To get more famous people to show up, which is the point, the Golden Globes have an acting and picture categories for musicals and comedies (for TV, too), so we can ignore things like Nine, which everybody hates (Sutton and Stewart discuss why later this week), getting a lot of nominations, because what other musicals or comedies came out this year; we can also ignore Meryl Streep's nomination for Julie and Julia, because—and this has been proven, by science—when it comes to anticipating the winners of major acting awards, the fact of Meryl Streep being nominated for something actually has slightly less predictive value than the fact of Meryl Streep being in a movie at all.
So lets focus on the major nominees. Well, in brief, it is looking like yet another shitty awards season.
The theme this year is "bullshit uplift": hard times and all that, so the film industry congratulates itself on making heartwarming movies about the awful lives of regular people.
This is especially the case for anointed buzz target Up in the Air, which secured nominations for its (terribly likable, sure) cast, as well as a Best Picture nod. Up in the Air, which luxuriates in George Clooney's N.S.A. existence before deciding that he has a hole in his heart and needs to "make a connection", is a crypto-conservative work of fashionable faux-cynicism, just like all Jason Reitman's movies. Plus, it coasts on the gravitas of actual unemployed people (who, granted, are probably excited to be in a movie).
Also nominated was Precious: Based upon the Novel 'The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, or: how violence develops and where it can lead' by Heinrich Böll, a movie which assumes we're incapable of feeling sympathy except at emotional knifepoint, which tells us that all social problems are surmountable by attitude alone, and tells middle-class audiences that the problems of the less fortunate exist primarily to make us feel blessed to be living our own lives.
That said, Inglourious Basterds and The Hurt Locker were nominated. They're very good (well, the first one is; the second one is the kind of flawed movie I can at least take seriously). They won't win.
Oh, and the last Best Picture: Drama nominee is Avatar; a colleague reports that the first words out of one critic's mouth when the house lights came back up were "Dances with Wolves."