The Geek Guide to the Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations

Break your old habits with us and actually pay attention to some of these movies this year. But only some.

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations

So the Golden Globe best picture nominations, along with the rest of the Golden Globe nominees, were announce today, and for the most part you’re saying, “Who cares!” And true, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is nowhere to be found, neither is anything related to Ant-Man, The Walking Dead, or Jessica Jones.

But this is actually important. No, really. It’s important for a couple big reasons.

  1. This is the best representation of so-called nerd movies and shows that a major awards show like the Golden Globes or the Oscars has had in…well, pretty much forever.

  2. A lot of the other nominees you might have skipped over at first, but we’ve got good reasons you should go back and take a look before you dismiss them altogether.

So let’s take a closer look at the Golden Globe Best Picture nominations. In case you didn’t know, the Golden Globes does a weird thing where they divide some categories (like best picture) in two, with one list for “Drama” and one list for “Comedy or Musical.” It’s a weird thing to do, and it only gets weirder when you realize that somehow The Martian made it into this year’s nominees for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical. Yeah, a movie that’s halfway between Apollo 13 and Interstellar got labeled a comedy by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Anyways, we’re going to lump them all together and go through them one by one. For some, we’ll provide reasons you’ll like them even though they might not have jumped out as your usual cup of tea. For others, we’ll suggest some apt replacements.

Ready? Here we go.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations mad max

Let’s start with the poster child nominee for everything we normally care about. Mad Max showed the world just how good a good action movie can be. It didn’t hurt that it had some of the best effects we’ve seen in a long time and one of the most unique postapocalyptic settings. I probably don’t have to tell you to go see this one. You probably already have. It’s awesome, and it’s awesome that it’s getting recognition here. Movie industry pundits are giving it a decent shot at winning, too.

The Martian

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations martian

If Mad Max is #1 on this list for movies we’d care about whether they were nominated or not, The Martian is definitely 1A. Not only is it Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott’s best movie in years, but it’s a beautifully imagined near-future look at space exploration in its own right.

Plus, even with running water on Mars, it’s a pretty good look at just how we might do it.

The Revenant

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations the revenant

This is another movie we’ve talked about before, if only a little bit. It actually doesn’t even hit nationwide theaters until January 8, but it’s got a limited release starting Christmas day, which is what qualifies it for this season’s awards.

Things to like in The Revenant: it stars Leonardo DiCaprio (you know who that is) and Tom Hardy (Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Max in Mad Max, plus a bunch of other awesome movies where he actually gets to show how good an actor he is), it’s directed by Alejandro Innaritu (the guy who made the surreal superhero riff Birdman last year), and oh my god, have you seen this trailer? The story is basically like a more intense version of Iron Man with a Tony Stark who comes back from his near-death experience wanting to burn the world down instead of save it.

The Big Short

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations the big short

Unlike some of the other movies on this list, we’re not going to try to tell you how it’s like your favorite geek movies, although it is the tale of a select few taking on a corrupt system so flooded with bad guys it weirdly like Hydra’s takeover of SHIELD in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Instead, we’re going to look at the director: Adam McKay. This is the guy who directed Anchorman (and several other top-notch Will Ferrell comedies) and wrote Ant-Man. And he’s bringing all that wry humor to a movie starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt. Oh, and Margot Robbie, Ms. Harley Quinn herself, shows up, too.

Spy

DF-04541_R2 Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) and her fellow CIA operative Rick Ford (Jason Statham) pose as a “happy” couple as they go deep undercover to stop an arms dealer.

DF-04541_R2 Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) and her fellow CIA operative Rick Ford (Jason Statham) pose as a “happy” couple as they go deep undercover to stop an arms dealer.

We’re thinking you might have missed this one. We have to admit, it almost snuck by us as well. And that’s a shame, because forget Spectre, this was the best spy movie of the year, comedy or not. Spy stood out as a pitch-perfect lampooning of all the tropes of the Bond movies – and spy films in general – that have grown tired over the years. It’s hilarious. Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law. What’s not to like?

Room

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in "Room." (Ruth Hurl/Element Pictures)

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in “Room.” (Ruth Hurl/Element Pictures)

Ok, so Jessica Jones dealt with the aftermath of Jessica being kidnapped by Kilgrave and held captive for months against her will. Jessica got pretty messed up by all that.

Room is like that, but minus the superpowers. And instead of being held captive for a few months and trotted around the city as Kilgrave’s arm candy, the main character is held captive in for YEARS in a SINGLE ROOM. This movie is super intense and deliberately paced, but if you loved the parts of Jessica Jones that dealt very realistically with her psychological trauma, you might love this movie, too.

Spotlight

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations spotlight

Hey look! It’s Batman, the Hulk, and a potential Captain Marvel!

Think of Spotlight almost like what Lois Lane and Clark Kent would do if they couldn’t actually get away with Superman assaulting Catholic priests. It’s a story of a massive conspiracy that slowly gets pulled into the light thanks to the work of a diverse and, erm, heroic team, each contributing their own special skills to the fight to bring down the bad guys.

Trainwreck

This one’s pretty easy. Did you watch at least 5 videos on the above playlist before reading this?

Yes?

Trainwreck is for you.

Carol and Joy

Golden Globe Best Picture Nominations joy movie

We’re going to square with you: there isn’t a lot in either of these movies (that we know of yet; Joy isn’t out ’til Christmas) that would recommend them to us as serious geek movie fans. Yeah, Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss and Bradley Cooper is Rocket Raccoon, but that feels like a bit of a stretch given that Joy has a lot more in common with Silver Linings Playbook. It’s a similar problem on Carol‘s side of things, with our best connection being Cate Blanchett’s role in The Lord of the Rings.

But hey, eight out of ten ain’t bad. That’s still a banner year!