The Golden Globes got one thing right this year: they chose the daughter of Alfre Woodard and Roderick Spencer to be Miss Golden Globes. That’s very nice.
One thing they got very wrong: choosing Julia Roberts as a comedic Best Actress nominee for “Duplicity.” Huh? This is where the Globes go wrong. They want their celebrities to appear on the show for which NBC pays them $6 million. Lacking Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood Foreign Press turned to Julia for its glamour content. Good luck with that! Up against two nominations for Meryl Streep, as well as Sandra Bullock and Marion Cotillard, Julia will not be making any speeches. That may be just as well since at Lincoln Center last spring Julia used the f-word several times to honor Tom Hanks.
A nice surprise in the Best Actor category: Tobey Maguire for “Brothers.” He got the slot vacated by Daniel Day Lewis, because his “Nine” nomination falls into Comedy/Musical with the Globes. At the Oscars, DDL will edge out Tobey and join Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, and Morgan Freeman. Still, it’s nice to see Maguire score outside his “Spider-Man” world. And it’s nice to see Michael Stuhlbarg rewarded for his comic performance as “A Serious Man.” Otherwise, though, the Coen Brothers movie was lost on the HFPA. (I’m sure they had no idea what is was about.)
The same thing happened in the Best Actress category, where Emily Blunt got a slot for “Young Victoria.” At Oscar time, Meryl Streep will take that position with Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, and Gabourey Sidibe.
And oh yes: Sidibe was one of three noms for “Precious,” which is more than I thought the HFPA would give it. “Precious” is very American, and very much for the Oscars. The HFPA is mostly European, and probably didn’t get it. The screenplay nomination Geoffrey Fletcher should have received instead went to sci-fi movie “District 9.” Hello!
And maybe Sandra Bullock. Big boxoffice and admiration may equal a first ever Oscar nomination for Bullock for “The Blind Side.” It’s not a great dramatic role. But Bullock is wildly popular, and she was in two big hits this year, “The Blind Side” and “The Proposal.” She’s the HFPA’s Renee Zellweger for 2009. She won’t win anything, but everyone will be happy to see her.
One odd omission: Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus.” This is what it looks like. The HFPA nominated Clint for Best Director, and his actors Freeman and Matt Damon in their respective categories. But “Invictus” got cut out of Best Picture for “Avatar.” The James Cameron spectacle was thrown the bone of Best Picture even though it has nothing else in acting or writing. Cameron was nominated for Best Director and the vile end credit song was tossed in. But these are sops. “Avatar” is a presentation more than a movie. By the time Oscar voters get to it, the 3D blockbuster will have already earned its rewards in millions at the boxoffice.
For the Golden Globes, it’s not a bad mix. Maybe the tide is turning…