Golden Globes Snub Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'

by Michael Arbeiter

Angelina Jolie is one of those inimitable Hollywood forces who can pretty much get anything done without earning so much as a batted eye in opposition… at least, that’s what we presumed before an illegitimate look into the combative emails of a couple of studio producers. As such, we expected that Jolie’s gallant directorial project Unbroken would earn plenty of love come awards time… if not on its own accord, at least for the sake of celebrating Jolie’s beloved name. But with the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations this morning, we’re second-guessing the world’s devotion to Angie.

While the Best Motion Picture, Drama category was a little tight to have fit Unbroken this year (though it’ll certainly have room among the 10 nominees for the Academy Awards’ top category), we all expected Jolie’s name to rank among the recognized directors. But this was just one of many snubs of the day. Jolie failed to earn much traction — awards-wise, publicly, or critically — with her first movie, The Land of Blood and Honey, but has earned a good deal more clout and chatter for Unbroken: the story of Olympic runner and World War II POW Louis Zamperini.

Our optimism isn’t simply the product of blind faith; there is precedent to the Golden Globes adorning her with accolades simply on the merit of her persona. Just three years back, Jolie got nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical for The Tourist, a film and performance that just about no one deemed worthy of esteem.

And it’s not just the awards organizations that love her unconditionally — Jolie’s exceptionally mediocre Disney picture Maleficent released earlier this year, earning over $240 million domestically. This isn’t a pull rooted in quality, or even so much in the appeal of Disney lore… this is all Angie.

So why now, in the wake of a project that is at least fostering enough positive attention to consider it an Oscar contender (though hardly a truly plausible big winner), has the Golden Globe community jumped off the Jolie train?

But even though we live in a world that has exposed tireless affection for the woman and her creative prospects, perhaps the simple answer is that we were already dealing with five directorial nominees too good to pass up.

As it stands, the category is composed of the likes of Ava DuVernay (whose civil rights picture Selma is an unavoidable nomination), Wes Anderson (director of The Grand Budapest Hotel, one of the year’s most stellar executions of cinematic flare), David Fincher (purveyor of Gone Girl, a knowing hybrid of schlocky blockbuster trash and sophisticated high art), Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose Birdman is too much a showbiz spectacle to omit from this category), and Richard Linklater (hey, he worked on Boyhood for 12 damn years — the guy deserves his nod).

Could the Globes have overlooked any of these artists without earning widespread vocal condemnation? No one would have allowed for a dismissal of DuVernay or Linklater. Few would have tolerated a category without Iñárritu or Fincher. And almost everybody knows that Anderson delivered one of the best movies of 2014… it seems that even though we expected Jolie to take home a directing nomination, she’s the only one of the bunch who can walk away from this morning without one and not provoke complete outrage. Yes, it’s a shock that we no longer live in a time when Jolie is guaranteed a nod, but on the bright side: it means we’re getting too many good movies to recognize everyone.

Images: Getty; Universal Pictures (2)