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HFPA say film noms not star driven

Some say a snub from critics isn't always kiss of death

For many years there has often been an interesting correlation between star wattage and those actors who continually receive Golden Gobe nominations.

While the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. takes the firm position that its members are not starstruck and an actor’s place in Hollywood hierarchy doesn’t mean anything when it comes to who’ll appear at the org’s kudocast, the list of recent noms may prove otherwise.

On the distaff side, Angelina Jolie has made the HFPA swoon recently. She’s been nominated three times in the last four years: “The Tourist,” “Changeling” and “A Mighty Heart.” Interestingly, she has won three times and two were for TV projects: “George Wallace” and “Gia.” Her third victory was for 1999’s “Girl, Interrupted.”

Johnny Depp, her co-star on “The Tourist,” has been a Golden Globe fave for decades. The actor has been nominated 10 times, but won only once for the 2007 pic “Sweeney Todd.” He was first nominated in 1991 for “Edward Scissorhands” and in January was not only nominated for “The Tourist,” but for “Alice in Wonderland” as well.

Then there is the all-time nomination champ, Meryl Streep. Though she may not make the pages of the tabloids that are often filled with photos of Depp and Jolie, Streep is clearly Hollywood royalty. She was been nominated a staggering 25 times and, among those nods, has won seven times,

The new HFPA president Aida Takla-O’Reilly, a correspondent for two publications in Dubai who served previously as HFPA prexy in the 1990s, says she has heard the criticism of the org being taken under by the spell of celebs but doesn’t believe it is a valid assertion.

Actors, she explains, are a reflection of their respective films. So if the movie succeeds, so have the thesps. Yet, on the other hand, if the pic is a failure, the actors shouldn’t come away with noms.

“No matter how big the star is, if the movie doesn’t do to you what it sets out to do to you, we pick up on that right away,” Takla-O’Reilly.

“The Tourist,” which received mixed reviews, was the poster boy last year for criticism that the HFPA was taken under Jolie and Depp’s spell. Takla-O’Reilly, however, was an unabashed fan and doesn’t make any excuses for both the film and star’s nominations.

“If a movie sets out to do something and succeeds in what it sets out to do, it is a good movie,” she says. “This movie did not set out to espouse a political issue or a social issue. This was good old-fashioned entertainment, and I loved it.”

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