I WAS HAPPY to see that the best movie so far this year, 12 Years a Slave, was tied with American Hustle for the most Golden Globe nominations announced yesterday. I do find it odd the way the Golden Globes divide “musical or comedy” from “drama” — it seems a fine line to place American Hustle, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street in the “musical or comedy” category. I haven’t seen any of those five nominees (it’s remarkable how they bunch the releases of 90 percent of contenders at the very end of the year), but I have seen the trailers — and from what I can tell they are all dramas with varying degrees of comic elements. Somehow this distinction has always made sense in the past, but this year it seems particularly arbitrary. I suppose that’s not as bad as handing out ten nominations for Best Picture as the Academy suddenly started doing, motivated purely by money.
This is a strong group of competitors, and as we’ve seen in the past, success at the Globes doesn’t necessarily translate into Oscar gold. Nonetheless, I am happy that so far the exceptionally powerful and extraordinary film 12 Years a Slave is receiving its due.