I’m Not Going to Talk About Avatar

Hooray! It’s Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2010 Golden Globe Awards Eve!

We’re scrubbing floors, tidying up and planning the menu for the big day tomorrow. How about you?

Kidding! Well, OK, I’m planning a menu but that’s mostly because I like to eat things and will make any excuse to do so.

I’ve read some online “analysis” about why the Golden Globes are better than the Oscars. Mostly it has to do with a lack of stuffiness and a willingness for the HFPA to vote their hearts and not according to some old grudge or because someone is blood brothers with Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg or, God help them, Ron Howard. Or that strange, little Brian Grazer creature who turns up everywhere, his hair like a periscope announcing his arrival.

But the HFPA is not without their own quirks, including an almost obsessive love of Meryl Streep. She could make a Band-Aid commercial in Japan and be nominated for a Golden Globe. And, of course, they love foreign actors making it in Hollywood. You see it this year in nominations for the women starring in Nine, a movie no one saw but which chock full of international goodness. Also, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan and Helen Mirren all managed to get into the Best Performance By An Actress category for their small, arty movies that, well, no one saw. Hmmm… British, British, British…

But who cares? It’s not as if American actresses brought their “A” games if one of the nominees is Sandy Bullock for The Blind Side. Does anyone else  feel incredibly embarrassed for all of us that this movie, which plays upon all the old familiar cliches, has taken in so much money? I admit I haven’t seen it; just the preview of the “fast-talkin’, no nonsense” Sandy and the story of  “white family swoops in to save neglected black kid” made my stomach turn. But then again, I’m a white, middle-class very liberal female and stuff like this is supposed to turn my stomach or someone isn’t doing their job. Which means I should root for Gabourey Sidibe for Precious to alleviate some of my white, middle-class, liberal female guilt. But in the end, I’ll probably stick by my favorite Dame, Helen Mirren.

I have a certain amount of apathy towards the entire proceedings. I am convinced I’m the only person in the U.S. who did not enjoy or care about Up In The Air. It didn’t come together for me, didn’t make sense, didn’t touch me in any way. It was like an unmemorable sandwich at Panera Bread Company. Even with George Clooney (he’ll win for Best Performance By An Actor) sparkling and smirking all over the place, it added up to nothing for me. I think the movie missed it’s big opportunity to really examine the whole issue of job loss and the economy because it didn’t allow George Clooney’s character to lose his job. If he was so into his personna of being The Hatchet Man With a Heart of Gold, the most interesting take-off point would have been for him to be stripped of that personna.

And the love story in the movie didn’t work for me at all. I think it was because I couldn’t get past what they did to Vera Farmiga’s hair. What was that hairstyle? She’s beautiful but that little flip-thing on the side… it was a no-go. Not to reduce her role to just pretty, sex-object (here’s that white, middle-class, female, liberal thingy again) but, in the end, she played a character who wants to get it on when she’s traveling on business and away from her family. Done and done. Next.

I think… I think… Hollywood is dying. They don’t know what we want anymore. We don’t know what we want anymore. We’re cranky. They’re desperate. It’s the end of a marriage. Who really wanted to see Invictus? How about The Lovely Bones? (worst possible time for a movie like that to come out – when we’re all worried about our jobs, war, etc, etc, people really aren’t going to see a movie about a 14-year-old girl being raped and chopped up in a bunker by the neighborhood psycho no matter how supernatural the ending. Full disclosure: I hated that book.) How about the non-starter Brothers? A Single Man?

These awards shows become (more) irrelevant as our culture and media consumption becomes fractured by new ways of enjoying stories and finding the material we want to see. Awards from a “foreign press” will mean just about nothing. It’s like when a fourth grade class holds a mock Presidential election and then reports on the results in the school newsletter. Eventually, we won’t have awards like Best Motion Picture. Best in what format? What genre? By what measure?

But that doesn’t mean we can’t make cheesy crab dip and curl up on the couch to see what the “stars” wear to this thing. And who they show up with. And watch the pre-show intervies in which someone like Billy Bush congratulates Sandy Bullock on her “really big year” and she tries to act as if its no biggie.

And you can download the nominations and add a bunch of stuff to your Netflix queue because there is stuff worth seeing. And you can root for Mad Men to win Best TV Series – Drama, January Jones to win Best Performance By An Actress in a TV Series and Jon Hamm to win for Actor in a TV Series because that show is the only thing worth watching on television anyway.

Hooray! It’s Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2010 Golden Globe Awards Eve!

I got this recipe off the side of a bag of tortilla chips and it rocks. Have it during your Golden Globe watching:

Double Cheese Crab Dip

1 C. salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. crab meat
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C. sliced black olives
tortilla chips

Mix salsa and chili powder. Spread cream cheese in 9-inch pie plate. Top with salsa mixture, crab meat, cheddar cheese and olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot. Serve with tortilla chips and eat as you wait to see what January Jones, Julia Roberts and Penelope Cruz are wearing.