I agree with The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil that Golden Globe award winners tend to get a bump, yes, but mainly — at least in the acting categories — by delivering a great acceptance speech. Or they can hurt themselves by delivering a bad or uncharming one.
(I seem to recall that Eddie Murphy‘s remarks after winning the Best Supporting Actor GG award for his Dreamgirls performance included mispronouncing a producer’s name, or something along those lines. I definitely remember thinking after hearing his acceptance speech, “Uh-oh…that’s not going to help.”)
So without any kind of presence at all last night the ’08 Golden Globes bump factor is probably nil as far as the Oscars are concerned.
O’Neil reports that “most Oscarologists are poohing-poohing” the wins by Atonement and Sweeney Todd. Maybe, but I don’t know. I hope and pray that No Country for Old Men sails to a Best Picture Oscar victory next April (i.e., isn’t that what the rumor is? To give the strike negotiators more time?), but I wonder if Atonement‘s win last night was more of an anti-No Country thing than a full-out “we love Atonement” consensus.
My suspicion is that Atonement, the Hillary Clinton of the Best Picture contenders, may be the default favorite of older, more conservative-minded viewers. Which isn’t to say it’s not a strong and worthy film. It is that, but it’s also a place to go to if you don’t like the dark and arty contenders — No Country for Old Men, There Will be Blood and Sweeney Todd.
If, God forbid, Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee for President (a calamitous act that will plunge this country into a replay of ’90s animosities and poisons that will be truly ugly to behold — the beginning of an entirely new National Depression), it will be said that sufficient numbers voted against the hope and rightness and once-in-a-generation connectivity that Barack Obama embodied.
By this same token, an Atonement win, which I think is highly unlikely, will be seen more as a rejection of the art-film intrigues and thematic lamentings contained in No Country for Old Men — a concoction that for some people was obviously well made but didn’t quite amount to a strike across the plate.
These people are wrong, of course. No Country is a solid strike, all right, but it’s not a fastball. It’s a slider or a knuckleball…no, it’s a change-up. Thrown by Hoyt Wilhelm.