Normally, I’m all amped up about the Golden Globe nominations because they combine both movie AND TV awards, which I like because the nominations usually help me determine which movies I’ll make a point to see in the theaters if they're not on my Must See list already. And because, as a TV critic, I watch a lot of TV, I’m genuinely interested in which shows and Hollywood folk get nominations. There’s usually some sort of discernible trend that you can glean from the nomination list.
Except for this year where, the general consensus seems to be, there’s no rhyme or reason to the nominations. And, given that AMC's Mad Men isn’t eligible this year because they haven’t aired anything in 2011 (thanks to prolonged contract negotiations), the fact that ABC's Modern Family hasn’t been having its best year and Friday Night Lights is now off the air and got blown off by the Hollywood Foreign Press anyhow, I don’t quite feel as invested in who’s going to come home a winner as I normally am.
Nevertheless, let’s delve into the good and the bad of the nominations, shall we?
Homeland and Boss accolades. Showtime’s Homeland, about a CIA agent (Clare Danes) who is convinced that an American POW has been turned and is a sleeper terrorist, has been a wildly intense ride and I’ve loved watching it intelligently unfold. (Did you know that the guy who plays Marine Sgt Nick Brody – Damian Lewis – is English? Elevates his acting skills even more in my eyes.) Both Lewis and Danes, plus the show, received Golden Globe nominations It was also great to see Starz’ Boss, plus its lead Kelsey Grammer, snag Golden Globe nominations as well. While some folks may think that Boss, about the vicious, crooked big city mayor Tom Kane, can be a bit ham-fisted and bloviating at times, I sincerely enjoy it.
I was also happy to see Amy Poehler get nominated for her clever, quirky depiction of Leslie Knope on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. This fourth season has been loads of fun as she decided to become political and run for city council.
The bulk of the nominations in the TV category, however, were a mystery to me. For example, why all the love for HBO’s Enlightened starring Laura Dern? I have tried to watch this show. Watched the first three episodes. I was thoroughly unmoved. Didn’t like it one iota. Yet Dern got a nomination as did the show for best comedy. Huh? Parks and Recreation and ABC's The Middle are heads and shoulders funnier. This is a head scratcher.
There was nothing for NBC's Friday Night Lights for its final season – which finally netted them some Emmy love this year. There was no Rescue Me (FX) for its last season when it finally got its act together. Men of a Certain Age was blown off as was NBC's Parenthood (Peter Krause was very good this year). Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation is one of the funniest characters on TV. How could he have been ignored . . . again?
The Descendants was a solid, unexpectedly moving film and George Clooney, ever the suave bachelor in real life, played a schlubby, distracted husband and father perfectly.
The Help, also nominated for best drama, was entertaining, in spite of the fact that many critics savaged it as a white hero version of the Civil Rights era, and I disagree with those critics. Viola Davis, nominated for best actress, delivered a solid performance.
I still want to see Moneyball and The Ides of March, all of which were also nominated for best drama.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for best dramatic actor, was very good as J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar, even if the movie itself was wildly uneven, seemed to lack a unifying theme and featured some very bad face makeup.
On the comedy side, I saw both Bridesmaids and Midnight in Paris – was enthralled with them both – but am really pulling for the very funny Bridesmaids as I’d like to see more comedies like this one in the theaters instead of mindless, insulting dreck. Ryan Gosling – who was nominated in two categories – was surprisingly engrossing in the sweet, smart flick Crazy Stupid Love. Can’t comment on him in The Ides of March because I haven’t seen it yet.
Nada for Melissa McCarthy who stole Bridesmaids with her utterly brave performance. Not a smidgen of love for the final installment of Harry Potter, which was wonderful. Margin Call, a powerful film about the genesis of the 2008 economic crisis, got a grand total of zero nominations.
Full list of nominations is available here.
Which nominations did you applaud and which ones puzzled you?