Golden Globes shocker: ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ sing a different tune by entering as dramas, NOT musicals

Two major Oscar contenders just threw a wrench into the awards season. As reported by our sister site IndieWire, the music-driven films “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” will compete as dramas at the Golden Globes and not as musicals. We’ve updated our Golden Globes predictions center accordingly, so go update your picks now.

A Star is Born” revisits a story told in previous films starring Janet Gaynor (1937), Judy Garland (1954) and Barbra Streisand (1976), respectively. The Globes weren’t around in 1937, but they were when the Garland and Streisand versions came out, and both of them competed as musicals.

The 1954 “Star is Born” won Best Film Comedy/Musical Actress and Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor for Garland and James Mason. And the 1976 version swept all five of its Globe noms, including Best Film Comedy/Musical and lead-acting prizes for Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Now the Lady Gaga version will go head-to-head against other dramatic films like “First Man” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” And Gaga herself may face off against Glenn Close (“The Wife”).

Meanwhile, “Bohemian Rhapsody” bucks the trend for biopics like “Ray” (2004), “Walk the Line” (2005) and “La Vie en Rose” (2007), which were all Golden Globe winners as musicals for exploring the lives of real-life musical legends. Similarly, “Rhapsody” tells the story of Freddie Mercury (played by Emmy winner Rami Malek) and the formation of his band Queen.

It’s possible both films are making this move as a strategic effort to be taken more “seriously” on the awards scene. In the 21st century thus far only two Globe winners for Best Film Comedy/Musical have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture: “Chicago” (2002) and “The Artist” (2011). Meanwhile, seven Globe winners for Best Film Drama have won the top Oscar since 2000. That includes “Moonlight,” which beat the Globes’ comedy/musical winner “La La Land” in one of the biggest Oscar upsets in history.

This move isn’t unprecedented. Lars von Trier‘s 2000 musical “Dancer in the Dark” competed at the Globes as a drama. So did “Crazy Heart” (2009), which starred Jeff Bridges as a fictional musician struggling with alcoholism and featured songs by T-Bone Burnett. It worked out for “Crazy Heart,” which ended up winning Oscars for Best Actor (Bridges) and Best Original Song (“The Weary Kind”), but “Dancer” lost its only Oscar nom, Best Original Song (“I’ve Seen It All”).

Will the strategy pay off for “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”? And what films will be top contenders for Best Film Comedy/Musical now that these two contenders are moving out of the way?

Be sure to make your Golden Globe predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on December 6. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Golden Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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