Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Golden Globes aftermath and current Oscar standings

What’s up with Burlesque? What’s up with The Tourist

Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 21:58


A few posts ago, using my most facetious tone, I somehow found time to address the Golden Globes nominations. Some mild controversy ensued. Well, in the following days, a greater than usual amount of outraged muttering has burbled around this year’s shortlist. The main issue is the perplexing inclusion of the so-so The Tourist and the downright awful Burlesque among the nominations for Best Comedy or Musical.

What about us? Huh? Huh? Huh?

An article in today’s (British) Independent addressed the concerns in some detail. Guy Adams expressed himself thus:

“Disbelief later turned to mild outrage, however, after it emerged that Sony, the studio behind the clunker Burlesque, recently flew Golden Globes judges to Las Vegas for an all-expenses-paid trip which included luxury hotel accommodation, free meals and a private concert performed by the film’s star, Cher.”

The Independent article neatly summarises worries that have been aired throughout Hollywood since the nominations on Tuesday. The Hollywood Reporter, commenting on the acting nods for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, stars of The Tourist, found a high horse and climbed right upon it. Here’s that trade paper’s take:

“To skeptics, the choices appeared to be a particularly blatant play to line the red carpet with celebrities — in this case, two of the world’s biggest — at the Golden Globes ceremony Jan. 16. Additionally, the movie was never marketed as a comedy; it was portrayed as a romantic thriller.”

The most savage words came, however, from Betsey Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times. Both barrels were discharged in the following manner:

“The Globe nominations have often been little more than a popularity contest among those who throw the best parties, but with its 2011 nominations, the HFPA has reached a new low.”

Yikes, alive. There is, of course, every reason to believe that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body that hands out the Globes, has behaved in an exemplary fashion. After all, wretched films such as A Beautiful Mind and Crash actually won best picture Oscars without anybody (well, anybody apart from me) kicking up any noticeable fuss. But this has, so far, not been a particularly golden year for the Globes.

It hardly needs to be said that the Globes — never much of a pointer to Oscars, anyway — have had little effect on our predictions for the awards that matter. Indeed, unlike last year, I note no serious changes in wind direction since my first guess at the final 10. For the record — he would say that, wouldn’t he? — my smart-alec inclusion of Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (actually, a 2011 film) denied me the opportunity of placing Winter’s Bone in the list. I would guess that the first five here will also receive nominations for their directors and can, thus, be regarded as the real best-picture front-runners.

With the usual provisos that these are not necessarily the films I like, here is the predicted list in order of likelihood:

1. The Social Network

2. The King’s Speech

3. Black Swan

4. True Grit

5. Inception

6. 127 Hours

7.  Toy Story 3

8. The Kids are All Right

9. The Fighter

10. Winter’s Bone

Actually the more you stare at this the harder it becomes to imagine anything else breaking into the final shortlist. Another Year? Possibly. Blue Valentine? An outside bet. The Town? It could just about make it. At any rate, Oscar-haters (and that’s most of you) will be relieved to hear that I don’t ¬†imagine there will be much reason to debate this issue further before nominations week.