Stupidity is Golden

The nominations for the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards are out (, and for the umpteenth year in a row, this odd assortment of journalists has gotten it wrong.

In the spirit of the season, let me start with what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association got right. Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight clearly belong in the best-drama category, while La La Land and possibly Florence Foster Jenkins belong among the best comedies. Also, I’m glad to see lead-acting nominations for Natalie Portman (Jackie) – who should win easily – along with Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) and Amy Adams (Arrival), although the latter could have just as easily been nominated for Nocturnal Animals. Among men, Casey Affleck is an obvious choice, too, as are Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (La La Land). And I applaud the offbeat choice of Colin Farrell for The Lobster, though that film was released in 2015 and isn’t necessarily a comedy (the category in which it was nominated).

For supporting performances, the HFPA nailed it with selections of Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea).

That’s where my compliments end. Where’s Jackie, Denial, Nocturnal Animals and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Yes, all four are worthy of nominations, though the HFPA might have had to boot the latter into comedy/musical to balance the categories. Why isn’t Sully or Snowden represented, and what’s up with all the love for Mel Gibson? I don’t judge his films by his personal behavior – and, admittedly, Hacksaw Ridge was pretty powerful, though a bit heavy-handed – but it should not be included among the year’s five best dramas.

The most insane choices are in the comedy/musical category. Deadpool and 20th Century Women get nominations instead of Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply?! I guess the HFPA prefers violent and sophomoric, or just plain dull, to smart and absurd.

Lastly, I’m truly sorry and shocked that Michael Shannon and Tom Wilkinson missed out on supporting nominations       for Nocturnal Animals and Denial, respectively. The HFPA did recognize a supporting actor from Nocturnal Animals, however: Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He was good, but, frankly, you’d have to be blind or deaf, or both, to believe his performance was better than Shannon’s. But, hey, I’ve learned over the years that reasonable, intelligent people can have vastly different opinions about art. So I guess this is just another lesson for me. Still, I’d encourage some of the HFPA to get their eyes checked, along with their hearts.

I’m sure a lot, if not most, of the members of the HFPA are responsible journalists. But there are only about 90 of them, compared to nearly 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. So, at the Golden Globes, entire categories can be swayed by just one person’s odd tastes, ignorance or flawed reasoning. And that’s no way to conduct an awards ceremony.

One Response to “Stupidity is Golden”
  1. Cameron Meier says:

    Oh, and if the HFPA needed another comedy, how about “The Nice Guys”?