Though it was potentially one of the most interesting and genuine films of the past year, The Big Sick was snubbed by the 2018 Golden Globes nominations. Perhaps most notably, it was left out of the category for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, in which the nominated films were The Disaster Artist, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, I, Tonya, Lady Bird.
UPDATE: Kumail Nanjiani, star and co-writer of the film, has seemingly responded on Twitter to The Big Sick's snub, jokingly pretending to be famed director Steven Spielberg and praising the movie as his "fave movie this yr."
The exclusion of the movie from this year's nominations seems peculiar — though awards shows are known to be fickle and choosy — not only because of the largely unheard of (at least in mainstream film) narrative that the film portrayed and the crazy amount of audience love it received, but because of the harrowing true story on which The Big Sick is based. The genre-bending film mixes comedy, romance and drama as it focuses on the real-life origin story of husband and wife duo Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Years ago, Gordon mysteriously fell sick and underwent a medically induced coma, not long after the two had broken up. The split was due to Nanjiani's Pakistani parents' expectations that he would marry a Muslim girl. The film dramatizes their tale in a surprisingly charming and devastatingly honest way, with Nanjiani playing himself, Zoe Kazan as Gordon, and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as Gordon's parents.
EARLIER: It's not as if there isn't precedent for awards shows to recognize the film. It was nominated for several Critics' Choice Awards this year, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Hunter. It also boasts an insane 98 percent positive Rotten Tomatoes critics score. Given all of this previous recognition, which lead to some serious continued awards season hype, fans of The Big Sick are justified in their frustration with its lack of Golden Globes recognition, and the outcry on social media was swift as the announcements rolled out Monday morning.
What's perhaps most notable about The Big Sick is how much its creators obviously care for it, and care about the humanity that surrounds its plot. Nanjiani has said to Rolling Stone that speaking with audiences who had seen the film has been very important to him. "[Hearing audience feedback is] my favorite part. When you're doing promotion, it's easy to get disconnected from the thing you're promoting," he told Rolling Stone earlier this year.
"So watching the movie with a crowd and seeing people connect to it is the thing that keeps me connected to the movie. People will come up and show Emily their surgery scars. We get people in multicultural relationships, or first- and second-generation immigrants, telling us stories that are similar to ours. The theme of disappointing your parents is something everybody knows. Everybody knows someone who was sick."
The reactions came quickly to Nanjiani and Gordon, as the film immediately hit a nerve with movie-goers. Nanjiani eagerly shared stories on Twitter of people who had, following The Big Sick's release, told him how much it had meant to them. The stories coming forward involved everything from interracial couples who bucked family expectations to those with loved ones battling illness and long hospital stays. It was clear from the very beginning that this film was something special.
Awards shows are often criticized for being predictable and unrepresentative of what the year's actual best films were, and unfortunately, the exclusion of The Big Sick doesn't do much to dispel that notion. Accolades shouldn't always be gained based on how impressive of a budget a film boasts, how "artsy" its aesthetic is or how deadly serious of a take it can offer on a particular subject, though those aspects certainly can lend to a great film. The Big Sick did more with less, though. It brought the most diverse groups of people together based on common, human experiences — love, sickness, expectation — and its inexplicable snub this year reflects poorly on the Globes, not on the film.