Yesterday I mistakenly ignored Pete Hammond‘s Deadline story about how DreamWorks had officially submitted The Help to the HFPA/Golden Globeys as a Best Picture contender in the Comedy or Musical category. That was because Hammond’s lead — “Bridesmaids, The Artist, Paris Try To Buck Oscar’s Prejudice Against Comedy” — sounded like an evergreen about how comedies can’t get no awards respect.
Hammond’s kicker is that two days ago (i.e., Monday) “an HFPA committee rejected The Help in comedy and determined it would compete as a drama, where it will go head-to-head with Disney/DreamWorks’ other big hopeful, War Horse (assuming both get nominated, as seems likely).
“It’s not surprising,” Hammond comments. “At a recent event I attended, a lot of HFPA members were voicing concerns about having to judge The Help as a comedy. The film was indeed initially sold by Disney and DreamWorks with an emphasis on its lighter elements, and past Globe winners in the category such as Driving Miss Daisy were similar in tone.
“Still, that would have meant Viola Davis would compete in the Best Actress-Comedy or Musical category, and no matter how you slice it, her character — a civil rights-era maid — just wasn’t that funny.”