The King’s Speech and The Social Network were confirmed as leading Oscar contenders this morning when they snagged, respectively, seven and six Golden Globe nominations.
Speech’s Colin Firth, Network’s Jesse Eisenberg and 127 Hours’ James Franco are all nominated for best actor in a dramatic film. Natalie Portman’s nomination for best actress in a drama upholds her status as an Oscar front-runner, as does Annette Bening’s nod in the comedy/musical actress category.
As in every year, the nominations included a few dashes of the absurd. Burlesque, disliked by most reviewers and ridiculed by some, is nominated for musical or comedy film. The Tourist, which scored a mere 20% at Rotten Tomatoes, is up for three awards – including acting nominations for Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in the comedy/musical category, even though the movie is (arguably) neither a comedy nor a musical.
What isn’t mentioned often enough (and perhaps couldn’t be pointed out too often) is what a silly little clique the Globes’ Hollywood Foreign Press Association is, with fewer than 100 members and many of them not film critics or even serious journalists. Many members don’t write full-time. Many live on pensions and produce just a few articles annually.
Highly respected reviewer David Denby of The New Yorker has described HFPA members as “very fawning” in their regard of screen stars. A New York Times scribe has remarked that the association is “treated with a shrug and a certain humor by the Hollywood elite.”
In a sane world, the HFPA’s choices of “best” in film and TV would get little notice. But Hollywood isn’t all that sane, and the Globes sadly influence American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members in their own Oscar voting.