Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

The Golden Globes shrug their shoulders…

…and abandon any attempt to predict the Oscars. This is not quite the case. But, for decades, The Globes only seemed to exist as a sort of tip sheet for the Oscars. As I have mentioned many, many times before, …

Mon, Jan 14, 2013, 22:04

   
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…and abandon any attempt to predict the Oscars. This is not quite the case. But, for decades, The Globes only seemed to exist as a sort of tip sheet for the Oscars. As I have mentioned many, many times before, they didn’t even do that awfully well. Over the last decade, the best picture winners at the two events have doubled-up only on a few, very rare occasions. This, despite the fact, that — with “drama” and “comedy or musical” —  they gave themselves two bites at the cherry. Before awards season went bananas and everybody had, via the stupid internet, access to SAG, the DGA, Bafta and your Aunt Lil’s awards (maybe), the Golden Globes were, for most people, the first time they got a glimpse at a shortlist. In the current information-drenched age, we can find half a dozen better pointers to the big prizes.

Anyway, the eight or nine voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body that administers the Globes, seem, this year, to have made a deliberate effort to move off Oscar’s patch. We all know that neither Argo nor Les Misérables can win best picture in February? Right? Remember that no film has won a best picture Oscar without a directing nomination since the days of steam. Well, since Driving Miss Daisy anyway.

Oh, blah, blah, blah. You already know these arguments. The Globes were, this year, all about female non-combatants: Jodie Foster, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. You have to feel a wee bit sorry for old Ricky Gervais. Initial reports show that the US viewing figures were up a significant 10 percent on last year. That might be because the public didn’t like Ricky’s shtick (many don’t). But the truth might be even more damaging: they have absolutely no idea who he is. Let’s pretend it was all to do with there being more popular films up for awards. At any rate, Fey and Poehler — let’s call them Feyhler — were pretty darn good. The jokes were sharp without being nasty: a great deal about booze, CIA-sponsored torture and  embarrassing mishaps. Hats off for the Anne Hathaway quip. Fey hadn’t seen her “so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.” Har har!

But the real star of the show was Jodie Foster. As others have pointed out, she has alluded to her gayness in speeches before. But this was her most explicit acknowledgment yet (and it still wasn’t that explicit). In fact, the amiably rambling speech was more to do with her right to privacy — her right to say as little as she likes about her sexuality and about anything else that’s none of your bloody business. Seems fair enough. I met her a few years ago and a more pleasant, good-humoured, self-deprecating sort you will rarely come across. Let’s hope Elysium is half as good as we wish it to be.

Now, awards silence will upon this place for a few blissful weeks.

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