Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Golden Globe Deliberates Best Movies (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

Golden Globe Deliberates Best Movies
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Before we get to the Oscar contenders, we should address the Golden Globe Awards. The nominations for the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced just a week ago; the nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are still to be named.

But don’t think Golden Globes selections will be a harbinger of Oscar wins. The picks by the 90-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are often more eccentric than those by the 6,000 or so motion picture professionals in the Academy.

My take: The voting of the HFPA is more easily influenced ; the votes of the Academy tend to be more political.

For instance, HFPA is still living down its selection of Pia Zadora as the 1982 New Star of the Year. Zadora's multimillionaire husband was accused of swaying voters with boondoggle trips to his Las Vegas casino.

And people are still shaking their heads over HFPA’s 2011 fawning over “The Tourist” -- that dreadful Johnny Depp spy thriller -- by oddly putting it in the Musical/Comedy category. Everybody knew Sony flew Foreign Press voters to Vegas for a Cher concert.

So this year why should we be surprised to see “The Martian” -- that Matt Damon survival-in-space thriller -- listed among Musical/Comedy nominations. Damon doesn’t sing a single song in it, and jokes don’t go beyond raising potatoes in his own manure.

The Golden Globes puts forth five movies in the Drama category, another five as Musical/Comedy. This year Best Motion Picture, Drama included “Carol, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” and “Spotlight.” And Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy claimed “The Big Short,” “Joy,” “The Martian,” “Spy,” and “Trainwreck.”

Almost half of the ten films have not played in Key West yet. “Room” opens this week at the Tropic Cinema (see accompanying review). “The Big Short” is coming next week to the Tropic. Expect “Carol” and “The Revenant” to show up before long.

Some critics are more fascinated by the films that didn’t make the Golden Globes’ list. Among the snubs are the Johnny Depp gangster film “Black Mass” and the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy “Sisters.” Debb and the girls have fallen out of favor with the Foreign Press.

Fey and Poehler got a double snub, not being asked back after three years of hosting the televised award show. Acerbic comedian Rick Gervais returns as master of ceremonies.

While the Golden Globes will pick both a Drama and Musical/Comedy, the Oscars will pick but one Best Picture. Four of the Golden Globe Dramas were on my Best Movies of 2015 list, with “Spotlight” being number one.

But “Spotlight” may not be the Golden Globes’ choice. Although nominated for picture and director, surprisingly none of its ensemble of actors got a nod. What’s more, it’s an indie film, not having a lot of influence with Hollywood’s Foreign Press. No Vegas trips are likely in the offing.

If we go by the number of nominations, “Carol” leads with 5, “The Big Short” with 4 -- a drama and a comedy. A clue?

“Spotlight,” with only 3 nods, may have to wait for the Oscars to get its due.


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