I think it's safe to say a few eyebrows were raised over Burlesque earning a Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe nomination last week. After all, this is a film that one critic called "dishwater dull; a cinematic hairball" and another movie reviewer said evoked "a time when we agree to pretend that mediocre mimicry of better artists is good enough to keep us entertained."
And, it's currently sporting a 39 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes (ouch), where it's described as "a movie that wavers uncertainly between bad and so bad it's good."
So how did Burlesque get picked by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as one of the best movies of 2010? According to PopEater (via the Los Angeles Times), the voting objectivity is being called into question.
Patrick Goldstein writes:
For years, reporters have published embarrassing stories about the HFPA, whose 81 voting members are for the most part obscure foreign entertainment journalists with little of the cachet of the 6,000-plus voting members of the Motion Picture Academy. Globes voters have been involved in all sorts of scandals and gaffes over the years. If you talk to the top award-season consultants, they can barely disguise their lack of respect for the HFPA members, who often put themselves in indelicate situations, as with this year's crew, which took a Sony-sponsored trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert, then gave her film a stunning best picture nod.
So, is it a bribe if Burlesque's studio (Sony) sends the voters on a free trip to see Cher in Las Vegas? I'm not sure, but it definitely sounds like dirty pool.
Then again, I can't imagine this is the exception to the rule. I'd guess the HFPA members are barraged with all sorts of PR-sponsored goodies before the awards are announced.
What do you think about this? Standard operating procedure in the industry, or should someone be taking a second look at the nomination?