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Has Hollywood Foreign Press Finally Cleaned Up Its Golden Globes Act?

Jennifer Lawrence is in the running for a Golden Globe for her role in Joy. It would be her third if she wins. Winners will be announced in January. (Photo: Getty)

Jennifer Lawrence is in the running for a Golden Globe for her role in Joy. It would be her third if she wins. Winners will be announced in January. (Photo: Getty)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
MOVIES
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Best Actor – Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actress – Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Motion Picture – Comedy
The Big Short
Joy
The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carrell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Jennifer Lawernce, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady In The Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actor – Drama, Musical or Comedy
Paul Dano, Love and Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress – Drama, Musical or Comedy
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Virkander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Director
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian

Best Screenplay
Room
Spotlight
The Big Short
Steve Jobs
The Hateful Eight

Best Original Score
Carol
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Steve Jobs
The Revenant

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“One Kind Of Love,” One Kind Of Love
“See You Again,” Furious 7
“Simple Song #3,” Youth
“Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre

Best Animated Feature Film
Anomalisa
The Good Dionosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun The Sheep

Best Foreign Language Film
The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Mustang
Son of Saul

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