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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

wtf: are some Golden Globe nominations down to bribery?

I never put too much stock in the awards given by any organization, least of all the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the Golden Globes, but it looks like we have even less reason to trust those particular “honors” this year:

At issue is a decision by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), organisers of the annual exercise in back-patting, to shortlist two recently released but highly derided studio films – The Tourist and Burlesque – in the “Best Motion Picture (musical or comedy)” category for next month’s event.

The move initially surprised pundits, since both films received unsympathetic reviews and hit cinemas to public apathy. 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. The Tourist, panned by 79 per cent of reviewers, returned a mere $22m of its $100m 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.

(from The Independent via IFC News)

Burlesque seems like the usual middle-of-the-road cheese that the Globes often champion, but it’s hard to fathom The Tourist’s nomination: apart from the fact that it doesn’t seem to fall into that gray area where honest critics and movie lovers can amiably disagree over a film’s worthiness, it simply is neither a musical nor a comedy.

Add bribery and institutional corruption into the mix, however, and the nomination makes perfect sense. I’m actually quite relieved that there’s so simple an explanation, if such a depressing one. We shouldn’t expect honesty and integrity when there’s an all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas on offer.

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