Part 2 – Golden Globe Nominations – Best Comedy or Musical

By Cherie Wheeler

Continuing with our coverage of the nominees for the 2015 Golden Globes, here’s a look at the five films that are in the running to win Best Picture in the Comedy or Musical category.

1. Birdman
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zack Galifianakis and Edward Norton
Release Date: January 15 2015
Other Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Score, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor Comedy or Musical (Michael Keaton) and Best Screenplay

Click image to view trailer

Similar to Richard Linklater, Alejandro Inarritu is one of the most unique and intriguing filmmakers of the twenty first century, and he is definitely Linklater’s most fierce competitor for the Best Director award. This Mexican film director has produced some awe-inspiring, and truly beautiful films over the years, including Babel (2006) and 21 Grams (2003), and Birdman is everything you could hope for and more from Inarritu.

In Birdman, Michael Keaton plays over the hill actor Riggan, who was once famous for his portrayal of an iconic superhero, and in a bid to reclaim his former glory, he agrees to take part in a Broadway production. Riggan turns out to be his own worst enemy, and his family struggle to support him in this last ditch attempt to make something of himself. It’s fantastic to see Keaton back on the silver screen doing what he does best, for the first time in a long time, and he is certainly the frontrunner for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

2. Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, F Murray Abraham and Jeff Goldblum
Release Date: Available now on DVD and Bluray
Other Nominations: Best Director, Best Actor Comedy or Musical (Ralph Fiennes), Best Screenplay

Click image below to view trailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel follows in the footsteps of all of Wes Anderson’s prior films, and exudes his trademark quirky style. The story revolves around the exploits of the hotel’s eccentric concierge Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) after the death of one of their wealthiest patrons (Tilda Swinton).

Weird and wonderful films by Wes Anderson have previously garnered Academy Award nominations, including The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Fantastic Mr Fox (2009) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012), but astoundingly, this is the first time he has ever been recognised by the Globes. My fingers are crossed for Anderson to win Best Screenplay, but he may be knocked out by Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl. If anyone has a chance to defeat Michael Keaton for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, it is definitely Ralph Fiennes in his portrayal of the witty and sophisticated, yet slightly unhinged Gustave.

3. Into The Woods
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt
Release Date: January 08 2015
Other Nominations: Best Actress Comedy or Musical (Emily Blunt),Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep)

Click image below to view trailer

The latest of countless fairytales reimagined by Disney, Into The Woods sees Rob Marshall and Johnny Depp reunited after working together on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011. Marhsall has a short, but significant list of films to his name, including Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and Chicago (2002), and I suppose Disney believed he would once again bring his magic to the screen when selecting him to direct Into The Woods.

A baker and his wife (Emily Blunt) must procure iconic, magical items from traditional fairytale stories, including Red Riding Hood, Jack & The Beanstalk, Cinderella and Rapunzel, in order to lift a curse cast upon them by an evil witch (Meryl Streep). You can almost always guarantee that whenever Meryl Streep completes a film that she will receive a nomination for her performance, and this is her 29th nomination for a Golden Globe.

The Best Supporting Actress category is quite weak this year with some questionable nominees including Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game and Emma Stone for Birdman, and unlike many of the other categories, there is a clear standout to take out this particular prize, which is Patricia Arquette for Boyhood. I sincerely doubt that Emily Blunt will win Best Actress Comedy or Musical as she is up against the likes of Amy Adams for Big Eyes, and Julianne Moore for Maps to the Stars.

4. Pride
Director: Matthew Warchus
Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Ben Schnetzer
Release Date: Available on DVD and Bluray soon
Other Nominations: N/A

Click image below to view trailer

The real surprise nomination at the Golden Globes this year is English comedy and true story Pride. The title suggests exactly what this film is about; a group of gay people wanting to shout about something. What the title doesn’t tell you, however, is that the shouting is not about anyone’s sexuality, but about solidarity. We thoroughly enjoyed this heart-warming film when it was released in Australian cinemas earlier this year in October, and we are touched that it managed to receive a nomination, but sadly, we doubt that it will take out the prize. The award for Best Comedy or Musical is really a race between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

5. St Vincent
Director: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Bill Murray, Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy
Release Date: December 26 2014
Other Nominations: Best Actor Comedy or Musical (Bill Murray)

Click image below to view trailer

St Vincent is the feature film directorial debut of Theodore Melfi, so it is pretty impressive that he has managed to rustle up a Best Picture nomination. The film follows a little boy who is dealing with the recent divorce of his parents when he finds unlikely companionship in his antisocial, self-absorbed, and at times indecent neighbour; a war veteran by the name of Vincent (Bill Murray). This role is absolutely perfect for Murray, and is a nice way for him to end the year, after his disappointing performance in The Monuments Men back in March. Having said that, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Keaton are probably a little too strong for him to beat for the Best Actor Comedy or Musical award, and the other nominees, Joaquin Phoneix, and Christoph Waltz, finish off this really strong category.

As the Golden Globes split the feature film nominees into Drama and Comedy or Musical, it tends to allow for some fairly average films to sneak in and gain nominations, whilst other more deserving films are left out. I don’t believe that St Vincent, Pride or Into The Woods will be recognised by the Academy Awards in the Best Picture category, which allows for a maximum of ten films to be nominated. Instead I believe that other films that have been snubbed by the Globes, such as Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, will be nominated at the Oscars.

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