Nobody can ever dare say that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association ignores American productions when they become more than deserving. In this case, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" seems to be in concert worldwide as not just an American story of democracy, but also a scenario that's possible in any another democratic country. With the film's myriad Golden Globe nominations, it seems to represent a peaceful branch being extended across the HFPA and Academy Awards aisle over being in agreement with one movie.
But the question is whether the Academy Awards will take that olive branch. Perhaps not subtly, I've long conjectured in articles that the Globes and Oscars have been in deliberate competition with one another by setting their own individual paths for nominees and winners. Just in the last five years, we've seen some divergence on what ultimately wins best picture at the Oscars compared to who or what ultimately wins at the Globes.
By default, we expect anything or anyone international to win through the eyes of the HFPA. Yet, the one link that may bring the Globes close to colliding with the Oscars this year is quite obviously Daniel Day-Lewis. Had it not been the fact that he's British and hadn't taken the part of Abraham Lincoln, "Lincoln" the film may not have had as much Globe recognition.
As much of a truism as that may be, that still leaves many other very American productions on the Globes best picture list for drama. Consider that "Argo", "Django Unchained", and "Zero Dark Thirty" have American nationalism aplenty. Of course, the difference is that many of those involve a potpourri of international flavors.
That may be the new key for American blockbusters gaining Golden Globe nominations in the future: Have very American actors doing something in a foreign environment for the good of America and the world. "Argo" and "Thirty" fit that bill better than anything else that could ever be made in the above description. Even very American "Django Unchained" has an appealing international cast that's similar to the 1960s spaghetti westerns Quentin Tarantino's film gives nod to.
In the comedy-musical best picture category, the Globes have gone a little more international, though with American "Silver Linings Playbook" being the true favorite of the nominees. The above film may be another favorite that the Globes and Oscars will shake hands over, unless the Oscars think "Les Miserables" is the second coming of "Gone With the Wind." There's also that Best Foreign Film favorite called "Amour" that could cross over into the main best picture list at the Oscars.
If you look at the Oscars and Golden Globes as a chess match, then the above scenarios only add up to one possible move: The Oscars going international after the Globes go American. Yes, that's quite an interesting plot twist in its own right. Regardless, it's one that makes sense so the Oscar show can retain its individuality from the Globes once again.
With the Oscars already recognizing the French with "The Artist" last year, will they again? We'll have to wait and see if "Lincoln" is ultimately a very international vision from what we initially thought it could be. It may have to place an asterisk next to the 2013 Globes and Oscar telecasts as one rare time when the world was on the same cinematic page.
- Arts & Entertainment