Sunday night on NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will dole out its Golden Dildos (OK, Golden Globe awards) to A-list stars who show up to celebrate themselves and, not coincidentally, boost the TV ratings for a show put on by a shoddy association of foreign journalists, many with dodgy credentials. Sure it’s a sham, but nobody cares. The Globes put on the kind of tacky awards fest we all want to watch. Unlike the Oscars, where the audience squeezes into uncomfortable theater seats, the Globes let the A-listers stretch out at tables and encourages them to booze it up. Why? So they’ll step up to the podium drunk, stoned or just incoherent enough to embarrass themselves. Now that’s worth watching. And they double our fun by mixing in TV stars who they stash far away in the cheaper seats.
Unlike the Oscars, the Globes dispense with bathroom-break categories like Editing, Cinematography and — yikes — Art Direction. In the eyes of the 90-some Globe voters, commerce trumps art every time. Last year, the shiny Dildo for Best Movie sidestepped the low-budget, low-grossing The Hurt Locker to reward Avatar, the 3D blockbuster everyone saw. And yet the high ratings give the Globes clout. “Golden Globe Winner!” in newspaper and television ads sure as hell beats a prize from some stodgy film critics circle. The decline of pop culture finds its ultimate symbol in the Golden Globes. That’s what makes it fun guessing the winners.
Best Movie (Drama)
• Black Swan
• The Fighter
• The King’s Speech
• The Social Network
Here’s where the Globes can really show their power. The Social Network has deservedly won nearly every critics award out there. Can the Globes stop the Facebook movie juggernaut? Do they want to? I think they do. It’ll show their influence. And I think they will bestow favor on The King’s Speech, bringing it back to life as an Oscar contender. And, hey, where’s True Grit, you idiots?
Best Movie (Comedy or Musical)
• Alice in Wonderland
• The Kids Are All Right
• The Tourist
Only one movie in the bunch is actually good — that would be The Kids Are All Right. The Tourist and Burlesque are among the year’s worst. That should mean an easy victory for Kids. But Alice made a pile of dough. What’s your call?
Best Actor (Drama)
• Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network )
• Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
• James Franco (127 Hours)
• Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)
• Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)
Colin Firth plays a real-life king, George VI, who triumphs over his stammer. How do you beat that? You don’t. Jesse Eisenberg is every bit as good playing Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, but his character isn’t lovable. And, hey, where’s Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Robert Duvall (Get Low) and Michael Douglas (Solitary Man)?
Best Actress (Drama)
• Halle Berry (Frankie and Alice)
• Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
• Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
• Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
• Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
Portman is pregnant by a guy she hasn’t yet married. She’s a tabloid darling. That’s enough to get her the prize. It’s icing on the cake that she actually gave an amazing performance in Black Swan. Her toughest competitor, Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), has been shuffled off into the comedy category. A lock.
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
• Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland)
• Johnny Depp (The Tourist)
• Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version)
• Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs)
• Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack)
The Globes want Depp on their show so much they nominated him twice. The only question is whether they want him as the Mad Hatter or a zombified tourist. I say they go with Hatter. Kevin Spacey would win on merit as Jack Abramoff, but — LOL — when did merit ever count with the Globes?
Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)
• Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right )
• Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)
• Angelina Jolie (The Tourist)
• Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right )
• Emma Stone (Easy A)
Annette Bening is the best actress of the year — period, exclamation point! But a heartbreaker like Kids is hardly a conventional comedy. If fun were all, Emma Stone would nail the Dildo for Easy A. But calling Bening the laugh machine and Portman the dramatic diva lets the Globes cover their Academy asses. They’ll have a winner either way and brag again about how smart they are at predicting the Oscars.
Best Supporting Actor
• Christian Bale (The Fighter)
• Michael Douglas (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps)
• Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
• Jeremy Renner (The Town)
• Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
The battle should be Christian Bale vs. Geoffrey Rush, two performances that are arguably leads not supporting turns. But Globe sentiment has to favor Michael Douglas, who should have been nominated for Solitary Man. Douglas, at bat for his second time as greedmeister Gordon Gekko, will make his first major public appearance since his courageous battle against throat cancer. How do the Globes resist that?
Best Supporting Actress
• Amy Adams (The Fighter)
• Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech )
• Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
• Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
• Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
No one here fits the megastar category, so Globe voters may have to stretch their muscles and vote on quality alone. The stress might kill them. My guess is they’ll come up with Melissa Leo as the mother of seven girls and two male boxing champs. Alice Ward, the woman she plays, recently suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a Boston hospital, adding additional human interest to Leo’s indelible portrayal.
Note to Actors: The acceptance speeches you make in front the huge Globe TV audience affect Oscar voters. Don’t just thank your agent and read a laundry list of dull and dutiful. Sandra Bullock rocked the Globes last year, and look what happened to her.
Best Television Series (Drama)
• Boardwalk Empire
• The Good Wife
• Mad Men
• The Walking Dead
Here’s where I give the Globes credit. Unlike the fogeyish Emmys, the Globes are not afraid to see the power of the new kids on the block. They’ve already awarded Mad Men, meaning there could be room for the epic scope of Boardwalk Empire or the fresh blood (literally) of The Walking Dead. Come on Globes, show your stuff.
Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical)
• 30 Rock
• The Big Bang Theory
• The Big C
• Modern Family
• Nurse Jackie
Same deal as dramas: 30 Rock and Glee already received their trophies. Now it’s time for Modern Family. Get going Globes, even if your standards are worthless you know how to stir the pot.