Yesterday's Golden Globe nominations were filled with its fair share of snubs and surprises. But one day later, we're still trying to make sense of the films nominated in the Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) category.
Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (or HFPA) often nominate big-budget blockbusters that weren't hits with critics or audiences, so we're not completely surprised that movies like 'Burlesque' and 'The Tourist' made it in. But even in a weak year for comedies, did the five nominated movies deserve to make the cut? We're not so sure.
'Burlesque,' for example, is fun and flashy for musical and glitter enthusiasts, and we'll admit we totally had a great time at the theater. But, technically speaking, does it really qualify as one of the best movies of the year? It currently holds a 37 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and after three weeks at the box office, it has only grossed half of its $55 million production budget. Meanwhile, 'The Tourist,' which is arguably more of a light caper than a comedy, scored only a 20 percent rating on RT, and made just $16.5 million in its opening weekend -- only a fraction of its $100 million budget.
Sure, 'Burlesque' is exactly the type of musical that the HFPA has made room for in the past (hey, remember when they nominated 'The Phantom of the Opera'?), and 'The Tourist' fits in with other celebrity-driven December releases that have garnered Globe nominations before.
But given their reviews, the 'Burlesque' and 'Tourist' spots could have been reserved for smaller movies that were bigger hits with critics -- titles like 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,' 'Easy A,' (for which lead Emma Stone was rightfully nominated) 'Cyrus,' 'Please Give,' 'Four Lions,' 'I Love You Phillip Morris,' 'Tiny Furniture' and 'Greenberg,' just to name a few.
And it's not like they haven't nominated indies in the past; in 2005, the critically acclaimed 'Squid and the Whale' earned a well-deserved nomination in this category. The closest they ever came to nominating a whole slate of critical darlings was two years ago, in 2008, when they nominated auteur-driven films such as 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona,' 'In Bruges,' 'Happy-Go-Lucky' and 'Burn After Reading.'
Granted, while the eight aforementioned, more modest productions of 2010 have strong fanbases, they lack the alluring glitz and appeal of, say, A-list stars like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
But if the HFPA continues to go glitz and glamor, they may lose its core film buff audience. Sure, the ceremony my attract a new and larger audience, but when it comes to awards, shouldn't they nominate the best, not the most popular?
Sound off: Were the right films nominated for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy)? Or should the HFPA have nominated something else?