In Brief

'The Martian' Snags 3 Golden Globe Nominations, Including 'Best Comedy'

Matt Damon in ‘The Martian’
Matt Damon plays NASA astronaut Mark Watney in ”The Martian," which was released in October 2015. (Image credit: ™ and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.)

The sci-fi epic "The Martian" has been nominated for three Golden Globe awards — including, a bit confusingly, for Best Comedy.

"The Martian," which stars Matt Damon as a NASA astronaut stranded and presumed dead on the Red Planet, earned nods for Best Director (Ridley Scott), Best Actor (Damon) and Best Motion Picture —Musical or Comedy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced today (Dec. 10).

This last nomination has generated a fair amount of discussion, as well as some head-scratching; "The Martian" has some funny moments, but most viewers would probably agree that it is at heart a dramatic film. (After all, it is about the harrowing struggles of an astronaut left to survive by himself on Mars.)

However, there's no real reason that such a film can't be regarded as a comedy, Clarisse Loughrey, of the British newspaper The Independent, noted today. 

"There's sometimes an assumption that a film could only possibly qualify for the 'comedy' category if it's absolutely goofy and hilarious throughout; there's no notion that a film which still contains strong elements of tragedy and despair could possibly be considered as part of the comedy genre," Loughrey wrote. "If anything, this arbitrary delineation of genres just proves how pointless that delineation is in the first place."

The 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will take place Jan. 10, 2016.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.