The nominees for the 68th Golden Globe awards were announced today. As usual, the nominations run from astute to completely ludicrous.
Let’s start with the good. The Best Picture: Drama choices — Darren Aronofski's Black Swan, David O. Russell's The Fighter (both of which open here this week), Christopher Nolan's Inception, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and David Fincher's The Social Network — are all worthy of praise, as are their directors, each of whom also received a nod. It would have been cool to see Debra Granik's Winter's Bone in there (as well as any number of lesser-known films), but it's hard to complain too much given some of the Hollywood Foreign Press' previous Best Picture caprices.
The same can't be said of the Best Picture: Comedy or Musical nominees, a lame batch (Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque, Red and The Tourist) saved only by the presence of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature, would have been an inspired choice. And a more adventurous list would include darker comedies like Cyrus, Greenberg or I Love You Phillip Morris. Hell, I'd rather see Hot Tub Time Machine in there before the four mediocrities in the parenthesis above.
The acting categories are always a mixed bag of truly deserving performances and those whose inclusion are clearly a nod to getting higher-profile celebrities in the awards-night room. I can't grumble too much about the Best Actor: Drama list — though Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter could have been replaced by any number of better options (where's Biutiful's Javier Bardem, or even Ben Stiller in Greenberg?).
Best Actress: Drama nominees are equally strong — Natalie Portman now seems almost a lock to win an Oscar for Black Swan — though the inclusion of Halle Berry (Frankie & Alice) was a surprise.
Another unfortunate surprise was the three nods for The Tourist (Best Picture: Comedy or Musical and lead acting nominations in the same genre for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), which has been universally lambasted. In fact, scanning the various nominees in nearly every Comedy or Music category is one long head-scratching endeavor.
Then there's the complete disregard for the Coen brothers' True Grit.
Of course, complaining about the Golden Globes is akin to complaining about Hollywood in general — a fruitless task that shouldn't be taken up by those looking for artistic relevance.