How much is a Golden Globe worth?

If Denis Villeneuve wins a Golden Globe on Sunday for his production of Duneswill its price be worth anything?

Posted on January 7

The 79e The awards ceremony organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) will take place as usual live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but without a host, without winners, without an audience and, above all, without telecasting. The winners will be revealed in real time on the Golden Globes website and social media. And it won’t be because of the Omicron variant.

The event that traditionally launched the “gala season” has lost its feathers and much of its luster over the past year. Last February, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed serious ethical lapses, questionable financial practices and a lack of diversity among its 87 voting members.

The Golden Globes are not out of the quagmire. The changes proposed in May – an updated code of conduct, a reshuffle of the board of directors, the addition of 21 members, including six black journalists – by the HFPA did not have the good fortune to reassure the cinema industry, who is boycotting the January 9 ceremony. No Hollywood stars agreed to present an award, even virtually.

Accusations of bribery have plagued the Golden Globes finalist selection process for several years.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, made up of a few dozen scribes more or less active in their respective international media, is considered a private club of freeloaders likely to exchange a favorable vote for an invitation to a luxury hotel and a film set in Paris.

This latest scandal, revealed by the LA Times and questioning the series Emily in Paris, seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for the tolerance of the HFPA’s unprofessionalism. That, and the fact that the Association counted in its ranks, a year ago, no black journalist… but an officially deaf and blind nonagenarian. It was too much, all of a sudden, for Hollywood. In the process, even Tom Cruise decided to return his three statuettes.

How much is a Golden Globe worth

PHOTO PAUL DRINKWATER, REUTERS ARCHIVES

British comedian Ricky Gervais has hosted the Golden Globes evening many times.

The opportunism and lack of credibility of certain HFPA pseudo-journalists have been known for a long time. The stripper animator Ricky Gervais alluded to it 12 years ago already, in the middle of the gala. Other surveys were carried out before that of the LA Timesat least one devastating documentary has been devoted to it (The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret, in 2004), but no one seemed to care too much about it until last year. Other times, other manners…

Against all odds, it must be said that the Golden Globes have always remained very popular.

Even though the ratings of the other galas declined steadily, that of the Globes was maintained year after year at 20 million viewers. The NBC network renewed the gala broadcast contract for $60 million a year in 2018. Money talks, as they say in Santa Monica. As long as everyone gets something out of it, right?

Some will no doubt claim that it was the “woke” movement that got the better of the Golden Globes. Why on earth should an association that represents journalists around the world be forced to include black colleagues? Another blow from the dictatorship of political correctness. (I’m ironic, for those whose radar doesn’t go to the second degree.)

Still, there will be no red carpets, no A-listers, no gritty opening monologues, no overlong introductions or drunken acceptance speeches on Sunday night TV. In short, everything that made the Golden Globes this social event among the most popular in Hollywood. A loose award ceremony, bringing together stars from the small and big screen in a relaxed atmosphere, much less stuffy than that of the Oscars.

Should we be sorry?

An evening of the kind, casual, would perhaps have been welcome in the current pandemic context. We distract ourselves with what we can.

For some, it’s the extravagant evening dresses. For others, the eco-muddy speeches of Joaquin Phoenix or the delightfully inappropriate jokes of Ricky Gervais.

The fact remains that I have always found that we gave too much importance to the results of the Golden Globes. They are not, as claimed, reliable indicators of the Oscars, the Super Bowl of Hollywood cinema (whose importance, in the grand scheme of things, is itself quite relative).

Moreover, it is in a way a fair return that its finalists were unveiled in a certain indifference in mid-December. I haven’t heard anyone indignant at the fact that CODAthe American remake of the French film The Aries familyor in the running for the best dramatic film, in the company of The Power of the Dog, King Richard, Belfast and Dunes. Barely two years ago, some would have cursed.

Which brings me back to the question I asked at the beginning of the column: if Denis Villeneuve wins the prize for best director on Sunday under the beard of his mentor Steven Spielberg, the great Jane Campion, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kenneth Branagh, his prize will it be worth anything? The answer is yes…

Because if the Golden Globes have bad press, they have suffered for years from a lack of credibility, and they are like the Oscars very American and Anglocentric, their record is not shameful. On the contrary, it is in phase with criticism, in general.

The favorites of this 79e ceremony, The Power of the Dog (cited seven times) and Succession (five times), are my favorite movie and TV series of 2021 respectively. Which is not very original.

In the category of best film in a language other than English, we find quite logically Parallel mothers by Pedro Almodóvar, God’s hand by Paolo Sorrentino A hero by Asghar Farhadi, Drive my Car by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Compartment noh 6 by Juho Kuosmanen, films which I had the opportunity to see (with the exception of the last one) and which I greatly appreciated.

Winning a Golden Globe, for almost 80 years, would fit nicely on a resume. The ceremony remained until recently an important cog in the promotional campaign of a film. Those who aspire to prizes often take to the stage at the end or the beginning of the year. It is an award that had, despite everything, an aura of prestige. Whether she’s overrated or not.

Should we rejoice if Denis Villeneuve wins a prize? In this matter as in many others, chauvinism risks dictating the way forward.

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How much is a Golden Globe worth?