In regards to Angelina Jolie's movie In the Land of Blood and Honey: Why was it nominated for a Golden Globe when it has received bad reviews? Is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that desperate for ratings?
—Ricardo R., via Facebook
Your cynicism has leapt right through the Internets and out of my Facebook page, you poor disillusioned soul. So jaded! And that's not just me talking. The whole world think you're just jaded and wrong, wrong wrong...
Yes, Jolie's war picture, In the Land of Blood and Honey, has proven less than impressive, if you believe critics. The aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes lists a 50 percent rating.
"Is it a bad sign," one reviewer mused, "when you want a movie to end almost as much as the war it's about?"
And yet, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated the thing in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
So is this just a bid to get Brangelina on the Golden Globes red carpet? Likely not. After all, the PItt starrer Moneyball is nominated for Best Picture, and Pitt himself got a nod for his performance in that same film. In other words, Brangelina were likely planning to go already.
Besides, experts tell me, critics don't always have an influence on what films become awards-season darlings.
"Despite the horrible reviews of In the Land of Blood and Honey, it is touching a chord with the folks who give these awards," says Rob Weiner, film historian at the Texas Tech University Libraries. "People are wowed by Jolie's attempt to be politically and socially relevant.
"Films about topics like ethnic cleansing tend to get noticed whether they are good or not. Jolie is stepping out and trying to show that she has what it takes to make a politically charged film as a director, and there are those who are applauding her for it."
Fair enough. Besides, Fordham University media professor Dr. Paul Levinson says, many foreign-language films aren't liked or hated by anybody—and they get awards, anyways. Really?
"Think about it," he tells me. "How many foreign-language films that have won in that category were actually seen by many people here?"
I saw a French movie once. Does that count?