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The Top 10 Substitutions That Would Fix the 2013 Golden Globes Nominations

Posted: 12/14/2012 12:01 pm

By Julie Miller, Vanity Fair

2012-12-14-goldglobessnubs.jpg

This morning, we noted some of the most glaring omissions made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in its 2013 Golden Globe Awards nominations. But what would happen if the H.F.P.A., a group of expats known for their historically idiosyncratic assessments of Hollywood's best offerings, if they had a chance to correct their most controversial choices this year? Ahead we suggest 10 substitutions that could right the H.F.P.A.'s wrongs.

1. Best Drama Series: Nominate Mad Men in place of The Newsroom. (Next-best substitution: Nominate Game of Thrones in place of The Newsroom.)

During its fifth season, Mad Men, an already fine period drama, managed to find even better footing with its best character arcs and surprises (not to mention, LSD trips) in the show's history. Aaron Sorkin's inconsistent freshman series, The Newsroom, falls short by comparison.

2. Best Comedy Series: Nominate Veep in place of Smash.

Considering that at least four characters are being written off NBC's musical drama during its second season--after its show runner left the series during the first--the H.F.P.A. may be the only Hollywood writers who actually thought that Smash was working this year. Our vote would have gone for the sharp Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy Veep instead.

3. Best Supporting Actress: Nominate Leslie Mann (This Is 40) in place of Meryl Streep (Hope Springs).

Hope Springs is such an unserious contender in the current awards race that even Meryl Streep may have been surprised to hear the title in this morning's Golden Globes rundown. A more worthy nominee this year would have been Leslie Mann, for her brilliant performance in This Is 40. As in previous Judd Apatow films in which she's starred, Mann deftly finds the link between comedy and compassion, alternating spot-on comedic timing with gut-wrenching, wordless reactions.

4. Best Supporting Actor: Nominate Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) in place of Alan Arkin (Argo).

Robert De Niro's work as an O.C.D.-afflicted Eagles fan is so many miles better than his recent performances that if we don't reward him with a nomination, he may just revert to projects on par with New Year's Eve. Although De Niro and Arkin would both be deserving of a nomination in less competitive years, there is only room for one curmudgeonly actor playing a similarly curmudgeonly supporting character this awards season.

5. Best Supporting Actor: Nominate Javier Bardem (Skyfall) and Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) in place of two actors randomly selected from the category, or any category.

Why can't we spread out these great performances across the space of two years or, better yet, build a bigger nomination pool for this category? At least to accommodate Javier Bardem, for his work as the effete blond Bond villain, and Matthew McConaughey, for his legitimately committed performance as a Tampa male-strip-club owner and sometime exotic dancer. It's a shame that the pair did not have a chance to compete with Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), or our aforementioned substitution, Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook). Unfortunately for McConaughey, his Golden Globes exclusion may mark his exit from award season.

6. Best Animated Feature Film: Nominate ParaNorman in place of Hotel Transylvania.

ParaNorman is an encouraging tale of a boy who defends his town against a centuries- old curse. Hotel Transylvania, while entertaining, stars Adam Sandler as Dracula--if Dracula managed a high-end resort, protected his daughter against prospective suitors, and interacted with characters voiced by Jon Lovitz. Enough said?

7. Best Director: Nominate Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) in place of Ang Lee (Life of Pi).

In somewhat encouraging news for Hollywood, there were simply not enough nominations available to honor this year's high-achieving directors. (Our condolences, David O. Russell--apparently your contemporary dark romance was not conceptually impressive enough to win over H.F.P.A. voters.) But it's still a surprise that Oscar- winning director Tom Hooper was not recognized for adapting the epic Broadway musical for a Christmas Day release. Especially considering the patience it must have required for him to record every musical performance from his actors live.

8. Best Actress in a Drama: Nominate Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in place of Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea).

Although it makes sense that the starry-eyed Hollywood Foreign Press Association members would nominate Rachel Weisz over an unknown nine-year-old actress, a show of hands: who has seen The Deep Blue Sea? Now, who has seen Beasts of the Southern Wild--or at least heard ad nauseam about how it is one of the best films of the year? Well, the best thing about this best-film-of-the-year contender is arguably Wallis's blindsiding performance. Luckily, she still stands a shot at an Oscar nomination.

9. Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-series, or Movie Made for Television: Nominate Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) in place of Hayden Panettiere (Nashville).

As much as we love television musicals about country stars, and as much we know that the H.F.P.A. loves musicals in general--we take some offense to Christina Hendricks's omission from the category, especially after her character's juiciest-yet storylines in Season Five. So Sterling Cooper's most misogynist partners will reward Hendricks's character for sleeping with a high-profile client for the good of the company, but the H.F.P.A. won't?

10. Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-series, or Movie Made for Television: Nominate Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) in place of Danny Huston (Magic City).

The H.F.P.A. may not be into medieval fantasy series anymore, even if they're stocked with sex and violence, and last year's Golden Globe winner, Peter Dinklage. While we are fans of Danny Huston's Miami mob boss on Magic City, Dinklage's performance has only improved over the show's second season, warranting him--at the very least--another nomination.

More from Vanity Fair:
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Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston: Vanity Fair's Classic Nude Portraits
The Most Insane 2013 Golden Globe Nominations and Snubs
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