Yesterday morning, in a presentation hosted by Woody Harrelson, Sofia Vergara, Gerard Butler and Rashida Jones, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominees for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards ceremony in January. While a first glance at the list of nominations may not appear to hold many surprises, the biggest surprise (and frankly disappointment) is that there aren’t too many inexplicable or outright bonkers nominations, as the Globes are notorious for, either. Remember how last year ‘The Tourist’ (which is neither a comedy, a musical nor a remotely good movie) was nominated for Best Comedy or Musical? Where’s that kind of insanity this year?
In comparison, the new nominations are pretty boring. I’m not going to go through all of them, but here’s a look at some of the major categories. We’ll start with movies.
Best Motion Picture: Drama
- ‘The Descendants’
- ‘The Help’
- ‘The Ides of March’
- ‘War Horse’
All of these are acclaimed films that were expected to pick up award nominations. ‘Hugo’ seems like a long shot. ‘The Help’, which is the kind of pandering awards bait that the HFPA loves, is probably the front-runner here, but I’m feeling a vibe for ‘The Descendants’ in this one. We shall see.
Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical
- ‘The Artist’
- ‘Midnight in Paris’
- ‘My Week with Marilyn’
Again, this is a pretty respectable list of nominees. ‘The Artist’ leads the ceremony in most nominations overall and is probably a lock for this (unless the slowly-fermenting backlash against it gains any traction, which I doubt). It’s my favorite film of the year so far, and I’d be very happy to see it win, though ‘Midnight in Paris’ is also plenty deserving of the attention.
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that ‘The Descendants’ was nominated in the Drama category and not Comedy, given the Golden Globes’ blurry distinction between what makes a movie a drama or a comedy. I have a feeling that it was bumped to Drama to take it out of competition with ‘The Artist’ (which isn’t necessarily a comedy either).
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama
- George Clooney, ‘The Descendants’
- Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘J. Edgar’
- Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’
- Ryan Gosling, ‘The Ides of March’
- Brad Pitt, ‘Moneyball’
I’m calling this one for Clooney. Anyone disagree?
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama
- Glenn Close, ‘Albert Nobbs’
- Viola Davis, ‘The Help’
- Rooney Mara, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’
- Meryl Streep, ‘Iron Lady’
- Tilda Swinton, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’
If this were the Oscars, I’d put my money on Streep. But the Globes aren’t easily predictable, so who knows? It’ll probably go to Viola Davis.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical
- Jean Dujardin, ‘The Artist’
- Brendan Gleeson, ‘The Guard’
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, ’50/50′
- Ryan Gosling, ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’
- Owen Wilson, ‘Midnight in Paris’
Dujardin all the way. He’s amazing in ‘The Artist’. If he wins, I hope that he mimes his acceptance speech.
I find it kind of interesting that Ryan Gosling was nominated in both the Drama and Comedy sections, for ‘The Ides of March’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’ respectively, but the movie that was supposed to be his big breakout role this year (‘Drive’) was completely ignored. I wasn’t particularly a fan of ‘Drive’, and I thought his performance in it was pretty much terrible, so that suits me just fine.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical
- Jodie Foster, ‘Carnage’
- Charlize Theron, ‘Young Adult’
- Kristen Wiig, ‘Bridesmaids’
- Michelle Williams, ‘My Week with Marilyn’
- Kate Winslet, ‘Carnage’
I hear that Michelle Williams is great as Marilyn Monroe, but this is Kristen Wiig’s year for this category. Her movie was a huge hit, and everyone loves her. While the Oscars aren’t likely to give a broad comedy like ‘Bridesmaids’ any attention, the Globes will eat it up.
Best Director: Motion Picture
- Woody Allen, ‘Midnight in Paris’
- George Clooney, ‘The Ides of March’
- Michel Hazanavicius, ‘The Artist’
- Alexander Payne, ‘The Descendants’
- Martin Scorsese, ‘Hugo’
When it comes time for the Oscars, Alexander Payne will probably be rewarded. But at the Globes, I’m predicting a sweep for ‘The Artist’.
Let’s move on to the television nominations next.
Best Television Series: Drama
- ‘American Horror Story’
- ‘Boardwalk Empire’
- ‘Game of Thrones’
Anyone who reads this blog knows that ‘American Horror Story’ is my favorite show this year, seconded only by ‘Game of Thrones’. Sadly, ‘Horror Story’ isn’t highbrow enough to win awards, and ‘Game of Thrones’ may be too nerdy. I expect that this is going to come down to ‘Boardwalk Empire’ or ‘Homeland’, neither of which I watch but both of which I’ve heard good things about.
Best Television Series: Comedy or Musical
- ‘Modern Family’
- ‘New Girl’
I kind of like ‘Enlightened’, but I’ve let it get backed up on my DVR, and I don’t think there’s much enthusiasm for it, well, anywhere.
I can’t decide whether the current season of ‘Glee’ is a rebound from the erratic second season or a further downslide. This past week’s holiday episode had a solid half-hour of pure brilliance in the middle, buffered on each side by some of the most atrociously godawful scenes that have been inflicted on television by any show this year.
‘Modern Family’ is still a reliable and consistently funny comedy, but I think it got enough attention in the first two seasons. ‘New Girl’ has the most buzz of any of these series, so I predict that one to win here.
Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
- ‘Cinema Verite’
- ‘Downton Abbey’
- ‘The Hour’
- ‘Mildred Pierce’
- ‘Too Big to Fail’
Please, not ‘Mildred Pierce’. That’s all I have to say about this category. I don’t care which of the other nominees wins, but that tedious mess doesn’t deserve to be rewarded for its failings.
I don’t have the time (or frankly the interest) to get into the television acting nominations or any of the other categories here. Visit the official Golden Globes web site to browse through the full list of nominees.
The Golden Globes are basically a joke of an awards ceremony that nobody takes seriously, but they are sometimes an indicator of where things are headed when Oscar time comes around. Tell us in the comments which of these nominations make the most or least sense to you. What movies or TV shows did you like this year that were overlooked?