Golden Globes: The Winners, the Losers, and the Snubbed

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant (2015)

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant (2015)

Surprisingly, the Golden Globes got quite a bit right this year, with wins for The Revenant and Steve Jobs, and with that, the Globes brought back one of my favorite hosts, Ricky Gervais, in a show that flew by its 3 hour runtime. With nominations for a big variety of films, the biggest being Carol with five nominations, the Golden Globes, unlike other years, truly honored some of the best films of the year. But inevitably with any awards show, there were snubs and surprises, as well as great moments of satisfaction; great films such as Heaven Knows What and Sicario weren’t even nominated at all, while The Revenant and Leonardo DiCaprio got the recognition they deserve. Here are all the categories, reviewed and analyzed below.

Movies That Had 0 Nominations, But Should’ve Been Nominated

Sicario (dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Villeneuve has proved time and time again that he’s one of the most promising directors of this generation: first with Prisoners, then his masterful work Enemy and in 2015 with an equally impressive film, Sicario. The Globes failed to acknowledge the cinematic vision behind this Canadian auteur, and one of the best female performances of the year from Emily Blunt.

Straight Outta Compton (dir. F. Gary Gray)

Surely the most enthusiastic, energetic biopic of the year Straight Outta Compton wasn’t nominated for a single category. Likely because the films release was too early in the year, this wonderfully acted portrayal of Ice Cube’s, Dr. Dre’s and Eazy E’s careers was one of the best films of the year. The cinematic vision by director F. Gary Gray was surely his most ambitious project, aided by impressive performances from newcomer O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell.

Mistress America (dir. Noah Baumbach)

Noah Baumbach has proved himself as one of the most competent writer/directors out there, with films ranging from The Squid and the Whale to Frances Ha. In 2015, Baumbach released two films, While We’re Young and Mistress America, the latter being the better of the two. Certainly his most experimental and abstract, Baumbach’s Mistress America was one of the best comedies with the year; one which the Golden Globes failed to acknowledge in their weak category.

Paddington (dir. Paul King)

Perhaps somewhat a hidden gem, Paddington, released early in 2015, is the best animated film of the year. Alongside masterpieces such as Anomalisa and Inside Out, this revitalization of the classic series is nostalgic, undeniably entertaining and incredibly well made. Paddington came as one of the biggest surprised of the year, and could’ve easily been nominated in the Best Animated Film category rather than The Good Dinosaur or The Peanuts Movie.

The End of the Tour (dir. James Ponsoldt)

Jessie Eisenberg and Jason Segel shine in The End of the Tour, the most oddly ignored film through my analysis of the nominations. This is surely the best-written film of the year, a humane story that tells the mishaps and unique futures of David Foster Wallace. This is a dialogue driven film, which perfectly develops its characters.

Golden Globes Winners

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Who Won: The Revenant
Who Should Win: The Revenant
Who Should’ve Been Included: Sicario

Though the category was definitely one of the strongest of the night, the Golden Globes surprisingly got it right, giving the award for Best Motion Picture- Drama to Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu for his grueling work on The Revenant, which I consider to be the best film of the year. The HFPA rightfully acknowledges the struggles of adapting a story, which almost evokes a folklore essence, onto the big screen with such an ambitious scope. And though the nominees deserve their nominations, there could’ve been a spot, either between Room or Spotlight, to include Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 crime drama Sicario, which was easily one of the most overlooked films of the year.

brie larson room

Brie Larson in Room (2015)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Drama
Who Won: Brie Larson for Room
Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett for Carol
Who Should’ve Been Included: Emily Blunt for Sicario

Yet another missed nomination for Sicario, the Golden Globes failed to recognized Emily Blunt’s stunning work, which is amongst the best roles she’s ever taken. Gritty, damanged and scared, Blunt along with her co-star Benecio Del Toro gave magnificent performances in the film, yet both weren’t acknowledged for a Golden Globe. Brie Larson took home the trophy for Best Performance By An Actress In A Drama, but it can be easily argued that this year, Cate Blanchett deserved the trophy more than Larson. Together, the pair of Blanchett and Mara make for a dynamic performance – ones which shape the beauty behind Todd Hayne’s lovely period piece, Carol.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama
Who Won: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Who Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Who Should’ve Been Included: Michael B. Jordan for Creed, O’Shea Jackson Jr. for Straight Outta Compton, Jason Segel for The End of the Tour

Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama was surely the most compact category this year, yet the HFPA seem to nominate the safest bets. There’s no surprises in this category, as Will Smith, Bryan Cranston and Eddie Redmayne are nominated by sub-par or terrible films (The Danish Girl). All the while, the HFPA left out possible nominations for O’Shea Jackson Jr. for his breakout performance in Straight Outta Compton, Michael B. Jordan’s magnificent second collaboration with director Ryan Coogler in Creed and Jason Segel’s tender and restrained performance in The End of the Tour.

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Who Won: The Martian
Who Should Win: The Big Short
Who Should’ve Been Included: Mistress America, Me, And Earl, And The Dying Girl

Easily the biggest upset of the night, the HFPA decided that The Martian, Ridley Scott’s science-fiction epic, was considered a comedy, and was better than Adam McKay’s The Big Short. Mckay’s film, the more mature and unique of the two, definitely deserve the award more; a film built on its absurdist style. This award adequately shows the trend of the rest of the night; awards for The Martian, and absolutely no love for The Big Short, which is the best comedy of the year (and is actually constantly funny, therefore, is actually a comedy). Snubs included the aforementioned Mistress America, and the festival favorite Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl, which were better films than 3 of the 5 nominees: Spy, Joy and Trainwreck. It seems, though, that the HFPA, in attempts to stay relevant, nominated films that are more easily accessible than the two films mentioned above, as if they were based on merit, Mistress America and Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl would surely take precedence.

Best Actress in a Comedy
Who Won: Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
Who Should Win: Lily Tomlin for Grandma
Who Should’ve Been Included: Greta Gerwig for Mistress America

Yet another category the HFPA got wrong is Best Actress in a Comedy, which handed the statue to Jennifer Lawrence because, well, she’s Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence, along with Schumer were amongst the least deserving nominees for the award, with Lily Tomlin and Maggie Smith being the most deserving, and even Melissa McCarthy giving a more impressive performance (one which differs from her usual formula). The real winner should’ve been though, someone who wasn’t even nominated: Greta Gerwig for Baumbach’s Mistress America. The delivery of lines, Gerwig’s demeanor, and just the sheer difficulty of her character should be enough evidence to label her as deserving of at least of a nomination.

Best Actor in a Comedy
Who Won: Matt Damon for The Martian
Who Should Win: Steve Carrel for The Big Short
Who Should’ve Been Included: Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight

I’m not exactly sure if The Hateful Eight would’ve been considered a comedy, but it was certainly funnier than The Martian. Samuel L. Jackson arguably gives his best performance in any film, as Quentin Tarantino writes one of the most ridiculous characters he’s ever thought up before. Regardless though, the nominations were led by good nominees, with the Golden Globes honoring the great Al Pacino for his role in the underrated film Danny Collins, and Mark Ruffalo for Infinitely Polar Bear. The winner should’ve been, though, the incredible performance from Steve Carell, who proves after his performance in Foxcatcher that he’s one of the most versatile actors in the industry. Matt Damon, I guess, was fine in his role, but nowhere close to deserving of an award, whereas Bale and Carell easily deserved the Golden Globe.

Best Animated Feature Film
Who Won: Inside Out
Who Should Win: Anomalisa
Who Should’ve Been Included: Paddington

Inside Out won the price for Best Animated Film, but it should’ve gone to Charlie Kaufman’s masterpiece Anomalisa. What is truly a monster of a film, sitting at only 90 minutes, Anomalisa analyzes the concepts of loneliness and isolation, and the effects it really has on individuals. Inside Out is a lighter film, and that’s perhaps why it got the award. There’s no disappointment in it winning, though, because Pete Docter’s film was extraordinary and also one of the best of the year – just not one that should’ve taken the prize of Kaufman’s passion project.

Best Foreign Language Film
Who Won: Son of Saul
Who Should Win: Son of Saul
Who Should’ve Been Included: Cemetery of Splendour

Best Foreign Language film category was admittedly weaker than most years, with only two films that were actually competing with each other: Mustang and Son of Saul. The award rightfully went to the WW2 Hungarian epic Son of Saul, a first Golden Globe for Hungary. Of the great foreign films that were released this year, Cemetery of Splendour wasn’t included in the nominations, though I’m not sure if Thailand even submitted it as their official nomination. Nonetheless, it’s surely the frontrunner for Best Foreign Language Film, as the cinematic vision behind it is the best of the year.

Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs (2015)

Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs (2015)

Best Supporting Actress
Who Won: Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
Who Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
Who Should’ve Been Included: Rachel McAdams for Spotlight

Best Supporting Actress held a lot of opportunity for an upset, but Kate Winslet won for Steve Jobs, for what was quite an impressive performance. Equally as impressive though is Jennifer Jason Leigh’s performance in The Hateful Eight, as she transforms into a disgusting antagonistic character. Though Winslet’s role in Steve Jobs was a relatively safe one, she’s undeniably great, and this is perhaps the only category where it could’ve definitely gone either way. Rachel McAdams, who did great work in Spotlight, wasn’t nominated.

Best Supporting Actor
Who Won: Sylvester Stallone in Creed
Who Should Win: Sylvester Stallone in Creed
Who Should’ve Been Included: Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight, Tom Hardy for The Revenant, Ryan Gosling for The Big Short

This is, without a doubt, the most compact category of the night. It was also the biggest surprise of the night, as Sylvester Stallone took home the trophy for his legendary character, Rocky Balboa. His performance in Creed is the best he’s ever been since the original film, so it’s only fitting that the statue goes to him. There was space, though, for the HFPA to nominate any of the actors above, who did great work this year: Tom Hardy in The Revenant, Ryan Gosling in The Big Short and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight. There’s only 5 nominees, but it seems at least 2/3 of the actors named above should’ve been included in that 5.

Best Original Score
Who Won: Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight
Who Should Win: Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight
Who Should’ve Been Included: Carter Burwell for Anomalisa

Ennio Morricone. Quentin Tarantino’s acceptance speech. This award should’ve, and did, go to the right person. An absolutely masterful score, and a win, which has been a long time coming.

Best Director
Who Won: Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu for The Revenant
Who Should Win: Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu for The Revenant
Who Should’ve Been Included: Denis Villeneuve for Sicario

Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu went through hell to make The Revenant, so it’s only fair that the HFPA acknowledge his struggles. His ambitious, scope and the passion he put into this project translates through to the audience, and it’s magnificent watching such an incredible film. Denis Villeneuve had an equally as ambitious vision for his film Sicario, which was completely shut out by the HFPA.

Best Screenplay
Who Won: Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
Who Should Win: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay for The Big Short
Who Should’ve Been Included: Donald Margulies for The End of The Tour

Aaron Sorkin wrote an incredible screenplay for Steve Jobs and along with the magnificent performances, that’s the reason why critics and award shows are meeting this film with such acclaim. But, the most underrated film of the year, The Big Short, which got absolutely no love for quite an extraordinary screenplay.

2015 was one of the best years in film of the decade thus far, and one can only hope that 2016 is even better. When films such as The End of the Tour and Straight Outta Compton get shut out completely, it’s evident that the year has been filled with great, unique films. The Golden Globes, somewhat of an indicator for the Oscars, surprisingly acknowledged the difficulties the cast and crew of The Revenant went through to create their film, and I hope they follow in the Globes’ footsteps.


About Author

Anthony Le is currently residing in Toronto, and has been a passionate writer for film since his youth. Attending U of T, Anthony attends many film events, and is passionate about any type of films, ranging from contemporary to classic cinema.