December 15, 2011

STATUETTE STAKES: The Ides of Golden Globes


The Golden Globes are given out by 80 international journalists whose opinions, when they’re not voting on these awards, are of no importance whatsoever to anyone on the planet other than their particular loved ones.  But the combination of a usually entertaining TV show (hosted again this year by Ricky Gervais) and enough years to have established a brand name has created a collective delusion that The Globes Matter, and therefore they do.  The full list of nominees is here, and let’s talk a bit about the day’s winners and losers–Movies first.
THE FAVORITES:  WINNERSThe Artist, The Descendants and The Help all reinforced their status as the films to beat in the Oscar race, stacking up the most nominations (6 for Artist, 5 for the other two).  Ditto Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Jean DuJardin for Actor,  and Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams and Viola Davis for Actress. 

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE:  LOSER – Is it the 9/11 theme?  The very late start to industry and press screenings?  Not clear yet, but this seemingly sure-thing Oscar contender has been coming up dry everywhere so far.
WAR HORSE:  LOSER  Yes, even with a Picture nomination.  The snub of Spielberg for director, apart from being a reminder of the bad old days when Jaws and The Color Purple could receive Oscar nominations while Spielberg was excluded, strongly suggests that War Horse isn’t in the top rank of nominees.
THE TREE OF LIFE:  LOSEROne might have thought that the international sensibility of the Globes would lend itself to Terence Malick’s hugely ambitious, equal parts brilliant and pretentious epic.  But one would be wrong, as Tree couldn’t manage a single nomination.
THE IDES OF MARCH:  WINNER – George Clooney’s mixed-bag political drama had been largely ignored thus far, but the Globes went for it in a big way, with nominations for Picture, Director, Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Screenplay.  Which leads us to…
RYAN GOSLING:  WINNERNominated not just for Ides, but in the Comedy/Musical Actor category for Crazy Stupid Love.  But–
CRAZY STUPID LOVE:  LOSER – Despite some of the best reviews of any comedy this year, Gosling’s was its only nomination.
MONEYBALL:  WINNER:  Was in danger of being relegated to the acting and script categories, but its Picture nomination puts it back in the big-boy conversation.  (Bennett Miller’s absence from the Director nominees, though, means it may not have much chance to win.)
GLENN CLOSE:  WINNER – Nearly fell out of the Best Actress race entirely for a minute there, but although she’s clearly a notch below the Streep-Williams-Davis trio of favorites, at least she’s back in the running.
MELISSA MCCARTHY:  LOSER – She’s been the darling of critics’ groups, but didn’t make the cut here.  It’s worth noting that 8 of the 10 Supporting Actor/Actress nominees are from Dramas rather than Comedy/Musicals, the only exceptions being Berenice Bejo from The Artist and Kenneth Branagh from My Week With Marilyn, both so clearly classy they transcend mere “comedy.”
ROONEY MARA:  WINNER – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hasn’t been much in the mix so far, but Mara gets her foot in the door for an Oscar Actress nomination.  
MADONNA/THE PAPARAZZI:  WINNERS – The Globes have never been shy about nominating celebrities so they’ll show up at the awards and get some attention, and if it takes giving 2 music/song nominations to the dreadful W.E. to get Madonna to the party… so be it. 
Coming Soon:  The TV Nominees

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."