Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Golden Globe nomination reactions; (sometimes) tentative predictions

So what's my take on the latest movie award nominations? Just call me Magellan as I circle the Golden Globes.

Picture, Drama: "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "Up in the Air."

No great surprises here - and no Avatar is NOT a surprise the way it's been gathering steam. I call Up in the Air the favorite to win. The one omission I am somwhat surprised by is An Education, which only copped a single nomination, for lead actress Carey Mulligan.

Picture, Musical or Comedy: "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hangover," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia," "Nine."

Again, no jaw-droppers or even "Hmms" here. I actually like Julie & Julia's chances best, though I'm personally rooting for (500) Days of Summer.  And for those who think The Hangover has a shot at a Best Picture Oscar now, you're drunk. Star Trek will get nominated before The Hangover will.

Actor, Drama: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"; George Clooney, "Up in the Air"; Colin Firth, "A Single Man"; Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"; Tobey Maguire, "Brothers."

The HFPA may go for Clooney, whom they love, but I think the undervalued Bridges has a real shot - and I actually have Bridges in the top spot to win the Oscar at the moment. Maguire is a small but pleasant surprise.

Actress, Drama: Emily Blunt, "The Young Victoria"; Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"; Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"; Carey Mulligan, "An Education"; Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."

I would have called this for Mulligan in a walk, but with the film getting no other noms, I'm not  so sure now. I would rule out neither Sidibe (the HFPA loves to award newcomers) or Bullock (the HFPA loves stars).

Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"; James Cameron, "Avatar"; Clint Eastwood, "Invictus"; Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"; Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds."

So the trivia question comes to frutiion Which category has a former married couple competing against each other? Cameron and Bigelow. Barring an Up in the Air sweep, I think Bigelow's chances are very strong here. 

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."

Delighted to see Damon and Stuhlbarg here; and Gordon-Leavitt as well. Not sure what to make of Downey's nom; that feels to me like a "Well, what else IS there?" pick. I actually like Damon's chances best, and the win would be well-deserved; it's Damon's best work to date.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Sandra Bullock, "The Proposal"; Marion Cotillard, "Nine"; Julia Roberts, "Duplicity"; Meryl Streep, "It's Complicated"; Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia."

Roberts' selection is the biggest surprise among the major categories, and I say this as someone who found Duplicity extremely underrated. Roberts is fun in the film, but I am disheartened to see that Zooey Deschanel of (500) Days of Summer missed the mark. Ultimately, it doesn't matter - this is Julia Child's award in a walk.

Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, "Invictus"; Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"; Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"; Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"; Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds."

Very odd group. Damon is good but not THAT good in Invictus.  Harrelson is outstanding but his film doesn't have enough traction. Tucci could well win since he had an excellent year with excellent work in Julie & Julia, but The Lovely Bones is fading badly in the home stretch. As magnetic as Waltz is, I would not rule him out at all. He just may win. 

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Nine"; Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"; Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"; Mo'Nique, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"; Julianne Moore, "A Single Man."

The Up in the Air women will cancel each other out. Cruz has a shot, but Mo'Nique has built up great momentum, so I think it's hers to lose.

Foreign Language: "Baaria," "Broken Embraces," "The Maid (La Nana)," "A Prophet," "The White Ribbon."

I've seen none of the noms, but based on reputation, I like The White Ribbon to won.

Animated Film: "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Princess and the Frog," "Up."

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Really. Up is pretty well unbeatable here, as it should be.

Screenplay: Neill Blomkamp, "District 9"; Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker"; Nancy Meyers, "It's Complicated"; Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"; Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds."

I LOVE the nomination for District 9,  which was very clever, but Up in the Air's got this pretty easily, I think.

Original Score: Michael Giacchino, "Up"; Marvin Hamlisch, "The Informant!"; James Horner, "Avatar"; Abel Korzeniowski, "A Single Man"; Karen O, Carter Burwell, "Where the Wild Things Are."

Giacchino is a top candidate here, but I also loved Hamlisch's delightfully quirky/cheesy tribute to the sound of the 70s. Neither would surprise me.

Original Song: "Cinema Italiano" (written by Maury Yeston), "Nine"; "I Want to Come Home" (written by Paul McCartney); "Everybody's Fine"; "I Will See You" (written by James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell); "Avatar"; "The Weary Kind (Theme from 'Crazy Heart')" (written by Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett), "Crazy Heart"; "Winter" (written by U2), "Brothers."

Of course, Sir Critic is delighted to see Sir Paul, but even this Beatlemaniac has to admit it's not a great tune; I think T-Bone Burnett, who has done such good work as a musical arranger in the movies (he was the musical brain behind O Brother Where Art Thou and Walk the Line just to name two) could well win for his Crazy Heart song. I will also note that I am disappointed that none of Randy Newman's songs from The Princess and the Frog made it.

Your thoughts?


Scott Copeland said...

Where's Zooey? Boy, the Globes blew that one.

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