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Golden Globes provide snubs, surprises, suppressed Gervais in 69th award show

By Matt Goudreau
On January 25, 2012


Oscar season is in full swing, as the swarm of award shows is beginning to appear on TV. Kicking off this trend is the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards that took place last week, as members of the Hollywood Foreign Press cast their ballots for the best in television and film. This particular broadcast was greatly anticipated not only for the many critically acclaimed movies and TV shows, but also for Ricky Gervais' third time hosting the ceremony.

Last year's ceremony was infamous for Gervais' quick witted, slightly controversial and shocking brand of humor. Much like the rest of the world, I was eagerly waiting to see what he would do this year. Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed by his antics as host this time. It appeared that the big heads in charge of the ceremony placed some large restrictions about what Gervais could say.

Although Gervais poked fun at the regulations, it still came off as awkward and it was clear that he could have been just as entertaining and humorous if he was given more control. With that said, he still said some raunchy things, making such quips about Justin Bieber's paternity test and a turkey baster as well as a "beaver" joke to Jodie Foster.

This time of year is my favorite time of the year as a writer and aspiring critic. Some of the films that have been critically acclaimed from various sources and festivals are being released in some of my local theatres. While I had seen the majority of the nominated films, heavy favorites such as "The Artist" and "The Descendants" were not available at my local theatre prior to the ceremony.  It was even more disheartening for me when they took home the Best Picture awards in both Musical or Comedy and Drama respectively.

Luckily, I was able to see both films eventually and have to agree that "The Descendants" was the right choice in its category. I cannot say the same for "The Artist". While I do agree it should have been nominated, it seemed rather pretentious in the sense that I felt the filmmakers made it solely to win Oscars. I respect their choice to make a silent film, but it frustrated me at the same time because I feel voters sometimes choose the most artistic (no pun intended) film as opposed to the truly best. I would have given the award of Best Picture Musical or Comedy to "Midnight in Paris", Woody Allen's finest film in almost twenty years.

Acting awards, in my opinion, sometimes suffer a similar fate. While the best performances usually win generally speaking, sometimes an award goes to someone who gives a good performance but doesn't match some of their finest work. I feel in these cases an individual wins based on their reputation not necessarily their performance. This rings true with both George Clooney and Meryl Streep who won Globes for leading roles in dramas.  While they were both compelling performances, they don't match their finest work and there were other nominees in both categories that should have won.

Unlike Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio's portrayal of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's biopic is not just a flawless imitation, but allows the viewer to get inside the individual's head. Although far from perfect, Eastwood's film allows DiCaprio to explore the feeling, emotions, and conflicts that Hoover dealt with during his lifetime. Streep is unable to do that as effectively, and I believe DiCaprio was once again robbed of an award, although he lost to Clooney not Streep. I would have given the Best Actress Globe to Rooney Mara, who gave a grade-A performance in David Fincher's adaptation of Stieg Larson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".

Aside from those awards, I believe all of the other winners were deserving of the trophies they won. In regards to snubs, I was shocked that Fincher was snubbed of a best director or best picture award. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is an improvement of the already great Swedish adaptation and Fincher was thought to be a favorite last year for "The Social Network". I felt nominations were in order as partial sympathy and for the quality of the movie.

I also would have liked to see the films "Drive" and especially "The Tree of Life" get some nominations and even some awards, but I still have the Oscars to look forward to. I have spoken about my disdain for Spielberg previously, so I won't dive into "Rango" losing to "The Adventures of Tintin" for Best Animated Feature.

In all honesty, I don't follow television that much but there were some quick things that flustered me about the nominations. Jim Parson's portrayal of Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory" was totally glanced over and "Game of Thrones" along with "The Walking Dead" was the biggest travesties of the Globes in regards to nominations.  Steve Buscemi was also robbed of the Best Actor award for his performance in "Boardwalk Empire", but those are the only quarrels I have with the TV awards.

After watching, I didn't have much to comprehend aside from those problems. I consider the Globes somewhat of a bore, but Gervais still entertained me and it was great to see Morgan Freeman win a well-deserved lifetime achievement award. All I can say now is bring on the Oscars!

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