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Golden Globe Nominations: Surprises, Snubs and The Social Network

December 14, 2010

I love starting my morning with Blair Underpants earnestly reading from a sheet of paper. The 2011 Golden Globe nominations are out and they are all over the place! I’m limiting my analysis to the film categories, but you can get a complete list of television and film nominations here. The first thing I noticed about the nominations are they look a lot less upstart-y – particularly in the Actress category – than what the wonks had originally predicted. The King’s Speech leads the pack with 7 nominations, but who doesn’t love the heartwarming tale of an alleged nazi-sympathizer “overcoming” his speech impediment? Seven nods are impressive to be sure, but it’s not earth-shattering, if it’s been predicted and assumed for months and months. In fact many of the nominations tell us little we haven’t known for months and I wasn’t exactly dazzled by them. Still there were plenty of surprises and snubs. After the jump you’ll get the lowdown on the film category nominations and analysis of what this means for the rest of the award season and possibly your weekend.

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale co-star as brothers in The Fighter

Best Picture, DramaBlack Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The King’s Speech, The Social Network – Nothing particularly noteworthy about the nominees. Each has been declared a contender for what seems like forever. This category is often riddled with snubs and surprises and this year is especially juicy. Where’s 127 or True Grit? Oops. It doesn’t bode well for a film to be overlooked or ignored this early in the game. I honestly don’t think these HFPA folks really want to spend much time watching Franco chew off his arm at all. Danny Boyle not easy on the stomach and the Golden Globes have a dinner component to them. Oh well. I have a strong suspicion it’s not going to be a real contender come Oscar season. True Grit on the other hand as me kind of baffled. I realize it remakes are a tricky proposal, but this Joel and Ethan we’re talking about here. Apparently, HFPA wasn’t really listening.

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy – Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque, The Kids Are All Right, Red, The Tourist – Ouch! James L Brooks denied. Anne Hathaway got naked for nothing. Denied. But wait, is that our old friend Burlesque? This is The Kids Are All Right‘s to lose. A win here would give it a stronger position come Oscar nomination time. I’m not not sure how a movie billed as a suspense/drama/thriller competes in this category. Perhaps it’s so bad the HPFA didn’t realize it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy or musical.

Director – Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) David Fincher (The Social Network) Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) Christopher Nolan (Inception) David O. Russell (The Fighter) – I love how this field is crowded with the third or fourth best thing most of these cats have ever done and one dude nobody’s ever heard of (well other than us film buffs). Lisa Cholodenko should have been in this field for The Kids Are All Right, I mean if we’re rewarding the mediocre efforts of wildly talented directors. Why should she miss out on the party?

Best Actor – DramaJesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) James Franco (127 Hours) Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) is Ryan Gosling like the white folks Don Cheadle or something? I have never understood his appeal, yet find his work irresistible. I guess Eisenberg overcame the terrible “who?” factor that plagued him as we went into award season. Franco might be the upset. It’s not a good for Colin Firth when a month away, folks who have been meh to negative on the spectacle of Franco – uh, like me – have finally drank the Koolaid. Marky Mark gives one of his best reviewed performances since The Departed, which will be cold comfort when he amassing nothing but nominations and goes home empty handed each time. Leo’s snub is pretty embarrassing and rude. Leo’s a ratings juggernaut. Oh well.

Best Actress – Drama Halle Berry (Frankie and Alice), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) Natalie Portman (Black Swan) Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) – Portman might have a lockdown on the Oscar but she ain’t a lock here. Ignore Berry who’s just there so nobody can accuse the HFPA of being racist assclowns. Berry’s work in Frankie and Alice is being panned as much as it’s being praised. There’s no point in nominating Kidman unless you want to give her something. She might be the surprise.

Best Actor – Comedy Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist) Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version) Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs) Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack) For other folks being dually nominated in the category and competing against yourself all but kills the chance of winning, but those people are not the beloved Depp, who will probably double his odds of winning. The award is helpful because not all the dogs in the Drama Actor category are gonna hunt. Eisenberg and Gosling feel like longshots so I’m guessing this will clear a slot for either Giamatti or Spacey in the off chance Bridges is not nominated for an Oscar. I’m not really sure whatever everyone else is doing here, and by everyone else I mean Gyllenhaal.

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical Annette Bening and Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) Angelina Jolie (The Tourist) Emma Stone (Easy A) What did I tell you about the HFPA and its love affair with big splashy polarizing lady stars? The Tourist is going nowhere fast and getting some really wretched reviews. Nobody likes Jolie’s performance except the HFPA. They made her character in a sense, so I guess she’ll show up and give them the tabloidy ratings that the broadcast lost by snubbing Bridges and DiCaprio.

Best Supporting Actor Christian Bale (The Fighter) Michael Douglas (Wall Street 2) Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) Jeremy Renner (The Town) Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) This race is the real dogfight. Rush is well liked but does not have a lock on the category, not with Bale getting so much more buzz for a performance that makes Rush’s measured sassiness seem incredibly stilted and phoned in. The surprise here is, of course, Douglas who I thought might get a nod in the lead actor category for Solitary Man. We all know why he’s nominated here; He’s like Sharon Stone’s proxy and he is recovering from a bout of ill health. Garfield needs a win here if wants to matter come Oscar nods. No win here, it’s likely this is the end of the line for him. Look for JT to grab the baton come Oscars and possibly pull a major upset over Bale and Rush.

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Adams (The Fighter) Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech) Mila Kunis (Black Swan) Melissa Leo (The Fighter) Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) Carter up for TKS tells me they don’t have a lot of interest in whether or not she’ll win. The moneyshot role was either in Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland. Amy Adams is doing a tired riff on the gritty, intense dirty hot girlfriend trope often seen in these movies. It’s boring and obligatory and brings nothing new to the screen. My girl Melissa Leo, on the other hand, is utterly terrifying (in a good way) as a mama bear like whoa. Yeah, Barbara Hershey’s performance has nothing on Leo’s. But do not count out Jacki Weaver. When I saw Animal Kingdom I immediately wanted to hitch my wagon to her that rising star. It’s a stunning, unshowy performance in a fantastic film that nobody’s seen. Wouldn’t mind seeing either Weaver or Leo take home the Globe and the Oscar.

What do y’all think? What struck you as the biggest snubs and surprises?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2010 11:48 am

    Thanks for the entertaining analysis! It wasn’t until I read this that I realized that Leo was snubbed for Inception. That’s pretty disappointing–the movie is all about his performance, or at least how he reacts to everything going on. Even though I haven’t seen the other movies, I’d bump Jesse Eisenberg for Leo.

    Other snubs/surprises: I was totally off in thinking that the Reese Witherspoon comedy with Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson would get some nods. And yay for Red! I actually enjoyed that movie.

    Also happy to see Emma Stone recognized instead of Julia Roberts for Eat, Pray, Love. No more Julia Roberts acceptance speeches ever, please.

  2. Paul permalink
    December 14, 2010 12:21 pm

    Biggest snub: Barbara Hershey. Can’t believe she was overlooked. No actor is more deserving of awards and accolades than Ms. Hershey. Truly a shame. She’d have my vote if I could cast one.

  3. December 14, 2010 12:47 pm

    One thing is abundantly clear: if you can make people laugh or sing, you are not best director material. All the best director nominations are for pictures that are nominated in the “best picture:drama” category.

  4. December 14, 2010 1:22 pm

    Also, if you are a woman, or make a film about women that doesn’t center around their victimhood, you can kiss your “best director” shot goodbye.

  5. December 14, 2010 1:23 pm

    For serious, Redlami. These phoned in best director noms are embarrassing.

  6. December 14, 2010 1:40 pm

    I thought we were done handing out pats on the back for execrable ‘overcoming disability!’ narratives, like, a long time ago? No?

  7. December 14, 2010 1:50 pm

    I cannot believe Halle is nominated. That film looks like a total trainwreck.

  8. Hsofia permalink
    December 14, 2010 2:09 pm

    I had the misfortune of seeing what felt like a five minute long trailer for Halle’s new movie, which, on top of looking terrible, also looked like a rehash of about five other wimpering woman in peril roles she’s done. I don’t expect much from Halle, but felt embarrassed for Stellan.

  9. December 15, 2010 12:57 pm

    I wish they would have brought back the Best Documentary category so they could give it to Joan Rivers.

    I second Paul with the Barbara Hershey snub. I was also kinda hoping Patricia Clarkson might get noticed for Cairo Time.

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