Are we underestimating ‘Matilda’ at the Golden Globes? They absolutely LOVE musicals

According to Gold Derby’s combined odds as of this writing, the five movies predicted to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Film Comedy/Musical this year are “Babylon,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Glass Onion,” and “Triangle of Sadness.” However, there’s a certain contender with 100/1 odds that I think we should keep an eye out on, which would be “Matilda.” Given how much the Hollywood Foreign Press loves to nominate movie musicals in this category, it’s probably being underestimated.

In the upcoming film adaptation of Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin‘s award-winning stage musical based off of Roald Dahl‘s 1988 children’s novel, the story follows a precocious girl (Alisha Weir) with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She has cruel parents (Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough) but a lovable schoolteacher, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch). Unfortunately, the school’s headmistress, Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson), hates children and just loves punishing those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace.

This past century seven musicals won the Globe for Best Film Comedy/Musical: 2001’s “Moulin Rouge!,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2006’s “Dreamgirls,” 2007’s “Sweeney Todd,” 2012’s “Les Misérables,” 2016’s “La La Land,” and 2021’s “West Side Story.” Several others were nominated such as 2007’s “Hairspray,” 2014’s “Into the Woods,” 2016’s “Sing Street,” 2018’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” 2019’s “Rocketman,” 2021’s “Cyrano,” and 2021’s “tick, tick…BOOM!”

This category also saw recognition for musicals that weren’t necessarily critical darlings such as 2004’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” 2005’s “The Producers,” 2007’s “Across the Universe,” 2008’s “Mamma Mia!,” 2009’s “Nine,” 2010’s “Burlesque,” 2017’s “The Greatest Showman,” 2020’s “Music,” and 2020’s “The Prom.” Luckily, “Matilda” has so far been embraced by critics since its debut at the BFI London Film Festival ahead of its worldwide release on Netflix this Christmas. The movie is currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The West End stage production managed to win a record-breaking seven Laurence Olivier Awards (including Best New Musical) back in 2012. A year later the show opened on Broadway, receiving 12 Tony Award nominations (including Best Musical) and winning four accolades while “Kinky Boots” took the top prize.

Matthew Warchus, who directed the original stage incarnations, is at the helm of this film. His previous movie, “Pride,” very surprisingly received a Golden Globe nomination in this category back in 2014. So HFPA members are already familiar with his screen work. Will “Matilda” be a surprise Golden Globe nominee for Best Film Comedy/Musical when nominations are announced on December 12?

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