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The 25 Oddest Golden Globe Nominees of the Past 20 Years

Robin Williams in 'Patch Adams'
Robin Williams in 'Patch Adams'
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

I was having a recent discussion with someone about the Golden Globes, that odd, pseudo-precursor to the Academy Awards. The bratty little brother to some extent, whom seems well behaved, but does enough things (drink, include tv awards, dress down) that it will never be seen as the Oscar equal.

Well, there’s also it’s multitude of very strange nominees it lets slip out the gate annually.

Not that the Oscar doesn’t occasionally peek its eye towards things immediately forgotten or unworthy, but nobody beats the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for oddball picks, both deserving and not. So, if you’re curious why the Globes are such an easy punching bag for movie hounds, here is a list of the 25 oddest Golden Globes nominees of the past 20 years. Not all of these are 25 are laughably bad. Many of these picks reveal a daring and interest for something less than prestige or merely outside the norm, yet in the world of film awards, they are indeed odd.

Also, of quick note, the years shown dignify their film’s release date, even as the awards themselves were given out the following year.

1993 – Mrs. Doubtfire wins Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

Assuredly, the Robin Williams vehicle made a stack of cash and became a staple of the cable circuit for the rest of the 90s, yet who recalled its…Best Motion Picture win?

1993 – Anjelica Huston nominated in Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical for Addams Family Values

You take the good with the bad, as Huston gets some love for her inspired work in this sequel to a remake of a television show; not that that’s innately a bad thing. The pair of Addams Family films have a strong follow two decades on, with Huston’s airy, unbound and projected to the back seats sensuality one of its great gags.

1994 – Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated in Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy/Musical for Junior.

No, really.

1995 – Sabrina nominated for Best Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical

A remake of a classic, this largely glazed over picture is a prime example of a December release many pundits figured could be a major player, only to be ignored by nearly everyone other than the Globes.

1996 – Glenn Close nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical in 101 Dalmations.

Like the previous Huston nomination, this devilishly fun turn by Close isn’t proper enough to be deemed Oscar worthy, unless it was a supporting turn, where the Academy is willing to honor the oddball.

1997 – Amistad nominated for Best Motion Picture-Drama

Steven Spielberg’s first drama after Schindler’s List was expected to be a major awards player; it disappeared quickly. His dramatic telling of the true story about a group of slaves rebelling on the titular ship travelling stateside had veteran actors (Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman) and expected next big things (a red-hot Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou). Response was minor and most awards-bodies ignored Amistad, much like Sabrina two years prior.

1997 – Joey Lauren Adams nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical in Chasing Amy

Who other than Joey Lauren Adams or Chasing Amy director Kevin Smith remembers this? The movie has and had its major supporters…but who the hell remembers this happening?

1997 – Jon Voight nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in The Rainmaker

The words, they don’t exist for a piece of hammy acting like this.

1998 – Patch Adams nominated for Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

This was sort of the death-knell of a certain Robin Williams genre; the he’s funny around sad people one. The schmaltz here was turned too far, thus ending this string of films and the movie’s Oscar chances.

1998 – Christina Ricci nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical in The Opposite of Sex

One more stupendous performance that certainly got some love by plethora of critics groups, even as it was too saucy and strange for the Academy.

1999 – Toy Story 2 wins Best Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical

With Pixar starting to turn groups heads on whether or not animated movies were worthy of larger acclaim, the Globes were already handing out wins to them. The Lion King won several years earlier, with the beloved Toy Story 2 nabbing another trophy here.

2000 – Jim Carrey nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy/Musical in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Foreign Press loves Carrey, nominating him year-after-year in this period, beginning with Liar Liar. Coming off two straight wins in this category, Carrey got a nod for this atrocious, gawky work. A film best left ignored.

2001 – John Cameron Mitchell nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy/Musical in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

A winner at lesser known groups all year long, Mitchell getting this more glamorous nod helped introduce a cult classic to a number of its members. The Academy tends to like its transsexuals more tragic.

2003 – Uma Thurman nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama for Kill Bill Vol. 1

A lot of people said Thurman lost out on Oscar recognition due to the Tarantino revenge drama being split in two; Globes opted for showing admiration to each part.

2003 – Jamie Lee Curtis nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical in Freaky Friday

Comedy isn’t usually respected the same way dramas are, letting the Globes get to show off their admiration since they give the genre their own categories in which to compete. This allows for fun, fantastic pieces of acting like Curtis’ to be discussed as more than a passing fancy.

2004 – The Phantom of the Opera nominated for Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

If there’s one thing the Foreign Press does more than nominate prestige dramas that make no waves elsewhere, it’s nominate prestige musicals that make no waves elsewhere.

2005 – The Producers nominated for Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

Wash, repeat.

2006 – Bobby nominated for Best Picture-Drama

See Amistad, sub in Emilio Estivez for Spielberg and McConaughey and Hounsou for Kutcher and Lohan.

2006 – Renee Zellweger nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy/Musical in Miss Potter

Similar to Carrey’s frequent nominations getting him recognized as if demanded by some arcane bylaw, Zellweger was still the recipient of such treatment. As such; this.

2007 – John C Reilly nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy/Musical in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

In the recent history of screwy, showy comedic turns, Reilly’s idiot-musician didn’t seem to resonate as loudly as most. The film did subpar box-office and the general lack of nominations for all thing Apatow makes this one’s recognition all the more surprising.

2009 – Nine nominated for Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

See Producers, The.

2010 – Everything other than the winner in Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque, Red, The Tourist)

I mean, what the hell happened this year. Are Johnny Depp’s kids members of HFPA?

2011 – Brendan Gleeson nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy/Musical in The Guard

Another prime notice of solid work in a movie too peculiar for Oscar admiration, Gleeson was also nominated in 2008 for his magnificent In Bruges performance.

2012 – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen nominated for Best Picture-Comedy/Musical

A film that made no real dent critically or financially; Best Picture?

2013 – Kate Winslet nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama in Labor Day

Most haven’t seen Jason Reitman’s latest, with those that have largely laughing at in the wrong way. One can’t help but think Winslet making it into this five is a sign of career-quality versus film-quality.

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