Golden Globe film nominations: The good, the bad, the ugly

Those who complain about the Golden Globes are missing the point. Think of them as fun rather than as a barometer for the Oscars. Although the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. do make some silly selections, they are not given enough credit for some of their more astute choices.

The Good
Nominations for Rooney Mara (“The Girl With a  Dragon Tattoo”), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”) and particularly Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“50/50”), Brendan Gleeson (“the Guard”) and Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method”) show the HFPA thinking outside the box. That small indie hit “50/50” made it into the Comedy/Musical Picture race is also a welcome surprise.

With SAG and BFCA nominations in the bag, Thursday’s Globe nod for one-time dark horse contender Tilda Swinton (“We Need To Talk About Kevin”) pushes her closer to Oscar recognition next month.

Similarly, with HFPA also citing Jessica Chastain‘s performance in “The Help” rather than “The Tree of Life” or “Take Shelter,” this focuses her Oscar chances by clearling up what has been a confusing campaign.

Picture bids by “Hugo,” “Moneyball” and “Midnight in Paris” cement their frontrunner status in this year’s crowded derby.

The original score category is particularly strong this year, with mentions for Oscar and Globe winners John Williams (“War Horse”), Howard Shore (“Hugo”) and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo”), as well as relative newcomers Ludovic Bource (“The Artist”) and Abel Korzeniowski (“W.E.”) who reaped his second Globe nod.


The Bad
To each their own, but is “The Ides of March” really deserving of across-the-board honors? Garnering Best Drama Picture, Best Director (George Clooney), Best Drama Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Best Screenplay nods came at the expense of contenders such as Steven Spielberg (“War Horse”), Bennet Miller (“Moneyball”) and Gary Oldman (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”).

The Globes snubbed a quartet of critical darlings — “Drive,”  “Take Shelter,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Tree of Life” — as well as “Extremely Close and Incredibly Close” which is packed with former Globe favorites. While their absence from the Globes don’t necessarily dim their Oscar prospects, it certainly does not help their momentum.

The Best Drama Actor category could be mistaken for People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. Was it really the case that the five best male performances in drama films this year were by matinee idols? Weren’t character actors like Michael Shannon (“Take Shelter”) and Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”) worthy of inclusion?

The Ugly
HFPA voters were obviously not feeling very nostalgic and completely shut out “The Muppets.” The Disney reboot didn’t even get an Original Song nod. 

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