Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Golden Globe Awards 2006

I have got to say this up front. I have never taken the Golden Globes too seriously. For one thing, the awards aren't given by the industry itself, as the Oscars are. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association are simply a small band of journalists (only about 80 to 90 in all) who report entertainment news. I then fail to see what makes the Golden Globes more special than other awards given by, for lack of a better term, industry outsiders, such as the New York Critics Circle or the American Film Institute. For another thing, the Golden Globes seem nearly as well known for their scandals as they do their awards. The best known of these occurred in 1982 when Pia Zadora, hardly know for her acting talent, beat out Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth McGovern for the "Most Promising New Star" award. It turns out that her husband, billionaire Meshulam Riklis, had wined and dined members of the Foreign Press at one of his posh hotels. In the end the scandal cost the Golden Globes its contract with CBS and it was off the broadcast networks for 14 years. A similar scandal broke out when Scent of a Woman was given the Best Drama Award in 1992 after Universal has given the Foreign Press members a weekend in Paris. Is it any wonder that people sometimes joke about buying a Golden Globe?

That having been said, over the years the Golden Globes have become the second biggest awards ceremony of the year, second only to the Oscars. It is then difficult to ignore them or disregard them. For better or worse, they are regarded as being able to shape opinion and even have an impact on the Oscars themselves, and the Emmy awards as well.

So what about this year's Globes? Well, I only have one thing to say up front--Peter Jackson was robbed. I know Brokeback Mountain maight be a good film. Gods know, I am a fan of Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon count among my favourite films). But I cannot see Brokeback Mountain, or any other film released this year, being better than King Kong. Not only did Peter Jackson lose the best director award to Lee, but King Kong was only nominated in one other category--best score. It should have been nominated for Best Drama, Best Screenplay, and Naomi Watts should have been nominated for the award for Best Actress in a Drama. Nominated, Hell, it should have won all of them....

Of course, it seems to me that in several instances this year the acor, actress, TV show or movie that should have won a Golden Globe did not. Not only should Terry O'Quinn have ben nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Lost, he should have won. Since that didn't happen, Jeremy Piven should have received it for his role as the smarmy agent on Entourage. Instead, Paul Newman took it for his role in Empire Falls.

At least I can see an argument for Newman winning the Best Supporting Actor Award. I have a bit of trouble understanding how Geena Davis could beat out Polly Walker for the award for Best Actress in a Television Series--Drama. From what I have seen, Davis is hardly convincing as the President on Commander in Chief; in fact, to me she seems hopelessly miscast. On the other hand, Polly Walker was pefect as niece of Casear and mother of Octavius, Atia. She should have won. Finally, I was very disappointed that Desperate Housewives beat out Entourage for Best Television Series-Comedy. HBO's Entourage is easily the best comedy to air in years, literally a breath of fresh air from the standard fare of the broadcast networks.

I don't want people thinking I am displeased with all of the awards given at the Golden Globes last night. Given the fact that King Kong wasn't even nominated, I am not unhappy that Brokeback Mountain won the Best Motion Picture--Drama award, although I could see arguments made that it should have gone to Good Night and Good Luck. I am very happy that Walk the Line took the award for Best Motion Picture--Comedy (although my Anglophilia inclines me to think Mrs. Henderson Presents and Pride and Prejudice could have worthy as well). I am also happy that Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon won the actor awards for that same movie. I do wish Matthew Fox could have won the award for Best Actor in a Television Series--Drama for Lost, but I have been a fan of Hugh Laurie for years (he was fantastic in Jeeves and Wooster) and it was good to see him win for House.

I suppose one could argue that none of this matters. Over the years the Golden Globes have been so beset by scandal that I am not sure winning one is that great an honour. The fact remains, however, that the Globes do seem to have an impact on both the Oscars and the Emmies. With that being the case, it does seem to matter as to who wins. And, as is often the case with awards, I sometimes agree with the choices and I sometimes disagree with them.

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