Friday, December 15, 2006

Golden Globes fallout

So, what happens when I take just one day off? Well, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hands outs its Golden Globe nominations, of course. It's clearly a conspiracy of global proportions.

Even so, I'll take the day-late chance to issue a hearty huzzah to all the nominations (a leading 7!) for "Babel." It's my favorite flick of 2006 thus far, so I'm glad to hear I'm not just crazy.

Anyways, here's the list of main film categories, with a little semi-enlightened commentary from yours truly.

"The Departed"
"The Queen"
"Little Children"

"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"The Devil Wears Prada"
"Thank You For Smoking"

I love that the Golden Globes offers two categores for best picture. That, and the fact that the liquor flows freely, definitely makes for a more lively awards show. Though I admittedly haven't seen it, the only one of these that makes me go wtf!?!? would be "Bobby." Almost every review I saw said Mr. Estevez took on a noble storyline and tacked onto it way too many side plots and extra characters with no real point. It may, however be a brilliant Oscars strategy: If 75 percent of all Hollywood actors are in one movie, why wouldn't they vote for it for Best Picture?

Of these 10, I could easily see five making the Oscar cut: "Babel," "The Departed," "The Queen," "Dreamgirls" and "Little Miss Sunshine." They would all be worthy nominees (assuming "Dreamgirls" doesn't somehow just suck.) I was especially happy to see the mention for "Thank You For Smoking," and will be pulling for it as an upset on awards night.

"Apocalypto" (USA)
"Letters From Iwo Jima" (USA/Japan)
"Lives of Others" (Germany)
"Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico)
"Volver" (Spain)

If I have this right, American directors don't usually make it into the Foreign Language Film category, so it's interesting to see Clint and Mel here. I abhorred "Apocalypto" and mostly loved "Volver," so I'll be cheering for Mr. Almodovar until I get the chance to see "Pan's Labyrinth.

Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Clint Eastwood, "Flags Of Our Fathers"
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Babel"

Can we please, please get a limit of one per person (especially since "Flags of Our Fathers" was ho-hum at best?) This should come down to a battle between Scorsese and Inarritu (who, I think, made the best two movies of the year), and I'll certainly be cheering for Mr. Inarritu to pull the upset.

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed"
Peter O'Toole, "Venus"
Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

Leo's accent in the commercial for "Blood Diamond" was enough to make me cringe and then laugh out loud, so I have no idea how me made it onto this list twice. I'd look for Will Smith to prevail here, but will definitely be pulling for Forest Whitaker.

Penelope Cruz, "Volver"
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "SherryBaby"
Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
Kate Winslet, "Little Children"

Though I, for many reasons, just adore Penelope Cruz, it will be great to see Dame Helen Mirren take home two Golden Globes for playing queens named Elizabeth, in this category and in the best actress in a TV miniseries category for HBO's "Elizabeth I."

Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Johnny Depp, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Aaron Eckhart, "Thank You For Smoking"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Kinky Boots"
Will Ferrell, "Stranger Than Fiction"

This is a surprisingly strong category. The only one I didn't see was "Kinky Boots," and though I like Chiwetel Ejiofor quite a bit ("Serenity," 'nuff said), he doesn't have a prayer here. For me it comes down to Eckhart vs. Ferrell, and though I'd love to see Eckhart prevail, he probably won't.

Annette Bening, "Running With Scissors"
Toni Collette, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Beyonce Knowles, "Dreamgirls"
Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Renee Zellweger, "Miss Potter"

Can we, just once, go an entire year without Renee Zellweger being nominated for anything? I can't be the only one who just finds her to be thoroughly annoying. Having only seen "Little Miss Sunshine" in this category, I can only predict that Meryl Streep will probably prevail.

Ben Affleck, "Hollywoodland"
Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
Jack Nicholson, "The Departed"
Brad Pitt, "Babel"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed"

How the hell are Jack Nicholson and Ben Affleck supporting actors in "The Departed" and "Hollywoodland" (which was, after all a flick about GEORGE REEVES)? I guess that's how Leo got two best actor nods. I'd love to see Affleck pull this one out, but I think Eddie Murphy will knock out Jack Nicholson to take home the prize.

Adriana Barraza, "Babel"
Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"
Emily Blunt, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"

Make this my favorite category of all. Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi were both simply mesmerizing in "Babel," but if I had a vote I'd go with Kikuchi's performance as the deaf-mute Japanese teen-ager as the best performance - supporting or otherwise, male or female - I've seen all year, so I really hope she wins.

"Happy Feet"
"Monster House"

"Over the Hedge" was better than all of these.

Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel"
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, "Little Children"
Patrick Marber, "Notes on a Scandal"
William Monahan, "The Departed"
Peter Morgan, "The Queen"

I like Tom Perrotta as a novelist quite a bit, but my dark side would love to see Arriaga prevail so we can see if he badmouths Inarritu on stage. Probably not, but it could be fun. I think the favorite, however, would have to be Peter Morgan for his very clever script for "The Queen."

And I won't bother with the TV nominees because, well, this has gone on long enough, and I really only have one beef: Once again, where is Lauren Graham in the best actress category? I can only assume they're waiting for "Gilmore Girls" to wrap up, probably after this season, so they can give her some kind of lifetime achievement award.

What were your reactions to the Golden Globes? Who got snubbed, and who got undeserved recognition? Please feel free to sound off, and have a good day.


Anonymous said...

Hey! And did you see that Helen got a nod for Prime Suspect as well?
And, even though she was snubbed yet again (someday she'll get her due), here's a Lauren Graham short film.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the link, Jeremy ... I read through the noms fairly quickly, so I missed that Dame Mirren actually got three nominations .. all well-deserved!

* (asterisk) said...

Thanks for the rundown here. I'm always on the lookout for intelligent movie blogs, and I'm flying by here via Candy Minx's blog.

There are some interesting names in these lists, although I wish Hollywood would quit it with the remakes. I'm sick of hearing about The Departed, for example. Scorsese should instantly lose the race for remaking a flick.

And I agree with you about multiple nods per category. Is Leo really so good as to be nominated twice? I think not!

Reel Fanatic said...

I do think Leo has evolved into a pretty good actor, *, but it definitely is ridiculous .. I have to disagree with you on "The Departed," however ... although it is a remake of the damn fine Hong Kong flick, I thought he brought plenty of his own style to it and turned it his best film in many years

Chris said...

Some disagreements here:

Yeah, Hollywoodland was about George Reeves, but it wasn't really about him. It was more about Louis Simo (Adrian Brody) than Reeves. I think the supporting nod makes sense here, even though many times the various academies make those kinds of mistakes. I'd also argue Nicholson was supporting in The Departed because the story is about Leo and Matt.

I'd agree about Leo's accent being off-putting from the trailers, but he pulls it off better in the movie (trailers have an unusual context), and I actually thought he was overall more convincing in Blood Diamond than The Departed.

I also don't think that the actor in a comedy comes down to Eckhart vs. Ferrell. I think this is comes down to Cohen, quite frankly. I can't see Ferrell even being a threat in this category.

Some agreements here:

You are not the only one who finds Zellweger annoying. I wanted to shoot something, anything when she won the Oscar for Cold Mountain, one of the most terrible performances ever awarded...anything.

I've largely been annoyed with Eastwood getting recognition every single time he comes out with a movie. I liked Flags but it was mishandled, and the double nom means someone else more deserving (like Edward Zwick, maybe) gets the shaft.

All in all, though, my main concern is that Martin Scorsese wins the Oscar. I could see every injustice in the world be rendered at the Golden Globes as long as the Academy doesn't award Eastwood another Oscar over Marty.

Anonymous said...

: I'm not surprised about "The Departed" being nominated for a Golden Globe this year. I won't be surprised when it gets nominated for an Oscar either. Leonardo DiCaprio was just amazing in this movie and Jack Nicholson was so convincing. Both are also nominated for a People's Choice Award this year for Favorite On-Screen Match-Up. I work with the People's Choice Community and already voted. You can still vote for 2 remaining categories at and tune in to see who wins on Jan. 9 on CBS at 9pm.

Reel Fanatic said...

I can see your point about Hollywoodland, Chris, and perhaps that's why I didn't like the movie more than I did ... when Ben and Diane Lane were on screen together, I thought it was almost great, but the parallel noirish story with Adrien Brody's character just fell flat for me

Anonymous said...

Well, having not seen ANY of those films (par for the course when you have a kid), I guess I can't offer any kind of opinion on them.

And while I'm not surprised by anything on that list, what I CAN do is shake my head at the fact that 'The Prestige' was completely ignored. They'd rather nominate Clint TWICE in the SAME category than throw one to a more-than-deserving Chris Nolan. And nominate friggin' DeCaprio twice than give one to either Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale. That's just...STUPID. F***IN' IDIOTS.

Marina said...

Oh. This is brilliant. I *love* your comments. Here are a few of my thoughts:

"Bobby" for best picture. I too went WTF. OK movie. NOT best picture worthy but Demi's performance was pretty good.

Foreign languae - the only one I haven't seen here other than "Letters" is "Pan's Labyrinth" and I have a hard time imagining either of those being better than "The Lives of Others". "Labyrinth" looks excellent but "Lives" is brilliance.

Director - ditto your comments.

Lead actor - haven't seen it yet but I'm also going with Forest.

Ditto your Zellweger comment. I *really* dislike that woman.

Animated - what happened to "A Scanner Darkly"? Would that fit in here???

In general, no big surprises but the first thing that came into my mind after seeing the lists was "Where the hell is "Half Nelson"??????

Divinity said...

I'm glad LMS got its nods although i had hoped beyond hope that Olive would get some sort of mention. And Steve Carrell.
I personally think that comedies get shafted in the screenplay category. STF was one of the most perfectly formed screenplays I've ever seen.

Reel Fanatic said...

So much to respond to! I wasn't surprised to see The Prestige get shafted, Lori, especially with two movies about magicians so close together, but it certainly would have been nice to see Mr. Nolan get a best director nod ... I don't think either actor, however, could have cracked the top five, even without the friggin double Leo

Half Nelson is perhaps too high-brow for the Golden Globes, Marina .. The only place I've seen it get a lot of love was in the Gotham Awards, which are really one of a kind

I'm definitely with you on young Abigail Breslin, Divinity, and I would also have liked to see a best actress nomination for another youngster, Keke Palmer for Akeelah and the Bee

Anonymous said...

"The only one I didn't see was "Kinky Boots," and though I like Chiwetel Ejiofor quite a bit ("Serenity," 'nuff said), he doesn't have a prayer here."

I was lucky enough to catch "Kinky Boots" at the Capitol. It was great. I really liked him in "Serenity" but it was a 180 to see Ejiofor belting out showtunes and dancing in heels. He should get an award just for strutting around in those boots.

Anonymous said...

As much as I WANT to dislike "Leo", I dont consider his best work was 'many years' ago, Reel.
Aviator was 2004.
Catch Me If You Can 2002.

I really dont like him, havent seen Departed or Blood Diamond...but dammit, he actually CAN act. Damn, I so wanted never to say that.

Lala's world said...

I totally agree that Over the Hedge was far the best animated movie EVER!
I as usual haven't seen any of these movies yet in the best picture category and I will not see Borat, my hubby saw it and said it was rolling in the aisle funny but vulgar too!

Reel Fanatic said...

Borat definitely isn't for everyone, Lala, but I found it to be very funny, and though the character himself has some hideous biases he frequently blurts out loud, it's the people he encounters who come out the worst .. I'm glad he got a comedy nomination

Anonymous said...

You're right to point out the manipulation of the "supporting" vs. "lead" distinctions. The studios decide which category the stars will compete in. Affleck could never have qualified against Whitaker et al, but as supporting he had a shot. Jennifer Hudson is clearly the lead in "Dreamgirls" -- but as a first-timer coming from -- horrors! -- "American Idol," the studio would never classify her that way.

I thought "Bobby" was quite good and am glad it got a nomination. I hope you see it and let us know what you think.

Reel Fanatic said...

Bobby has come and gone from my little corner of the world, Nell, so unless it gets a lot of Oscar love, I'll have to wait for DVD I'm afraid

Daphnewood said...

This is where I step out until next big movie season. When I was younger I used to love watching all the award shows but now that I am older (and a bit wiser) I realize most of the movies that deserve to win hardly ever do in fact win. The lists you ran down looked boring, or self-important, or politically thought provoking. What happened to ENTERTAINING? I am not asking for cheap laughs or expensive visual effects. I just want films to not be stupid but not preachy either. So I vote for.....uhhh...Little Miss Sunshine. oh and Will Ferrell because his character chose the foam green guitar. I know, I am not a savvy movie watcher but they need my money so they better start making better movies. JMO

Reel Fanatic said...

I do have to agree with you there, Daphne ... For pure entertainment value, I don't think you could do better this year than Little Miss Sunshine or The Departed, but I still prefer Babel by just a nose over those two

Anonymous said...

I second the enthusiasm for "Bobby." It's the best movie I've seen so far this year (and I've seen all the Globe best pic nominees). The disenchanted reviews have baffled me.

Reel Fanatic said...

It just shows that I should see movies before I offer any comment on them, j.j. ... I would have seen Bobby if there weren't like a jillion movies put out in that week!

Anonymous said...

Yikes... this is the first time I've looked at the nominations, and... Beyonce got a nomination? Well, I haven't seen the movie (have seen like zero movies on the list, actually), so maybe I should reserve judgment. She just might surprise me. And no, you aren't the only one who finds Ms. Zellweger annoying.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think she just got a nomination for, well, being Beyonce, daddy's girl, and because the glow from "Dreamgirls" is just overwhelming ... She probably won't get an Oscar nomination, but look for Ms. Hudson to get a supporting actress nomination, and probably win

Chalupa said...

I was so excited to see Borat in the lists when they were released. It reminds me of when South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut was nominated for a song on their soundtrack.

Reel Fanatic said...

That South Park flick is so friggin funny that it should have been nominated for best picture in the musical/comedy category, Chalupa, especially since it's got plenty of both

Anonymous said...

BABEL connected all the intricate story lines correctly but BOBBY had the emotional heart and soul...The perfect film would be a combination of the two. That would be a film for the ages..