LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Going into the 2018 Golden Globes, there appeared to be some clear-cut winners, despite the award show's penchant for doing things differently or unexpectedly.
On the television side, the results mostly matched those of the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards before them, with Big Little Lies sweeping the limited series or TV movie categories, despite having been recently renewed and therefore no longer technically being a limited series. The film side offered a few more big snubs, with critical favourites like Get Out and Call Me By Your Name being shut out.
SNUB: 'Get Out'
After making waves with its controversial placement of Jordan Peele's horror satire Get Out in the comedy/musical category (not to mention passing over Peele in the screenplay category entirely), and despite the film unequivocally leading the way with critical kudos so far this season, the HFPA sent the film home empty-handed.
SURPRISE: 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
In truth, maybe it's a surprise from the outside, but Martin McDonagh's film was said to be the group's overall favourite film this year and that held true to the end. Still, The Shape of Water (Variety's pick to win) and The Post were formidable competition, the former picking up the director prize. Ultimately, though, the HFPA showered Three Billboards with love: four awards in total, knocking out some of the season's strongest players along the way.
SNUB: Female Storytellers
It was already an unfortunate note that none of this year's female directors were nominated in the best director category (as Natalie Portman made clear with her barb in helping to present the award), but in awarding Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri its screenplay prize, the HFPA froze out three female screenwriters in Liz Hannah (co-screenwriter of The Post), Vanessa Taylor (co-screenwriter of The Shape of Water and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird). Of course, Globes voters are not beholden to check off a box in lieu of going with what they like (and by many accounts, Three Billboards was one of the group's favourite films on the whole). Of course, Lady Bird did win best picture, comedy/musical, but the win was tempered by lack of recognition for Gerwig's achievements.
SURPRISE: "This is Me" From 'The Greatest Showman'
There were certainly stars to defer to in the category, from Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) to Mariah Carey (The Star) to Nick Jonas (Ferdinand). But the HFPA opted for a repeat of last year's winners, as La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul took the prize for "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. The film was a best picture nominee, unlike the others in the category, and it comes from a true musical at that. So perhaps it shouldn't be such a shock.
SNUB: 'Call Me By Your Name'
Actors Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer were both passed over, in favour of Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell, while the lauded romance also lost out on best picture, drama. At the L.A. Film Critics awards, Luca Guadagnino's film won best actor for Chalamet and best picture, while Guadagnino tied for best director with Golden Globes winner Guillermo del Toro.
SNUB: 'The Post'
Even the show's writers thought the combination of Steven Spielberg as director and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were an unbeatable combination, with a joke in the monologue where the trophies were handed out early to the topical film about the Pentagon Papers. But perhaps the HFPA thought all the respected talent had enough statues on their mantels already.
Christopher Nolan's ambitious, sprawling World War II film was an early contender, but despite its impressive cinematography and direction, smaller, more personal stories like Lady Bird and Three Billboards ended up grabbing the spotlight.
Kristopher Tapley and Danielle Turchiano for Variety, with contribution -- Pat Saperstein contributed to this report