I wanted My First Post to be about something important. Unfortunately, I’ve opted instead for breadth over depth.
The ongoing WGA strike leaves the Golden Globes reduced to a press conference on Jan. 13. I think most people can agree that the Globes are a pretty superfluous awards show, allowing studios and networks to squeeze a little more free advertising (“press”) out of their prestige pieces. I don’t remember ever watching the awards ceremony on purpose, and I can’t recall specific winners. With that in mind, a press conference is a bit disrespectful for the winners who actually deserve awards for their craft. But I’m sure true artists don’t need the validation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (yes, I did look that up). And anything that keeps Bruce Vilanch out of work is good in my book.
So, here are my picks for most of the categories, omitting those for which I can’t make a well-informed choice; apparently I didn’t see many leading women films last year. These are personal favorites, and not my guesses at the winners. I’m curious how much overlap there will be in 3 days.
- Best Motion Picture – Drama : There Will Be Blood, American Gangster, Atonement, Eastern Promises, The Great Debaters, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men.
- I actually saw 6 of 7 in this category, and while they were all very well done, none had the gravitas of the epic PT Anderson flick (expect a review after a second viewing). I’d be happy with any of these winning, except for Atonement and The Great Debaters.
- Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy : Sweeney Todd / Juno, Across the Universe, Charlie Wilson’s War, Hairspray.
- And it only takes 2 awards before I’m equivocating. I’m reserving judgment until I see Juno, because of my anticipation and the buzz. I did enjoy Sweeney Todd, but I think Juno will be more up my alley. Only in the GG does an Aaron Sorkin picture end up with this company. It’s moot – CWW was disappointing on all fronts.
- Best Actor – Drama : Daniel Day-Lewis, George Clooney, James McAvoy, Viggo Mortensen, Denzel Washington.
- Once again, Daniel Day-Lewis dwarfs the competition in a role more intense, determined, and sadistic than Bill the Butcher.
- Best Actor – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy : Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hanks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly.
- Johnny Depp nailed the title role, but this ridiculous category doesn’t put up much of a fight.
- Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy : Ellen Page, Amy Adams, Nikki Blonsky, Helena Bonham Carter, Marion Cotillard.
- Placeholder vote – I need to see Juno!
- Best Supporting Actor : Tom Wilkinson, Casey Affleck, Javier Bardem, PSH, John Travolta
- This is a toss-up between him and Bardem, and while Bardem hulked and killed his way through No Country, Wilkinson’s role actually surprised me and punctuated a rather methodical film.
- Best Supporting Actress : Amy Ryan, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton.
- Helene McCready is the “white trash Southie broad” for the ages – compare that to the sedate Beadie Russell and you can’t even tell it’s the same actress. By the way, does Horse Teeth get everytime she wanders on screen?
- Best Director : The Coen Brothers, Tim Burton, Julian Schnabel, Ridley Scott, Joe Wright.
- Where is PT Anderson? Not very often does a film get mentioned in the same breath as Citizen Kane and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, even if only for scope and subject matter, not significance. The Coens get it by default for putting sweltering West Texas on film and ending up with molasses and whiskey.
- Best Screenplay : Aaron Sorkin, Diablo Cody, The Coen Brothers, Christopher Hampton, Ronald Harwood.
- This is a homer pick, straight-up. The dialog was sharp enough but the film fell flat for whatever reason. This might end up being Diablo Cody if I actually like Juno as much as I anticipate.
- Best Drama : Big Love, Damages, Grey’s Anatomy, House MD, Mad Men, The Tudors.
- I’m abstaining here but thought it was worth mentioning. I’ve heard good things about Mad Men, but can’t pick it by process of elimination. No Dexter, Sopranos, Shield, Rescue Me, The Riches, or Brotherhood is just unacceptable. TV drama is in a new Golden Age and this is the best they can do? Good job guys!
- Best Musical or Comedy : 30 Rock, Californication, Entourage, Extras, Pushing Daisies.
- This is definitely more acceptable. Pushing Daisies is charming, as if Tim Burton decided to do a crime procedural, and it’s a close second. But 30 Rock is the funniest thing since Arrested Development, and it might actually have network support.
- Best Actor – Musical or Comedy : Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, David Duchovny, Ricky Gervais, Lee Pace.
- Alec Baldwin takes his role in Glengary Glen Ross and turns it into a deadpanning straight man. Jack is one of the best roles on television while illuminating its worst aspects. The fact that your typical Hollywood Liberal plays a market-testing, soulless corporate shill like Jack is just another layer on the meta cake that is 30 Rock.
- Best Actress – Musical or Comedy : Tina Fey, Christina Applegate, America Ferrera, Anna Friel, Mary-Louise Parker.
- And it’s 30 Rock for the trifecta. Weeds has fallen into a funk and Mary-Louise suffers for it. For a comedic role, Liz Lemon is just sad, but she is best leading lady in a comedy since Mary Tyler Moore (That’s an example of a reference that I pull directly out of my ass, because it sounds right).
- Best Actor – Drama : Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Hugh Laurie, Bill Paxton, Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
- Dexter is the role of a lifetime, and Hall brings the cynical detachment of David Fisher. Instead of being a homophobic gay man, he’s a charming serial killer – with a heart of gold. Sadly, I don’t know which one most Americans find scarier.
- Best Actress – Drama : Minnie Driver, Patricia Arquette, Glenn Close, Edie Falco, Sally Field, Holly Hunter, Kyra Sedgwick.
- File this with Amy Ryan. Seeing an actress capture a character that we don’t often
see on screen, yet making it feel vivid and real is always award worthy. Plus, its The Riches only nod.
- Best Supporting Actor : Kevin Dillon, Ted Danson, Jeremy Piven, Andy Serkis, William Shatner, Donald Sutherland.
- This is a surprisingly weak category, and while Johnny Drama will probably split votes with Ari, only one of the characters is still entertaining. They should end Entourage and spin-off a show for Johnny Drama, but instead he’ll have to carry a show from a supporting role.
For the most part, the voters did pretty well. There are only a few glaring omissions from the entire list (Zodiac?), and clear winners in each category. Ironically, I’ve now contemplated the Golden Globes more than ever, and the presentation is a mere formality. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see Juno soon and vindicate picking it three times on spec.