Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golden Globes, WTF?

Seriously, WTF?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is known for two things: 1. Its members aren't really members of the press. 2. They throw a hell of a party masquerading as an awards show, a/k/a the Golden Globes, every year.

The HFPA-ers have, however, a third signature trait, well known to movie nerds and awards junkies, though perhaps less so to the general public:

They are total starfuckers. Exhibit A: this year's Golden Globe nominations.

What else would inspire them to nominate a turkey like THE TOURIST for Best Comedy or Musical, when it's neither a comedy (at least, not intentionally so) nor a musical? Or Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie for Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy? Or what about giving Johnny Depp a second nod for the equally putrid ALICE IN WONDERLAND, which was also neither a comedy nor a musical? And for that matter, what is RED (you know, that Helen Mirren/Morgan Freeman/Bruce Willis flick about un-retiring retired assassins) doing here?

Two words: Red carpet. These guys will bend over backwards to get A-listers like Depp, Jolie, et al. to come to their party. Even if it involves honoring worthless performances in even more worthless movies that don't even fit in the category they've been assigned.

Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit. Maybe they're really demonstrating a slyly meta humor about both the category and the movies they've chosen to fill it. I mean, there is a kind of comedy about it. But...nah. This isn't the first time they've shown an unhealthy infatuation with movie-star glamour. It's just the most egregious - in recent memory, anyway.

Oh well, this just verifies that no one should take the Golden Globes seriously. Contrary to popular belief, they're not all that reliable as Oscars predictors, though they're admittedly something of a bellwether: if nothing else, they reflect what movies and performances are hot at the moment.

They're not the only awards shop in town, of course. It's that time of year again, when all the film critics' associations in the country can enjoy (or imagine) a brief period of relevance, as they hand out their best-of-year prizes. Most of the major ones announced this past week, including the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. And just for good measure, because it is my hometown, I'll throw in the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Ironically, observable trends in the critics' awards are fairly consistent with the Golden Globes. There's been a LOT of love for "The Social Network," while Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"), Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), and Christian Bale ("The Fighter") continue to move closer to Oscar frontrunner status, and Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") and Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network") also look like strong contenders. Meanwhile, "127 Hours"/James Franco seems to be fading. Still, it's too early to tell which movies' buzz will "peak" at the right time. And something could still sneak in under the radar between now and February.

But I guarantee you this: it won't be "The Tourist." Or "Alice in Wonderland."


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