The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, (HFPA) which sponsors the Golden Globes, has long been known for its sketchy awards process, even though the national obsession with celebrity news coverage has lifted it out of the shadows. But has it really changed its act?
The problem begins with the composition of the association itself.
Although it’s supposed to represent international news operations, but its membership has been limited to 90 members from just over 50 countries. Nearly all are free-lancers. They refuse to let in the real Hollywood press from legitimate foreign news outlets.
In contrast, more than 100,000 Screen Actors Guild members voted on SAG Awards and about 6,000 members of the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences vote on Academy Award nominations.
Not only is the HFPA membership limited, but it’s process of selecting nominees has always been secretive. Over the years, it’s been repeatedly accused of accepting payola to nominate films.
In 2008, NBC even dropped broadcasting the awards show. But that was then. The show is back on NBC and will be broadcast on Jan. 10. Ricky Gervais returns as host.
Publicity from the nationally televised show and bragging rights afterward are just too lucrative for any Hollywood studio to call out the organization. The HFPA gets its payoff through as much as $30 million in broadcast fees, according to Hollwyood insider Nikki Finke.
What makes the Golden Globes so sketchy are its nominations and how they differ from, say, the Screen Actors Guild. The Guild announced its nominees on Wednesday (Dec. 9). What stands out are not the similarities but the differences.
The HFPA gives best picture awards for dramas and comedies. Its selections this year are light years apart from SAG’s nominees for ensemble acting, its equivalent of a best picture award.
Again, it’s the odd choice that stands out.
For best drama, the HFPA nominated “Carol,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” Spotlight,”… and “Mad Max: Fury Road?” The latter was just another tedious formulaic sequel in the Mad Max series. Yet there it is.
Meanwhile, “Trumbo” was snubbed in the category.
The two organizations share only one nominee, “Spotlight.” SAG went with “Beasts of No Nation,” “The Big Short,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Trumbo.”
The HFPA takes two bites of the apple, so its best comedy film category includes “The Big Short,” “Joy,” “The Martian,” “Spy” and “Trainwreck.” Say What? “The Martian,” is no comedy, yet there it is.
Overall, “Carol,” and “The Big Short” led the HFPA selections with the most nominations.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara both earned best actress drama nominations for their roles in “Carol.” The movie, set in the uptight 1950s is about a wealthy, older, married woman (Blanchett) who falls in love with a young shop girl (Mara).
“Carol” also landed a best director nomination for Todd Haynes.
Christian Bale and Steve Carrell earned best actor comedy nominations for “The Big Short” and Bradley Cooper was tapped for supporting actor comedy.
The movie looks askance at the housing bubble collapse that triggered the Great Recession of 2008. It was also tapped for best screen play.
Other lead actor nominees in the drama category include Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo,” Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs,” Eddie Redmayne for “The Danish Girl” and Will Smith for “Concussion.”
Brie Larson for “Room,” Saoirse Ronan for “Brooklyn” and Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl” are nominees for best actress drama.
The Globes, for years, have basked in the glory of the ultimate prize, the Oscar, largely as a handicapper of possible winners. But it still has a long way to go to shed it’s back-door reputation for nominations.
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|Hollywood Foreign Press Association Golden Globe Nominees|
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Actor – Drama
Best Actress – Drama
Best Motion Picture – Comedy
Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Best Supporting Actor – Drama, Musical or Comedy
Best Supporting Actress – Drama, Musical or Comedy
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Film