Magazine article Screen International

Globes Nods Champion 'Indie' Cinema

Magazine article Screen International

Globes Nods Champion 'Indie' Cinema

Article excerpt

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has struck a blow for so-called independent cinema while uncharacteristically cocking a snoot at a quartet of major studio contenders.

My bet is that come January 15 the Academy's choices will broadly mimic the pattern - but it has nothing to do with the Globes nominations.

Every year people regard the HFPA's December selections as the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup when they try to second-guess whom Oscar voters will nominate.

However this perception of the Globes as a chief, if not the chief, Oscar barometer exists by default and has little to do with any pioneering, influential critical selection on the part of the HFPA.

It is voters on the New York Film Critics Circle, LA Film Critics Association, Indie Spirits, Gothams, NBR and AFI who are the trail-blazers. Their earlier declarations happened well before HFPA members submitted their nomination ballots by the December 8 deadline.

By this stage of the season we've seen every movie there is to see and we know the heavy-hitters. Because the HFPA splits categories between drama and comedy or musical they cover most of those deserving to be in contention and as a result appear prescient if the Academy broadly follows suit.

The best example are the acting categories. There are make-weights that no Oscar voter will take seriously this season and there are the odd omissions due to the cultural perspective that differentiates the 90-odd non-US HFPA members and the roughly 6,000 mostly American Academy voters.

But by and large the HFPA's 10 lead actor and 10 lead actress nominees will make up the bulk of, if not all, the Oscar nominees announced on January 15.

What is different this year is the absence of those A-listers whom HFPA members traditionally like to have at their awards show party. There are no nods for Angelina Jolie's Unbroken; nothing for Clint Eastwood's American Sniper; a sole best score nod for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar; and not a single nomination for Chris Rock's Top Five, which Paramount picked up at Toronto. …

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