The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts December 16, 2005

Wanton Distraction
By Matt Goldberg

Golden Globe Nominations

In reviewing this year’s Golden Globe nominations, I have a tough time being outraged because: One, I haven’t had a chance to see most of the films (that happens when you don’t live in New York or L.A.), and two, This has been such a poor year for quality films that it’s tough to neglect “good” films when they simply aren’t there. The biggest surprises are the exclusions of films that are obviously going to push hard for Oscars.
Best Picture — Drama
Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
Good Night, and Good Luck
A History of Violence
Match Point

Best Picture — Comedy / Musical
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
The Producers
The Squid and the Whale
Walk the Line

For the studios behind Memoirs of a Geisha, Crash, Syriana and Munich, this is not good news. In terms of total nominations, this is excellent news for Brokeback Mountain and Good Night, and Good Luck.

Personally, I’m surprised at the nomination for A History of Violence, as the film seems to have faded back a little since its September release. I’m also relieved to see the absence of Cinderella Man, which I felt to be one of the year’s worst films.

Of course the question arises, why care?

Because winter time is drama time.

Studios hold on to their films because meaningless awards bought with marketing dollars sell tickets. People can complain about these awards being pointless and erroneous in terms of who they honor and ignore, but just the example of Sony pushing All The King’s Men back to Winter 2006 — even though it will wrap in February — goes to show that awards drive the making of prestigious pictures. The more awards a film has, the more money it can make.

The Golden Globes also choose to honor television, which I’ve always found a bit half-hearted, seeing as they bestow these nominations mid-season. The major nominations are as follows:
Best Dramatic Series
Grey’s Anatomy
Prison Break
Comedic Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Desperate Housewives
Everybody Hates Chris
My Name Is Earl

The biggest surprise with these nominations is that four of the shows are still in the middle of their first season. While I’m relieved that the Globes have woken up — whereas the Emmys have not, in regards to the dramatic failures of 24 and The West Wing — they’ve also neglected Arrested Development.

Here’s a tip to any awards program responsible for bestowing honor upon television series: at least nominate Arrested Development so you won’t look like someone who supports the term “idiot box.”

I’m rather amused with the acting nominations, as the ladies of Desperate Housewives take up four out of the five nominations for Best Comedic Actress.

Most of the nominations are pretty solid and I’m happy to see actors like Jason Lee and Steve Carell receive nominations for their work in My Name Is Earl and The Office, respectively.

Also, Hugh Laurie really deserves his nomination and, I’d say, a win, for House, seeing as he basically carries the show.

My only complaint would be the omission of Terry O’Quinn for his supporting work on Lost. Naveen Andrews received a nomination, but this is the role of O’Quinn’s career. To completely ignore him is bizarre.

Since the Globes don’t divide supporting actor awards into “drama” and “comedic,” I’d probably give O’Quinn the nomination, but give the award to Jeremy Piven for his iconic role as uber-agent Ari Gold on Entourage.

Personally, I enjoy awards shows. They provide entertaining discussion fodder, and the Golden Globes, regardless of general distaste for the Hollywood Foreign Press, are prestigious awards that help draw attention to films and aid in their receiving the most prestigious film award: the Oscar.

So on Jan. 16, kick back and root for your favorite films and TV shows while your family berates you for not being a real man and watching football.


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