Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Can the Globes be Skipped?

Michael C. here with some trivia for you to mull over as you finish digesting the Globe line-up and ponder the influence of an organization that looks at The Tourist and Red and sees awards fodder. Maybe they were just eager to provide Ricky Gervais with some good material. It is all about the party, after all.

The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what the Iowa caucuses are to the presidential race. A relatively tiny number of people wielding enormous influence using a highly questionable system and voting largely based on how often they got to have their picture taken with the nominees. Why do they have so much clout when it's universally acknowledged that you could get an equally relevant verdict by going into a random Starbucks and asking for a show of hands? Because like Presidential campaigns, it may be ridiculous, but dammit it’s the system we’re stuck with. Miss out on a Globe nomination and your chances of holding an Oscar are quickly reduced to a very low order of probability.

In the last thirty years only eight performers have landed an Oscar without first grabbing a nom from the Foreign Press. They are Alan Arkin, Marcia Gay Harden, James Coburn, Roberto Benigni, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Kline, Geena Davis, and Don Ameche. The list of films that have managed a Best Picture win without a Globe nom is even shorter. Only four films have ever pulled off such a trick and two of them, Chariots of Fire (1981) and Gandhi (1982), were classified as foreign films by the globes and awarded there. That leaves only Crash (2005) and The Sting (1973) to look to for precedent.

 I Will Take Any Excuse To Post a Pic of Newman in The Sting

Are there any such upsets lurking in the HFPA's snubs? I can’t say I spot any. Maybe a surprise supporting win for Hailee Stanfield or a chorus of “overdue” calls for Ed Harris to take it once they finally start showing The Way Back. Call me naïve but I’m always surprised upsets like that don't happen more often. If I were an Academy member I suspect I would be sorely tempted to go out on a limb just to show that neither the Globes nor any of the other precursors could influence my ballot. 
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16 comments:

Univarn said...

The backlash directed at the globes has been festering for years now, so I wouldn't be surprised if it reached a boiling point this year or next, and the Oscars really went out on a limb with a few of their selections. However, I'm not sure it'll transfer to wins. The globes usually get the big one or two right and then play around with the rest.

Volvagia said...

The Sting is an amazing movie, the best of it's kind. It's great Oscar actually went for it, even though it didn't receive a globe nom. (I'd even say it's: Better than Butch and Sundance, and, therefore, George Roy Hill's best movie. The only other one I feel may deserve a reevaluation is Slaughterhouse-Five.)

NATHANIEL R said...

Univarn -- i'm always hearing about this "backlash against the globes" but to me, honestly, it feels like something that's coming primarily from other precursor groups (who see it as the organization to take down if they themselves want a higher profile) rather than Oscar voters themselves.

I'm guessing AMPAS voters by and large view all of these groups (including the Globes) as buzzy flies or twinkling lights depending on their mood. Either something to swat away casually or gaze at for a second and think "neat" and move on.

Cluster Funk said...

I completely understand why people snicker at The Tourist's, or even Burlesque's, nods, but Red actually *is* pretty good *and* largely comedic in tone. Alice in Clusterfu...er, I mean, Wonderland, is a far less worthy choice.

Andrew R. said...

I always skip the Globes. It's like a recurring event, only it's not actually an event. "You doing anything today, Andrew?" "Not much, just skipping the Golden Globes."

Graham Greenlee said...

This Globe backlash seems to be louder in years past (or maybe that's just the net amplifying things)... Personally, I enjoy the Globe show for the most part (it's fun to watch a dinner party full of famous people drinking), but I don't really take their winners and nominees seriously... And with the media harping on about the inclusion of The Tourist, it seems like the media doesn't either.

Certainly it helps films like The Fighter and Black Swan mount serious campaigns and grab a lot of general PR, but the guilds have been much better indicators of trends within the industry for the last few years and I think will be again this year. Key nominations or snubs at the SAG, WGA, DGA and PGA will be much more telling.

Example: True Grit missing out on any Golden Globe attention = 80 foreigners didn't like the movie. True Grit not getting WGA, DGA or SAG ensemble nod = A real problem for Paramount.

Another example: Mark Ruffalo not getting a Golden Globe nod = Whatever. Ruffalo not getting a SAG nod = Reason to be worried.

NATHANIEL R said...

Graham -- all true, yes. I'm worried already even before the SAGs go for Ruffalo .just read a disturbing piece that basically confirmed what i feel the reason is that people ignore him -- for that role... that's not a meaty role like ___ ____ ___ . He just doesn't do "bait" and his regular guys don't strike people as acting challenges even though they totally can be.

Janice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Univarn said...

Very true Nathan, and when I refer to backlash I mean a lot of it comes from media outlets (which are certain to still cover the globes diligently) mocking it. In many respects I don't think the media outlets realize the power they have with things like the Oscars. Not all members of the AMPAS listen them, yes, but the names they hear the most often, the ones that stick with them the most, are the ones media outlets cover. The less attention they pay to what the Globes do, the less attention AMPAS will.

Brandon (Twister) said...

Here are some of the MAIN things that bug me about the nominations (and lack there of)...

The noms for Alice in Wonderland are absurd, I think. They just seem to be fillers for an awful movie, that died quickly with audiences it seems. Johnny is okay, but Burton just feels lost in all of his reliance on CGI that Mr. Depp gets dragged down too.

But what really grinds my gears are the total lack of recognition for "Get Him To The Greek". A hilariously delight that coulda/shoulda easily of snagged a nom in the Comedy/Musical category. And by doing that totally overlooking Russell Brand's award worthy performance. Maybe he'll pull a Tomei and get out of nowhere recognition by Oscar.

Also, where's Chloe Moretz in Let Me In? One of the best performances I have seen by an actor of any age in a long time, and she's been brushed away, despite some early buzz which fizzed down.

What do you think Nathaniel?

Anonymous said...

I love this comparison to the Iowa caucuses! And I am now putting Michael C.'s blog on my daily read list.

Volvagia said...

Yes, I think Brand's is probably among the top ten, possibly top five male leads of the year. But try convincing the Academy that a performance that includes delivering "We Got the Clap" as worthy. Brand's persona is probably harder to improv with than, say, Bill Murray's. (This being an Apatow, you know there was at least some improv. Good thing is: Here it's as seamless as possible. After two watches, I can solidly say: A-.)

CMrok93 said...

I always like the Golden Globes because I like their nominations mostly. But this year, just makes me laugh. The Tourist nominated for 3 awards??? You have got to be kidding me! I mean they could have at least nominated plenty of other films for Best Comedy. Here would have been my Nominations for Best Comedy:

Toy Story 3

Another Year

The Kids Are Alright

Easy A

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This one would have been a little been more interesting, than the one this year. But hey, I still will watch this year’s awards so it doesn’t bother me that much.

gn02174082 said...

I just don't know why Paul was nominated for the Academy for NINE times (the 4th most-nominated actor) and wins one time(only ONE time!?WTF!), but never has a Globe? I just can't get it.... He's so classic! I read really a few information about Paul here so once a moment I thought you don't like him or something like that. But I Will Take Any Excuse To Post a Pic of Newman in any films of his too!

RC said...

"If I were an Academy member I suspect I would be sorely tempted to go out on a limb just to show that neither the Globes nor any of the other precursors could influence my ballot."

I imagine some due - but the problem comes when they're all going out on different limbs. Then they don't show up on the radar.

Ahhh...consensus.

MIGUELÓN said...

Hello, some questions from Spain...

Why toy story 3 is not nominated to best comedy or even drama???

Alice is a Comedy???

What kind of drugs use the people that choose the nominated of the golden globes???

Thanks and sorry for my english :)