Fergie, Nine

The Weinstein Company

Can you please explain some of these Globe nominations? Nine? Really?
—Cate, New Brunswick via the Answer B!tch inbox

What do you mean? People loved Nine! Take the critics who...oh, wait. I take that back. Nine got very serious splat on Rotten Tomatoes.

Well, audiences loved it! It was...actually, far from a hit.

The thing cost $80 million, featured Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Fergie...and has only taken in $16.8 million at the box office.

So what's the logic behind all the love from the Hollywood Foreign Press, which nominates and decides the Golden Globe Awards?

I relayed your question directly to the president of the HFPA, Philip Berk and some others who offered a juicy perspective...

To be plain about it, Berk loved the film and indicated that the public may see the film differently in the future.

"In years to come, it's going to be seen as a classic," Berk tells me. "Musicals are a very difficult subject. It's brilliantly conceived. It's just become the punching bag of every critic in America. I can also name you 20 critics who thought Chicago was a piece of junk. But I wouldn't go along with critics.

"When I first saw it, I was blown away. I'm willing to defend it all the way, and if I had directed that film I would be very proud."

People outside the HFPA have different theories.

According to former studio executive and talent manager Marrissa O'Leary, the Globes aren't really about quality. The Hollywood Foreign Press people often are Americans, but they write for foreign audiences and, presumably, are supposed to reflect the tastes of their client countries.

"It's the Hollywood Foreign Press," O'Leary points out. "Sometimes it's hard for smart and funny to translate to other languages. Musical numbers translate. People who fall down translate. Car chases translate."

There's more to consider, and I'm not airing anything new when I say that the HFPA has a reputation for favoring people who throw great parties and offer awesome gifts.

I give you this excerpt from a recent Nikki Finke story:

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It's a completely meaningless awards show by a scandal-riddled organization," the Deadline Hollywood writer says. "Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations."

She said it, not me. (For the record, the HFPA apparently has rules banning pricey gifts; just recently, 15 HFPA members reportedly returned DVD players included in gift bags from a fancy party. The party was hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio for his friend Tobey Maguire, to promote Maguire's role in Brothers.)

One more factor to consider: Studio types tell me the HFPA is not stupid when it comes to getting stars to show up on its red carpet. Nominate the big stars, the big stars will come.

And if you notice, the cast of Nine is made up of one thing: big, big names.


See who else landed a nom in our 2010 Golden Globes: Notable Nominees gallery.

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