To look at the list of Golden Globe nominations this year, you’d almost think it was the old days again, when big screen musicals were common. After a long dry spell, when the category title “Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” seemed like a relic of the Golden Age, the film version of Chicago changed everything. Although subsequent Broadway-to-Hollywood transfers like Phantom and Rent weren’t very successful, last year’s Dreamgirls did much better with both critics and audiences.
This year, things are looking even brighter. Hairspray (which is still playing on Broadway) was a big, fat summer hit, and the dark slasher musical Sweeney Todd is looking like it will do bloody good box office this Christmas. Both films snagged Golden Globe noms in the aforementioned category, and a third musical also made the cut — Across the Universe, director Julie Taymor’s (The Lion King) film musical that utilizes Beatles songs to tell its story. A couple other musical films that weren’t honored still had stars that were recognized (Amy Adams in Enchanted, John C. Reilly in Walk Hard), and both Sweeney and Hairspray‘s stars got acting nominations (Johnny Depp and Helen Bonham Carter, Nikki Blonsky).