Monday, January 14, 2008

Disastrous 65th Golden Globes®

I do not know about others, but I was sincerely pulling for the Golden Globes to make it through impending disaster due to the Writers Guild strike. There are 10,500 members of the Writers Guild of America on strike, and it is now in its 11th week. Unfortunately, the entire evening was an unmitigated failure on all fronts, proving that without the movie and television star players, along with the bling and glam they bring to the party, there is no party.

Unbeknown to me was the fact that there were two simultaneous "press conferences." The Official one was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, attended only by journalists, media executives and publicists. Then, there was that disastrous NBC-helmed "Press Conference." I only viewed the latter, and I have no idea where it was held, but I did once see a marquee for the Roosevelt Hotel.

However, press reports today pretty much supported my criticisms. According to Reuters, NBC's " . . . broadcast . . . averaged 5.8 million viewers against competition from CBS' Western miniseries 'Comanche Moon' and ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition', which averaged 16.6 million and 13.9 million viewers, respectively."

Reuters reports that the People's Choice Awards last week drew 6 million viewers and, last year, the Globes had 20 million. I assume that was in the U.S. alone.

Money earned in TV is tied to viewers. As a result of the low ratings, NBC lost $10 to $15 million in advertising revenue compared to what it had planned to receive for the usual Globes telecast.

I did cheer for some winners. First, for Tina Fey (30 Rock) to win actress in a leading role - musical or comedy series. She's one of the most talented young women, if not the most, working in the entertainment industry today, and she's so much more than an excellent actress.

Second, for Javier Bardem (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) to win actor in a supporting role. I am considered somewhat of an expert in Spanish cinema, and am familiar with the life-time work of his mother and late uncle. The Bardem theatrical family (stage and film) in Spain is as admired there as the Barrymore family is in America.

Third, for the best foreign film win for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, and the best director win for its director, Julian Schnabel.

One word of criticism about film selection. If THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY was eligible for submission to AMPAS® in the best foreign-language category, France should have submitted it instead of PERSEPOLIS. I think the latter has a excellent chance in the animated film category, and I think DIVING BELL could have won the best foreign-language category for France. In other words, they could have gotten a nomination in two categories had they played their cards correctly. Of course, I could be wrong. We shall see.

I seldom mention Globes given for television because this blog is mainly for motion pictures, but this is an exception. Something quite nice happened with the Globes this year, but it wasn't part of the "announcements."

The record for the oldest person receiving a Globe nomination was set last night by
Ernest Borgnine (Oscar and Globe for MARTY, 1955) who, at age 90, received a Globe nomination for actor in a leading role - mini-series or television movie. The nod was for "A Grandpa for Christmas" (Hallmark). Borgnine's cast mates in the TV movie are Jamie Farr, Katherine Helmond, and Juliette Goglia. Look for it on DVD soon.

He didn't win. The award went to Jim Broadbent for LONGFORD (AMC), which won the best mini-series or TV movie category, and Samantha Morton was tapped as the best actress in a supporting role for LONGFORD.

We are only a week away from the announcement of the Academy Award® nominations. From all indications, the Academy is preparing with all haste for the presentation gala Sunday, 24 February. What else can they do?

I did read something today that the Directors Guild (DGA) is exploring possible talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), which is in dispute the the Writers Guild (WGA). However, it's the WGA and AMPTP that need to be talking, and searching for a compromise.

We shall see.

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