Five Things We Learned from the Golden Globes

Did they get the nominations right? Should Ricky Gervais have called it a day last year?

They Got The Nominations Right-ish this year
The Golden Globes have a history of inexplicable nominating terrible films: Burlesque, Alice In Wonderland, The Tourist and Red, which could have easily graced lists of the worst films of 2010, were nominated for Best Motion Picture- Comedy Or Musical. The Kids Are All Right, the only valid nomination, did win but it seemed more of a backhanded compliment when pitched up against such risible opposition. This year saw a marked improvement in the Comedy or Musical category with 50/50, Bridesmaids, Midnight In Paris, My Week With Marilyn and The Artist all nominated. But this year saw a poor selection in the Best Drama. You do wonder what made voters think that lightweight films such as The Help and The Ides Of March were better than Drive, Shame or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Ricky Gervais should have called it a day last year
With both The Office and Extras, Ricky Gervais opted to make only two series of each to prevent them from going stale. You can’t help but wish that he exercised the same restraint when he decided to host the Golden Globes for a third consecutive year. At last year’s ceremony he apparently punctured the collective ego of the Hollywood establishment, which actually meant that Robert Downey Jr. seemed a bit pissed off about a joke about his struggles with addiction, but his closing line of ‘I’d Like to thank God for making me an atheist,’ was fairly controversial in context of it being watched by 17 million Americans. This year, his mock egotistic shtick wore thin and his jokes were cheap and his targets, including such incendiary subjects as Jodie Foster’s beaver, were safe.

E! Entertainment Messed Up Majorly
You assume that well-adjusted individuals rarely find reasons to tune into digital channel E! Entertainment, but on Sunday it was necessary as they were the only UK channel covering the Golden Globes. Things started off badly when Gervais’s opening monologue was cut short by adverts for shows you never knew existed, such as The Soup (?) and Kourtney & Kim Take New York, and the finding out that they do exist was enough to induce an existential crisis. Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more annoyed an acceptance speech was again interrupted by the exclamation of ‘Hey Figo!’ in an advert for Just For Men hair dye. You have to assume E!’s target audience are greying middle aged men engrossed by the travails of Kourtney and Kim Kardashian and whether they will succeed in their quest to take New York.

Madonna thought she won a different award
In terms of acceptance speeches, George Clooney provided the lewdest by complimenting Michael Fassbender on his full- frontal scene in Shame, (“Can you play golf with your hands behind your back?”) but Madonna supplied the strangest. After an attempted reply to Gervais’s introduction: “If I’m like a virgin Ricky, why don’t you come over here and do something about it? I haven’t kissed a girl in a few years?” a zinger which no doubt left the host acutely offended and running off to lick his wounds in his dressing room, she thanked Andrea Riseborough, star of her upcoming film W.E for giving a masterpiece of a performance and Harvey Weinstien for believing in her film. This would have been OK if she was accepting the award for best film, but seemed odd as she was accepting the award for Best Song.

The Artist Will (Probably) Win Best Film At The Oscars
The Golden Globes usually act as a consensus-setter in the awards season and The Artist looks to have built up considerable awards momentum. The film has been critically lauded to the extent that my opinion that it is very good but not a masterpiece is the harshest criticism it is likely to receive. Delighting audiences and critics alike, The Artist looks set to be the first French film to win the Best Picture Oscar. Its closest competitor is Alexander Payne’s The Decendents. The hope is that the academy don’t have a crisis of confidence, realising that The Artist is a French, black and white, silent film and opt for the safe option like last year when The King’s Speech triumphed over David Fincher’s, frankly, better and more innovative The Social Network.

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