This Sunday, the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC. More than two dozen trophies will be handed out to some of Hollywood’s most esteemed professionals in film and television. It’s not uncommon for popular, audience-pleasing features to win, beating out more critically acclaimed fare. Will that be the case for this year’s Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy winners? Ten films are nominated for these two awards, and all have received some level of praise from critics around the world. Here are the five that have received more acclaim — tune in Sunday to see if they manage to take home the night’s top prizes.
1. Selma (100% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes)
Many will look back on 2014 as a year that reignited national discussions about race and equality. So it seems apropos that Selma, Ava DuVernay’s film about Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight to organize the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965, struck a chord with both audiences and critics. It was universally praised for its gripping portrayal of the political turmoil of the Civil Rights movement. The Dissolve’s Scott Tobias said the film “makes a man out of a historical icon without diminishing his greatness in the slightest.” Selma is nominated for four Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama.
2. Boyhood (98% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes)
This Richard Linklater drama — which was filmed with the same cast over a period of 12 years — made huge waves on the film festival circuit this fall. Boyhood chronicles the life of Mason [Ellar Coltrane] growing up in suburban Texas. Both the production and the length of the film — 2 hours and 45 minutes — were a huge risk for Linklater, but they paid off in spades, as the accolades keep rolling in. Bill Clark of FromtheBalcony said Boyhood is “is the greatest coming-of-age story ever put to film.” It’s nominated for five Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama.
3. Birdman (92% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes)
Praised for its layered storytelling, technical feats, and stellar performances from a diverse ensemble cast, Birdman is a film that is sometimes hard to describe but impossible to forget. At least, that seems to be the consensus amongst critics, who’ve almost unanimously praised Alejandro González Iñárritu’s dark comedy. Birdman stars Michael Keaton, best known as the first big screen Batman, as a washed up actor who’s tormented by the voice of Birdman, the superhero he played years ago. Robert W. Butler of the Kansas City Star said it’s “a tour de force… with energy vibrating from every frame.” Birdman leads this year’s pack of films with seven Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (92% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes)
Wes Anderson is well known for his quirky, stylish films that delve into some of the darker, deeper parts of the human psyche. With The Grand Budapest Hotel, the style and substance are the same as many of his previous endeavors — a star-studded ensemble, striking visual presentation and resonant emotional core — but that doesn’t make them any less effective. The cast is led by Ralph Fiennes, who plays the concierge at the legendary Grand Budapest Hotel. Most critics praised the film’s performances, aesthetic and narrative layers. Sean Means of the Salt Lake Tribune said the movie is “as offbeat as any of Anderson’s films, but more heartfelt than most.” The Grand Budapest Hotel is nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
5. Pride (92% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes)
Matthew Warchus’s Margaret Thatcher-era comedy tells the true story of gay and lesbian activists who attempt to stand in solidarity with a group of striking miners is arguably the least well known of this year’s Best Picture nominees. But it’s also one of the most praised. Pride features a stellar script from Stephen Beresford and engaging performances from some of Britain’s best actors, including Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and Dominic West. Radio Time’s Damon Wise says the film is “a broad, light and characterful romp that smuggles in some powerful, serious points about unity and togetherness.” Pride is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.