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Golden Global Meltdown

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Mark Kermode | 13:48 UK time, Wednesday, 15 December 2010

When you look at their list of Golden Globe nominations this year, when you look at their record, how is it even possible to take the Hollywood Foreign Press Association seriously?

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  • Comment number 1.

    I have to say I read the nominations yesterday and had exactly the same reaction as you and you didn't even mention a best supporting actor nomination for Jeremy Renner for the Town, Anne Hathaway AND Jake Gyllenhal for Love & Other Drugs and Angelina Jolie for The Tourist!

    What a load of absolute bull****!

  • Comment number 2.

    The prosecution rests its case. Nuff said.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yeah, almost as crazy as not being able to view this blog entry outside the UK but being able to watch it on YouTube. Those BBC. What are they like?

    On the plus side I agree with nominations for Inception and Social Network and Michael Douglas for best supporting actor (haven't seen Black Swan or King's Speech but I suspect there might be something there too). I was not really wowed by I Am Love for best foreign picture, I am sure I have seen 5 better.

  • Comment number 4.


    I mean, Alice In Wonderland, apart from being utter spooge, is neither a musical nor a comedy! Plus, it's utter utter bilge.

  • Comment number 5.

    Good points. Would like to know who these indivduals who nominate are. You aere a Bafta memnber and I am sure that you have chosen films that some may disagree with, Personally Burlesque only comes out on friday and I don't lnow if it's good or not. By the sounds of it I know how you feel. I wouldnt be surprised if something bad won best film.
    I am sure your film of the year whatefver it may be wasn't even nominated.

  • Comment number 6.

    Wonderful to hear you saying exactly what the film fan base clearly have thought! This year the musical/comedy nominations are at an all time low. It really starts to make you wonder how these decisions are made.

    However on the plus side, if the globes really are a guide line to the Academy and BAFTA choices then it was a real delight to see Natalie Portman up there for her well deserved performance in Black Swan. Same with Jennifer Lawrence and a few other mentioned.

    But i mean really, REALLY, these people behind it all must have quite a few brain cells behind them... but then again didn't The Hangover win the best musical/comedy award last year? Perhaps that just says it all.

  • Comment number 7.

    Almost as absurd as Avatar being a serious contender for best picture at last years Oscar's.

    Overall though, it's been a pretty disappointing year for movies. The fact that The Social Network is one of the best of the year, and whilst good, still nothing special, I think speaks volumes.

    Hopefully True Grit lives up to my expectations of it.

  • Comment number 8.

    I've been out of the loop for a few days because of work so I missed the announcement. This is the first I've heard of it and my immediate reaction is.....


    My more considered reaction is...

    What a load of morons the people who nominated those films are.

  • Comment number 9.

    Can hardly call someone a moron if you think Scott Pilgrim should get nominated

  • Comment number 10.

    The whole list is pretty bad, not just the film categories. Breaking Bad missed out on a best TV drama nomination despite being the best thing on TV at the moment( at the very least a close second behind Mad Men) and Aaron Paul missed out on a nomination for his work in the same show.

    I'm not sure how the golden globes can expect to maintain any respect when it ignores genuine quality but rewards mediocrity.

  • Comment number 11.

    Golden Balls is right, sir. I hereby give Best Original Score to Jasper Carrot.

    Also with regards to this oppressed musical nonsense - there haven't been that many in the last 10 years and Chicago won Best Picture. *It beat Fellowship of the Ring for goodness sake.* Where's the fantasy and sci-fi category then? They outnumber musicals fifty to one, and they get consistently shafted in the awards season.

  • Comment number 12.

    Properly good films are getting so few and far between that it doesn't matter what these "award nominations" decide is good or not.

    I stopped giving a hoot what these parties for pompous nonces concluded as they only ever seem to relflect popular views now. Avatar is a prime example, it's a pile of steaming poop so why did it get so many nominations or any at all for that matter?

    Remember the year you didn't win an Oscar if you weren't black?

    A little off topic but maybe not, Inception a tad over-hyped no? Some stunning visuals and worthy of some award for that as the CGI was seamless and extremely real looking but each scene that had talking in it was just an explanation of what they were about to do then some action. Hey perfectly good, I understand that that it would have been so confusing without having everything explained, yet, all the people involved are supposed to have been doing the job for years and Ellen Page was supposed to already be a better architect than old Leo but doesn't seem to know ANYTHING untill told as the film moves along. A film that needs to constantly explain it's self is either too clever for it's own good or too clever for it's target audience.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ robcomfort

    I do think Inception is very overrated actually. It's a solid action film but let's be clear here - not in any way a masterpiece. It's The Prestige with explosions - another puzzlebox party trick by Nolan. Some lovely visuals, great set pieces like the beautiful balletic fight scene. But the amount of mulling over the various permutations of what is and isn't a dream has been interminable, cos it just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

    I actually think Kick-Ass was a better film than Inception. Seriously. I mean, I think it might be underrated. It's a beautifully balanced, dangerous, provocative little film that made me think about a lot more than Inception after it finished - about parenting, about where it'll get placed amongst the feminist academics, about the places you can or should go with child actors, and so on - yet it still managed to be a fun, cathartic popcorn movie.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sorry, robfromfort/Rob From Fort. I misread your name.

  • Comment number 15.

    Another person who can't see it because I live outside the UK.

    The Foreign Press Association is just a bunch of 80-or-so freelancers (they don't let people like the BBC join) and many aren't even full time journalists, making ends meet by driving taxi's.

    Their votes are notoriously easy to buy by just flying them off to Vegas to meet Cher as Sony did during their Burlesque marketing

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Doctor's view of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association reminded me of what the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy says about the marketing division of the Cirius Cybertnetics Corps ie. "A bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes".

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This is the group that voted "Vicky Christina Barcelona," one of Woody Allen's most pessimistic films, Best Comedy!

  • Comment number 20.

    Easy A? Kick-Ass? Four Lions?


  • Comment number 21.

    I was realy shocked when i read these, so much so that i thought the website was false. Two nominations for johnny depp, realy? i dont hate johnny depp, i love fear and loathing in las vegas but two nominarions for bad films in the same category? Its great to see Emma Stone up there though she was great in Easy A and of course the terrific Jennifer Lawrence. Its just a shame they screwed up most of the others so badly. Its almost like they didn't actualy see the films just the trailers. I thought the British Indie awards and the RAFA's were pretty good though so not such a bad start to award season.

    No Of Gods And Men for best foreghn language film? There is no justice in the world.

  • Comment number 22.

    I agree with you, robfromfort, regarding Inception being over-hyped. I heard so many people say it was supposedly this amazing masterpiece but it was far from that, I concluded for myself when I saw it. It's a film which has some good, interesting things in it, sure. And it's a film worth seeing. But it's not a great deal more than average in most ways if you ask me. It's like a lot of people think it's a masterpiece, for a very large part because it has a certain level of complexity (which in itself isn't reason enough for a film to be given four to five stars, let's face it). I may be wrong about that but it would make sense to me. In any case, we're certainly not talking a Rear window-ish level of magnificence here...are we?

  • Comment number 23.

    To be perfectly honest, I don't pay any attention to any awards that are given out to films. If a film has the words "Oscar-winning", "Bafta-nominated" or "Sundance Jury Prize" attached to it I'm immediately put off seeing it because all of these awards are only given out to certain kinds of films, films which often start off with good intentions and then bottle it to deliver an awards message. Textbook example: Schindler's List - great, dark, bleak opening act, but as soon as the girl in the red dress comes on screen, the film collapses into soggy, lazy sentimentality and no amount of brilliant acting by Ralph Fiennes can fix that.

    I take the same attitude as George C. Scott when he turned down his Oscar for Patton: acting and filmmaking should not be a competitive business. By all means let critics praise actors and directors if they earn it, but there have been too many people in all aspects of film who have completely lost it after winning awards. Roland Joffe, John Boorman, Michael Cimino - the list goes on. As for Inception, it's a masterpiece and no amount of awards or lack thereof will alter that for me.

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe the Kermode awards are a more important that I thought, despite the strange quiffed statue!

    Although agreed with Jesse James, Pans Labyrinth and Let the Right One In being best film of those years, yet loved Of Time and The City but would be my number 2 of 2008 to Waltz with Bashir.

    BUT I have a deep fear for Mark's strange love for Inception, to which if that wins when the time comes I will eat my vegan footwear Herzog style.

    In my opinion it has generally been a poor year for cinema despite a few gems as expected.

  • Comment number 25.

    The Golden Globes are almost always a lot of nonsense. I sometimes think they do stupid things just to get the press jabbering about them nonstop until the actual ceremony. I don't think there is any other way that the nomination of Angelina Jolie being nominated for The Tourist in a comedy category other than it being a "controversial" nomination just to get casual viewers to tune in and watch to see what the fuss is all about.

  • Comment number 26.

    I too am stunned at the somewhat mediocre nominations for the Golden Globes. Definitely balls to that.

    Great to see such a wonderful, Kermodian rant in full flight over the nominations. I agree with TheConciseStatement in the fact that the number of musicals made are few and far between so why do they need a special category to themselves.

    The only thing I like about the Globes is the fact that they differentiate between drama and comedy. However, great to see three Aussies nominated for their work. Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech, Toni Collette in The United States of Tara and moreso, Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (this movie aced this year's AFI awards in Oz).

    Thank you Dr K for your concise precise of the GG nominations.

  • Comment number 27.

    Dr. Kermode, fear not! There is a perfectly logical and scientific reason why Alice In Wonderland (or Jabberwocky II: Electric Boogaloo) and 'North By North-sorry, I mean 'The Tourist' have been nominated above other more worthy films of this year. The reason? Online surveys. Think about it: The Hollywood Foriegn Press Association must by their nature travel a lot. This means they don't actually get to see any of the year's latest releases, except perhaps when half-asleep on a trasnatlantic flight. One can only assume therefore, that the HFPA are asked to vote in an online survey, with the promise of winning high-street vouchers or some-such other incentive for giving up five minuites of their precoius time. Who cares what the survey is or whether the films to choose from therein are any good? They just want to win that cash prize so they can go and buy other award-winning movies such as 'Vampires Suck' or 'Cop Out.'Either that or they are just stupid. P.S. X-Zhibit for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 'Bad Lieutennant: Port of Call New Orleans. He was truly excellent as was Nicholas Cage and Jennifer Coolidge. Now there's a film better suited to 'Best Comedy' one might argue. Now get these iguanas outta my face....

  • Comment number 28.

    There's just too much money/investment involved for these kind of things to be judged solely on their own merits...

  • Comment number 29.

    I thought that perhaps nobody from the HFPA had seen any of the decent comedies that were released this year, like Easy A, afterall they're obviously not film fans. But no, it seems Emma Stone is good enough to be nominated for Easy A, but the film isn't supposed to be as good as The Tourist, Alice in Wonderland, or Burlesque.

    I bet Anjelina-all-I-can-do-is-pout-Jolie will win the best actress Globe too.

  • Comment number 30.

    Agree with the comments about Inception being over-hyped. It's a pretty good film, nothing more, as is The Dark Knight.
    Unfortunately at the moment simply being 'pretty good' is enough to put a film head and shoulders above 98% of the cinematic effluent that splatters onto our screens each week - hence the press and public's tendency to go a bit over the top when something decent comes along.

  • Comment number 31.

    p.s. Is Dr K going for a 'heaven in A Life Less Ordinary' motif this week - some kind of allusion to himself as an avenging angel, sent to earth to right cinema's wrongs?

  • Comment number 32.

    Read the list a few days ago and I was appalled.
    Sure they have tipped some good movies: 'Inception', 'The Social Network', 'Toy Story 3' and 'The Illusionist', but ultimately, the Golden Globes stand for everything wrong with Hollywood cinema.

    If it's got Johnny Depp in it, a hugely 'bankable' star, it must be worthy of an award right?
    I'm surprised 'Secret Window' or 'The Ninth Gate' didn't win Best Picture?

    Oh yeah, that's right, they didn't because they suck.

  • Comment number 33.

    Why is this not available to watch outside of UK?
    I am really hoping this isn't the shape of things to come.

  • Comment number 34.

    It appears they only watched about 10 films

  • Comment number 35.

    Pia Zadora... Butterfly..
    oh, i aint thought about that classic for years - i really fancy watching it again.

  • Comment number 36.

    I thought something was up when True Grit didn't even get a single nomination, and I have heard virtually nothing but good things about it.

  • Comment number 37.

    Golden Globes always were, always will be, a big stupid easy target.

    I'd rather we all had a go at the BAFTA's for their extremely cynical move a few years ago to a) take place between the Golden Globes and the Oscars in a pointless bid for global relevance, b) simultaneous rule change to include films that had not been given a proper UK release in the year in question, to thus include films that were eligible for Oscars but would have been excluded from the BAFTA's.

    So, for this year's films: "Films that open between 1 January and 11 February 2011 inclusive may be 'qualified' by Distributors by being screened to Academy Film Voting Members by Tuesday 21 December 2010."

    The next Orange British Academy Film Awards (should we be calling them OBAFA's instead?) will take place on Sunday 13 February 2011. That's two days after the eligibility window closes. However another eligibility requirement is "[feature films must] be exhibited publicly to a paying audience within a commercial cinema in the UK for no fewer than seven consecutive days". How does a film that's been open for two days fulfil this requirement. BAFTA quite cynically have not insisted on following its own rules, or they have a working TARDIS.

    Some notable nominations from the past few years that have either sailed close to the wind, or actually broken the eligibility:

    2008 Latest Open Date 8th Feb, Awards 10th Feb.
    There Will be Blood (15th Feb)

    2009 Latest Open Date 6th Feb, Awards 8th Feb.
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (6th Feb 2009)
    Doubt (6th Feb 2009)
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (13th Feb 2009 released after the eligibility and the awards)

    2010 Latest Open Date 19th Feb, Awards 21st Feb.
    The Lovely Bones (19 February 2010).

    I admit this is a pedantic point. The real problem is that it's an insult to the public in the UK to present Awards to films that they haven't been given a fair chance to see. This relegates the entire exercise to a marketing tool for the distributors rather than a recognition of excellence in the industry. The awards ceremonies are an underhanded way to get adverts for films just beginning their UK release onto the BBC.

    Allegedly, Pia Zadora's husband flew the Golden Globes Members to Vegas for a, erm, knees-up, and a gala screening. The couple later moved into Pickfair with promises to restore the film landmark and have since demolished it. I think we should start giving BAFTA's to films that aren't even in development yet. We can start with the Tim Burton / Pia Zadora remake of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.

    Happy Christmas!

  • Comment number 38.

    Outside the Musical/Comedy categories, they seem to be pretty much on the money. Even if Nicole Kidman looks absolutely GHASTLY in Rabbit Hole

  • Comment number 39.

    Can't stop replaying the moment where Kermode's puffy, raging, incredulous face stares down the lens, while being sandwiched between the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter. Good choice for the front still, since a single montage couldn't be more emblematic of this farce.

    "Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am..."

  • Comment number 40.

    Oh my god.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes, but... all awards' bashes are basically self promotion tools for the movie (or comedy, TV, music or theatre etc) industry [even the 'adult' movie business has them] and an attempt to give an veneer of artistic credibility to a business that is essentially about producing products that appeal to Joe Public and make sh** loads of money. It's no different from making detergents or washing powders.

    There is no such thing as a 'best' film/actor/director etc. We may all have favourites; but even just on this blog people can disagree widely about what is the best film of the year, decade, ever etc.

    When were Shawshank, The Thing, Psycho (or anything Hitchcock - or Kubrick for that matter - did) garlanded with awards?

    Even left field awards like The Kermode's, honest attempts to redress the balance, still rely on Mark's personal preferences.

    Are there any worthwhile ceremonies?

    Ceremonies such as the Asian Film Awards are completely off the radar at present; yet Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and SE Asia's cinema is currently in a fertile period - as the number of Hollywood remakes of East Asian movies shows. (And if you want a big budget war movie with 1000's of [real] extras where else to look nowadays than China. e.g. John Woo's Red Cliff or Peter Chan's Three Warlords.)

    The Chinese take on spaghetti westerns [they have lots of deserts] e.g. 'The Good, The Bad and the Weird' is also worth checking out. As stylish entertainment they're not bad, and adding a noodle twist.

    As we know China is going through an economic boom, S. Korea, Taiwan, Japan and SE Asia's economies haven't been as badly affected by the banking crisis as ours, so the investment in their film industries is quite substantial.

    If the Asian Film Awards [and there are others for EA out there] help break the English speaking monopoly of the BAFTAs, Oscars, Globes etc then all to the good.

    For decades great French and Spanish etc language films have been relegated to the margins of 'best foreign movie' - or ignored.

    If your into East Asian movies also check out: Bodyguards and Assassins, Ip Man, Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death), Monga, Kokuhaku (Confessions) and Tangshan Dadizhen (Aftershocks/After Shock).

    Otherwise the only other movie awards I pay real attention to is that of the Sundance festival, though so many directors of low budget US indie movies fail to develop a career, or fail badly when seduced by Hollywood.

    I'll end with a little heart-felt plea (aka rant). Why is animation seen as being so inferior to a wholly live action movie?

    Best comedy or musical for 2010? Live action it's hard to think of a good one. Alice was neither.

    But then there was the Princess and the Frog, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon.. - all of which probably gave more people more laughs than the five films the globes nominated. Which isn't to say there is nothing in their nominations of any value, inevitably a vacuum cleaner approach ticks up some gems as well as dust; Love and Other Drugs is said to be not bad.

    PS. Like some others I'm waiting for True Grit. But, the original Hathaway movie (based on a good novel) was pretty d*** good.

    Wayne gave a career best performance, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell gave very good performances; it had a great gang of bad guys - Duvall, Corey, Hopper. Music by Elmer Bernstein, cinematography by Ballard - This remake is going to have to be very good indeed to impress me. I have hopes that Bridges will rise to it - but it's a hard act to follow.

  • Comment number 42.

    Although nominated for the 'Best Mini-series or Motion Picture made for Television' category, in which it should surely win, not one of the stunning performances from 'The Pacific' (James Badge Dale and Joe Mazzello being the most prominent) were included. This is perhaps the greatest shame for me - other than the ignoral of 'Shutter Island'!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    I think there should be a category this year for 'Best Director of a Commercial for a Designer Label'. Candidates include Martin Scorsese for 'Bleu de Chanel', your old friend Guy for his Dior ad with Hey Jude Law and Jonas Åkerlund for his 'D&G/Martini Gold' ad starring the second most... starring Monica Bellucci!
    These adverts live on the border of Art and Commercialism, and in the case of Scorsese, he blends the two perfectly, an advert that can actually be emotionally and creatively alive while incorporating the essence of glamour, style and fun essential to advertising's aspirational imperatives. This can easily fall over into pretension but from what has been made so far, it is an interesting strand that looks promising for bigger prospects.
    Thoughts, DR. K?

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    I think this year's nominees for best Comedy/Musical especially the nominees for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical an award which not single person nominated deserves to win proves that they shouldn't have a separate category unless they drop their American bias because dear God have Americans completely forgot how to make good comedies and musicals

  • Comment number 46.

    That was a wonderful and very pertinent rant Dr K...those nominations are shocking.
    Eric Vespe of Ain't it Cool fame was equally annoyed on Twitter. He was particularly alarmed that True Grit was not nominated for best movie.

    I will be doubly appalled if the Oscars look to the Golden Globes this year with such poor choices. They do buck up a little bit with their best movie nominations however.

    I've got my fingers crossed for Jennifer Lawrence in the best actress category for her role in Winter's Bone. But how could they have ignored John Hawkes' performance is beyond me, I thought he was exceptional.

    Still, we can always rely on you to put the worlds to right again with your Kermode awards.

  • Comment number 47.

    Agree, MargeGunderson, the thing that struck me about both Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes' performances in Winter's Bone was how exceptionally believable and involving they made the characters given how spare the script was. They deserve a special acting award for most character invested with least dialogue. Winter's Bone is a remarkable movie, do yourself a favour and see it on the big screen - again a movie I only paid attention to due to Mark's recommendation. Can't wait for the director's commentary on the DVD.

  • Comment number 48.

    true dAT

  • Comment number 49.

    Are the Golden Globes Balls? Yes they are, huge wobbly dangly ones.

  • Comment number 50.

    @Carnelian - Alice In Wonderland IS a comedy, dullard - have you not read the book? It's one of the best interpretations of Lewis Carrolls work ever done - you should read the book before commenting...

    And, while I'm here - @TheConciseStatement - Please don't try and "review" films if you have no idea what you're doing... You rate "Kick-Ass" over "For Black Women" and yet offer no real reason as to why KA is better - to my mind (and millions of others) "Kick-Ass" was a dull film lacking in plot, supposed "humour" or anything else, in short, a waste of studio money while "For Black Women" is a cleverly crafted piece of poetry-to-screen conversion.

    So, in short, I'll leave with a quote that the delightfully unenlightened ConciseStatement made - A clown to the left of me and a joker to the right...

  • Comment number 51.

    Burlesque- Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury I rest my case!

  • Comment number 52.

    Fave three of the year are (in no order)

    Kick Ass (Really Andy? Really?)
    Inception (Lived up to the hype in my opinion)
    Toy Story 3 (actually I take it back, this was my favourite)

    I'm going to have to put this out there too but is anyone else getting a bit bored with Johnny Depp? (Rangonotwithstandingsmiley)

  • Comment number 53.

    The only awards ceremony I vaguely take an interest in these days is the one in Cannes. The US ones have always been dire; who can take seriously an organisation who awarded a Best Film Oscar to "Rocky" over "Taxi Driver"? And they look as if they have got progessively worse over the years. No wonder the networks are more interested in the designer dresses of the female nominees; even they realise the nominated films are tripe.

  • Comment number 54.

    Personally i am congratulating the Golden Globes, people say the Oscars dont recognise comedy. Well the nominations for comedy or musical are comic relief in itself.
    Who cares who wins any of these awards shows?.....all that matters is that you enjoy films, you can bet your life when the Oscars come round the nominations for best film will include: film that only just came out and you havent seen, film you didnt want to watch, film you thought was ok and film you thought was garbage....winner you didnt want to watch...yawn.
    Anyway, Kermode is nit-picking, read the rest of the nominations outside of the comedy/musical and some of them are worthy of some recognition. if i care what Kermode thinks anyway, this is a man that was gushing over the Twilight a critic can let go his objectivity and praise something because he had a weakness for it.
    He is a critic and should see past this 'weakness', that kind of thinking is for the public not him. Its his job to be a *** and have a go at films even if he enjoyed them to some degree.
    Barry Norman come back, we miss you.

    ps - something a trailer, see who is in a film and make your own mind up.


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