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Golden Globes 2013 Commendable, Condemnable, Just Plain Weird

Golden Globes 2013 Commendable, Condemnable, Just Plain Weird 1

Golden Globe nominees: (clockwise top right) Tommy Lee Jones, Quentin Tarantino, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Helen Hunt, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Kathryn Bigelow.

Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence were among the expected nominees for 2013 Golden Globes, but Jack Black? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association once again raised a perennial question: What were they thinking?

The choice of nominees is both commendable and condemnable for those who made the list as well as for those who were left off.

The Globes are supposed to be a harbinger of the all-important Oscars, but this year’s selections were clearly tilted to off-beat indie films at the expense of big-budget blockbusters like “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Skyfall,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

The films are voted on by the 95 foreign correspondents who normally cover Hollywood. Films must screen during the calendar year for at least seven days to qualify, although some film festival screenings can count, according to the association.

In contrast, 2,100 members vote for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, while the Oscars are picked by just over 5,700 voting members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

First off, why does the HFPA combine musicals with comedies? They clearly aren’t the same. That pollutes the nomination process right off the bat. Is Les Miserables” really comparable to “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?”

As for the usual suspects, “Lincoln,” ‘Les Miserables and “Silver Linings Playbook” dominated SAG nominations, and those films also did well among Globe nominations. So no surprises there.

But SAG, also an eclectic bunch, at least acknowledged some blockbusters. “Skyfall’s” Javier Bardem was nominated for best supporting actor.

Instead, the Globes pony up a slew of ringers like Jack Black for “Bernie” in the best actor comedy or musical category. He’s up against Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Jackman in Les Miz, Ewen McGregor in “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” and Bill Murray in “Hyde Park on Hudson,” which barely fits the category. It’s billed as a “comedy-drama.”

Footnote: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is an amazing film. Score one for the HFPA for pulling this one out of its pocket. Emily Blunt is fabulous. Ewen McGregor definitely worthy. A very clever, well-written and directed film.

Another puzzler is best actor in a drama nominee Richard Gere for “Arbitrage.” Not a great film, not his best work. Yet he was picked over Daniel Craig in “Skyfall” and Sam Worthington for “Man on a Ledge.” Go figure.

In the Best Director category, conspicuously absent is Ridley Scott for “Prometheus,” the Sci-Fi thriller that marked his return to the genre. Also nothing for Noomi Rapace, who deserved a best actress nod for her taut performance in the film, not to mention Michael Fassbender as android David.

In the shut-out category, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and its star Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy got nothing. And, how about the most talked about film of the year “On the Road?” Or, the other most talked about film “Cosmopolis? Nada. Those “Twilight” kids get no respect, but that doesn’t explain why “Cosmopolis” Director David Cronenberg was overlooked.

“Anna Karenina,” was also left on the outside looking in, despite stellar performances by Keira Knightley, Jude Law and especially Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Add to that “Trouble With the Curve,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Looper.”

You have to love Meryl Streep. It just wouldn’t be the Golden Globes without her nomination for something. But a best actress comedy or musical nod for “Hope Springs” is so unworthy. The same can be said for Denzel Washington in “Flight.” Talk about tokenism.

And finally, a special note on “Django Unchained.” Say what you will, it’s the most over-hyped film of the year. Quentin Tarantino’s best films were “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs.” Both were brilliant, no question.The “Kill Bill” films and “Inglorious Basterds” don’t come close and neither does “Django.”

Tarantino merely imposes 21st Century morality on a pre-Civil War culture, fills in the blanks with blood and gore and calls it a film. But best director, best screenplay and best drama? Say it ain’t so. But it is.

Here’s a complete list of film nominees.
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

Best Picture, Drama
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Actor, Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Ewen McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Best Actress, Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judy Dench, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Screenplay
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Argo (Chris Terrio)

Best Score
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil)
Lincoln (John Williams)

Best Original Song
“For You” – Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore” – Stand Up Guys
“Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift – The Hunger Games
“Skyfall” – Skyfall
“Suddenly” – Les Miserables

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour (Austria)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
The Intouchables (France)
Kon-Tiki (Norway/UK/Demark)
Rust and Bone (France)

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