Golden Globes: Who Should Have Won

Elaine Blum

This year on “The Office,” Dwight birthed a watermelon. And “30 Rock” still won the Golden Globe for best television series — musical/comedy. Obviously the best nominee does not always win. So here are a few points of clarification: what the Globes got wrong, what they got right, and what they indicate about what to watch in the coming months.
The awards correctly recognized Heath Ledger as the best supporting actor for “The Dark Knight.” This was not merely a pity-win in response to Ledger’s death. Nor was it merely a nod to his career on the whole, which, admittedly, was filled with plenty of award-worthy performances, such as his role in “Brokeback Mountain.”
Ledger deserves this award because of his outstanding portrayal of the Joker. He crafted a complex, perversely rational, deeply unsettling character. Nothing about the Joker invites sympathy, yet his mystery fascinates viewers. Ledger’s seamless and convincing performance is obviously worthy of this award.
But how did the Globes choose Ledger’s fellow nominees? My best guess is that the committee drew names from a hat to fill the nomination ticket. How else would Tom Cruise get nominated for his booty-shaking performance in “Tropic Thunder”? The movie has its laughs, but is not worth nominations for two of its supporting actors — both Cruise and Robert Downey Jr.
Ledger was the obvious winner, but at least the other two nominees, Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Doubt” and Ralph Fiennes for “The Duchess,” were serious contenders.
The biggest winner of the night was “Slumdog Millionaire,” which won best picture, best director, best screenplay and best original score. I would not have guessed the film would be a heavy hitter.
Its premise: an Indian teen wins big on a Hindi version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” However, such a sweep at the globes suggests this is a film to watch out for. Perhaps there is a Lawrentian review in this movie’s future?
Do not let the Globes entirely influence your viewing habits, however. The biggest what-were-they-thinking of the awards were the nominations for “Mamma Mia!” The movie, nominated for best picture and best actress, simply pales in comparison to the original Broadway show. Go see the theatrical production instead!
Furthermore, it is astounding that Meryl Streep was nominated for her role as Donna, the spunky mother of the bride. She inadequately captures the emotion of the original character and relies too much on her big name and past fame — not a Globe-worthy performance.
To sum up a three-hour experience into some relatively painless advice: Go see “The Dark Knight” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” as well as other nominees “Revolutionary Road” and “Doubt.” Go see “Mamma Mia!” on Broadway instead of enduring Meryl. And if confused by the image of Dwight birthing a watermelon, please promptly begin watching “The Office.