Golden Globes make strong picks, gives 2013 awards season its shape

By Daniel S Levine,

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe awards are usually seen as Hollywood’s night to let loose and have a glitzy party. The awards don’t bring the same prestige as the Academy Awards and comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will keep the audience at the Beverly Hilton and at home laughing all night. However, with this morning’s nominations, the HFPA has actually given us a structure for the awards season, reminding us not to forget about some films and letting us know that this fall TV season has produced some gems.

Over in the movie department, the HFPA showed that the best ‘comedies’ from the past year have been more serious than past years. Without a Les Miserables in 2013, there’s no “musical,” so they could drop that. Who would ever have thought that David O. Russell’s American Hustle or Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street would be considered comedies? And then there’s Spike Jonze’s Her, a film about a lonely man falling for a computer, and Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, about an old man who thinks he won the lottery. The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis was also nominated in the category.

Strangely, all these acclaimed films mean that the comedy category is far more interesting a race than the drama category. The winner will either be 12 Years A Slave or Gravity there. The rest of the nominees are interesting choices, including Philomena and Captain Phillips, plus Ron Howard’s Rush. That movie may have gotten some recognition from the Europeans in the HFPA who love Formula 1 racing.

Overall, the acting categories were most of this year’s usual suspects, but I think it was surprising to see all four members of Hustle’s main cast get nods. Jennifer Lawrence has been earning the most praise lately, but Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper haven’t been winning awards. In fact, although the Screen Actors Guild nominated the entire cast, Lawrence was the only one to get an individual nod from the guild.

It’s also nice to see Greta Gerwig get recognized for Frances Ha, Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine and, surprisingly, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight.

The HFPA shut out Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which did get several SAG nominations yesterday. Even Oprah Winfrey didn’t get nominated for supporting actress. It will still probably get some Oscar attention but that’s a major disappointment for the film.

The huge story on the TV side, for me at least, is seeing some of the new Fall 2013 shows getting nominations, even in the top categories. Showtime’s Masters of Sex got nominated for top drama, while Fox’s hilarious Brooklyn Nine-Nine was nominated in the comedy category. James Spader, the star of NBC’s The Blacklist (and the only reason to watch the show) was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama.

Mad Men was completely shut out for the second day in a row, while 30 Rock was surprisingly left out. I bet Poehler, whose Parks & Recreation was nominated for best comedy, will have some jabs at Fey over that.

The Golden Globes are handed out on Jan. 12 and you can check out the other nominees here.

image: Paramount


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