Friday, December 15, 2006

The Golden Globes Choose Their 'Toons

The Golden Globes, once upon a long time ago (they started in 1944), were an industry joke. Foreign reporters in Tinseltown (stringers included) got together and picked the best actor, actress, movie, (etc.) as they saw fit. Nobody paid the Globes much attention until (as Wikipedia relates)... the 1958 Golden Globes which was the first year of local telecast, in an impromptu action, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. collectively known as the Rat Pack took flight to the stage, allegedly taking over the presenting with whiskey and cigarettes on hand. The action was met with great delight of the audience. The next year the association asked them to present the awards.

A pity Frank, Dean and Sam didn't do the honors every year.

But my how times have changed. Now the Globes are treated as a really big deal. Now every nominee shows up at the televised bash and makes a nice, graceful speech when she (or he) wins, burbles how happy and grateful she (or he) is. Now everybody pays attention, the animation community included:

Despite having a whopping 16 animated features to choose from, the foreign press whittled the selection down to three films, shutting out a fair number of major studio and independent productions. DreamWorks, which leads in Annie Award nominations for Flushed Away and Over the Hedge, is surprisingly absent in the list. Clearly, box-office performance was not a factor since the moderately successful Monster House got the nod over the better atended Open Season from Sony Pictures Animation and the blockbuster Ice Age: The Meltdown from Fox Animation. And while foreign animated films have received more love from the group in the past, both Satoshi Kon’s 2D Paprika (Sony) and Christian Volckman’s black-and-white Renaissance (Miramax) were left out in the cold. Similarly, Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Invisibles (The Weinstein Co.), which opens this Friday, is nowhere in sight.

Could it be that Monster House got a nomination because of the last names of two of the producers? ("Zemeckis," "Spielberg.") Nah. That couldn't possibly be it...


Kevin Koch said...

What's really funny is to look at who decides on the nominees and winners of the Golden Globes. The "Hollywood Foreign Press" is actually a tiny, closed group (less than 100 people as I recall), many of whom are barely journalists or reporters by any stretch (I believe most are, at best, part-time reporters), and many work for insignificant publications. I seem to recall an article detailing how many members weren't based in Hollywood, weren't really foreign, or weren't any longer really members of the press. It was an evolution that happened over decades, but now that the group has some major clout, there's apparently no desire from current members to shake up a good thing.

Since they're such a small group (whose membership is well publicized), and because those of them who do actually report on Hollywood are dependent upon the studios for access, it's very easy for those studios to, let's say, try to sway them.

I've read of extravagant screening parties for the HFP where they're wined and dined to the hilt, given expensive gifts, and given special access to stars and studio honchos. It's staggering that the Golden Globes have the slightest credibility, but this is Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

i stopped watching or paying attention to these awards shows after i learned how fixed they are.

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