Golden Globes: Roadside Appealing Decision to Classify 'Beatriz at Dinner' as a Drama (Exclusive)

The indie pic starring Salma Hayek was submitted as a musical or comedy, but a committee of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has ruled it must compete as a drama.
Courtesy of Sundance
'Beatriz at Dinner'

Beatriz at Dinner, an indie film about an awkward evening when a Mexican immigrant (Oscar nominee Salma Hayek) and a Trumpian businessman (Oscar nominee John Lithgow) find themselves sharing a meal, is at the center of a dispute between Roadside Attractions, its theatrical distributor, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the Golden Globe Awards, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Roadside, per the wishes of writer Mike White and director Miguel Arteta, submitted it for Golden Globes consideration as a musical or comedy, as opposed to a drama. But on Monday, an HFPA committee that evaluates Globes submissions ruled that Beatriz was, in fact, a drama. Roadside is currently appealing this decision, with Hayek's prospects for landing a best actress nomination — far more likely on the less competitive musical or comedy side — hanging in the balance.

Strong arguments can be made for both sides. Beatriz at Dinner deals with heavy issues and ends in a way that is anything but funny. But White and Arteta, who specialize in dramedies — they previously collaborated on the indie pics Chuck and Buck (2000) and The Good Girl (2002), as well as on the TV series Enlightened (2011-2013), for which Laura Dern won the 2012 Golden Globe for best actress in a TV musical or comedy — regard Beatriz at Dinner as a dark comedy, as it has been described in numerous reviews from major outlets including THR, Variety, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, IndieWire, the Village Voice and Entertainment Weekly.

The HFPA's final decision is expected within the week.