Golden Globes and Game Changers

13 Jan

Call me a party pooper, but  I don’t think  Golden Globes co-hosts co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were nearly as funny this year as they were last year, but they were still pretty funny.  I just sensed that their timing was a bit off somehow, but no matter. I don’t watch awards shows for the hosts. I watch for the awards.

Were there any game-changers in the mix? Let’s see….

jennifer lawrence american hustle golden globes

Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

It’s not really a surprise that Jennifer Lawrence won a Globe given the Hollywood Foreign Press’s fascination with movie stars, and Lawrence is one of the biggest stars on the scene thanks in no small part to the phenomenally successful  Hunger Games franchise. I have mixed feelings about American Hustle, but Lawrence scores as the comic relief.  She’s already won at least once this season prior to the Globes, so there’s no reason to think she won’t be nominated for an Oscar come week’s end, but I don’t look for her to win that race just a year after nabbing Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. That’s not the way the game is played.

Jared Leto

Best Supporting Actor – Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto is on a roll. He’s already been proclaimed this year’s likely Oscar victor by the editors of Entertainment Weekly.  Well, whatever happens, happens. Leto has been deserving of a good role for a long time.  Twenty years ago he feared being typecast as just another pretty face when he co-starred with Claire Danes in tv’s My So-Called Life. He was in his twenties at the time though he was playing a high school studentBig screen stardom beckoned but nonetheless remained elusive. Leto even put acting on hold for awhile, but I don’t think anyone noticed–until he made a stunning comeback.

alfonso_Cuaron

Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

It’s been a good week for Cuarón, what with his Golden Globe and Directors Guild nomination. Right now, he’s being honored for having a vision and being able to turn that into a reality. Let’s see if he actually wins the DGA.

Amy-Adams-American-Hustle-Fur-Hat.jl.121213

Best Actress in  a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – Amy Adams (American Hustle)

I’ve seen Amy Adams at awards show after awards show for years, ever since she first attracted attention for her supporting turn in the indie Junebug (2005).  Though she’s been honored by some of the less visible–if still prestigious–groups in the interim, Adams has never been called to the stage to accept a trophy; moreover, most of her previous nominations have been for supporting roles. Now, she’s poised to earn a Oscar nod for Best Actress, but she’ll still likely face-off against such heavyweights as Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. On the other hand, she did just beat Meryl, didn’t she??

Leonardo-DiCaprio-On-The-Set-Of-The-Wolf-Of-Wall-Street-leonardo-dicaprio-31951925-594-396

Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Many prognosticators were likely taken surprise by DiCaprio’s win for Best Actor in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Bruce Dern (Nebraska) was the perceived frontrunner based on the season thus far, but being last out of the gate has its advantages. Still, I don’t think Leo is a lock for an Oscar nod as he’s competing against actors playing more sympathetic characters in movies that have not divided critics the way The Wolf of Wall Street has, something that was no doubt a factor in the studio publicist’s decision to position this movie as a comedy.

Cate-Blanchett

Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama – Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

No game changer here: Blanchett is the frontrunner. Her lead in the race for the Best Actress Oscar  may very well be more certain than Jared Leto’s is in his. As evidenced last night by the tribute paid to writer-director Woody Allen, Blanchett is in good company with scads of actresses who have earned top honors for their performances in Allen films, most recently Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona, 2008).

MattMCDBC

Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama – Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Matthew McConaughey may very well turn out to be the man to beat for the Oscar in his category. Of course, the nominations have yet to be announced, and the Best Actor race is hugely competitive. No doubt, he’s well positioned–and not just because of his stunning transformation. I’m happy for the Texas native, but I’m also stunned that Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) is not owning this category.

american-hustle-posters-sony

Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – American Hustle (l -r: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Any Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence)

Yeah, okay, American Hustle is a comedy,  I guess. It’s clever in spots, outrageous in others, and some of the dialogue elicits laughs, but it plays more like imitation Scorsese than anything else, and Scorsese isn’t necessarily known for laff-riots.  Again, this movie seems to have been positioned as comedy for the sake of expediency.  Still, I think this may very well turn out to be the  Academy’s Best Picture spoiler due to its glamorous all-star cast, the sort of thing that appeals to the Academy’s largest voting bloc: actors and actresses.

12-years-a-slave-quad

Best Motion Picture Drama – 12 Years a Slave

Of course, we expect to see two Best Picture winners at the Globes though often one of those films also captures Best Director honors, but that didn’t happen last night, so that means the race for the Best Picture Oscar is still wide open with 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity all looking to break away from the pack.  The way the nominations are divvied will provide further clues…maybe.

The rest of the bunch–for movies–include: Best Animated Film – Frozen; Best Foreign Language Film – The Great Beauty  (Italy); Best Original Song – “Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom); Best Original Score – Alex Ebert (All is Lost), and Best Screenplay – Spike Jonze (Her).

You’ll have to look elsewhere for TV coverage: http://www.goldenglobes.com/awards

Thanks for your consideration…

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