Golden Globe nominations: Lots of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant

As I mentioned in last week's blog entry, many of the most heavily buzzed films of the year (a.k.a. Oscar pedigree films) are starting to be released over the next few weeks in the Twin Cities. And over the past two weeks many of the various film critics' societies (i.e. L.A. Film Critics Association, Boston Film Critics, Indiana Film Journalists' Association, etc.) have announced their winners of the best films and performances from 2010.

I'm always fascinated by these lists for two reasons: How does each group decide its top film of the year (at the moment, The Social Network has dominated Best Picture wins across the country), and more importantly, why do we not have our own Twin Cities Film Critics' Awards? Many people ask me every year around this time why we don't have our own TCFC Awards and my only response is, "I don't know. I wonder how one would even get one started."

Yesterday morning, the 68th Golden Globe Award nominations were announced and there were some nice surprises (Ryan Gosling, Michele Williams, I Am Love, Emma Stone, Idris Elba for BBC's miniseries Luther) and more than a few "holy moly!" surprises (The Tourist, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp twice nominated, Kevin Spacey) in both film and television categories. According to the Golden Globes website, "The Golden Globes recognize 14 achievements in film and 11 for television and its members consist of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association representing 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million. Each year, HFPA members interview more than 400 actors, directors, writers and producers, as well as reporting from film sets and seeing more than 300 films."

How do things look for the Golden-Globe-nominated films? Well, it's hard to believe that the new Coen Brothers film True Grit got no nominations, even though Jeff Bridges, Ethan and Joel Coen, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld have been honored by many film critics' societies across the U.S., I guess the foreign press isn't all that impressed with the Coens' new movie, or they haven't seen it, and The Tourist—a vile movie that's one of the year's worst—got a shocking three nominations. Do I sense a little star power in play here? I know I mentioned The Tourist last week on this blog, but little did I know that it would be as horrible as it was, and the fact that it was nominated for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) is disgraceful (it currently has a 20% rating on the movie meter site Rotten Tomatoes). Its selection, along with Tim Burton's bland Alice in Wonderland, took spots away from other more worthy comedy/music films: Get Low, Easy A (above), Cyrus, and Kick Ass, just to name a few.

Looking over the nominees, here are a few of the major nominated films that have yet to open in the Twin Cities, and their tentative release dates here.

The King's Speech received the most nominations: seven, including Best Picture (Drama), Lead Actor (Colin Firth), Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), and Director (Tom Hooper). The King's Speech opens Christmas Day at the Edina Cinema.

The Fighter received six nominations, including Best Picture (Drama), Lead Actor (Mark Wahlberg), Supporting Actresses (Amy Adams and Melissa Leo), Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), and Director (David O. Russell). The Fighter opens this Friday at most major chain theaters.

Blue Valentine received two nominations for Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, and opens January 21 at the Lagoon Cinema.

Rabbit Hole received one nomination for Nicole Kidman and opens Christmas Day at the Uptown Theatre.

As someone who tries to keep up with my favorite televison shows, it was great to see HBO's newest series Boardwalk Empire get a few nominations: Best Drama, Lead Actor (Steve Buscemi), and Best Supporting Actress (Kelly Macdonald). Simply put, Boardwalk Empire as a whole is better than most of the films I saw this year (my top ten of 2010 will appear at the end of December) as were a few other shows nominated series including AMC's Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Showtime's Dexter, and the BBC's detective drama Luther, starring Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba (The Wire) in a beastly and conflicted performance as DCI John Luther.

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Jim Brunzell III's picture
Jim Brunzell III

Jim Brunzell III (djguamwins [at] yahoo [dot] com) was born in the 70's, went to school in the 80's, played sports in the 90's, and has been writing on film for the Daily Planet since 2007.  He is also the Festival Director and programmer for the Sound Unseen Music/Film/Art festival in the Twin Cities, lead programmer for the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin and Stockholm WI, the creator of "The Defenders" series at the Trylon microcinema and has been working on a novel since finishing college.  You can follow Jim on Twitter at (@JimBrunzell_3).