Golden Globes: Trying Too Hard to Be Cool?

18 01 2010

Avatar takes home Best Director and Best Motion Picture – Drama awards.

In years past, I have lamented the fact that awards shows were nominating and recognizing the most obscure, independent films possible…ones that only a handful of people had seen, thus alienating the majority of the movie-going audience.  While these films may have been worthy (a la No Country For Old Men, etc.), I missed the days when the big blockbusters got the attention they deserved (Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings).  It seems the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) took heed this year at the 67th Golden Globe Awards…but did they go too far?

  • The biggest upset of the night wasAvatar‘s win for Best Motion Picture – Drama.  Up against critic-favorite Up in the Air, actor-driven drama Precious and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, it seems the HFPA was trying to look “cool” by awarding the box-office-breaking epic the night’s biggest honor.  While Avatar was good, the other films were better…just not as popular.  James Cameron’s win for Best Director – Motion Picture was also surprising.
  • Sandra Bullock won Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in The Blind Side, another crowd-pleasing box office success, snubbing new-comer Gabourey Sidibe (Precious).  Suprisingly, the HFPA broke with their “award the popular kids” theme of the night by giving Jeff Bridges the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama award for the little known Crazy Heart, leaving critic favorite George Clooney (Up in the Air) statue-less.
  • Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) and Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes) won for Best Actress/Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.  Both films were crowd-pleasing successes with wide releases…definitely the “coolest” of the nominees.
  • No surprises in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Supporting Role categories.  Mo’nique took home the Globe for Precious (the HFPA should have been disbanded if they snubbed her performance) and Christopher Waltz won for Inglourious Basterds (sadly, the only win for this brilliant film).
  • The HFPA really pushed the “hey look, we’re cool and relevant” message by awarding The Hangover with the Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.  While not undeserving, this was the clearest indication that the awards were trying to appeal to a larger audience.  Similarly, Glee won for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical…another audience favorite (yet not undeserving).
  • Critic and crowd favorite, Up, took home awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
  • Largely ignored critic favorite (and most nominated), Up in the Air, ended up with only one award (Best Screenplay – Motion Picture)…it almost felt like a consolation prize.  Inglourious Basterds was also shamefully under-awarded.

Overall, last night’s award ceremony went well.  Ricky Gervais was a sufficiently funny host, although forgettable.  The speeches were the usual mix of touching and awkward (Mo’nique and Robert Downey, Jr. had some of the best speeches of the night).  Unfortunately, I think the Globes took my plea and went too far…while I appreciated the recognition that large movies like Avatar and The Hangover received, better movies were snubbed in order to please the crowd (award shows have been losing audiences at alarming rates…so it’s no wonder such a backlash is taking place).  I can only hope the Academy Awards will find the perfect balance between “popular” and “deserving.”

According to my list of predictions, I was 60% correct…not too bad!  View a complete list of winners here.

What do you think?  Did Avatar deserve some of the biggest honor’s of the night?  Did the HFPA favor the “popular kids?”  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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7 responses

18 01 2010
Katie Van Domelen

I think Cameron deserved best director – if only in recognition of the advancement in film making that Avatar represents. As far as “best movie” I’m not sure it really deserved that. They should make a new category, “coolest movie,” and stick the crowd pleasing blockbuster in there, and then save “best” for best.

18 01 2010
Dustin

With the Best Picture Oscar nominations bumped up to 10 (instead of 5) this year, we’ll probably see a lot of the “coolest movies” nominated along with the “best”…I’m just not sure if, like you said, they belong in the same category.

18 01 2010
cassandraokamoto

I think you summed this up so perfectly! I am actually really looking forward to the Academy Awards this year-lets hope they don’t disappoint 🙂

18 01 2010
Me

Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

18 01 2010
Dustin

Thanks for subscribing! As far as the future of the blog…just hope to keep posting and keep my readers interested! 🙂

18 01 2010
Tina

I agree with Cassandra. I think it’ll be interesting to see how the Oscars go this year, since the Golden Globes are always supposed to be an indicator of the winners for the later show. Thought i was surprised at some of their choices, a few didn’t upset me. I thoguht Sandra Bullock deserved her award and so did Glee, even if they were the “popular” choice. I wasn’t unhappy about The Hangover win, but was more than a little surprised and would’ve been just as satisfied if they’d gone home without a statue but a little recognition. After all, it is an honor just to be nominated…

18 01 2010
Dustin

Agreed…I think the list of nominees was difficult, because most of them were well deserving. Should make for a most interesting Oscar-season!

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