Earlier today, Daniel Montgomery of GoldDerby reported that 20th Century Fox has submitted Joy for Drama at the Golden Globes. This falls directly in line with our viewers that saw the film last week and assured me that the film would “100% compete in Drama.” Looking at director David O. Russell’s last two efforts Silver Linings Playbook competed in Comedy (as submitted) and won the Globe for Jennifer Lawrence (the film lost to Les Misérables). American Hustle was submitted in Comedy and won for Lawrence in Supporting (competing against Drama and Comedy actresses), Lead Actress Amy Adams and the film itself won Comedy or Musical. Russell’s only film to compete in Drama at the Globes so far, The Fighter, really scored at the Globes. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Russell in Director, Amy Adams in Supporting Actress, Mark Wahlberg in Lead Actor and grabbed two wins for the eventual Oscar winners, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, both in Supporting. To me, it’s a clear move to present Joy as a real Oscar contender and not simply a comedy that almost makes it all the way. It will also (presumably) put Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett (for Carol) and Brie Larson (for Room) against each for the first (and not likely last) time of the season.
Obviously The Revenant will be in Drama but The Martian is an interesting case; there is a tremendous amount of humor in the film, something that keeps it buoyant and from being too much of a downer flick. The half a dozen disco songs played for comedic effect only help that sense of lightness. It’s a ‘feel-good’ film and I’d be willing to be Fox doesn’t at least try to submit it in Comedy.
So let’s look at the films competing in Drama because that category’s five slots are filling up fast. Right now it’s probably a safe bet to put Spotlight, The Revenant (which is heavily courting the HFPA), Carol and Joy in. But what of that fifth spot? Will it be Steve Jobs? Brooklyn? Beasts of No Nation? Bridge of Spies? Even The Danish Girl or Suffragette could play well here. There are more than a half dozen films that will be elbowing each other for this spot and it’s all going to come down to who gets their film screened by the HFPA and is met with the best response. The group has been making strides to clean up their act and be less entranced by getting the biggest stars to their party (they willfully ignored Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken this year) but that’s always going to be a stigma for them until it’s not.
So what does this do for the Comedy category? It certainly helps Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) and Lily Tomlin (Grandma) to get a Comedy Actress nomination but for the big category if Fox indeed does push The Martian here it could play well. I know I mentioned Steve Jobs in Drama earlier but some, including AwardsDaily’s Sasha Stone, think it could go Comedy. Then there’s Youth, where will that fall?
Joy‘s move opens the door for Amy Schumer’s summer hit Trainwreck to score a Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical nomination but if borderline drama/comedies intrude on the category it could end up looking like Steve Jobs, Youth and The Martian could make it more difficult for a full-fledged comedy to break through.