoln


    Marion Cotillard/Rust & Bone
    Emmanuelle Riva/Amour
    Helen Mirren/Hitchcock
    Quvenzhané Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Naomi Watts/The Impossible

    BEST C/M:

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Les Miserables
    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Moonrise Kingdom


    Hugh Jackman/Les Miserables
    John Hawkes/The Sessions
    Bradley Cooper/Silver Linings Playbook
    Bill Murray/Hyde Park on Hudson
    Richard Gere/Arbitrage


    Judi Dench/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Greta Herwig/Frances Ha
    Jennifer Lawrence/Silver Linings Playbook
    Barbra Streisand/The Guilt Trip
    Meryl Streep/Hope Spings

  • Jack

    1. Argo
    2. Lincoln
    3. Anna Karenina
    4. Zero Dark Thirty
    5. Hitchcock

    1. Daniel Day Lewis
    2. Joaquin Phoenix
    3. Anthony Hopkins
    4. Denzel Washington
    5. Brad Pitt

    1. Keira Knightley
    2. Marion Cotillard
    3. Jessica Chastain
    4. Naomi Watts
    5. Helen Mirren

    1. Les Miserables
    2. Silver Linings Playbook
    3. Moonrise Kingdom
    4. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    5. Ted

    1. Hugh Jackman
    2. Bradley Cooper
    3. Bill Murray
    4. Channing Tatum- Magic Mike
    5. Tom Cruise- Rock of Ages

    1. Jennifer Lawrence
    2. Barbra Streisand
    3. Meryl Streep
    4. Judi Dench
    5. Anna Kendrick- Pitch Perfect

    1. Leonardo DiCaprio
    2. Philip Seymour Hoffman
    3. Robert DeNiro
    4. Russell Crowe
    5. Matthew McConegheny- Magic Mike

    1. Anne Hathaway
    2. Maggie Smith- Hotel
    3. Amy Adams- The Master
    4. Scarlett Johannson- Hitchcock
    5. Nicole Kidman- Paperboy

    1. Ben Affleck
    2. Tom Hooper
    3. David O Russell
    4. Steven Spielberg
    5. Ang Lee

    1. Silver Linings Playbook
    2. Argo
    3. Moonrise Kingdom
    4. Django Unchained
    5. The Master

  • tombeet

    This year is a strong year of Comedy/Musical. My prediction:
    – Les Mis
    – The Silver Lining Playbooks
    – Moonrise Kingdom
    – This Is Forty
    – Seven Psychopaths

    Spoilers: -Inside Llewyn Davis
    – The Session (depend on which category it ends up with)
    – Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    – Safety Not Guaranteed
    – Hyde Park

  • tombeet

    also, Perks of being a Wallflower has a long shot too

  • PD

    How sweet it is to see that High Anxiety was nominated. Comedy in Best Comedy!

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