Golden Globe-a-licious

13 Dec

There is plenty of star-wattage in this year’s Globe category for Best Song. Not only is Adele nominated for co-writing, with Paul Epworth,  the title track of the latest 007 flick, Skyfall, the race is rounded out by such popular talents as Taylor Swift (“Safe & Sound” from The Hunger Games-shared with T-Bone Burnett, John Paul White, and Joy Williams), Jon Bon Jovi (“Not Running Anymore” from Stand Up Guys), and Keith Urban (“For You” from Act of Valor–shared with Monty Powell). The original Les Miz team of Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer, and Alain Boublil has collectively garnered a nod for new tune, “Suddenly.” Btw: Jon Bon Jovi is a previous winner for Blaze of Glory” from 1990’s Youngg Guns II.

Lincoln picked up 7 Golden Globe nods this morning, moving it one step closer to Oscar glory–fresh on the heels of yesterday’s Screen Actors Guild nominations. Following Lincoln in total number of nominations are Argo and Django Unchained with 5 each. Weighing-in with 4 nominations apiece are Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty.  Of course, unlike the Academy and the Screen Actors Guild, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press–the people responsible for the Golden Globes–divide many of their top awards into separate categories for musical/comedy and drama (as well as including awards for TV stars and their shows),  thereby allowing comedies to shine among all the fuss normally bestowed among dramas while also potentially increasing the number of stars in attendance during the awards show.  It’s good for business.

Here are the nominees in the major motion picture categories

  • Best Motion Picture Drama
  1. Argo
  2. Django Unchained
  3. Life of Pi
  4. Lincoln
  5. Zero Dark Thirty

With Lincoln the nominations leader, it’s hard not to think that it stands the best chance in this category though the trick is to understand that the Hollywood Foreign Press often votes for movies with international appeal. I’m not sure Lincoln fits the bill exactly though its high profile cast, including at least three previous Golden Globe winners (and current nominees), and Spielberg imprint certainly gives it allure.  I can think of plenty of reasons why any of these films could win; however, the one that most seems like a question mark is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Despite plenty of awards buzz, I’m not sure that Tarantino’s brand of filmmaking will play well with holiday audiences.

  • Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
  1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  2. Les Misérables
  3. Moonrise Kingdom
  4. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  5. Silver Linings Playbook

This is a tough call. Les Misérables clearly has scale, or heft,  on its side, but Silver Linings Playbook has the powerful Weinstein Company’s marketing apparatus behind it, but it’s not much of a comedy, not really. Michael and I chuckled a few times, but it’s hard to think of this much interpersonal dysfunction as being funny–and one ballroom sequences hardly qualifies it as a musical.  On the other hand, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, while relatively low-key, is turning out to be surprisingly popular at year’s end. Plus, it definitely has international appeal. I don’t think this one is necessarily a Les Misérables  slam-dunk. Of course, I have not seen all these movies–yet–but I love both The Best Exotic and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which I don’t give much of a chance.  It’s perhaps too quirky and not current, but I’m glad to see that it has not been forgotten.  Les Miz can’t get here soon enough for me.

  • Best Actress in a Drama
  1. Jessica Chastain  (Zero Dark Thirty)
  2. Marion Cotillard  (Rust and Bone)
  3. Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
  4. Naomi Watts  (The Impossible)
  5. Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea)

I think this one is wide open, and by that I mean, I don’t think there is a clear front-runner.  Marion Cotillard and Helen Mirren are previous winners (for La Vie en Rose and The Queen respectively)–and both have international followings. I also think the surge of interest in Mirren’s work in Hitchcock suddenly makes this race just a wee bit more exciting than it originally appeared. We saw Hitchcock this afternoon. Overall, it has the effect of a curio, but Mirren’s beautifully modulated performance keeps it grounded in something akin to reality. Elsewhere,  Naomi Watts keeps popping up among lists of contenders from one group or another, but her film is not getting as much praise as she is; meanwhile, Rachel Weisz earned the first accolade of the season (from the New York Film Critics Circle), but she wasn’t on yesterday’s telling roll-call of Screen Actors Guild nominees. Still, Weisz’s climb to Oscar glory for 2005’s The Constant Gardener got a nice bump when she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

  • Best Actor in a Drama
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis  (Lincoln)
  2. Richard Gere (Arbitrage)
  3. John Hawkes (The Sessions)
  4. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
  5. Denzel Washington (Flight)

If the Best Actress race is wide-open, this one may very well be too close to call. The performances are uniformly great. That noted, DDL seems to have a slight advantage as his is apparently the most admired vehicle. I think it’s marvelous that Richard Gere is getting recognition for Arbitrage, but it’s hard to imagine he could win against actors in weightier films. Personally, between all these performances, the one that has stayed with me the longest is John Hawkes’s, and for reasons that are difficult to articulate. Maybe it’s because he’s so different from the dark character he played in Winter’s Bone, or maybe it’s because he’s playing a character quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a film. Still, as close as I think this race is, Hawkes is not a star in the same way as, say, DDL, Washington or Gere.

  • Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
  1. Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
  2. Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
  3. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Maggie Smith (Quartet)
  5. Meryl Streep (Hope Springs)

My first thought about this is that Hope Springs is in no way a comedy even though it was marketed that way when it came out over the summer.  Of course, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith inspire fervent loyalty among Globe voters (Smith is a double nominee thanks, once again, to Downton Abbey), so I would not rule them out, but I think Jennifer Lawrence might be better positioned given the HFPA’s  record for recognizing exciting young talent–even though, like Streep’s vehicle, I’m not sure Silver Linings Playbook is actually a comedy. Emily Blunt’s nomination for Salmon Fishing in Yemen, directed by the wonderful Lasse Hallström, is encouraging. Blunt is seemingly capable of acting in just about anything. Ever since she made a name of for herself as the bitchy office-mate in The Devil Wears Prada (alongside Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway), for which she earned a Globe nomination, she’s chosen one interesting change of pace role after another, sometimes barely recognizable from one film to the next: Young Victoria (GG nod), The Adjustment Bureau, Looper, and Salmon Fishing in Yemen.  Hmmm…if there is a slight in the category, it might very well be Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip, which has been getting a little buzz mainly because it’s Streisand’s first starring vehicle in a number of years; her appearances in the Meet the Fockers movies hardly count as leading performances.

  • Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy
  1. Jack Black (Bernie)
  2. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
  3. Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
  4. Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
  5. Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)

Of course, I’m thrilled for Bernie‘s Jack Black, but I don’t think he’ll win. My guess is a fight to the finish between Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper. I think the nomination for Bill Murray, playing President Franklin Roosevelt of all people, is an amusing touch.  His  movie is getting mixed reviews. I don’t know if a Globe nod gives it credibility, but it definitely makes me curious all over again. PS: What? Nothing for Mark Wahlberg in the smash-hit, Ted?

  • Best Director
  1. Ben Affleck (Argo)
  2. Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
  3. Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
  4. Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  5. Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

Knowing the HFPA’s love of movie stars, I simply cannot rule out Ben Affleck here.  Even so, this is a powerful lineup, but my guess is Tarantino  might be the…weakest link…so to speak. Most surprising omission? Tom Hooper (Les Misérables).

  • Best Supporting Actress
  1. Amy Adams (The Master)
  2. Sally Field (Lincoln)
  3. Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
  4. Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
  5. Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)

Kidman seems to be getting a lot of year-end publicity for The Paperboy, co-starring Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey, but my thought is that members of  HFPA would rather see Kidman at their party more than they want her to actually have a Globe for a supporting performance. She’s also up for her starring role as Martha Gellhorn in the teleflick Hemingway and Gellhorn. My gut tells me that this is Hathaway’s, but that’s not necessarily a prediction. More like a hunch.

  • Best Supporting Actor
  1. Alan Arkin  (Argo)
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
  3. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  4. Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
  5. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Nominations for two of Django Unchained‘s supporting players, one of whom (Waltz) already has an Oscar and a Golden Globe for another Tarantino film, but nothing for star Jamie Foxx as the title character. Of course, Waltz, being an international star, might have a slight edge; however, everyone seems to love Tommy Lee Jones right now, so I’m most interested in him for the moment.  That noted, DiCaprio would be an interesting choice because he has toiled in the business for so long–19 years since his first nomination for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape–without getting much recognition. He earns plenty of nods, but he doesn’t often win. (I do think he should have gotten more acclaim for his role in last year’s J. Edgar [Hoover] even though the film as a whole was a dud.) Yes, he did snag a Globe as Best Actor in a Drama for 2004’s Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, but the big prize winner that year was Jamie Foxx for his much loved performance as the late great Ray Charles in Ray. Fox won the Oscar as well as the Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, thereby outshining DiCaprio, which makes DiCaprio’s nod here such a kick.  Even so, Leo seems too young to be a sentimental favorite, but, again, the HFPA is often dazzled by star power. Meanwhile, has the Matthew McConaughey bandwagon (Magic Mike, Bernie) run out of steam?

  • Best Screenplay
  1. Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)
  2. Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
  3. David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
  5. Chris Terrio (Argo)

Since Russell and Tarantino also directed their films, I think they are well-positioned for consolation prizes here, especially since Russell wasn’t even nominated for his directorial efforts; however, since both properties are coming from the Weinstein group, I don’t have a sense of how the studio will promote one of the guys over another–and that is definitely a factor in the Golden Globes: making sure the stars are trotted out for the Hollywood Foreign Press’s consideration. It’s good for business.

Oh, and while we’re at it, thanks for your consideration as well…


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