Though “In Bruges” was released in February — an eternity away from the fall premieres of most awards-seeking films — the Colin Farrell film emerged as an unlikely contender at the Golden Globes.
“In Bruges” scored three nominations from the Globes on Thursday, including best picture for a musical or comedy and dueling best actor in a musical or comedy nominations for Farrell and his co-star Brendan Gleeson — a first for each.
Written and directed by playwright Martin McDonagh, the film received good but largely mixed reviews, and grossed less than $8 million at the U.S. box office. In it, Farrell and Gleeson play hit men laid up in the picturesque and quaint town of Bruges, Belgium.
“It had been brought to my attention by people that it was a possibility, a dark-horse possibility, for getting some recognition, but I really, really didn’t expect it,” Farrell said Thursday. “It had been released in the early part of the year, it didn’t do huge money, it wasn’t seen by that many people. But it’s a testament to (McDonough’s) writing in his film debut that it obviously struck a chord with them.”
Speaking by phone Thursday from London, Gleeson — recognized by many as Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody from the “Harry Potter” films — said he was surprised at his nomination and the attention to “In Bruges.”
“It’s a matter of total mystery to me how all of this happens,” said Gleeson. “But it’s absolutely fantastic that the film has a life and people are able to access it now. That it’s getting a little bit of recognition is wonderful.”
The movie’s Golden Globe success may have been partially indebted to its Anglo-Irish production and Belgian setting. The Globes nominees are selected through the slightly European perspective of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Though Globes success can often spell good things for a film’s Oscar prospects, that’s unlikely in this case: Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes split films between dramas and comedies, giving comedies more attention.
The Academy, though, may be aware of McDonaugh’s film. It awarded McDonaugh’s only previous film, “Six Shooter” best live action short in 2006.
The Golden Globes winners will be announced on the awards broadcast airing Jan. 11.