Seven Gripes About the Nominations for 2011 Golden Globe Awards
by Ethan Anderton
December 15, 2011
This morning the nominations for the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards were revealed, and as we've come to expect from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, they weren't exactly what we were expecting (if that makes sense), and there's more than a few odd choices honoring some of the talents on the big screen from the year 2011. However, my biggest gripes lie with some of the exclusions from this year's nominations, and the method by which some of the nominated films are categorized, a problem that arises every year, especially within the Best Comedy or Musical category. Read on for my issues with the noms!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II - This one might actually be a taste of things to come when the Oscar nominations come around early next year, but there's no denying that the Golden Globes deciding against a nomination that would essentially honor the entire multi-billion dollar franchise is a bit of a poor decision. Of course, the film does have to contend with the fact that it's not a stand alone story, and it relies on the rest of the series for much of the drama and gravitas that you feel from the epic conclusions. But that doesn't mean the combination of performances, outstanding special effects and grand scale of adapting J.K. Rowling's novels aren't deserving of at least a nomination, especially when something as melodramatic and pandering as The Help gets a nomination.
The Muppets: After becoming one of the most loved and critically lauded films of the year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association apparently didn't feel the need to honor the return of Jim Henson's iconic characters to the big screen after a decade of absence, not even with a nod for Best Original Song. Aside from the fact that the film is both a musical and a comedy, thus fitting not one, but both of the parameters for being nominated for the Best Musical or Comedy category, the film evokes a feeling that tops nominees like Bridesmaids no matter how raucously funny the film may be. However, my beef doesn't lie with Bridesmaids at all, but rather the inclusion of another film that certainly deserves to be nominated, but not in this particular category. That brings us to...
My Week with Marilyn: Don't get me wrong. This film is absolutely fantastic and deserves every single nomination thrown its way, but the fact is that this film is neither a comedy or a musical and therefore should not be nomination in this category. Sure there are some laughs to be had throughout the film, but this is a film about a short time in the life of Marilyn Monroe as she struggled with fame, impressing director Laurence Olivier, and breaking the heart of a young man enamored with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, filmmaking, and of course, Ms. Monroe. Nominate the film, nominate every member of the cast, but do it in the dramatic category where it belongs and let films like The Muppets shine along with the rest of the films made to be comedies.
Crazy Stupid Love: Kudos to Ryan Gosling snagging a nomination for this film (though he deserves even more love for his turn in The Ides of March, for which he was also appropriately nominated), but the fact that the film itself wasn't nominated in the Best Comedy or Musical category is absolutely mind-boggling. This is one of the most finely tuned romantic comedies I've ever seen with stellar performances from each and every cast member and a fantastically written script that hits in all the right spots. It's surprising, touching, hilarious and dramatic and deserves to be recognized as such.
The Beaver: This one may be where most people disagree with me, but The Beaver still stands as my favorite film of 2011. Following the breakdown of Mel Gibson, this film came around and proved that he's still got the talent to deliver an amazing performance. Combine that with a great return to the director's chair for Jodie Foster and one of the best original screenplays I've read in a long time, thanks to Kyle Killen, and you've got a film that will make you laugh, cry and reflect on your own life. Perhaps it was Gibson's public image that made the HFPA ignore this spectacular film, but many will not forget it.
Andy Serkis: Seriously? We're going to nominate Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar, a wholly undeserving film and not even the best performance of his career, and George Clooney for The Descendants, a decent but not mind-blowing performance, but we're just going to ignore the man who brought Caesar to life in Rise of the Planet of the Apes? I'm going to toss this up to the fact that no one is quite sure how to deal with motion capture performances, but knowing how Serkis approaches his craft, talking with the actor about his process and seeing the result of his work on screen is reason enough to absolutely outrage me that he wasn't nominated. Rise of the Planet of the Apes does not work without Andy Serkis. He makes you fall in love with a fictional primate, and one that essentially becomes a villain that destroys the human race. If that's not acting worthy of a nomination, then I don't know what is.
Anyway, when it comes down to it, the Golden Globes are the less important out of the major awards in cinema. There's a lot of schmoozing going on for the Hollywood Foreign Press, and there's plenty of nominations that have been expected well before the announcement was made this morning. I've even heard from some Los Angeles locals that today there were already billboard for War Horse bragging about Golden Globe nominations. Doesn't sound like some of them were a surprise at all, and if anything, that just helps me tone down the anger from these sad exclusions from this year's nominations. Thoughts?