And so it begins — the annual awards season frenzy. From the Critics Choice Awards to the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, films are tallying each nomination they receive in hopes of ultimately achieving Oscar gold. The Golden Globes are no doubt one of the signature ceremonies of awards season, but especially in recent years, they’re becoming less and less reliable about determining potential Oscar winners.
Sure, they still get some things right. Overall, the dramatic film nominees this year were pretty predictable, with “The Social Network,” “The King’s Speech” and “Black Swan” dominating. But some of the nominees, especially in the comedy category, are so head-scratchingly poor that it’s more obvious than ever that what the Globes care about is attracting big stars for the telecast.
Below are my picks for The Top 5 Golden Globes Mistakes This Year.
5) No love for the last season of “Lost”
Fans seemed to either love or hate the finale, but there is no denying the “Lost” actors were at the top of their game in the show’s final season. Matthew Fox’s performance in the finale alone was devastatingly touching, Terry O’Quinn was deliciously evil as the Man in Black and Michael Emerson’s seamless transition from unapologetic and conniving to sympathetic and broken proved Ben Linus is perhaps one of the most complex characters ever to appear on television. Yet none of them received kudos from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (A nod for the brilliant “The Walking Dead” after only six episodes almost makes up for the snub – almost.)
4) Crowded supporting actor categories
One thing I’ve never understood about the Globes is why they separate the lead acting categories by comedy, drama and mini-series or TV movie, yet they lump actors from all three genres into one supporting acting category. How are voters supposed to compare Eric Stonestreet’s hysterical performance on “Modern Family” with David Strathairn’s thoughtful, inspiring role in “Temple Grandin?” Or Kelly MacDonald’s subdued yet sassy Margaret on “Boardwalk Empire” with Jane Lynch’s pitch-perfect Sue Sylvester on “Glee?”
3) The Coen Brothers are snubbed again
The HFPA has never had the same appreciation for the Coen Brothers that the Oscars have, but it was still a shock to see “True Grit” completely snubbed when it has been largely considered a lock for a best picture Oscar nod. Last year Michael Stuhlbarg at least managed a nomination for “A Serious Man” even though the film itself was overlooked. But this year, the film, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld were all given the shaft.
2) Poor choices in the comedy category
“Burlesque?” “The Tourist?” Were there really no better options this year for comedies? Of course there were, but they wouldn’t have guaranteed the attendance of Christina Aguilera, Cher, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Those films were critically panned and performed poorly at the box office, not to mention “The Tourist” has never been billed as a comedy. What about “Easy A?” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World?” “Kick-Ass?” All three would fall under the comedy category and all three were superb. But despite a best actress nod for Emma Stone, those youth-driven films just didn’t have the same star factor as the HFPA’s top picks. Even “Date Night” and “Love and Other Drugs” would have been more deserving options. I’d say the only 100 percent deserving comedy nomination is “The Kids Are All Right,” even if it leaned more toward the dramatic than the comedic.
1) Too much focus on star power
Even Angelina Jolie said in a recent interview that she was surprised “The Tourist” received a comedy nomination. Giving this film three nominations just makes the Globes look desperate for stars on awards night. The so-so box office performance of “The Tourist” indicates even mega-stars like Jolie and Depp don’t have the clout they once did, and I doubt their presence at the ceremony is going to boost ratings that much. Same goes for “Burlesque.” There are a lot of deserving nominees this year, but the HFPA’s continuing obsession with celebrity is what makes the Globes a bit less credible than other awards season fare.
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Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.