The comedy or musical category separates the Golden Globes from most other awards shows, giving the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. a little breathing room to include lighter, more commercial films and providing a backstop for roping in celebrities for the televised event.
So it was something of a surprise when the nominations were announced Thursday morning that "Pride," a relatively little-known British film that's brought in less than $2 million at the U.S. box office, pushed aside higher-profile titles with bigger stars like "Annie" or "Begin Again" in the category.
The film apparently hit a real sweet spot with the members of the HFPA for how it combines the exuberance of a "Billy Elliot" with the social conscience of "Milk."
Directed by Matthew Warchus, "Pride's" cast features Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott and Paddy Considine.
Based on a true story, it follows a group of gay and lesbian activists who in lending support to striking miners in the 1980s forged a key union between two unlikely groups.
"Pride" has been a hit in Britain and was recently the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards, where it picked up best film alongside supporting actor for Scott and supporting actress for Staunton.
Screenwriter Stephen Beresford first heard the story some 20 years ago, but set to writing the script in earnest only after pitching it to producer David Livingstone in 2010.
"I often joke about it," said Beresford in a phone call from London after the Globe nominations were announced. "I say it took me 20 years to find anyone to agree with me that a film about gay and lesbian activists in a coal mining dispute that ended in failure was a surefire commercial success."
The timing of the Globe nomination should help the film find a bigger audience in the U.S. "Pride" is on home video on Dec 23.