Going Global: The Awards that Nominate Everyone!

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Film

If you’re any kind of glitzy award show junky, you’ve probably heard the Golden Globes referred to as the “pre-Oscars,” an “Academy Award bellweather,” or something to that effect. Basically, the Golden Globes get cast as the slummy, early predictor of their bigger, better cousins. And looking at this years nominations its obvious why: they nominate every freaking movie that comes out.

Like the Oscars tend to do, this year’s Golden Globe nominations include their fair share of stately movies most people never see — The King’s Speech and Black Swan — and wider release prestige films — Inception, The Social Network. (The Fighter probably falls somewhere in between.) These films are nominated in the “drama” category, and are pretty typical. 2009’s best dramas, according to the Globes, were Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, and Revolutionary Road. While some of these movies blow, for the most part they could all have been considered Oscar bait.

However, the Golden Globes really hit their trashy, cast-a-wide-net best in the “Best Film — Comedy or Musical” category. Though it remains a mystery why comedies and musicals are grouped together (was Chicago really funny?), pretty much anything goes here. This year, the highest rated film according to Rotten Tomatoes in this category is The Kids Are Alright, which was reviewed positively by 94% of critics. Bravo.

But the the Comedy/Musical category also includes some wildly ridiculous stuff. Alice in Wonderland shows up, which has an uninspiring 51% on Rotten Tomates, and which, for the record, is a completely forgettable movie (and I usually love Johnny Depp and Tim Burton). There’s also The Tourist, which seems to exist solely to discourage travel, and Burlesque, which as far as I can tell is a botched porn flick that accidentally ended up in neighborhood multiplexes. And then there’s Red, which I’m waiting four decades to see until I’m old and actually care about elderly people in movies.

I haven’t seen most of these movies. And after all, why would I? They’re supposed to be terrible. I’d even bet money that Burlesque and The Tourist will get a few Golden Raspberry nods. But that didn’t stop the Golden Globes from singling them out for praise!

The take-away lesson here is that it’s not hard to beat the Academy Awards to the punch — and thus become an early predictor of which films will earn Oscar nominations — if, at one point or another, you mention every single movie as a possible contender. In the end, this seems to be the strategy of the Golden Globes, and it’s no surprise that it’s working.

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