The Golden Globes are known for their unpredictability, and this year’s awards delivered surprise wins and stunning snubs in both film and TV categories. The fact that “Boyhood” was the big winner — bringing home wins for motion picture (drama), director and supporting actress — was among the least surprising results of the evening. Ditto victories for Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore and J.K. Simmons. But that’s pretty much where the easy calls came to an end.
14 of the biggest snubs and surprises from the 2015 Golden Globes:
SURPRISE: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Released all the way back in March, Wes Anderson’s characteristically quirky period comedy hasn’t been at the forefront of awards season discussions so far — except lately, it has been popping up in the most unexpected places (SAG’s ensemble category for one). The Globes victory over heavy favorite “Birdman” (which still garnered wins for best screenplay and lead actor Michael Keaton) is another sign pundits may be underestimating Anderson’s twee charm-machine.
SNUB: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Viola Davis still does not have a Golden Globe. Repeat: Viola Davis still does not have a Golden Globe. In shades of her upset loss to Meryl Streep in the film lead actress race in 2012 (when it was “The Help” versus “The Iron Lady”), Davis’ showy meme-friendly performance on ABC’s hit first-year thriller came up short again against Ruth Wilson’s raw, multi-dimensional work on Showtime newbie “The Affair.” Possible silver lining: Davis went on to win the SAG Award in 2012, and Wilson isn’t even nominated there.
SURPRISE: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Best actor in a motion picture drama might have been the most wide-open races of this year’s Golden Globes, with pundits throwing support behind Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carell, Jake Gyllenhaal and David Oyelowo. Ultimately it was Brit breakout Redmayne who triumphed for channeling Stephen Hawking. We’ll see what happens with Michael Keaton also in the mix at SAG.
SNUB: “True Detective”
It was always going to be a horserace, but in the end HBO’s anthology crime drama lost to FX’s rival anthology crime drma “Fargo” for both best miniseries and lead actor in a miniseries (Billy Bob Thornton over Matthew McConaughey). Could it be backlash? The HFPA resenting “Detective” preferring to be classified as a drama series? Or a simple case of too many good contenders to honor?
SURPRISE: “Selma” wins … original song?
Not that the Common and John Legend collaboration “Glory” was an unexpected victor, but since the heralded civil rights chronicle goes home with only one Globe — and missed out in picture, director and lead actor categories — its most ardent backers surely aren’t singing a happy tune.
SNUB: “The Imitation Game”
The Weinstein Company’s big award season hopeful was shut out across the board — picture, actor, supporting actress, screenplay and score — leaving it an underdog heading into the various guild awards.
SURPRISE: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
The Globes lead actress in a comedy or musical category wasn’t exactly a heated competition this year (we love you Helen Mirren and Quvenzhane Wallis, but, seriously). Still, pundits tended to favor Emily Blunt’s tuneful Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” or Julianne Moore’s faded starlet in “Maps to the Stars,” especially since Adams won last year for “American Hustle.” Instead, Tim Burton’s offbeat biopic propelled Adams to a rare back-to-back victory.
Going into the Globes ceremony, the digital behemoth looked well-positioned for multiple wins. But buzzy dramedy “Orange Is the Black” went 0 for 3 in its categories, Ricky Gervais couldn’t pull off an upset for “Derek” and only Kevin Spacey’s win for “House of Cards” (his first ever Golden Globe, remarkably) kept Netflix from being shut out entirely.
SURPRISE: “The Affair”
The HFPA loves its TV newcomers (just look at “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” last year and “Transparent” this year), but few expected that infatuation to lead to a win for Showtime’s divisive he remembers/she remembers freshman. Apparently the competition (“The Good Wife,” “Game of Thrones,” “Downton Abbey” and “House of Cards”) felt like old news.
Buzzed about since its Cannes debut, the Sony Classics release has recently picked up some bad press from real-life subject Mark Schultz registering angry complaints about the film through social media. Still, that likely didn’t impact its shutout with the HFPA since it wasn’t much of a favorite to begin with in the picture, actor and supporting actor races.
Conventional wisdom saw the TV comedy series race boil down to a battle of digital titans: Netflix’s second season phenom “Orange Is the New Black” versus Amazon’s scrappy newcomer “Transparent.” And while lead actor Jeffrey Tambor’s win was considered a foregone conclusion, the “Transparent” victory in comedy series should give the small but very special show an even higher profile.
SURPRISE: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
A great year for animated films means a wealth of potential winners, but critically-hailed, commercially disappointing (at least in the US) sequel “Dragon 2” defeating “The Lego Movie” — which scored a bullseye with both critics and audiences — was still a bit of a stunner.
SURPRISE: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
The “Downton Abbey” dame topped heavyweight competition including Emmy winners Kathy Bates (“American Horror Story”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”) and breakout favorite Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”). Clearly the HFPA appreciated Froggatt’s moving work in “Downton’s” controversial rape storyline.
SURPRISE: The CW
Gina Rodriguez was actually a heavy favorite to win best TV comedy actress for freshman darling “Jane the Virgin,” but let’s remember back as little as a year ago. The CW a major player in a major awards race? Unthinkable. In a prescient move, the net renewed “Jane” for a second season several hours before the Globes began.