Has the ghost of Pia Zadora returned? In 1982, the ingénue spouse to megamillionaire movie producer Meshulam Riklis won a Golden Globe for “new star of the year,” acing it over the likes of Elizabeth McGovern and Howard Rollins (both for Ragtime) and Kathleen Turner (Body Heat). Zadora’s film was called Butterfly. Anyone remember that? Or her?
For years afterward, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was viewed as something of a joke, but over the last decade, with its hyped-up network awards telecasts and pre-Oscar positioning, the Globes have become kind of legit. All the big stars show up, honors are showered on esteemed veterans, and the nominations add momentum to Oscar campaigns and perhaps even influence the votes of Academy members.
But just when the HFPA gang was gaining serious industry cred, the group announced Tuesday morning that among its nominees for actress in a comedy or musical is one Angelina Jolie, for her work as an international glamorpuss in the TRULY DREADFUL The Tourist. And Ms. Jolie’s co-star, Johnny Depp, gets nominated twice in the actor in comedy or musical category: for The Tourist, and for his flamboyant turn as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. That second nod might be excusable (although it’s hardly a lead performance), but Depp sleepwalks through The Tourist, which scored shockingly low on the critics aggregators Rotten Tomatoes (20% on the Tomatometer), Metacritic (37 out of 100) and Movie Review Intelligence (34.7% positive). Maybe, the HFPA saw a different cut.
And while The Kids Are All Right more than deserves its best picture, musical or comedy nod (hey, how about just plain best picture?), the inclusion in this category of the Cher-Christina Aguilera campathon Burlesque and the senior citizens action romp Red really are something of a joke. And where’s True Grit? The Coen Brothers western, with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, was passed over in all categories. It may not be No Country For Old Men, but please.