"Joy" is one of the biggest question marks remaining in this year's awards race. We had entered it in our Golden Globes predictions center as a musical/comedy candidate, but now an informed source tells Gold Derby that 20th Century Fox will push the David O. Russell film as a drama. How will that affect its chances at the Globes and then the Oscars?
The Golden Globes are one of the few events where awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress are split by genre, and thus is a prime opportunity for films to position themselves for the rest of the awards season. Because prestige dramas are more popular with awards voters in general, the drama side of the Globes ledger tends to be more crowded, so films with even a shred of comedic or musical content often make a play for the available real estate in the musical/comedy fields. So this news about "Joy" affects not only its Globes potential, but perhaps its Oscar potential as well.
"Joy" tells the story of Joy Mangano, who invented the "Miracle Mop." That's not the kind of historical true story that usually competes for Oscars (e.g. "The King's Speech," "Argo," "12 Years a Slave"), so a more dramatic skew might improve its chances in the derby. Of course, this also depends on how the film is received when critics, audiences and awards voters actually get to see it.
David O. Russell's films have long straddled the line between comedy and drama. His "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012) and "American Hustle" (2013) competed at the Golden Globes as comedies. Jennifer Lawrence ended up winning Best Musical/Comedy Actress for "Silver Linings" (which she followed by winning Oscar), while "American Hustle" won Best Musical/Comedy Picture.
But Russell's "The Fighter" (2010) competed at the Globes as a drama, where it earned a nomination for Best Picture. All three films – "Fighter," "Silver Linings" and "Hustle" – went on to earn Best Picture nominations at the Oscars, so no matter where "Joy" goes, it could be a major contender, especially since it reunites the same major players who made "Silver Linings" and "Hustle" so successful: Writer-director Russell as well as actors Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
The absence of "Joy" from the Golden Globe musical/comedy field also opens up that category to "The Martian," which now takes over the top spot in our Best Musical/Comedy Picture predictions, while Lawrence's top spot in the Best Musical/Comedy Actress race is now being occupied by Lily Tomlin ("Grandma").
What do you think of "Joy" as a dramatic contender? Do you think it will reap top Globe nominations? Look at the chart below to see where "Joy" stood in our experts' Musical/Comedy predictions:
And below, take a look at the current dramatic slate according to our hundreds of savvy readers whom we've polled for their Globes predictions:
Be sure to make or edit your predictions. You can continue to do so up until the announcement of the nominations on December 10.
Photo: Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy." Credit: Moviestore Collection LTD/REX