The fun thing about the folks who award the Golden Globes is that they don't feel compelled to do the expected.
Oh, sure, they sometimes go the traditional route, but they invariably toss in some surprises — as they did when they announced this year's movie nominations today.
The best drama nominees are a fairly straight-forward collection — "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network."
But the best comedy or musical category is where the the nominations go loco. "Burlesque"? Maybe they wanted to toss a musical into the otherwise comedy-centric mix. And "The Tourist"? That's one of the most disappointing films of the year, wasting the potential of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie with tone-deaf writing and direction.
The Globes went nuts for "The Tourist" and its stars. Jolie didn't deserve a nod for her weirdly mannered performance, which seemed as though she were attempting a parody of a femme fatale. (Jolie was much better in kick-ass action mode in "Salt.") Depp didn't deserve one either for his half-hearted turn as a math teacher caught up in foreign intrigue in "The Tourist." (He was much better as the sensitive Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland," for which he was also nominated.)
A cynic would suggest that the Golden Globe folks just want the star wattage of Jolie and Depp at their awards ceremony. And by "cynic," yes, I mean me.
Here's another tag-team of undeserving nominations: Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal for "Love & Other Drugs." Like Jolie and Pitt, they're fine actors who don't reach their usual level of excellence because they're mired in a muddled movie.
And I'm disappointed in a few films and performances that weren't nominated: There was no best actor nomination for Robert Duvall or supporting actor one for Bill Murray for "Get Low," and no best picture nod for "The Town."
Worst of all, there's no category in which to nominate the most important movie of the year: the American-education-system documentary "Waiting for 'Superman.'"
As usual, a lot of the films that drew Golden Globe nominations haven't opened in our area yet. But you can judge for yourself when they do; "Black Swan" and "The Fighter," for instance, are scheduled to bow here Friday, with "The King's Speech," which drew the most Globe nominations with its seven, arrives on Christmas Day.
See a list of the movie nominees below. Which nominations do you applaud the most ... and the least?
Picture, Drama: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The King's Speech," "The Social Network."
Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Alice in Wonderland," "Burlesque," "The Kids Are All Right," "Red," "The Tourist."
Actor, Drama: Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"; Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"; James Franco, "127 Hours"; Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"; Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter."
Actress, Drama: Halle Berry, "Frankie and Alice"; Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"; Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine."
Director: Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"; David Fincher, "The Social Network"; Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"; Christopher Nolan, "Inception"; David O. Russell, "The Fighter."
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"; Johnny Depp, "The Tourist"; Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version"; Jake Gyllenhaal, "Love and Other Drugs"; Kevin Spacey, "Casino Jack."
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"; Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right"; Anne Hathaway, "Love & Other Drugs"; Angelina Jolie, "The Tourist"; Emma Stone, "Easy A."
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"; Michael Douglas, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"; Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"; Jeremy Renner, "The Town"; Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech."
Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"; Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"; Mila Kunis, "Black Swan"; Amy Adams, "The Fighter"; Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom."