January 16, 2012

COUNTING TO 10: The Globes – Movies

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Even though the Oscar race has had clear favorites in THE DESCENDANTS, THE ARTIST and THE HELP since last fall, the first 2 haven’t sparked any huge enthusiasm among the general public, where after almost 2 months, Descendants has yet to gross $50M, and Artist, which Harvey Weinstein hasn’t dared put into general release, hasn’t even made $9M.  And The Help is still battling against its so-so critical reception.  So despite the fact that we all know the Golden Globes shouldn’t mean anything, being the choices of around 85 obscure international writers whose opinions, for 364 days of the year, are of no interest to anyone, we’ve nevertheless looked to the Globes to provide some clarity.  
That being the case, what did we learn tonight?
10.  Ben Kingsley Has A Very Affectionate Wife.  When NBC cut to a woman seemingly giving Sir Ben Kingsley a lap-dance, Twitter exploded with snarky theories about who his companion was.  It turned out to be his wife, an actress who’s probably entertaining offers from Starz and Cinemax for original series right now.
9.  Harvey Weinstein Could Win Awards For a Ham Sandwich.  The old joke is that any decent prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict one, but Harvey makes his hold on the Hollywood Foreign Press Associaiton pay off in gold.  In the 10 categories in which The Weinstein Company had a nominee, TWC won 6:  3 for The Artist and 1 each for MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, THE IRON LADY and–most remarkably– a Best Song award for Madonna’s dreadful W.E.

8.  Jean Dujardin’s Appearances Probably Won Him Some Oscar Votes.  First there’s his silent Douglas Fairbanks bit to end his acceptance speech, then he leaps into a little dance as the telecast cuts to commercial, and in case all that wasn’t cute enough, when The Artist wins Comedy/Musical, he’s the one with the adorable dog.  If you’re vying against George Clooney, Hollywood’s King of Charm, you need every trick you can get…
7.  Stars Count At the Globes.  Exhibit A:  Madonna.  Exhibit B:  Steven Spielberg, taking Best Animated Film for THE ADVENTURES OF TININ just because he wasn’t going to win anything for WAR HORSE.  (But at least A SEPARATION managed to win Best Foreign Film over Angelina Jolie’s picture.)
6.  The HFPA Isn’t Thrilled With The Artist Either.  3 of the 4 categories The Weinstein Company lost were defeats for Artist:  Director (Martin Scorsese for HUGO), Screenplay (Woody Allen for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS), and Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer for The Help), with Supporting Actor going to Christopher Plummer for BEGINNERS rather than Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn.  And 2 of the 3 awards Artist won (Picture and Actor) were in Comedy/Musical, where under Globe rules, it didn’t have to face off with any of the heavier Dramatic competition.  (The only exception was the meaningless category of Best Score.)  The message:  they liked Artist a lot–but they didn’t love it.
5.  The HFPA Might Want to Keep Its Earlier Awards Quiet.  Jessica Lange won Best Actress for King Kong?  Really?  It might be a good rule of thumb not to mention any Globe winners from the pre-Pia Zadora erea.
4.  Brad Pitt’s Loss Was Meaningful.  Pitt has his work cut out for him trying to get the Oscar against Clooney and Dujardin, especially because MONEYBALL, although it might get nominated, isn’t a serious contender for Best Picture, and its director Bennett Miller didn’t get a DGA nomination and may not do better with the Oscars.  A Globe win would have been extremely helpful.
3.  Ricky Gervais Can Be As Bland A Host As Anyone.  For all his and NBC’s hype of how outrageous he was going to be, Gervais didn’t say anything remotely shocking or insulting in the entire telecast, and his “A” material was at the level of mentioning “Jodie Foster’s Beaver.”  Even what would have been his one sharp bit of asking Johnny Depp if he’d ever actually seen The Tourist was undercut by the fact that he’d just said that his buddy Depp guest stars on his new HBO series.  Given Gervais’s limp material, Madonna’s shot at his bow that likened kissing him to kissing a woman seemed nastier than anything Gervais had to say.  (The best zinger of the night actually came from Seth Rogen, noting as he read the Best Comedy/Musical Actress nominees that Michelle Williams was in “that hysterical comedy” My Week With Marilyn.)
2.  The Help’s Loss At the Globes Doesn’t Mean Much.  With the HFPA’s foreign sensibilities, The Help isn’t exactly their style.  (A loss for The Descendants, though, would have been crippling for that film.)  Much more important will be the SAG and PGA Awards. 
1.  The Oscar Race Is Still Open.  At this point, The Artist, The Help, The Descendants, Hugo and even Midnight In Paris could all still have a legitimate shot at Oscar, as could Clooney, Dujardin and Pitt for Actor, and Streep, Williams and Viola Davis for Actress.  Consider the Globes tonight’s equivalent of the New Hampshire primary:  it confirmed most of what we already knew, but didn’t resolve much.
Next up:  the Producers Guild Awards on January 21.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."