It's getting to that time of year where we all begin to consider what the best movies of the year were, including those organizations that hand out awards. Normally, this is a fairly simple process and while there are always going to be a few surprises in the nominations, there are rarely questions about what should even be considered for nomination. Of course, this is 2020, the year where literally nothing is easy. This has meant that, while the pool of movies that are even available to be considered is very different than it was meant to be, several films that were released are also causing questions about how they considered, including one of the most talked about releases of the year, Hamilton.
Hamilton was released on Disney+ on the 4th of July and it became one of the most popular movies of the year. Whether you had been lucky enough to see the Broadway performance with the original cast or not, it seems that everybody loved Hamilton, and almost immediately it became a topic of conversation how those handing out year end awards would handle it. As a filmed Broadway production, was it really a "movie" in the traditional sense? Well, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it is, because Hamilton will be competing alongside all the other films in the Musical/Comedy category.
This, of course, doesn't mean that Hamilton will ultimately be nominated in any categories, but the film itself at least has the potential to be considered for Best Picture Musical/Comedy. In addition, according to Variety, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. are being considered in the Best Actor Musical/Comedy category. The rest of the major players, including Phillipa Soo, will be considered in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories, which does not differentiate between drama and comedy.
The ongoing debate has been how to categorize Hamilton as a piece of media. It's not an adaption of the stage musical, simply a filmed version of that, and so there's a feeling from some that it should not be considered for traditional awards alongside more traditional films. The Disney+ production certainly has editing and cinematography choices that are exclusive to it, but the costumes were designed for the stage, not the screen and the acting decisions were made for the audience in the theater, not necessarily the audience at home, so should those performances be considered for acting awards?
The HFPA rules for the Golden Globes aren't the same as other organizations so the fact hat Hamilton qualifies here doesn't mean that will happen elsewhere. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences existing rules would potentially make the film ineligible in the Documentary Film category, but Disney is reportedly still planning to submit the film for consideration in other categories.