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The annual eruption of critical snark set off by the announcement of the Golden Globes nominations is usually followed by a sheepish admission: Many of the choices were in line with what was expected.
In fact, the outlier may be Oscar. In several celebrated instances in recent years, It has been me Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., and not the Academy, that has hewed closer to the critical consensus. Last year, the HFPA picked "The Social Network" as best drama--as had the L.A., N.Y., London, Chicago and Boston critics, the National Board of Review, the National Society of Film Critics and a litany of other orgs. The Oscar went to "The King's Speech." In 2007, when the Academy went for "Crash," the Globes picked "Brokeback Mountain," as had many others.
This season, there's no obvious one-on-one "Social"/"King" face-off, but the reaction has been respectful.