A brief look at 20 feature films leading the pack

While the rest of awards season may be overrun with weighty specialty-division fare, the Golden Globes’ “comedy/musical” categories offer a unique place for pics that don’t necessarily fit into the dramatic mold. Here’s a brief look at 20 of them.

Enchanted
Helmer: Kevin Lima
Cast: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden
Studio/distrib: Disney
Global B.O.: Opened in the U.S. with a $50 million-plus holiday weekend.
Variety review says: ” ‘Enchanted’ more than lives up to its title.”
Globes pedigree: Sarandon nommed seven times; Dempsey has two noms, for “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006 and 2007; songwriter Alan Menken has seven wins, one of them shared with co-songwriter Stephen Schwartz (“Pocohontas,” 1996).
Being pushed for: Picture, Adams for actress, the songs “Happy Working Song,” “That’s How You Know” and “So Close”

Across the Universe
Helmer: Julie Taymor
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson
Studio/distrib: Revolution/Sony
Global B.O.: More than $24 million
Variety review says: “An audacious, idiosyncratic creation. … It’s all played with such conviction that it’s hard to dislike but hard to take seriously.”
Globes pedigree: Wood nommed for “Thirteen.”
Being pushed for: Picture, Taymor for director, Sturgess for actor, Wood for actress

Hairspray
Helmer: Adam Shankman
Cast: Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Queen Latifah
Studio/distrib: New Line
Global B.O.: $196 million
Variety review says: “One of the best Broadway-tuner adaptations in recent years — yes, arguably even better than those Oscar-winning ones.”
Globes pedigree: Travolta won best comedy/musical actor for “Get Shorty” in 1995, won a Henrietta Award for “World Film Favorites” in 1979 and was nommed four other times; Pfeiffer won for “The Fabulous Baker Boys” in 1990 and was nommed five other times; Latifah was nommed for “Chicago” in 2003; Walken was nommed for “The Deer Hunter” in 1979.
Being pushed for: Primarily for the top comedy/musical prize, but also Blonsky for actress, Travolta for supporting actor, Pfeiffer and Latifah for supporting actress, and the songs “Come So Far” and “Ladies’ Choice”
See photos, trailer and more on “Hairspray”

The Darjeeling Limited
Helmer: Wes Anderson
Cast: Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody
Studio/distrib: Fox Searchlight
Global B.O.: More than $10 million
Variety review says: “Breaking no new ground thematically, pic comes closer to ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ than ‘The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,’ but without achieving the poignance of ‘Rushmore.’ ”
Globes pedigree: Brody nommed for “The Pianist” in 2003.
Being pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Wilson for actor

Dan in Real Life
Helmer: Peter Hedges
Cast: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney
Studio/distrib: Focus/Disney
Global B.O.: More than $42 million
Variety review says: “Gracefully understated and thoroughly engaging, ‘Dan in Real Life’ deftly interlaces heart and humor in a witty, warm and well-observed comedy about the unexpected and inconvenient blooming of romance at the weekend gathering of an extended family.”
Globes pedigree: Carell won for “The Office” in 2006 and was nommed again in 2007; Binoche has been nommed three times; Wiest won for “Bullets Over Broadway” in 1995 and was nommed two other times; Mahoney was nommed twice for “Frasier.”
Being pushed for: Picture, Carell for actor, Binoche for supporting actress

Juno
Helmer: Jason Reitman
Cast: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney
Studio/distrib: Fox Searchlight
Global B.O.: Dec. 5 release
Variety review says: “The way the torrents of archly amusing, vocabulary-bending dialogue trip off the tongues of the characters, you know you’re in the hands of some manner of distinctive writer, and she would be Diablo Cody.”
Globes pedigree: Garner has one win (2002) and three other noms for “Alias”; Reitman’s “Thank You for Smoking” was nommed for musical/comedy picture in 2007; Bateman won for “Arrested Development” in 2005; Janney was nommed four times for “The West Wing.”
Being pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Reitman for director, Page for actress, Janney and Garner for supporting actress
See photos, trailer and more on “Juno”

Hot Fuzz
Helmer: Edgar Wright
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Timothy Dalton
Studio/distrib: Working Title/StudioCanal/Universal/ Rogue
Global B.O.: $80 million
Variety review says: “Wright, teaming again with ‘Shaun of the Dead’ actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, comes up with a sustained genre parody that’s equally funny but (maybe in deference to the genre) much more pumped up.”
Globes pedigree: Broadbent won for supporting actor in “Iris” in 2002 and was nommed for TV movie “The Gathering Storm” in 2003.
Being pushed for: Picture, Pegg for actor, Frost for supporting actor

Sweeney Todd
Helmer: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen
Studio/distrib: DreamWorks/Warner Bros.
Global B.O.: Dec. 21 release
Variety review says: NA
Globes pedigree: Depp nommed seven times — six for actor in a musical/comedy and once for actor in a drama (“Finding Neverland,” 2004); Burton’s “Ed Wood” nommed for musical/comedy picture in 1995; Rickman won for the TV movie “Rasputin” in 1997; Bonham Carter nommed four times — three for TV plus drama actress for “The Wings of the Dove” in 1998; Baron Cohen won for “Borat” in 2007.
Being pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Depp for actor, Bonham Carter for actress, Rickman for supporting actor
See photos, trailer and more on “Sweeney Todd”

La Vie En Rose
Helmer: Olivier Dahan
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Jean-Pierre Martins, Gerard Depardieu
Studio/distrib: Picturehouse
Global B.O.: More than $80 million
Variety review says: “Versatile, always spot-on thesp Marion Cotillard surpasses herself as the waiflike French songbird whose personal traumas fueled her art … impressively mounted and involving.”
Globes pedigree: Depardieu won for “Green Card” in 1991.
Being pushed for: Picture, Cotillard for actress

Once
Helmer: John Carney
Cast: Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
Studio/distrib: Fox Searchlight
Global B.O.: More than $13 million
Variety review says: “Winningly unpretentious tale … Pic’s charm seems so offhand one might not notice the skill with which helmer John Carney pulls it off, or how it plays like a full-blown musical without anyone bursting into song.”
Globes pedigree: None
Being pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Hansard for actor, Irglova for actress, the songs “Falling Slowly” and “If You Want Me”

Knocked Up
Helmer: Judd Apatow
Cast: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd
Studio/distrib: Universal
Global B.O.: More than $217 million
Variety review says: “Line for line, minute to minute, writer-director Judd Apatow’s latest effort is more explosively funny, more frequently, than nearly any other major studio release in recent memory.”
Globes pedigree: Heigl was nommed for supporting actress in “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2007.
Being pushed for: Primarily screenplay, but also picture, Heigl for actress, Rogen for actor and Mann for supporting actress

Lars and the Real Girl
Helmer: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson
Studio/distrib: Sidney Kimmel/MGM
Global B.O.: More than $4 million
Variety review says: “Sweetly off-kilter film plays like a Coen brothers riff on Garrison Keillor’s ‘Lake Wobegone’ tales, defing its lurid premise with a gentle comic drama grounded in reality.”
Globes pedigree: Clarkson was nommed for “Pieces of April” in 2004.
Being pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Gosling for actor, Mortimer for supporting actress
See photos, trailer and more on “Lars and the Real Girl”

Margot at the Wedding
Helmer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black
Studio/distrib: Paramount Vantage
Global B.O.: Dec. 26 release
Variety review says: “Displaying some of the keen insight into the screwed-up minds of East Coast literati the writer-director (evidenced) so winningly in ‘The Squid and the Whale’ and showing ever-developing instincts as a director, this study of a disastrous reunion of two sisters feels more like a collection of arresting scenes than a fully conceived and developed drama.”
Globes pedigree: Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale” was nommed for musical/comedy picture in 2006; Kidman has three wins (“The Hours” for drama actress, “To Die For” and “Moulin Rouge!” for musical/comedy actress) and four other noms; Leigh nommed for “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” in 1995; Black nommed for “School of Rock” in 2004.
Being pushed for: Picture, director, stars, writing

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
Helmer: Zach Helm
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman
Studio/distrib: Walden Media/Fox
Global B.O.: $9.6 million opening weekend
Variety review says: “Sprinkles in charming moments but ultimately doesn’t evoke enough wonderment.”
Globes pedigree: Hoffman has five wins, seven other noms and a Cecil B. DeMille Award; Portman won for “Closer” in 2005 and was nommed for “Anywhere but Here” in 2000; Bateman won for “Arrested Development” in 2005.
Being pushed for: None to speak of, but possible contender for picture, Hoffman and Portman in thesp categories

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Helmer: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush
Studio/distrib: Disney
Global B.O.: $961 million
Variety review says: “Could be touted as ‘the biggest, loudest and second-best (or second-worst) ‘Pirates’ ever!’ — not necessarily a ringing endorsement, but honest … unlike last year’s bloated sequel, at least possesses some semblance of a destination, making it slightly more coherent — if no less numbing during the protracted finale.”
Globes pedigree: Depp nommed seven times, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” in 2004 and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in 2006; Knightley nommed for “Pride & Prejudice” in 2006; Rush won for “Shine” in 1997 and “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” in 2005 and has two other noms.
Being pushed for: None to speak of, but Depp could contend for actor

P.S. I Love You
Helmer: Richard LaGravenese
Cast: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick Jr.
Studio/distrib: Warner Bros.
Global B.O.: Dec. 21 release
Variety review says: NA
Globes pedigree: Swank won for “Boys Don’t Cry” in 2000 and “Million Dollar Baby” in 2005 and was nommed for “Iron Jawed Angels” in 2005; Kudrow was nommed for “Friends” in 1996.
Being pushed for: Picture; Swank for actress

The Savages
Helmer: Tamara Jenkins
Cast: Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco
Studio/distrib: Fox Searchlight
Global B.O.: Dec. 26 release
Variety review says: “The dynamics between two siblings forced together to care for their demented old father are observed wisely and well, and with more than a little humor.”
Globes pedigree: Hoffman won for “Capote” in 2006; Linney nommed three times.
Pushed for: Picture, screenplay, Linney for actress, Hoffman for actor and Bosco for supporting actor.
See photos, trailer and more on “The Savages”

Superbad
Helmer: Greg Mottola
Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Studio/distrib: Sony
Global B.O.: $167 million
Variety review says: “The bawdy jokes score big points, but it’s the rueful acknowledgement of adolescent embarrassment and humiliation that most distinguishes ‘Superbad’ … like ‘American Pie’ with a conscience.”
Globes pedigree: None
Being pushed for: Could contend for picture; Cera and Hill for thesp awards

Waitress
Helmer: Adrienne Shelly
Cast: Keri Russell, Adrienne Shelly, Cheryl Hines, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith
Studio/distrib: Fox Searchlight
Global B.O.: More than $21 million
Variety review says: “While aspects verge on sitcom terrain, this tale of a pregnant small-town woman caught between a bad marriage and a risky affair is mostly as funny and charming as intended.”
Globes pedigree: Russell won for the TV series “Felicity” in 1999.
Being pushed for: Picture, Russell for actress

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Helmer: Jake Kasdan
Cast: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig
Studio/distrib: Sony
Global B.O.: Dec. 21 release
Variety review says: NA
Globes pedigree: Reilly nommed for supporting actor in “Chicago.”
Being pushed for: Picture, Reilly for actor, the song “Walk Hard”

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0