Film

The Olden Globes

Once again, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press have spoken - and confused the awards season conversation all over again.

Once again, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press have raised more questions than they answered. While handing out their annual gaudy glam golden glad hands on 15 January, they sent very mixed signals over which films and filmmakers should be preparing for Oscar glory. Granted, the Globes are never a good indicator of future success, but they still become the first piece in a six week puzzle that hopes to crown the year's best. Still, what is one to make out of Martin Scorsese's Best Director nod for Hugo? And if that movie was so expertly helmed, how did it not win one of the two Best Movie awards? In the same vein, if both The Descendants and The Artist were deemed the Best Drama and Comedy/Musical of 2011, how were directors Alexander Payne and Michel Hazanavicius seemingly snubbed?

If you jump further down the junket rabbit hole, the queries continue. Both George Clooney and French actor Jean Dujardin won for Best Actor, again supporting The Descendants and The Artist in their push for frontrunner status. Yet neither film walked away with another major award, leaving Best Supporting Actor to the aging (if still amazing) Christopher Plummer and Best Supporting Actress to The Help's sole soul salvation, Octavia Spencer. Heck, even the no longer relevant Woody Allen got a chance to claim a bit of his old glory back by snagging the Best Screenplay trophy for Midnight in Paris. As for star turns, Madam Meryl Streep showed up and claimed yet another accolade for her work as a befuddled Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady while Michelle Williams walked back into the Oscar conversation for her turn as a certain blond bombshell in My Week with Marilyn.

While it's no surprise that the Best Animated Film went to Tintin (he, like Slim Whitman, is just so gosh darn popular in Europe), the unnecessary acknowledgment for Madonna (Best Song for something called "Masterpiece") continues the argument for the Globes incompetence and cluelessness. Many have debated the real purpose behind the awards, noting that many unworthy entries are tagged just so their incredibly famous (and media friendly) participants show up and turn the evening into a true spectacle. Perhaps that would explain why Angelina Jolie received recognition for her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, or the otherwise mediocre Ides of March earned so many mentions.

Of course, the Globes aren't beyond obvious snubs. While the DGA and PGA picked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as one of its end of the year contenders, it barely earned a meaningful mention. Similarly, Brad Pitt's Moneyball walked in with several important possibilities, but walked out empty handed and while his motion capture take on the beloved Belgian boy reporter found favor with the foreign press, Steven Spielberg's other major award season entry - War Horse - was DOA. And then what do we make of poor Bridesmaids. They never thought they'd make it this far, then started to believe in their own humor hype. By the close of business Sunday, all involved must be hoping for an AMPAS miracle. With Oscar expanding its Best Picture category to ten, it has a chance, but it's no longer a lock.

In fact, all that the Golden Globes have done is accentuate the obvious. For weeks, critics groups have volleyed back and forth over a few certain titles - Descendants, Artist, Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive - so the inclusion (and win) of the first two is no real surprise. Streep was also a given, while Williams' win helped pull her back from the 'peeked too early' brink. Actor has always seemed to be Dujardin's to lose (though for the life of many professional critics, the reason remains vague and unfocused) and Spencer and Plummer seem like nice, nominal, noteworthy choices. There was no major shake-ups (Tintin, perhaps, the exception), no selection seemingly made by madmen (and women). But the Globes remains an unfathomable, insular bunch. Give them a bandwagon to jump on, and not only will they ride it, they'll frequently leap off and back onto the vehicle again just for fun.

In fact, Scorsese remains the one real stunner here. Hugo, for all its 3D invention and classic film homage, was a real stretch for the grit and grime crime auteur, and many believed he would see little support for this flight of fancy. Now, with over $125 million in box office both home and internationally, and omens of increasing year-end relevance, it could be the long shot many continue to hope for. After all, awards season is so predictable (A Separation? Didn't see that one coming, right?) that anything straying from the script is seen as a victory. Too bad the wealth is spread so incredibly thin.

With the might of the menacing Weinsteins behind it, however, The Artist seems like a shoe-in and Clooney can ride The Descendants much like he did his last chance at real major Oscar glory - the criminally underappreciated Up in the Air. Yet don't feel flummoxed if March comes along and many of the same names you've heard mentioned over and over again aren't standing in the winner's circle, wondering aloud how God and other members of the entertainment entourage helped them land there. The Golden Globes did what they always do - set the conversation and then slowly slink away to stifle a champagne and chutzpah hangover. As usual, the questions remain...and the answers fail to fully satisfy.



Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Prof. Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Music

Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.

Music

Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.

Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Music

Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.

Music

Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.

Books

'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Music

Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.

Music

DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.

Music

JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.

Music

​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.

Music

Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times

Music

Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.

Music

How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.

Books

Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.