Golden Globes: HFPA Vetoes Rooney Mara, Alicia Vikander Supporting Submissions

Golden Globes Call Rooney Mara, Alicia
Courtesy of The Weinstein Company/Focus Features

Also: Despite reports, the jury is still out on 'Joy' placement.

After The Weinstein Co. and Focus Features, rather controversially to some, decided on supporting actress campaigns for Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander in “Carol” and “The Danish Girl,” respectively, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has called foul.

I’m told the international press group, which puts on the annual Golden Globe Awards, has vetoed the studio’s submissions. Both performances will compete in the lead actress – drama category.

There was news elsewhere as well. Variety originally reported last month that Fox was considering a comedy submission for Ridley Scott’s “The Martian.” They went ahead with that, the HFPA voted on it and agreed, and now the film will compete alongside others like “The Big Short,” “Trainwreck” and “Spy.”

The team behind David O. Russell’s “Joy” also submitted in comedy, perhaps sensing a lack of major Oscar firepower in the category. But while the L.A. Times reported that the HFPA acquiesced, the group actually hasn’t even seen the film yet. After “Joy” finally screens for them on Nov. 29, it could suffer a fate similar to “Trumbo,” which was sent to the drama category after it was submitted in comedy.

Meanwhile, after A24 and Sony initially flirted with the idea of comedy submissions for “The End of the Tour” and “The Walk,” respectively, they opted for drama in the end. And in the former, Jason Segel has been designated a lead by the group.

Why does all this matter? As much as the Golden Globes are dismissed as irrelevant in the Oscar race (and in many ways, they are), what they are unequivocally is a marketing opportunity in mid-January just ahead of the Oscar nominations announcement. Representation on the nationally-televised show can be helpful at a key time.

As for the Mara and Vikander campaigns, it’s not too late to change gears if Weinstein and Focus want to. The danger is confusion leading to votes being divided between the categories, allowing for other contenders to slide through. And there is precedent for altering a campaign’s course after ads have gone out. New Line originally pushed Ian McKellen up for lead in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” before switching to supporting, where he was ultimately nominated, for instance.

Will the HFPA force anyone’s hand here or will the campaigns stay the course? It’s crunch time for the decision makers, that’s for sure.

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  1. stu freeman says:

    What does it say about Harvey W. that he’s pushing Roney Mara for a supporting award at the expense of the excellent Sarah Paulson who has a genuine supporting role in the same movie? As I mentioned in a previous post, the studios shouldn’t be stage-managing these awards: leave it to the voters to determine the category in which a performance “fits.” The respective voting organizations should combine all of the votes cast for a specific performance. If the total exceeds that of other performances and is therefore sufficient for a nomination the actor should be placed in the category in which he/she has received the most votes. Simple as that.

  2. Dylan Andrew says:

    People are saying the Vikander/Mara decision was the right call, and while that’s probably true, it just makes things tougher for them to get nominated period. Viknder still had a chance to get into lead, but considering Mara is competing for a slot against her co-star who’s a more established and acclaimed actress, I think she has little chance at a nomination now. Interesting how this will shake up the supporting actress category, which is so thin as is and has just lost the 2 actresses thought to be the front runners for the win.

  3. Cath says:

    Thought “The Martian” was pretty funny (not as funny as “Trainwreck.” so I don’t see a problem with that one. A lot of these categories are vague anyway.

  4. Bill B. says:

    Just when I was about to praise them for not allowing lead performances be placed in supporting roles as the Oscars unfortunately do, I then read the absolute totally incredible decision to call The Martian a comedy, a drama about a man abandoned alone on a planet and his attempts at survival against enormous odds and finally a brave and harrowing rescue attempt also against great odds. I tell you, it’s a real knee slapper! This is a group of idiots who want to call something what it is not because they need to fill a slot.

  5. Sophie says:

    Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander haven’t chances to win that category actually they could be snubbed at the end even in the Oscars. If they compete as lead for Golden Globes but supporting for SAG the Academy members voting could make split for them and got snub.
    And if Joy is comedy maybe the studio thinks the film isn’t award material, also interesting to know the late HFPA and SAG members might watch the film.

  6. Ken says:

    On what planet can THE MARTIAN be considered a “comedy”? Certainly not Earth…or Mars for that matter. Utterly ridiculous.

  7. Ivan says:

    Once again pointing out how ridiculous these ‘best’ awards really are.

  8. stu freeman says:

    I’m tired of this nonsense. Why do the members of the Hollywood Foreign Pests need “help” from the studios determining what’s a supporting performance and what’s a lead- or in figuring out whether The Martian is a comedy or a musical or a musical comedy (any idiot should recognize that it’s none of the above)? They should simply tally up the votes and place the actor into the category in which he/she has received the most votes. Same thing applies to the movies themselves. Or, better still, ignore the HFPA entirely as well as all of the other organizations that are out to steal Oscar’s thunder. AMPAS should declare that any celebrity who presents an award at any of those other functions will be forever barred from doing the same at the Oscars. It’s high time that the Academy Awards went back to being something other than an anticlimax.

  9. Susan says:

    Well THIS really clears a path for Jennifer Jason Leigh to win Supporting Actress at everything. I’m hearing huge buzz on her role in The Hateful Eight from SAG and test screenings,

  10. Jesse says:

    Hope the other awards do the same because these two frauds are just ridiculous. Funny thing? Both Mara and Vikander might end up snubbed if this category’s justice happens.

  11. buffalobilly says:

    rooney rooney rooney
    what a funny non actor.

  12. Lisa says:

    Is all this new, or has this been happening for decades and appearing as an issue just now?

  13. Margo says:

    I haven’t been able to see Carol yet but did see The Danish Girl at TIFF this year, Alicia Vikander was absolutely phenomenal. Im glad the HFPA vetoed that call…she was very much a LEADING actress in the film. Hell, her character was the one that started this whole thing, if it wasn’t for the support of his wife, where would he have been!

  14. Sean says:

    Watching shills for other studios whine about The Martian shows just how much they fear it. Wolf of Wall Street and Birdman were in the comedy category for heaven’s sake, and The Martian, unlike those movies, is hysterically funny.

  15. Phil Ayling says:

    Can’t Weinstein even pretend filmmaking has some artistic component for a few days out of the year?

  16. Jill says:

    how the hell is the Martian a comedy? That is such cynical manipulation — knowing that the comedy division is weaker so it guarantees that movie a spot. I hope it bites Fox in the ass.

  17. Rumer Willis says:

    how could they even consider submitting Trumbo and The End of the Tour as comedy/musical? Beyond ridiculous.

  18. Winston F says:

    They should of done this in 2008 when Kate Winslet won for supporting actress in The Reader.

    • Jill says:

      should HAVE done this…

    • Rumer Willis says:

      Yeah, except that way she wouldn’t have gotten both awards (Revolutionary Road, Best Actress – Drama, and Supporting Actress – The Reader). I did think she was going to get double Oscar nods, but the Academy eventually picked her as lead for The Reader. Sally Hawkins (who won the Golden Globe as Best Actress – Comedy/Musical for Happy Go Lucky) should’ve won, IMO, but she wasn’t even nominated.

  19. Zoe says:

    This is absolutely the right decision.Vikander and Mara both deserve a shot in the leading categories. I feel like they`re being robbed somehow by being pushed to supporting.

  20. Chris says:

    How in the world is the Martian a comedy– I have never seen such blatant category fraud before ever and it’s frustrating because it’s bad enough that comedies don’t get nominated for oscars.

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