Before it’s too late, I figured I should probably get my predictions in for tonight’s Golden Globes, although whether I get any of them right or not matters to no one else but me, I am sure. (But we all know how much I like to be right, so if I am, I want it on record. )
Okay, so on to the nominations and my picks. First, I have to say how excited I am that I have actually seen all five of the films nominated in the Drama category. It represents not only a return to form, but a personal triumph for me since I can’t tell you the last time that happened.
The nominees for Best Motion Picture – Drama
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association are an odd bunch. There are only 82 members (plus 7 add’l Lifetime Members, which I can only assume is like "emeritus," but I don’t know whether that status includes voting rights, as well as 3 Affiliate Members. I have no idea what that means.) In any case that’s a pretty small group considering how much clout they wield. According to the mission statement on their website, aside from the big bash with the gold plated statuettes, their main raison d’etre is philanthropy. At a luncheon in July 2010, the HFPA "presented a record $1,541,000 in financial grants to 41 film schools and non-profit organizations."
So, with that as background and since this is the Golden Globes we’re discussing here, I suppose anything is possible in any of these categories, particularly BP-Drama. There are too many well-documented instances of the HFPA going off in a completely unexpected direction (more on that in the next category,) so I wouldn’t count any of them out. However, while all five of these films have enormous merit and I couldn’t be unhappy if any of them won, I believe it comes down to The Social Network and The King’s Speech.
The Social Network was anointed as the film to beat back in September, upon its release and it continues to clean up with various critics association awards and guild nominations. Its latest victory was the Critics Choice Award. I have seen it (finally) and while there is no question it is a finely crafted movie, borne along by talented wordsmith Aaron Sorkin’s script, I stand by my initial impression. It belongs in a time capsule, but I’m not convinced it’s the "Best Picture" of the year. What makes it truly special, and as always, this is JMHO, is that it is a behind the scenes look at the creation of the phenomenon which has come to define the age we live in. Otherwise it’s just the story of a hyper-intelligent computer geek with retarded social skills who wants desperately to be seen as "cool" and who manages to piss off and/or alienate everyone he comes into contact with. None of those things make it a classic or even a movie I want to watch more than once. That may change, but my point is I’ve already seen Inception, The King’s Speech and The Fighter twice and I know I want to see all of them again.
I have to go with The King’s Speech. First, because it is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association doing the voting and second because I still maintain it’s the best film of the year. JMHO
Got this one wrong, because I picked with my heart and not my head, which doesn’t bode well for my favorite movie come Oscar night.
The Nominees for Best Motion Picture -Musical or Comedy
Alice in Wonderland
The Kids Are All Right
This category is a classic example of HFPA lunacy. At first glance it would appear as if they threw the names of a bunch of movies that vaguely fit the category description into a hat after a kegger at Phil Berk’s* place. I wonder who got to draw them out? Johnny Depp or Cher? (The Tourist? Burlesque? Red?? Really???) But, upon closer inspection, and a little digging, it makes ( a little) more sense. The members of the HFPA delivered to their home countries essentially favorable reviews of all of these films. (The releasing studios of some of them are also said to have provided expensive perks to said members, a practice given tacit approval in the past by virtue of the fact that it was largely ignored. Partly because of the wacky choices in this category, however, this year there is controversy swirling around the selection process. There may be changes ahead. But I digress…)
MY pick is The Kids Are All Right. What I think the HFPA went for is Alice in Wonderland.
Okay so I hedged my bet here. See above lol. I’m glad the one I wanted to win actually did.
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
James Franco for 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter
Back to The Social Network, I have to say I don’t understand the kudos that Jesse Eisenberg has been garnering. I didn’t find his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg to be that different from any other character that Jesse Eisenberg has ever played, he just did it with a straight face. A totally straight face. As in blank. His line delivery reminded me of Rain Man. I don’t think the real Mark Zuckerberg is autistic so why did Eisenberg play him that way? I’d always thought he was cast because he physically resembled the actual person.
I must confess that I am one of those that James Franco’s grandmother called a "pussy" because I didn’t see 127 Hours simply because I didn’t want to watch someone hack their own arm off. I understand there was more to the film and Franco’s performance than that and I’ll rent it some day I’m sure.
I’ve already discussed Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter. This very well may be the role of his career and he deserves the nomination. Ryan Gosling was phenomenal in Blue Valentine. This category is one reason I don’t understand how so many critics and bloggers can complain that 2010 was a crappy year for film. I’m tired of reading it. If the choices are this tough then there were some truly amazing performances last year and we, as movie goers, win.
Having said that, I’m sticking with Colin Firth, again for reasons I’ve already given in another post. Even with bamboo being shoved under my fingernails, I’d still say his George VI was the best performance of the year. Flawless.
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Halle Berry for Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Okay, I have not seen Frankie and Alice nor Rabbit Hole. I can only assume that the former played somewhere prior December 31 of last year in order for Halle Berry to have qualified for this award, but I haven’t heard a thing about it since the pics of her running down the street in a huge Afro wig hit the internet last spring. The latter I have avoided. I’ll see it when it makes it to dvd. I’m sure Nicole Kidman acts her ass off.
The remaining three performances are all fantastic and all emotionally raw, none more so than Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. She is amazing. The scene in the hotel room alone would have earned her a nomination. I’ve said before about Winter’s Bone that without Jennifer Lawrence’s fierce and fearless portrayal of Ree Dolly, there is no movie. These two will definitely be battling it out for the Independent Spirit Award, where Natalie Portman is anything but a lock.
Speaking of Ms. Portman, I do believe, since at this dance she has no competition from Ms. Bening, that the award is hers. The Golden Globes are the first big mainstream awards ceremony of the year and while the announcement of her pregnancy came too late to help her here (the way it is believed it probably will with the Academy,) she has already won once before as a supporting actress(Closer in 2005.) More to the point, her beautiful, fragile, terrified and terrifying ballerina is an exquisite performance.
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp for The Tourist
Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland
Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal for Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey for Casino Jack
I really don’t feel strongly about any of these nominations. Don’t get me wrong, I looove Kevin Spacey but Casino Jack hasn’t made it to Beantown yet. Neither has Barney’s Version and I’m a huge Paul Giamatti fan. It’s either going to be Johnny Depp or Johnny Depp, so I’m going to flip a coin and say Johnny Depp.
I’m thrilled that I not only got it wrong but that Giamatti won! Huge, but pleasant surprise. Paul Giamatti beat Johnny Depp twice!
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie for The Tourist
Julianne Moore for The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone for Easy A
Unless something truly bizarre happens, Annette Bening should have this. She’s the tough but tender core of her movie and an industry favorite. I’m glad that there are two "Best Actresses" at the Golden Globes because in the almost certain event they are both nominated for an Oscar, Bening will have to go up against Portman, and frankly, I don’t like her chances.
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Christian Bale for The Fighter
Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
Jeremy Renner for The Town
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech
I loved Christian Bale in The Fighter. I adored Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech. I’ve been in Jeremy Renner’s corner for a long time. Michael Douglas could take it because the tabloid press made it seem like he was at death’s door. Andrew Garfield? I’d like to say he should be happy to be here, but he has already walked away with some critics’ top honors and frankly, he did make me feel Eduardo Saverin’s pain, but if someone from The Social Network had to be nominated in this category, why no mention of Armie Hammer? He played two roles!
Bale took the Critics Choice award last night, but I’m going to go with Geoffrey Rush for basically the same reason I went with The King’s Speech.
This was basically a coin toss and I am in no way disapppointed that Christian Bale won (and now this is another category that is a virtual sure thing at the Oscars.)
The Nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams for The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis for Black Swan
Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom
Amy Adams played against type which is always good for a nomination. I’ve already sung her praises as well as those of Helena Bonham Carter. Mila Kunis was very good, but The Black Swan belonged to Natalie Portman. I am so happy that Jacki Weaver is even nominated that I won’t be at all disappointed if she doesn’t win. In fact, I don’t believe that she will. I believe the award will go to Melissa Leo, for the performance I compared to Weaver’s when I first discussed The Fighter. Leo is another actor who’s long been deserving and whose time has come.
Best Director – Motion Picture
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
David Fincher for The Social Network
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception
David O. Russell for The Fighter
Here’s what I don’t get: The HFPA has wisely chosen to make a distinction in the "Best Picture" category between Comedy (or Musical) and Drama, something a lot of people (myself included) wish that the AMPAS would adopt as well. How then do they lump the directors (and the writers) of these same films into just one category? This makes no sense to me. Now, having said that, apparently this year all of the nominated films in the Comedy category directed themselves. The five gentlemen honored with a nomination for Best Director (and yes, after a brief detour last year, we appear to have returned to the land of misogyny, sorry Lisa Cholodenko,) are all from the Drama category.
I don’t want to say David Fincher just because his movie’s cleaning up all over the place, but whichever film wins Best Picture-Drama, its director will win this category. I think. In which case, since I’ve thrown my lot in with The King’s Speech, I’ll go with Tom Hooper. Although again, I have to say they are all deserving and I could not quibble about any of them walking away with the award. Nolan may get it because they have to give the film something. I’m waffling I know. I may edit this post. LOL
Again, intellectually I knew that Fincher would most likely get it, I wanted Tom Hooper to get it (and his movie to take that prize,) but any one of them could have surprised and would have been deserving.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
127 Hours: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
Inception: Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right : Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko
The King’s Speech : David Seidler
The Social Network : Aaron Sorkin
I have a similar gripe about this category as I do about the Directors category. At least the Oscars divide it up into Original and Adapted.
I’d love to say I think The King’s Speech will win, or even Inception, but I have to go with The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin managed to write a film in which nearly everyone and everything, including an educational institution with a 250 year history, was completely unlikeable, but was still riveting. I couldn’t turn away. It was like a well crafted train wreck.
But I had to wonder about this: "You’re not an asshole Mark, you’re just trying so hard to be." WTF? Was that an afterthought by the producers so that they wouldn’t get sued? My first thought was "No! He IS an asshole!" but then Rashida Jones’ next line sums it all up: "Every creation myth needs a devil."
Mark Zuckerberg as written by Aaron Sorkin made me feel sorry for the Winklevoss twins. I’ll bet no one EVER feels sorry for the real Winklevoss twins.
Best Original Score -Motion Picture
127 Hours (2010): A.R. Rahman
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Danny Elfman
Inception (2010): Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech (2010): Alexandre Desplat
The Social Network (2010): Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
I’m so disappointed that the score for How to Train Your Dragon is not among the nominees here that I’m tempted to just skip the category. I think Danny Elfman got John Powell’s spot just because he’s Danny Elfman. I really didn’t find anything special or memorable about the score for Alice in Wonderland. Of the scores on this list, the only one I can really say that about is The King’s Speech (which is my pick although I have the sneaking suspicion Hans Zimmer could steal for Inception.)
So not impressed here.
Best Original Song -Motion Picture
Burlesque (2010/I): Samuel Dixon, Christina Aguilera, Sia Furler (“Bound to You”)
Burlesque (2010/I): Diane Warren (“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me”)
Country Strong (2010): Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges (“Coming Home”)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010): Carrie Underwood, David Hodges, Hillary Lindsey (“There’s A Place For Us”)
Tangled (2010): Alan Menken, Glenn Slater (“I See the Light”)
Again, where is "Sticks and Bones" by Jonsi from HTTYD?? C’mon! People saw that movie! They heard that song! This is another category with questionable choices at best. I’m going with the song from Tangled simply because the HFPA has shown Alan Mencken some love in the past and they would recognize his name. (Although whoever Hillary Lindsey is, she has a Johnny Depp of a chance to steal)
Should have known. Cher apparently really did a PR blitz on voters. I don’t care.
Best Animated Film
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3
I know what you’re thinking, "Gee, I wonder which one it will be??" she said facetiously. Okay my pick is OBVIOUSLY HTTYD, but unless the HFPA pulls a Marisa Tomei, ("and the Golden Globe goes to The Illusionist") then the winner will be Toy Story 3.
It’s not sour grapes that I’m not happy to be right here. No, I’m more annoyed about Director Lee Unkrich’s pre-show remarks. He was apparently voicing his disappointment about the fact that his category was a foregone conclusion and how nice it would have been to have "some competition." I really hope that story gets picked up and there is some TS3 back-lash come Oscar time. (Okay so maybe THAT’S sour grapes.)
Best Foreign Language Film
The Concert (France)
The Edge (Russia)
I Am Love (Italy)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Now, this is really a tough category to call. For one thing, I haven’t seen any of them. For another, I have to wonder how many HFPA members are from each of the submitting countries. I haven’t parsed it out, but if there are a predominant number of members from Spanish speaking countries are they more likely to vote for Biutiful? I’ve at least heard of that one and will see it eventually, although what I’ve heard is that aside from Javier Bardem’s wonderful performance, the film is only "meh."
The other film I’ve heard of and have even seen a trailer for is I Am Love. It looks gorgeous and interesting and I will probably see it. So on that completely subjective basis, I’ve already narrowed it down to two. Using the names in a hat method of selection: Biutiful is my pick.
Well, I said I had no clue LOL but this was a surprise to most people I think.
Phew! Do I have the wherewithal to do this again in a month?
Now I hope no one seriously thought I was going to continue on to the television categories. If so, then I’m sorry to disappoint, however, I will say this: I am seriously and strenuously rooting for Edgar Ramirez to win Best Actor in a miniseries for Carlos. I can’t make the case for this film too strongly. It is definitely worth the investment of your time. (FYI-The Sundance Channel is again running the whole thing on Thurs. 20 January 2011. This is what Tivo was invented for.) I’m also rooting for him to show up on the red carpet, but that’s another story.
I would also be very happy if Idris Elba won for "Luther," a six part BBC series about a flawed, but gifted detective with a fucked up personal life and a temper. (For those who haven’t seen it, BBC America will probably rerun it again before the start of series #2)
Being a realist (most of the time,) I have already accepted that what I want counts for virtually nothing and Al Pacino will take this category anyway.
Okay, got this one right, but I’m not happy about it. Edgar Ramirez was robbed, especially given the very happy surprise of Carlos winning Best Miniseries. See this movie people!
Final tally: 7 (and a half) right out of 15 picks on this page. Batting .500 – I predict I’ll do better next month.
Hmm…whatever shall I do to console myself….
Oh I know!
*Don’t forget to click*
*Philip Berk-HFPA President