Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Globes '09!

I'll come out and say it: the Golden Globes are one of the most frustrating awards ceremonies in the season. The dramatic categories are usually accurate indicators of how the Oscars will go, while the comedic categories are usually just fun nominees who don't really stand a chance at getting an Oscar. This year's Globes, however, actually carry a little more weight, in my opinion, since Best Picture at the Oscars has been expanded to include 10 nominees, but that does not necessarly mean that all the nominees really stand a chance. Anyway, here's my analysis of this year's contenders. For this post, however, I am only going to comment on the film awards; the television awards will come at a later date. BEST PICTURE - DRAMA
  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air
It's interesting to me that Up in the Air is being campaigned as a drama rather than a comedy, which will only benefit it. The Hurt Locker continues to build its frontrunner status, as has Precious, and they're practically locks for the Oscars now. Avatar and Inglourious Basterds probably won't win here or at the Oscars, but there's a good chance of them both making the shortlist for the latter. I am now convinced that I have underrated Avatar, and I've made it a point to go see it soon. The notable snub here is Invictus. Though it will still make it to the Oscars, its highly doubtful that it will win.
  • Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Emily Blunt is a major latecomer here. Her film has so far recieved only mixed reviews, and its slow release schedule is doing it no favors. Though Blunt's performance may be great, its just too little, too late. Mulligan is now a virtual lock for an Oscar nomination now, and is THE frontrunner to win. Its good to see Sidibe pick up a nomination here, considering how lately shes been partly absent from the critics awards. Mirren will probably make the Oscar shortlist, but most of that will probably be driven by her legacy than anything else. And Bullock is unfortunately moving foward with her role in The Blind Side (there will be a seperate post about that later). And with no recognition for Abbie Cornish or Saorise Ronan, its likely now that their respective campaigns have come to a close here.
  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman, Invictus
  • Tobey Maguire, Brothers
The first four are nothing new; everyone's been talking about them from the very beginning. However, I'm impressed by the selection of Maguire for Brothers. He had some early buzz, but a lot of that faded over time; not necessarily because of poor reviews, but from stronger competition. I doubt he'll make the Oscar shortlist, but this certainly helps his chances.
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hangover
  • It's Complicated
  • Julie & Julia
  • Nine
The only one of these that's likely to end up in the Best Picture category at the Oscars is Nine, with Summer having the best chance of sneaking in. The other three are really just filler, though the screenplay chances for all three could have recieved a boost. Its notable that this is The Hangover's only nomination, which makes its inclusion seem like a consolation prize for being so popular this year. However, notable snubs include The Proposal (not a bad thing) and Zombieland (which would have been a fantastic inclusion).
  • Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
  • Marion Cotillard, Nine
  • Julia Roberts, Duplicity
  • Meryl Streep, It's Complicated
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
So appearent HPFA really, really loves Streep; so much so that they're going to let her compete against herself! She'll earn yet another Oscar nomination this year, but it will be Julie & Julia, not It's Complicated. However, she and Bullock have a similar situation: double Globe nominations, which usually turns into an Oscar nomination for one of the roles. The Globes fell for Cotillard's campaign fraud, but don't expect Oscar to. And HPFA hearts Roberts way too much. Where's the love for (500) Days of Summer's Zooey Deschanel?
  • Matt Damon, The Informant!
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine
  • Robert Downey, Jr., Sherlock Holmes
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man
Its hard to say that any of these will move past these. Stuhlbarg had good early buzz, but like the movie he's starring in, his momentum seems to rise and fall violently every week. So who knows? Matt Damon, if he is nominated, will be in the supporting category for Invictus, not for this film. Day-Lewis seems like the safest bet, but even he is on shaky ground this year. As much as I would love to see Downey Jr. score his third career nod, I highly doubt Sherlock Holmes will be the film to do it. And it seems like no one can honor both stars of Summer, but have to choose one or the other: the Globes have rightfully chosen Gordon-Levitt, but Deschanel is just as deserving! It's interesting that Sandra Bullock's Proposal costar Ryan Reynolds isn't in this category, especially considering how big of a year he has had as well, nor is any of the stars of The Hangover.
  • Penelope Cruz, Nine
  • Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
  • Mo'Nique, Precious
  • Julianne Moore, A Single Man
This is exactly what I imagine the Oscar category will look like.
  • Matt Damon, Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Honestly, I'd forgotten all about Plummer, since he has been absent from most of the critics awards. But that's probably because with the exception of one or two for Harrelson, Waltz has been taking all of them home. I don't see Damon's campaign being strong enough to get him into the Oscars, but he could be a pleasant surprise. I also wonder if Harrelson's sudden momentum is another case of too little, too late, or if he could actually make it all the way. Otherwise, Waltz is a lock, and it looks like Tucci will make it too and be The Lovely Bones' only major representative.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Up
Again, this is exactly how I expect the Oscars to go. Though honestly, I'm surprised more recognition hasn't been given to Miyazaki's Ponyo. Since when has a Miyazaki not been universally praised?
  • Baaria (Italy)
  • Broken Embraces (Spain)
  • The Maid (Chile)
  • Un Prophete (France)
  • Das Weisse Band (Germany)
The problem with this category is that it has different eligibility rules than the Oscars do. Whereas the Oscars require it to be financed, produced, and submitted by a foreign country, the Globes only require it to be in a foreign language. Still, Broken Embraces, a probable winner here, wasn't submitted to the Oscar comittee, so its hard to tell. Though momentum for The Maid seems to be fantastic right now.
  • Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  • James Cameron, Avatar
  • Clint Eastwood, Invictus
  • Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
I have a feeling that this may be how the Oscars go too. Though I have to ask: where is Precious' Lee Daniels? He certainly deserves one for his exquisite work. But I'm glad Bigelow's holding her own with the usual suspects.
  • Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
  • Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
  • Nancy Meyers, It's Complicated
  • Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
The thing I hate about this category at the Globes is that its a conglomerate rather than seperated like at the Oscars. Therefore, a lot of major screenplays such as Precious, A Single Man, A Serious Man, Up, (500) Days of Summer, An Education, etc. get ignored. However, the choice of District 9 is exceptionally inspired, and the inclusion of It's Complicated is confusing. That over Summer? I don't think so.
  • Michael Giacchino, Up
  • Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant!
  • James Horner, Avatar
  • Abel Korzeniowski, A Single Man
  • Karen O and Carter Burwell, Where the Wild Things Are
I really wish Where the Wild Things Are would recieve nominations in other categories too, but I guess I'll settle for this. I don't really know much about these, but bright side: no Amelia!
  • "Cinema Italiano," Nine
  • "I See You," Avatar
  • "I Want to Come Home," Everybody's Fine
  • "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)," Crazy Heart
  • "Winter," Brothers
This is a horrible Oscar predictor, namely because the HFPA chooses the most random selections for its nominees. As you can see here, Everybody's Fine and Brothers appearantly have better musical selections than The Princess and the Frog, which the Oscars are much more likely to go with.
More to come. Thoughts and comments are welcome.

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