2012 Golden Globes & HFPA: From a German/European POV.

16 Jan

LIH welcomes guest author article. 

By Sony

When Open Book invited me to write an article about this topic my first thought was, “to confess or not to confess” but then I decided to be honest: I’ve only watched the Golden Globes live once, in 2011 and solely because a special someone was presenting an award. Otherwise the GG‘s were just the final rehearsal for the Oscars in my opinion, and they weren’t worth the trouble to loose a night’s sleep for the show. Before I started my research in German, English and French newspapers I made a short opinion poll among some friends and colleagues. The result was: From 10 people I asked, 8 answered “GG? Let me think a moment, isn’t that the show where they predict the Oscar nominations?”  Only two knew about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association or (HFPA) and its connection to the GG‘s. Both complained about the intransparent criteria of; 1). admission to the HFPA as well as 2). the dubious nomination procedure.

I found some interesting articles in the German newspaper “Welt Online” and I will try to translate some passages. The articles were  written shortly after the awards of 2011 and raised the question whether the GG‘s could still be taken seriously at all?

  • Everybody in Hollywood knows what to think of the HFPA: that is nothing, except for one aspect: a globe can smooth the way to the Oscar, the award everybody really wants to get. The HFPA has around 90 members, the Oscar-Academy 5800. The admission ticket to the Academy is regular work in the movie industry, the one to the HFPA a permanent residence in South California and four articles per year which should be about something with regard to movies. The HFPA accepts only a few new members per year but makes sure their number won’t ever rise above 100. The only reason being: This way the studios keep control  whom they will have to court with dinners, private screenings, travels and star-exclusive interviews…Due to this preferential treatment the HFPA is not very popular among its collegues…The idea that the GG are indicating anything w.r.t. the quality of movies can be dropped. In most cases you are looking in vain for representatives of renowned media within the HFPA; from the ten German members 50 % have a certain name, the other half is unknown even among experts…The GG are pure TV-spectacle and they have good quotes because the show is shrillier and more disrespectful than the solid Oscars.“[1]  “Usually every year the question whether the GG are an indicator for the Oscars or not is raised once more. But this year …we have quite another question: how serious, how important can we take this award at all?[2]

Since there isn’t much buzz about this year’s GG in the German newspapers I would like to quote some interesting remarks from two articles by Catherine Shoard one entitled, “Golden Globes 2012: has Hollywood entered a golden age of credibility?” and “Golden Globe nominations 2012: The Artist makes a major splash” from the Guardian/UK, December 15th, 2012:

  • In some ways, it’s this film (Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen) that best defines the Globes in 2012: a mainstream money-maker, but one that champions creativity over commerce. In recent years the Globes have suffered an erosion of credibility as they’ve plumped for the big bucks over arthouse – picking Avatar when their peers at the Academy went for The Hurt Locker, for instance. This year’s list represents a determined raising of the brow.”
  • The Golden Globes are voted for by the HFPA, a group of about 85 entertainment reporters for overseas outlets. The organisation has suffered from some negative publicity in recent years, and their reputation as a reliable indicator to the Oscars has faltered…This year, pundits suggest that the popular and critical acclaim for the likes of The Artist may mean the Globes get back on track as an awards ceremony with real clout.

By the way the French journalists’ hopes were up for The Artist to win in every category it was nominated. Most articles in “LeMonde” for instance were concentrating on this movie.

I’m curious whether the GG‘s will be “back on track” this year, I’m looking forward to hearing about the Oscar nominations on January 24th and which of the award winners at the GG‘s will be listed there.

Please join us for an open discussion from Monday-Wednesday 1/16/12-1/18/12. 

[1] Hanns-Georg Rodeck, Welt-Online 18.1.2011

[2] Peter Zander, Welt-Online, 18.1.2011

30 Responses to “2012 Golden Globes & HFPA: From a German/European POV.”

  1. littlebells January 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM #

    Great article Sony! It’s fantastic to read about Europe’s thoughts on the GGs and HFPA.

    I was thrilled to see The Artist win so many last night!!! SO THRILLED!!!! Now I hope it makes it to my theater.

    • Sony January 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM #

      Thank you so much, LB, I’m also looking forward to “The Artist”, it will start in Germany on January 26th.

  2. comic relief January 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM #


    Absolutely no disrespect intended, yet far more graceful and detailed, your reporting is as likely to deflate the Golden Globes as Ricky Gervais’ hosting. Great Article!

    • Sony January 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

      Hi comic relief, I’m so glad to read your comment because I was a bit afraid that it might sound too harsh which wasn’t my intention (but could easily happen due to my incomplete knowledge of English).

  3. Parisienne January 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM #


    Great article! What did u think of the gg’s last year? I honestly think they need to revamp the award show. It doesn’t predict anything.

    • littlebells January 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM #

      Sony, piggy backing on Paris’s question, what do you think would make the GGs better?

  4. Sony January 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM #

    Hi Paris and LB, yes, they surely need to revamp this show. What annoyed me the most is the length of it, you could easily cut it down to roughly 2 hours and that would be enough IMO. Even if the host is as witty and sarcastic as Ricky Gervais was last year – you can only swallow a certain amount of it. And after 2 hours I tend to have enough of it as good as it may be. And the same is true for the Oscars! I would like to see an award show where you have a funny and eloquent host, announcing the individual awards and the winners thanking in a short acceptance speech – and no superfluous show acts to fill the gap between the commercials.

    • littlebells January 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM #

      Standing Ovation!!!!! *applause! applause!*

      yes, you realize the show would be over in about….mmmm 30 minutes or less. haha! Which is just fine. 🙂 have a great opening monologue, announce the nominees (ok, I am a sucker for the anticipation and watching their faces when somebody else wins), announce the winner, a brief intermission of jokes and then more nominations and wins and closing credits.

      The only downside is that they have to play commercials (which most people fwd) because companies have paid big bucks to have them aired.

      Will we ever win the commercial war!!!!????

      • Sony January 17, 2012 at 5:05 AM #

        ITA agree with your suggestion, LB: Have a great opening monologue, announce all the nominees and show a 30 second spot of their movies, announce the winner (and let us have a look at the other nominees because we are all enjoying a bit of malicious glee :-)), let the winner deliver an acceptance speech of 2 minutes maximum (throw a bucket of cold water over everybody who starts to cry like a baby – just kidding), a brief intermission of jokes and then go on with the next category.
        And no, I’m sure we won’t win the commercial war – but maybe the commercial spots could be very short and perhaps even funny?

        • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM #

          If we got great GG commercials like Superbowl commercials I would watch them gladly!!! Or since our country is mad about product placement, just run a ….what’s it called? That think that runs at the bottom of the screen?…across the bottom with ads. All my favorite shows get interrupted with stupid ads so why not the GGs.

          I think the music should start playing for winners the minute they say, “Thank you.” Call me cynical, call me jaded, call me pregnant with rampant hormones coursing through my veins, whatever…but quit thanking the 234523 people that most of America DON’T KNOW (outside your spouse, parents, partner, kids)!!! I”m not saying don’t thank them, but do it off camera.

          • Open Book January 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM #

            Love this post LB-LOL!!

            A ticker feed…Is that what your talking about?

            • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM #

              Yes, thank you. 🙂

          • Sony January 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM #

            Good point, LB, I always get second-hand embarrassed when an actor starts his acceptance speech while holding a scroll of paper so that he won’t forget the 3rd cousin of the grandfather of his barkeeper’s wife who helped him to become a highly sophisticated drinker…

            • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM #


              His name is Bob! Come on Sony! We all know who he is! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

              • Sony January 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM #

                LOL, no sorry, LB, I didn’t have a special actor in mind. 🙂

                • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM #

                  Haha! No I meant the third cousin…Hahahahaha!!!!

  5. Open Book January 16, 2012 at 6:53 PM #

    Welcome Sony!

    Great article and discussion everyone.

  6. ozzie20 January 16, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    Great article Sony! A few points in it I didn’t know about so I definately learned from your article! 🙂

    The only way I can think of for the Golden Globes to be more faster is to do what the BAFTAs did in 1998 and to split the film and tv awards into two different shows. The film awards take place in February and the TV awards take place in April or May.

    • Sony January 17, 2012 at 5:26 AM #

      Hi Ozzie, I gladly return your compliment, I didn’t know that the BAFTAs were split and there are TV awards at all, BAFTAs always ment only film awards to me.
      What do you all think of this heretic suggestion: Let the GGs drop the whole TV-part and concentrate only on movies? Why not leave the TV nominations to the Emmys and their 125764 categories? Re-invent the GGs with only the major categories of movie-making (and I really mean the MOST IMPORTANT ones like best movie, director, script, soundtrack, costumes and male/female lead actors and supporting actors and that’s it). Do you think the awards would be considered much more valuable in this case?

      • ozzie20 January 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM #

        Yes, BAFTA stands for British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Not many people know about the tv side which is surprising as it was separated only 15 years ago (I’ve got a headache, please forgive any mathematical errors!). However, I guess that could be down to the show being so long, it had low ratings. So the large amount of people who didn’t watch it until it was stream lined wouldn’t know that.

        As for your suggestion, I think it’s a good one. (The Emmys is just a TV award show right? There are so many award ceremonies, I get confused! I even get confused over my own countries award shows, lol! The Emmys are quite prestigious in their own right aren’t they?) I think taking it back to just the basics could be seen as a move that they are taking the show more seriously. I think the focus would shift back on to the talent, rather than just throwing everything together and then rushing the whole thing along to fit a dead line.

        I really hope this all makes sense. Whenever I get headaches or get tired I am convinced I speak in gibberish, lol!

        • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM #

          yes, there are too many award shows. There should be three: One for movies, one for music, and one for TV. That’s it. Any other show, don’t televise it. Ok, wait make it four because I do like the Kennedy Awards.

          You hit the nail on the head there Ozzie. Let’s focus on the talent! There is so much talent that is getting skimmed or glossed over because of wardrobe, lights, and glamour.

        • Sony January 18, 2012 at 8:46 AM #

          Thank you for this information about the BAFTAs, Ozzie and you are absolutely right, they should shift back the focus on talent for a change! I think that hardly anyone is interested at all in the random award categories; I remember that last year Ricky Gervais mocked the award for the foreign language film calling it “the award nobody in America cares for” (or something along that line…).

  7. littlebells January 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM #

    Any stats on how well the GGs were viewed this year???

    • Open Book January 17, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

      Hi LB,

      Hmm! I don’t know yet! Good Q.

  8. Open Book January 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM #


    First let me say, I love this article. It was funny to see, that in Germany the GG’s are not taken seriously as well. I especially like this quote from Welt Online.

    “The idea that the GG are indicating anything w.r.t. the quality of movies can be dropped. In most cases you are looking in vain for representatives of renowned media within the HFPA; from the ten German members 50 % have a certain name, the other half is unknown even among experts…The GG are pure TV-spectacle……..”

    This is classic!!

    In regards to the GG’s being separated from TV: I vote YES!! This would make it worth watching.

    • Open Book January 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM #

      Don’t get me wrong I like some TV shows. I just think it would make it less pain staking and boring if film and TV were separated.

      • littlebells January 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM #

        I think we should produce the GGs next year. 🙂

        • Open Book January 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM #

          Done Deal…LB

    • Sony January 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM #

      Thank you so much, OB! Indeed, from all the German members the only famous one is Frances Schoenberger who has been working in HW for many years now. And I read somewhere else that correspondents from renowned papers like The Times or Le Monde were declined whereas freelancers from Bangladesh and South Corea were accepted…

      • Open Book January 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM #

        Hmm! There really is no rhyme or reason to the HFPA’s members. It’s hilarious TBH. That’s why I wanted u to write about this issue because know one ever discusses the members or where they come from etc… They are only mentioned or joked about quickly as if they are thumbing their noses at consumers. I mean how can these members bridge the gap between American and International consumer interest if the HFPA members aren’t known or respected in their own country?

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