We’ve been over this. The Writers Guild, in their killjoy obstinance (don’t you fuckers understand that the longer you hold out, the less trendy it is to support you), drove a picket through the enlarged heart of Hollywood’s drunkest night. What were we left with? A ballroom full of publicists hooting and hollering for their clients as they won utterly meaningless awards. Remember, Babel won Best Picture (Drama) last year; the meagerness of that triumph did not carry producers Steve Golin and Jon Kilik through their Oscar night loss to The Departed a month later. No one says, "Hey, at least we won a Globe!"
Remember this when Atonement fails to garner a Best Picture nomination in a couple of weeks. Yes, we’re all agog that it swiped the Best Picture (Drama) trophy from No Country for Old Men, but… no, we’re really not. The Globes have a reputation for spreading the love around; if they can keep studios and producers and high-powered whatevers from going home empty, they’ll see to it.
So Atonement is not back in the Best Picture race; it’s exactly where it was pre-ceremony press conference: sans any major Guild nominations despite being trumpeted as the frontrunner heading into awards season. I could perhaps see Keira Knightley sneaking in as a surprise fifth Best Actress nominee, but, otherwise, the film just seems to have missed with the Hollywood folk. Everyone can blame the late release, but it was in theaters early enough (December 7th) to gain the requisite traction. I thought it was this year’s The English Patient; turns out it’s going to be the first film to win the Golden Globe’s top prize and miss a Best Picture nomination since Otto Preminger’s The Cardinal in 1963.
Sweeney Todd enjoyed a big night with wins for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Actor (same, for Johnny Depp). But, aside from a possible Best Actor nomination for Depp, this should be the end of its awards season run. If there was a major surprise this evening, it was the HFPA depriving No Country of both Best Picture and Best Director, which went to Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (winner of Best Foreign Language Film). The big debate amongst Oscar prognosticators right now is whether Diving Bell or Michael Clayton takes the fifth Picture slot that’s been vacated by Atonement. Being on the Schnabel side of that argument, I’d like to use tonight’s Golden Globe wins as further support for my position. But I know better. If anything, the Diving Bell case has been weakened.
And shall we discuss the broadcasts? I tried the NBC "Awards Special" for about ten minutes before tiring of Dave Karger’s Atonement drum beating (I think he short-listed it for the ’08 Nobel) and Billy Bush’s vacuous commentary. So I shot over to TV Guide’s coverage direct from the Beverly Hills Hilton, which was a cavalcade of entertainment news personalities culminating with the "legendary" Mary Hart announcing the top awards. Except for Best Picture. That honor was reserved for the head of the HFPA. And then TV Guide’s studio hosts set upon savaging the awkwardness of their peers, thereby fucking their chances of ever co-hosting The Insider.
You’re going to tell me this is preferable to three hours of inebriated celebrities earning inexplicable honors? Folks, Rumer Willis was going to be this year’s Miss Golden Globe.
You think they’re going to roll that fucker into ’09 like Spielberg’s Cecil B. DeMille Award? Doubtful.
The full list of Golden Globes winners is here. The Academy Award nominations are due for announcin’ on Tuesday, January 22nd.