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What Planet Are The Golden Globes On?

Janine Rayford |
December 17, 2010 | 5:47 p.m. PST


Golden Globe Awards (HFPA)
Golden Globe Awards (HFPA)
Is it just me, or does it seem as if this year’s Golden Globe announcements were, for the most part, pulled out of a hat?

The Golden Globes' voting body, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is not necessarily known for its better judgment or higher reasoning when it comes to choosing quality films, but some of this year’s selections dropped that reputation to an even lower level.

Apparently the members of the HFPA were the only ones who saw "Burlesque," as well as the only ones who liked it.

The musical, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, is up for two nominations, one for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical.

Amazingly, duds like "Burlesque" and "Alice in Wonderland" beat out true funnies like "Easy A" and the acclaimed "Barney’s Version."

"The Tourist," another flop, joins in the Best Comedy or Musical category. Stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp were nominated for solo awards for "The Tourist," a film in which LA Times critic, Kenneth Turan, said “the stars connect more intensely on the poster than on the screen.”

Completely lacking imagination, the HFPA doubled Depp’s chances with a second Best Actor nomination for "Alice in Wonderland."

There were some worthy nods, such as seven nominations for "The King’s Speech," including Best Picture with Colin Firth up for Best Actor.

Similarly, "Black Swan," which the New York Times called “visceral and real,” is justifiably up for four awards including Best Picture and Natalie Portman for Best Actress.

Mark Wahlberg’s "The Fighter" made a surprise showing, racking up six nominations including Best Picture and "The Social Network," a favorite among audiences, matched with six nominations of its own.

But there were some major players missing without a trace. "True Grit" by the Coen Brothers was completely snubbed, though speculated to be a major contender in later awards shows.

According to a New York Times article, the association has a history of overlooking the Coen brothers. "Their 'No Country For Old Men' didn't win a Globe for Best Drama, although it swept many other awards and went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2008.”

Heavyweights like Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck felt the golden cold shoulder as well. Though, considering the randomness of this year’s line-up, it was probably just the luck of the draw.

The association fared much better in the television selections, nominating clear favorites like "Boardwalk Empire" and "Dexter" for Best Drama, and "Glee" and "30 Rock" for Best Comedy or Musical.

"Glee" cleaned up five nominations, and rightly so.

The Golden Globes are a key part of the awards show season, which culminates with the Oscars. Despite its noted questionable artistic merits, The Golden Globe’s ability to generate buzz and reinvigorate ticket sales makes it vital nonetheless.

As Variety reported Wednesday, specialty films like "The Fighter" and "The King’s Speech" are poised to rake in profits from the recent publicity boost.

Undoubtedly, the nominations will cause some to take another – or first – look at "Burlesque" and "The Tourist" as well, though, I would suggest against it.

Maybe I’m being too hard on the awards. It is the holidays and perhaps these undue nods were just generous gifts from the HFPA, as opposed to the lump of coal that these and other Golden Globe nominations are going to get from the Academy.

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