After a year that saw the Golden Globes award Best Motion Picture—Musical Or Comedy to Ridley Scott’s laugh-a-minute chucklefest The Martian, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced that it’s revising its rules for inclusion in its genre-based categories. Specifically, they’ve added a single line to their eligibility requirements, basically asking Hollywood producers to stop trying to duck whatever bear-fighting Oscar bait is going to win Best Drama in a given year by sneaking obvious dramas into comedy.
“Motion pictures shall be entered in the category that best matches the overall tone and content of the motion picture,” the 2016 revisions state. “ Thus, for example, dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas.” Of course, this legalistic shrugging still punts the larger part of the eligibility decision to the studios who submit their films for consideration, leaving us all at the mercy of whichever 20th Century Fox executive thinks it’s hilarious for Matt Damon to become the first man to die on Mars. Maybe this is why the Oscars avoid the genre question entirely, and rarely nominate comedies at all. (Unless they feature an economics lecture from a bubble bath-based Margot Robbie, anyway.)