erik lundegaard

Saturday December 13, 2008

Milkless Globes

And the winner for the most embarrassing name for a cleavage-laden and/or ballsy awards program is... The Golden Globes!

I never thought much of the Double-G. It always seemed less Oscar-lite than Oscar-tawdry. The whole Pia Zadora thing in the early 1980s didn’t help. Producer-boyfriend treats Globe voters to Vegas weekend and two weeks later his girlfriend wins the “best newcomer” award in a role hardly anyone had heard of? Over Howard E. Rollins in “Ragtime” and Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”? Alrighty then.

Even in this decade, in which we get to watch stars booze it up on national television, there’s something off about, if not the winners, then at least the nominees: “The Great Debaters,” “Bobby,” “Matchpoint,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

Two must-reads on the subject. The first is Sharon Waxman’s HuffPost piece from last January. An excerpt:

The members of the [the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn] are not, generally speaking, film experts (like the people who judge the National Society of Film Critics awards) nor are they members of the creative community (like those who give out the Oscars). They're not even representatives of prominent foreign publications, like Le Monde or the Guardian or Haaretz.

Only a handful are full-time journalists; the rest are freelancers for mostly obscure publications, and some are simply hanging on for the parties and movie stars. To maintain their status in the organization, they need only write four articles a year.

Patrick Goldstein, a few days ago in the L.A. Times, cast light on some of those odd best-pic nominees:

Industry insiders say that if you want to really read between the lines in the voting, ask yourself--which movies that have been largely ignored by critics groups did especially well with those 85 Globes voters? The answer would be “The Reader,” which landed a surprising four nominations, including the much-coveted best drama nomination, and “Vicki Cristina Barcelona,” which scored an even more surprising four nominations, including one for best comedy.
What do those two films have in common? They are both released by the Weinstein Co., whose fearless leader, Harvey Weinstein, has assiduously courted HFPA voters for years...

So why do the Golden Globes still exist? Back to Waxman:

Because they serve everyone's agenda. The studios get their films promoted, the TV networks hype their shows, the stars get face time and rub elbows with friends during the dinner — and NBC and the association rake in millions. Everyone wins.

Except, of course, quality, integrity, the sense that not everything can be bought or sold.

So the question isn’t: Does the fact that “Milk” didn’t get a Golden Globes nomination for best picture hamper its chances at an Oscar? The question is: Who gives a shit?

Posted at 11:22 AM on Saturday December 13, 2008 in category Movies  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard