EW Staff Editor, David Canfield, discusses which of the films nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at this year's Golden Globes was the "most 2020," EW Writer, Joey Nolfi, weighs in on the likelihood of a 'Hamilton' win, and more!
GERRAD HALL: Let's turn now to the movies that managed to deliver a little levity during a very heavy year. The nominees for the Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture are "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," "Hamilton," "Music," "Palm Springs," and "The Prom." No matter who gets the trophy, do you think we'll remember one of these movies as the most 2020 release of the year, David?
DAVID CANFIELD: I think a lot of them could make the argument. It's a really interesting category in that regard. As you say, they all had a really unique place in 2020. I would go with "Palm Springs," which premiered at Sundance and had a big, splashy, in-person screening. Hulu had acquired it in a record deal. It didn't get released for a while. And then when it finally did over the summer, it resonated in this really particular way as a sort of meditation on our quarantined existence.
It's this love story between Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. They play these two characters who are stuck in a sort of "Groundhog Day" scenario at a Palm Springs wedding. And it's just, it's really funny and well written, and they're both fantastic in it, but it also had this melancholy undercurrent that I don't think was there when a lot us saw it in January.
GERRAD HALL: For obvious reasons, we watched each of these movies from our couches this year with extremely limited audiences of roommates and parents or pets. So which of the nominees made you miss theaters most, Joey?
JOEY NOLFI: I don't think any of them really made me miss theaters. I don't say that to be shady. I think that, I don't think any of these films would have been any better on the big screen. I think that we're seeing a really great revolutionary evaluation of the kinds of movies that people are watching and liking and that are catching on. And we're seeing the digital space equalize these movies because everybody is able to see them, watch them.
And that allows something like social media buzz to kick up in ways that it really hasn't before and influence a movie's standing in the current conversation both in pop culture and the awards race. So you're seeing movies like "Promising Young Woman" and "Borat" and even something like "Palm Springs," which I think probably would have went away in a different landscape as well, really succeeding because of the situation that we're in. Not to minimize the impact of what happened, but--
GERRAD HALL: Of course.
JOEY NOLFI: --Just, that's the landscape we're forced to live in. And I think it's been beneficial to a lot of movies.
GERRAD HALL: Let's talk about musical options. This year, they're a little sparser than usual, because some of the most anticipated releases, like "In the Heights" and "West Side Story" were pushed to this year. We still have "Music" and "The Prom" competing. But in these slimmer categories, "Hamilton" really looks like a ringer. Could that be, could that familiar hit be the story of tonight? Or will Lin just have to be satisfied with his Grammy and his Tonys?
JOEY NOLFI: Well, David and I, I think we're actually predicting that one to win for now.
DAVID CANFIELD: Yeah, we are.
JOEY NOLFI: Specifically for reasons like that. I mean, Lin getting a nomination was I think what sealed it for me. I think this group loves a big commercial project. And it doesn't get much better than Disney making a movie of one of the biggest modern Broadway hits of all time. And a smaller group, like the HFPA, I think is probably more susceptible to groupthink than something like the Academy. So they might all sort of band together to elevate a Broadway movie as a symbol of uplifting Broadway at a time when that industry is really in crisis. So I think we could see that one pull out the win.
GERRAD HALL: Do you think its biggest competition then is "Borat?" Like Sacha Baron Cohen and scene-stealer and newcomer, she's so great, Maria Balaklova, can they get in here and take these wins?
DAVID CANFIELD: I think Maria Balaklova's a really interesting contender in Best Actress. She's around legends like Michelle Pfeiffer, but she is this jolt of comic energy and excitement that feels like tailor made for the HFPA to get behind. And then in Best Actor. Sacha Baron Cohen won this award for the original "Borat" and I don't see why that would not repeat here.
Lin-Manuel's an interesting challenger perhaps, but I think that in terms of performance, it's a, even though both we've seen before, it's a fresher kind of vibe, for lack of a better word with "Hamilton." Obviously, it's more of a stage production. I think performances will have a little bit of a harder time to break through in a category like this.
GERRAD HALL: Yeah. And lastly here, David, quickly I got to ask. When the nominees were announced, there was a bit of rancor online about "Music's" recognition and about James Corden's performance in "The Prom," him getting a nomination. Do you think any of that controversy was deserved? And is there anyone you think is missing from the list because he's nominated?
DAVID CANFIELD: Yes and yes. I would say that the controversies for both were quite well deserved, particularly because "The Prom," you know, they didn't nominate Meryl Streep, but they did nominate James Corden. Corden received a lot of criticism, I think justified, for his performance. It was not one that I would nominate for a major award.
And "Music" has been critically derided. It has an offensive casting to many, and I don't believe it should be anywhere near an awards conversation. It's just a really peculiar choice that the HFPA made that I don't think that will be looked back on very fondly. I think in terms of the musical comedy category, I know Joey and I are both big fans of "On the Rocks," the latest from Sofia Coppola. Bill Murray was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but the film missed out there. And I think it's just a really strong sort of sweet effort from Sofia we haven't seen in the past. And I just cannot fathom who would vote for Sia's musical over that.