Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globes 2009

Many people consider the Golden Globes to be great Oscar precursors. The truth is that they are great...at predicting nominees, not winners. For example, in the past five years, only one Globe winner has also won Best Picture at the Oscars (that would be last year's Slumdog Millionaire). And this year's bizarre cast of winners seems to further indicate that the Globes, though not always an accurate barometer, are always good for a surprise.
Winners are in bold.
BEST PICTURE - DRAMA
  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air
All aboard the populist bandwagon! It's not hard to discount Avatar's win here as a move to honor the film as it prepares to take its place as the highest-grossing film of all time. This will definitely transition into an Oscar nomination, but a win? Its looking ever more likely. My pick: Inglourious Basterds.
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
  • Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
All aboard the populist bandwagon! Two months ago, a win for Bullock over Mulligan or Sidibe was considered laughable. Nowadays, in her overrated momentum, she can't be stopped; there's even talk of her upsetting Meryl Streep at the Oscars (highly doubtful, says I). Either way, she's a lock for a nomination now. My pick: Gabourey Sidibe.
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman, Invictus
  • Tobey Maguire, Brothers
The standing ovation for Bridges when he picked up his win here was inspiring, and he is a worthy recipient. He's got some good mojo right now, and with any luck, that will result in his first, long overdue Oscar win. As an aside, I'm still upset that the Globes ignored Jeremy Renner. But this is a more star-oriented ceremony. Another aside: I wonder how Maguire feels about not being Spider-Man anymore? It should give him an opportunity to spread his wings as an actor, as he did here with Brothers. My pick: George Clooney.
BEST PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hangover
  • It's Complicated
  • Julie & Julia
  • Nine
Its amusing to look back on my Globes preview, in which I said only Nine would likely be a Best Picture nominee, and see how much has changed since then: now it seems that none of these will make it into that category. Even thoughNine's reviews have been mediocre at best, The Hangover as winner is truly a baffling choice. Yes, the film had its amusing moments, but was it the best comedy of the year? Not even close. Once again, all aboard the populist bandwagon! My pick: (500) Days of Summer, which was by far the superior film here.
BEST ACTRESS - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
  • Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
  • Marion Cotillard, Nine
  • Julia Roberts, Duplicity
  • Meryl Streep, It's Complicated
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Aside: I finally saw The Proposal. In a word: overrated. Moving on, it really isn't a surprise to anyone that Streep won this one. Ultimately, the only concievable upset here was Streep winning for It's Complicated rather than Julie & Julia(both of which I will be viewing soon). My pick: Marion Cotillard.
BEST ACTOR - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
  • 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
I didn't pick Downey Jr., but I am glad that he won. A lot of what made Sherlock Holmes an above-average period action film was his performance and his chemistry with Jude Law, and he's been on a roll lately at the height of his career. He's also a fantastic (and fantastically funny) actor, so I'm good with this one. At least it wasn't Day-Lewis. My pick: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Penelope Cruz, Nine
  • Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
  • Mo'Nique, Precious
  • Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Who didn't see this one? See you at the Oscars, Mo'Nique. My pick: Mo'Nique.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • Matt Damon, Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Another obvious award choice. Was it just me, or did Tarantino seem more openly excited about Waltz's win than Waltz did himself? Not saying that the guy is in reality just as heartless as his Col. Hans Landa, but come on, man, you just won a Golden Globe. It's okay to crack a smile. My pick: Christoph Waltz.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Up
This is a big one for Up, especially since Fantastic Mr. Fox has picked up a significant amount of awards as well, andCoraline has its fair share of supporters as well. Overall, I think its safe to say its been an incredible year for animation; let's hope it continues to grow as a medium. Aside: wasn't Paul McCartney hilarious in introducing this category as being for "children and adults who use drugs?" My pick: Up.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
  • Baaria (Italy)
  • Broken Embraces (Spain)
  • The Maid (Chile)
  • Un Prophete (France)
  • Das Weisse Band (Germany)
This is a really strong foreign language category; let's hope that the Oscar category is equally as strong. German cinema is on fire this past decade, and its wonderful that the brilliant Michael Haneke has been recognized (finally!) in the United States. Will an Oscar follow? My pick: Das Weisse Band.
BEST DIRECTOR
  • Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  • James Cameron, Avatar
  • Clint Eastwood, Invictus
  • Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Hop on the populist bandwagon! Well, sort of. The innovation in filmmaking technology is important, and he has proven that he knows a thing or two about fashioning a good epic, but Cameron just was not the best director of 2009 (that would be Spike Jonze in my opinion, but more on that later). I actually thought Eastwood would win this one, but they resisted. Maybe next year, Clint. My pick: Kathryn Bigelow (which is a big deal, since I am an avid Tarantino fan and usually want him to win anything he can).
BEST SCREENPLAY
  • 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
I've already quibbled about the Globes' lack of distinct adapted and original categories. But the vote of confidence in Reitman as a writer is good, since he's proven himself to be one of the best serio-comic writer/directors of our time (think Thank You For Smoking). Though Reitman echoed my own feelings when he reached the podium and said, "Quentin, I'm still waiting for them to call your name." My pick: Quentin Tarantino.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
  • 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
These were actually great scores this year, though I was certain that Horner would win this as part of an Avatartechnical category sweep. But Giacchino's lovely score for Up is a great choice, especially when one considers how the perfect "life montage" scene would not have nearly been as poignant without his score. My pick: Karen O and Carter Burwell.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
  • "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
First of all, I find it amusing that there were two Ryan Binghams at the Globes (The Weary Kind songwriter and George Clooney's Up in the Air character), and there will most likely be two at the Oscars as well. Again, I was expecting Avatar or Nine to win this one, with the outside chance of Brothers (everyone loves U2, remember). But this is a lovely ballad. The real question is, how many of these will carry over to the Oscars? One? None? My pick: "Cinema Italiano," even though Kate Hudson's vocal were a little grating.
BEST DRAMA
  • Big Love
  • Dexter
  • House
  • Mad Men
  • True Blood
Of course its Mad Men, everybody loves Mad Men, remember? I know its good to honor a show multiple times, but (and this is aimed at the Emmys too) I think its okay to show that there's more than just one good drama or comedy on TV. Why not show some of the other guys, like House and Dexter, some love too? My pick: Dexter. BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • January Jones, Mad Men
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Anna Paquin, True Blood
  • Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Not at all what I was expecting, but strangely not all that surprising. Margulies was a Globes mainstay during her ERyears, and The Good Wife has earned her some glowing reviews. But its still something of an upset, considering the veterans she was up against. Good for her, I suppose. My pick. Anna Paquin.
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
  • Simon Baker, The Mentalist
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie, House
  • Bill Paxton, Big Love
Michael C. Hall's standing ovation was also inspirational. And his win is probably won of the most deserved of the night, since he has been doing quality work in everything he's been in since Six Feet Under. His performance as Dexter is easily the best on television, and its about time that he's been honored for it. Will Emmy follow suit? Aside: Hamm + beard = ew. My pick: Michael C. Hall.
BEST COMEDY
  • 30 Rock
  • Entourage
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • The Office
Glee's win was a well-deserved one, and proves me wrong in that the same shows are always honored (the Globes at least recognize that there's more than one good comedy on TV). In a perfect world, there would have been a tie between Glee and Modern Family, but at least one of them won. My pick: Modern Family.
BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY
  • Toni Collette, United States of Tara
  • Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Lea Michele, Glee
Toni Collette wins another, after last year's surprise at the Emmys. Since that win, I have finally seen the show (albiet the first two episodes), and I have to say that she is surprisingly good. Either way, she or Fey were the favorites here, with a slight chance of Falco. My pick: Tina Fey.
BEST ACTOR - COMEDY
  • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Steve Carell, The Office
  • David Duchovny, Californication
  • Thomas Jane, Hung
  • Matthew Morrison, Glee
Even though he is routinely hilarious, Alec Baldwin's stranglehold on this category (he's won this category three of the last four years) is one of those situations where honoring another actor would be nice. Carrel is also an old favorite, so a win for Morrison or Duchovny would be refreshing. Aside: do you think that the Globes nominated Jane just so that the he would be announced "Thomas Jane, Hung?" My pick: Matthew Morrison.
BEST MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Grey Gardens
  • Into the Storm
  • Little Dorrit
  • Taking Chance
HBO wins another. I'll have to check out Grey Gardens sometime. My pick: Into the Storm.
BEST ACTRESS - MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Joan Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
  • Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens
  • Anna Paquin, The Courageous Heart of Irena
  • Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby
The Globes honor Barrymore, while the Emmys honored Lange. So the two of them must really be that good. Aside: Barrymore's really not used to winning things, is she? My pick: Jessica Lange.
BEST ACTOR - MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
  • Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind
  • Chiwtel Ejiofor, Endgame
  • Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm
  • Jeremy Irons, Georgia O'Keeffe
Kevin Bacon has long deserved one of these. So good for him for finally winning. My pick: Brendan Gleeson.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Jane Adams, Hung
  • Rose Byrne, Damages
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Janet McTeer, Into the Storm
  • Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
I can't believe who won this! Chloi Sevigny? She wasn't even nominated! NBC's embarrassing typo aside (which is the least of their worries right now), I am actually surprised that Sevigny won. Its no disrespect to her, I think she looks wonderful in Big Love (which I will soon be catching up on), but I was expecting Lynch to take home a win for her riveting, scene-stealing turn in Glee. My pick: Jane Lynch.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • Michael Emerson, Lost
  • Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
  • William Hurt, Damages
  • John Lithgow, Dexter
  • Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Emerson won this one at the Emmys, and I was expecting an encore here too. But I'm glad that Lithgow won instead; I've heard wonderful things about him and I'm amped about catching up with season 4 of Dexter. I hope that one day Harris will finally win something for his stellar HIMYM work. And Hurt's Globes beard: not okay. My pick: Michael Emerson.
Comments? Complaints? Sound off!

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