That was quite a performance by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on Tuesday morning — it had sort of an Alice in Wonderland quality about it, though maybe "quality" isn't exactly the right word.
Johnny Depp, who is having an off year at best, gets two nominations? Seriously? Angelina Jolie picks up one for that laugh riot "The Tourist"? Meanwhile Tilda Swinton, incomparable in "I Am Love," Kim Hye-ja stunning in "Mother," Hailee Steinfeld remarkable in "True Grit" are nowhere to be found. For that matter "True Grit" gets nada, and Roman Polanski's exceptionally smart "The Ghost Writer" also comes up empty.
If this is Wonderland, even Alice wouldn't want to live here any more.
The Globe nominations have often been little more than a popularity contest among those who throw the best parties, but with its 2011 nominations, the HFPA has reached a new low. (Yet no "Get Low's" Robert Duvall.)
Here's an idea: Recognize an actual comedy in the comedy-musical category. How about Nicole Holofcener's wonderfully dark "Please Give" with Catherine Keener, or "Cyrus" with John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill? Even "The Ghost Writer" had a lot of great irony attached to Ewan McGregor's Ghost, and irony is still funny, right?
And while we're getting animated here, if the rules can be stretched so thinly as to qualify "Tourist" as a comedy, and Depp's performance therein as a funny ha-ha one (versus a funny-weird one) — why not include Tom Hanks or Tim Allen? As Woody and Buzz Lightyear in "Toy Story 3," both were definitely funnier than several of the actors who made it in.
Meanwhile, in the darker recesses of the Globes' rabbit hole, why not Mia Wasikowska if we're giving a shout-out to Depp in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"? Why wasn't Aaron Eckhart's searing pain of "Rabbit Hole" enough to make the supporting actor cut?
Another confusion, "Inception" walks off with nominations for best picture, best director and best screenplay, but apparently all that greatness happened without the help of actors. Nothing for Leonardo DiCaprio or Marion Cotillard. Were they asleep? (And by "they," I mean the HFPA).
The 80 plus one (this is a plus-one town, you know) took notice of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in "The Kids Are All Right" but missed Mark Ruffalo's seductive charm, and went on to completely overlook Dustin Hoffman, excellent opposite Paul Giamatti in "Barney's Version," to make room for Michael Douglas in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." Huh?
Director Olivier Assayas' exceptional "Carlos," carried to great heights on the broad shoulders of actor Édgar Ramírez, premiered at the Cannes FILM Festival, has made many Top 10 FILM lists, yet the HFPA excludes it from the foreign film category, instead it's relegated to TV for its "pay the bills" run there. Really?
I tell you, crimes, serious crimes, have been committed. There are more, too many to mention. I'm with the Queen of Hearts on this one: "Off with their heads."