If the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's goofy tradition of splitting its best picture and lead acting Golden Globes awards into two categories -- drama and "comedy or musical" – has an upside, it's in its inclusiveness: Let's invite everybody to the party. And so, when the nominees for the 72nd Golden Globes were read off Thursday morning, Alejandro Inarritu's hugely adventurous Birdman, a backstage drama (yes, a drama -- it's about suicide and self-redemption, about looking for love and finding the will to go on, and about the transformative power of art, isn't it?) found itself positioned in the "musical or comedy" slot. And the movie's star, Michael Keaton, was nominated as best actor in a musical or comedy. Fair enough: there's music in Birdman, a propulsive jazz drum score, and some classics, too. And certainly there are scenes that will make you smile and laugh – before your heart sinks along with Keaton's fallen superhero, into a chasm of doom.
That said, Birdman handily landed the most nominations -- seven, including screenplay, musical score, and Edward Norton and Emma Stone in the supporting acting slots. Richard Linklater's Boyhood and The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, followed with five nominations each. And although Gone Girl's director, David Fincher, was nominated in the directing category, his film was not among the best picture candidates, drama or comedy or musical. Too bad, Gone Girl – best comedy of musical, that would have been a good one.
It's worth noting that four of the five best actor/drama nominations – Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, David Oyelowo for Selma, and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything -- are for performances based on real-life figures (John du Pont, Turing, Martin Luther King and Stephen Hawking, respectively). Jake Gyllenhaal, as a creepily zealous freelance cameraman in Nightcrawler, was the lone fictional character.