Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Which 3 Days Later, I Address the Golden Globes

I know that for someone who has the fake job of blogging about pop culture, the Wednesday after the Golden Globes is a tad on the delayed side. In fact, at this point, there might be little reason to address the subject at all. Three days post, anyone who cares is already totally aware of the winners, losers, and upsets. Everyone else, well, they just don't care. I used to be a big fan of the Globes. At one point in my life the strange amalgamation of celebrities from cinema and television was more exciting than the pomp and circumstance of the Oscars. Lately, though, the Globes seem a scaled back affair. They're scattered, without a cohesive element (even Ricky Gervais couldn't pretend that he was doing a full day's work of hosting), and sort of look like they're filmed at a dressed up airport convention center. These days, they're my playoffs for the big event. This year, they managed to do a great deal of snubbing. Yet, ignoring them completely would be something of a disservice. So, let me run things down.

1. For those unaware (why would you be?), the Golden Globes honor film and television, dividing both mediums into "drama" and "musical/comedy" categories. This means that in the acting categories there are double the nominees (and a larger variety) than at the Oscars. Because of the breakdown, the long shot can win.

2. Sunday, the drama winner for best picture was Avatar while The Hangover won for best comedy. If that sounds more like the selection for the People's Choice Awards than the Golden Globes, we're on the same page. Of course, I'm a fan of both films...but, really? Let's break it down.

A. In its category, The Hangover was just about the best option. It was the sleeper hit, featured a tremendously effective ensemble cast, and was legitimately funny. Yet, one must ask why it (and the others in its category, including It's Complicated and Julie and Julia) were nominated in the first place. Where was A Serious Man? The Informant!? In the Loop? I would even argue that Zombieland and Funny People offered up more laughs and better performances than a traditional rom com like It's Complicated. I'd also say that just because Nine is the sole musical, doesn't mean it deserves instant recognition.

B. Avatar deserves every technical award it gets nominated for. It's a gorgeous film and a remarkable feat. Yet, aside from the special effects, it's not one for acting, screenwriting, or the other elements that the big ticket award shows usually fawn over. I'd say it's certainly not the best film of the year and that giving it an award for best dramatic film is just about the same as handing 300 an Oscar. In also dubbing James Cameron best director, Avatar essentially robbed Quentin Tarantino and Kathryn Bigelow (speaking of which, can you believe Bigelow and Cameron were actually married at one point? Yipes. I'd like to ask her if he's as much of a toolbox as I imagine. I'm pretty sure he is.)

3. Sandra. Bullock. Won. A. Dramatic. Acting. Award. WTF? For that bland looking touchy-feely sports drama The Blind Side no less. There are so many things wrong with this, I can't even begin to elaborate upon them. Oh wait. Yes, I can. It's a joke. A huge joke. Even if her performance was less annoying than it appeared (I'm sure it was), in a year in which Charlotte Gainsbourg had the best mental breakdown I've ever seen on film (Antichrist)....Sandra Bullock's southern belle mom role is the biggest joke ever. Really. Bullock doesn't even come in second place, because after Gainsbourg comes Tilda Swinton in Julia. Seriously. If the academy could give Swinton an award for her minor role in Michael Clayton, they should be falling all over themselves to hand it to her for Julia. For reals. If I see Sandra Bullock walk across that stage come Oscar night, my irritation and level of disappointment will skyrocket to new heights. As controversial as Antichrist may be, the one aspect that cannot be argued is that Gainsbourg is incredible in it. Truly. Right now, her snub is beyond snubby. It's like at slap in the face levels. Not just her face, but pretty much the massive face of anyone who even pretends to like cinema.

4. Similarly, no matter how big my crush on Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes is, or how much I liked RDJ's acceptance speech, that award belonged to Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) and/or Matt Damon. Again...People's Choice Awards.

5. I am pleased that Christoph Waltz won for Inglourious Basterds. He was a truly dispicable villain. I'm also quite glad that Dexter's Michael C. Hall killed the competition (har har).

6. While I expected 30 Rock to finally be defeated this year, I'm not sure Glee should have been the heir to the throne. Why? Because, well, for all the hype, Glee started strong and has quickly descended towards the tedious terrain of a show well into its third season. In the season finale, it seemed they were headed towards a turn around. If they can make it out of the rut they're in, they would deserve the award next year. This year? I can't help but feel the show is a little too flawed. What I would have liked to have seen would be a supporting actress award for Jane Lynch and a loss for the show as a whole. Honor the working pieces of the whole, not the whole. How many people just started pouting? Sorry, Gleeks, I like the show too, but, really, I mean...don't you watch it sometimes and just get angry?

7. I love Martin Scorsese. Seriously. There's a dude who really loves what he does, and who really has the passion to block out the overwhelming pretension and arrogance of some of his peers. I get the feeling that anyone who met Martin Scorsese could get him to have a really great conversation about film. Let's just give Scorsese all the awards and call it a day.

8. I also really like that Sigourney Weaver is all popular again. I had a dream where she came up in conversation and my parents reminded me of the time she came to Christmas dinner and turned out to be a bitch (no, this never happened). In my dream I was terribly disappointed. Perhaps because I've spent most of my life thinking that Sigourney Weaver is pretty much awesome.

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