We all know that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves a flashy song-and-dance movie: They bestowed their Best Musical or Comedy prize on Chicago and Dreamgirls in the last decade. And the HFPA may continue that trend next month with the gorgeous, star-studded Nine, which scored the most nominations of any film in the category. But I’m beginning to wonder if the harsh reviews Nine received from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and, yes, Entertainment Weekly, will hurt its overall chances this awards season. Will the Globes voters want to risk being seen as mere star worshipers by anointing a film that was so savaged by the country’s leading critics?
If not, I’m thinking that of the four other nominees—(500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, It’s Complicated, and Julie & Julia—the one with the best shot may just be (500) Days. The Hangover, while the biggest hit of the bunch by far, is too crass, while the HFPA’s legion of Meryl Streep fans may find themselves split between her two films. (500) Days is quirky, fun, and original, with an ingenious script (illustrated in the below featurette featuring screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber) and a standout performance from Globe nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And, according to Rotten Tomatoes, it’s the best-reviewed film of the five. So yes, the HFPA loves a flashy musical, but not always. Don’t forget: Last year at the Globes, Vicky Cristina Barcelona beat Mamma Mia!
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Photo credit: Chuck Zlotnick