DID YOU READ

Can You Bribe Your Way to a Golden Globe?

Can You Bribe Your Way to a Golden Globe? (photo)

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Many thoughts ran through my head as I watched “The Tourist.” Things like “Boy, Rufus Sewell is wasted in this movie,” and “I wonder how much longer this is?” One thought that never entered my mind once in 103 minutes? “This movie deserves a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.” But whether I thought it deserved it or not, it got one, joining “Alice in Wonderland,” “Burlesque,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “Red,” as Golden Globe nominees for the best musical or comedy film of 2010.

If you were shocked when you heard that list, you’re not alone. This year’s Globe nominees have sparked a slew of articles about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body of 81 journalists and critics who vote on the awards. One published yesterday in The Independent entitled “‘Bribed’ Golden Globe judges nominate flops after Vegas junket” outlines how Sony, the company that distributed “Burlesque” (and “The Tourist”), treated members of the HFPA before they voted for the awards:

“‘Burlesque,’ which, according to the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, got positive write-ups from only 38 per cent of critics, opened fourth in the box office charts and made back just $34m (£22m) of its $55m budget…Disbelief later turned to mild outrage, however, after it emerged that Sony, the studio behind the clunker ‘Burlesque,’ recently flew Golden Globes judges to Las Vegas for an all-expenses-paid trip which included luxury hotel accommodation, free meals and a private concert performed by the film’s star, Cher.”

The Independent runs down a few other famous examples of past HFPA shenanigans. For instance:

“In 1981, most famously of all, the unknown Pia Zadora won a Best Newcomer award for her role in ‘Butterfly,’ a film which had been universally derided. It later emerged that the movie’s producer, who was also her husband, had flown the entire HFPA to Las Vegas for a weekend holiday immediately before they voted.”

The problem here isn’t really that the HFPA is easily swayed by lavish trips, or that they consider a private concert by Cher a privilege and not a punishment. The problem is that we, the moviegoing public, actually put stock in the Golden Globe Awards, which are determined by the whims of less than a hundred people who either believe “The Tourist” is legitimately one of the finest films of the year or are willing to claim that they believe it if the price is right.

So can you bribe your way to a Golden Globe? It’s hard to see that evidence and not think you can at least help your chances of a nomination. But let’s not kid ourselves, either. Studios and filmmakers do all sorts of stuff to get awards, and not just the Golden Globes. In Hollywood, there are people who specialize in running PR for Oscar nominees (the late publicist Ronni Chasen was one). If these folks didn’t get results, they wouldn’t have an entire cottage industry of Academy Award campaigning built around them.

In other words, let’s keep awards in perspective. They’re important. But they’re not as important as the movies themselves. Instead of waiting for a shady organization to validate a film, go see it and judge for yourself.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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