First, the fact that some of these pictures were even nominated reveals that this was, overall, a weak year. Second, I'm going to guess that we'll remember this year not for who was nominated but for who wasn't. And that, to me, is a sign the nominators were wrong. Yes, wrong.
Keep in mind, the Golden Globes are voted on by 90 international journalists. Do they have a set criteria that governs how they nominate? If they do, I haven't been able to find it. The Critics' Choice awards are voted on by the 254 members (I think I counted right) of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
The Critics Choice Nominations:
The Golden Globe Nominations:
We'll go category by category and talk about the nominees from both award pools.
Best Picture Problems:
I've seen 10 of the 10 Critics Choice
I liked The Help. But, as I said in my inquiry about it, it provides a happy ending for a situation that lacked such prolific catharsis. The maids who were mistreated and abused did not write a book that became a best-seller. If we're going to look at film in the larger social context, both The Help and Moneyball (see here), due to their historic fallacies, should not receive awards because they do not accurately portray the situations they were engendered from.
"This isn't about social context, this is about whether or not the film was good!"
Okay, fine, if you want to go that route, it's insane that the Golden Globes snubbed The Tree of Life. Maybe the public had an odd reaction to Malick's film since it defies all traditional metrics of story. But, as a film, it's incredible. From the shot selection to the effects to the acting, and, yes, the unconventional plot. Terrence Malick is considered one of the top filmmakers of all-time. If you disagree with that, I don't care what your reasons are, you're opinions suck. Based on "film" merits alone, The Tree of Life could replace The Help, The Ides of March, or Moneyball on the GG list.
In regard to the Critics' Choice list, they did nominate The Tree of Life (but they also nominated 10 films compared to the GG's 6), but the fact that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball and The Help are on the list at all demonstrates....something. I don't know what yet. But are you going to tell me that Extremely Loud was better than Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or Take Shelter, or Martha Marcy May Marlene, or Warrior, or A Separation?
Or it could be that the majority of Critics...don't...have good taste...
"What do you have against Midnight in Paris!??!!??!?!!??!?!"
Nothing. I like Midnight in Paris. I just don't think, when measured against other films, it's production is, overall, of a higher quality. The story is simple, the gimmick immense, the charm sublime, but... Are gimmick and charm enough? Not for me. Sorry. If it were Rise of the Planet of the Apes should've been nominated.
I'm fine with most of them. Even Gosling for Drive (it's hard to go that long without speaking). But DiCaprio for J. Edgar is ridiculous. HIS mannerisms come through. The same intonations, the same expressions. "But he's the same person, what do you expect?!" Uh, Sean Penn from Milk. That's a bar. Penn was Harvey Milk. Yes, DiCaprio was intense, he was emotional, there was range. He's a good actor. But if you look at his roles, this character is simply an older version of his characters from Gangs of New York, The Departed, Blood Diamond and Inception.
Was there not a better performance in a smaller film? Jennifer Lawrence was nominated last year for Winter's Bone. Was there not a similar situation, where an actor in an Indie did amazing? Was NO ONE better than DiCaprio acting as...well...Leonardo DiCaprio?
This is where I make the point that Andy Serkis should have been nominated for Best Actor. I don't think you can convince me James Franco had a larger role in Rise of the Planet of the Apes than Andy Serkis. Caesar is the lead. It's his story. More on this later.
Best Supporting Actor
And what's the difference? The Critics included Andy Serkis. The Globes did not. And, as you can probably guess, I have a problem with the exclusion.
I haven't had the chance to see Beginners or A Dangerous Method. So Mortensen and Plummer I can't comment on. Albert Brooks was great in Drive.
And Jonah Hill was good in Moneyball. BUT ANDY SERKIS WAS BETTER IN Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The role demanded more (playing a skittish metric guru versus playing a super-intelligent chimpanzee), the character's arc was more dramatic (learning how to tell a player he's been traded versus the maturation of a super-intelligent chimp, the loss of innocence, imprisonment, and beginning a revolution) . And he had a bazillion more scenes. Which is why it's ridiculous that Andy Serkis isn't in the leading actor category to begin with. But, since he's not, and he's considered supporting, it's even more ridiculous that Jonah Hill receives a Globe nomination instead of Serkis.
Best Supporting Actress
Why is Malick not on here? His movie, regardless of whether you understood it or not, was tremendous. An achievement. The composition--the daring--trumps all other films released this year.
To put it in perspective: Any of the 90 writers or 254 critics that failed to nominate Malick is like a self-proclaimed Baseball Expert not putting Justin Verlander on her/his 2011 MVP list. (Crash course in MLB MVP voting: a writer from each city that has a baseball team fills out a ballot with ten places. Each place has a point value. Whoever has the most total points wins.) (Verlander won the AL MVP award).
"If they didn't vote for it it probably wasn't a good movie!"
Fine, think that. And I'll think:
Midnight in Paris direction < The Tree of Life direction
The Tree of Life direction > Drive direction
I'm tired of talking about this.