Golden Globes update: ‘Nebraska’ contending as comedy

On Thursday, Gold Derby confirmed that Woody Allen‘s “Blue Jasmine” was asking the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. to classify it as a drama at the Globes while “Before Midnight” was entering as a comedy.

On Friday, we learned that Alexander Payne‘s “Nebraska” is pursuing the laffer route as well. This is a savvy move on the part of Paramount as the comedy/musical categories at this year’s Globes are far less competitive. 

The switch gives Bruce Dern a much better shot at landing a nomination. The two-time past supporting nominee (“The Great Gatsby,” 1974; “Coming Home,” 1978) is determined to compete this time as a lead. However, that move might keep co-star Will Forte — who has more screen time as the beleagured son coerced into a road trip with his doddering dad (Dern) — from reaping a bid. 

Dern’s other competition for Comedy/Musical Actor includes: Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis“), Ben Stiller (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“), James Gandolfini (“Enough Said“) and Joaquin Phoenix (“Her“) who won this award in 2005 for playing Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line.”  

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Payne’s past pictures have contended on both sides of the Globes fence. His 1999 breakout hit “Election” earned Reese Witherspoon a Comedy/Musical Actress nod; she lost to Janet McTeer (“Tumbleweeds”). 

“About Schmidt” — which is akin to “Nebraska” in that it too followed an older fellow hoping to reconnect with his past — lost Best Drama to “The Hours” in 2002. However, Jack Nicholson won Best Drama Actor over eventual Oscar champ Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”). 

HIs two most recent films both did well with the Globes: “Sideways” won Best Comedy in 2004 while “The Descendants” took Best Drama in 2011. 

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