Perennially controversial Golden Globes reduced to press conference

The perennially controversial Golden Globes Awards are making bigger headlines than usual this year.

Because of the continuing Hollywood screen – writers’ strike the awards ceremony has been canceled. All that television viewers and listeners will get this year will be a Press conference style reading of this year’s winners.

For many years the awards – given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – have been tinged with acrimony, mainly because so few full-time journalists are included among the judges. Many of the judges are part-time stringers working for obscure newspapers and publications around the world. Membership in the association is very limited and includes few well known writers or film critics.

Over the years the association has promoted the awards – mainly as prelude to the Oscars – and from the TV rights has reaped many millions of dollars. most of which ends up in the coffers of the FPA.

This year – because of the strike and the refusal of many Hollywood personalities to cross the picket line – the financial pickings will be very thin.

NBC, the television network that for several years has held the contract to televise the awards, is offering to refund advertisers’ money. It is estimated the cancellation of the ceremonies – and the coverage of the accompanying champagne party – will cost the network between ten and fifteen million dollars.

At the same time bookies are still taking bets on the likely winners. Tipped for Best Actor is Daniel Day Lewis for his role in the drama about old-time oil drillers, There Will Be Blood, while Kate Blanchard tops the list of Best Actresses for her role in Elizabeth, The Golden Age.

And best movie? Charlie Wilson’s War, an account of one American Congressman’s single-handed attempt during the Carter presidency in the late Eighties to force Russia to withdraw from Afghanistan.

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