2019 Golden Globe Awards: ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ will be in Drama categories, not Musical or Comedy

October 10, 2018

by Carla Hay

In a move that comes as a big surprise to awards observers, the music-oriented films “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” will not be submitted for consideration in the Musical or Comedy categories at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards, and will instead be submitted in the Drama categories, according to IndieWire. The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards will be presented at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on January 6, 2019. Movies eligible for the awards are those released in  U.S. theaters for at least one week in 2018. The nominations will be announced on December 6, 2018.

Warner Bros Pictures’ 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born,” directed by Bradley Cooper, stars Cooper and Lady Gaga as two singers who have an ill-fated romance.  Cooper and Lady Gaga do their own singing in the movie, and were among the co-writers of the movie’s original songs. “A Star Is Born” was released on October 5, 2018.

20th Century Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” directed by Bryan Singer, is the official biopic of the British rock band Queen, and features original, previously released songs from the band in the soundtrack. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie has different release dates, depending on the country. In the United States, the movie’s release date is November 2, 2018, while the United Kingdom has the first release of the film on Oct. 24, 2018. Rami Malek, who plays Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has some of his vocals dubbed over Queen’s original songs in some of the live-performance scenes, but the movie’s songs feature Mercury’s lead vocals, for the most part. Mercury died of AIDS in 1991.

Several past music-oriented dramas have been nominated for or won Golden Globes in the musical or comedy categories, even when the movie did not have the traditional musical format of characters singing lines of their dialogues. They include 2004’s “Ray” (the Ray Charles biopic starring Jamie Foxx), 2005’s “Walk the Line” (the Johnny Cash biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon) and 2010’s “Burlesque” (the burlesque-dance feature film starring Christina Aguilera and Cher).

Between “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the movie getting more awards buzz is “A Star Is Born.” Even with “A Star Is Born” competing in the Drama field at the Golden Globes, it’s still likely to get a Best Picture nomination. Cooper is one of the producers of the 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born,” and he co-wrote the movie’s screenplay. Meanwhile, Cooper and Lady Gaga are expected to get nods for, respectively, Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. “A Star Is Born” will almost certainly be a top contender for Best Original Song, with “Shallow” and/or “I’ll Never Love Again” the two most likely songs to be nominated from the movie. Cooper made his directorial debut with “A Star Is Born,” and a Best Director nomination is possible for him.

Meanwhile, the most awards buzz that “Bohemian Rhapsody” is getting is a Best Actor nomination for Malek. Since “Bohemian Rhapsody” doesn’t have any original songs written for the movie, it’s ineligible for the Best Original Song category.

In the Golden Globes field of Musical or Comedy, Cooper and Lady Gaga were considered the most likely to win Best Actor and Best Actress, while “A Star Is Born” was considered a clear frontrunner to win Best Picture.  But now that they won’t be competing in the Musical or Comedy field, they face stiffer competition in the Drama field. In the category of Best Motion Picture – Drama, “A Star Is Born” will likely be competing against Cannes Film Festival award-winner “BlacKkKlansman, which is being hailed as director Spike Lee’s best film in years. “Roma,” which has been winning awards at film festivals, is a Spanish-language film that is ineligible for this Golden Globes category because Netflix is reportedly submitting the movie in the category of Best Foreign-Language Film, where “Roma” would be the clear frontrunner. Golden Globe rules prevent a movie to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign-Language Film.

In the race for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Cooper could be up against Malek of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Willem Dafoe of “At Eternity’s Gate.” “Vice,” which appears to be a dark comedy, could be submitted in the Musical or Comedy field, which means that Christian Bale (who stars in the movie as Dick Cheney) could be a contender for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy instead of competing against his former “American Hustle” co-star Cooper for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. Lady Gaga’s competition in the category of Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama could be Glenn Close of “The Wife” and Nicole Kidman of “Destroyer.” Oscar-winning directors Alfonso Cuarón of “Roma” and Damien Chazelle of “First Man” are considered early frontrunners for the Best Director category. Cooper is also likely to get nominated for Best Director, but he is unlikely to win for the first movie he directed.

As for which movies could get multiple nominations in the Musical or Comedy field, early predictions are that “The Favourite” and “Mary Poppins Returns” are the frontrunners, with Olivia Colman of “The Favourite” and Emily Blunt of “Mary Poppins Returns” most likely to be among the contenders for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The critically acclaimed hit romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” could also be nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, although it faces stiff competition from “The Favourite,” which has been winning awards at film festivals, and “Mary Poppins Returns,” which has an A-list cast and Disney’s track record of award-winning musicals.

It should be noted that although “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” will be submitted in the Drama field, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group behind the Golden Globe Awards) can still vote to put those films in the Musical or Comedy field. We’ll find out what happens when the nominations are announced.