Monday, January 12, 2009

The Golden Globes get it just about right, but when will we all get to see these?

A hearty congrats at the start to who I would have to say was the real surprise winner at last night's Golden Globes, "In Bruges" star Colin Farrell. I would have cast my vote in the Best Actor/Comedy or Musical category for his co-star Brendan Gleeson, but it's still a well-deserved win for a smart role in Martin McDonagh's wickedly funny little flick.

The overall movie winner at the 66th awards show, however, was Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire," and a hearty huzzah to that as well. If that sets him up for a Best Picture (and hopefully that means best director, too, as it did at the Globes) victory, I'd be happy with that, since he made one of the most inventive flicks of the year that tells a warm and engaging tale.

My best five for the year, by the way: "Slumdog Millionaire", "The Wrestler", "Milk", "Let the Right One In" and "Tell No One". If I had to pick a single favorite right now, it would be Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" by just a nose over Gus Van Sant's "Milk".

But, in what might the real predictor, what does the Director's Guild of America have to say? "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" — David Fincher; "The Dark Knight" — Christopher Nolan; "Frost/Nixon" — Ron Howard; "Milk" — Gus Van Sant; "Slumdog Millionaire" — Danny Boyle. I'm still not too confident that "The Dark Knight" really will sneak into the party, and if it doesn't, I'd look for Sam Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" to come crashing in.

In Best Feature Comedy/Musical, I was pulling for dark horse "Happy-Go-Lucky" from Mike Leigh, but I'm also content with a win for Woody Allen's little confection "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." When's the last time a major award win and Woody Allen's name appeared in the same sentence?

In the Actor/Drama category, Mickey Rourke was a well-deserving winner for his portrait of Aronofsky's wounded warrior. Likewise, kudos for the recognition of Sally Hawkins' fairly remarkable turn in "Happy-Go-Lucky" in the Comedy/Musical Actress category, easily my favorite female performance of the year, albeit a hard one to watch.

When it comes to the other actress categories, however, there's just further proof that, in Hollywood, there are apparently only two actresses deemed worthy of recognition: Kate and Cate. I like them both plenty, and will concede I haven't yet seen either "Revolutionary Road" or "The Reader", but did they really have to give Kate Winslet both acting awards? Sheesh. Of the women nominated, I would have voted for Meryl Streep in "Doubt" for the Drama category, and an extremely deserving Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

A final word about the movie winners before I move on the the greater point (and, yes, there is one buried down here somewhere.) I was extremely happy to see A.R. Rahman's victory in the category of Best Score for his soundtrack to "Slumdog Millionaire." The sweet Spanish guitar sounds that fill the background of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" are a lot of fun too, but you can't do too much better at all than the wildly infectious Indian techno pop that provides the back beat of "Slumdog."

Isn't it time, however, that these movies finally play wide and make what is normally the Hollywood silly season (which I peg at lasting until March 6, when it looks like "Watchmen" will actually manage to come out after all) a bearable time at the multiplex?

I can only assume that the presence of Leo DiCaprio guarantees a "Revolutionary Road" wide run very soon, but having already seen the trailers for "The Wrestler" and "Slumdog Millionaire" playing in my little corner of the world, I have to wonder why they haven't played here yet, and if these wins will indeed be enough to mean they come this week.

Already, this week is shaping up to be a fairly good one for movies. Personally, I'm really looking forward to seeing what George Tillman Jr. has come up with for the Biggie Smalls biopic "Notorious." With Biggie's mother as one of the producers I'm a little worried it will be a sugar-coated affair, but with a cast featuring Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Anthony Mackie and newcomer Jamal Woolard as Biggie himself, I really don't see anyway this one will suck.

I think Edward Zwick's "Defiance" is also widening enough to reach out this far too, but I can't say I'm as excited about that. Is it too much to ask that these (and, I'm afraid, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," "Hotel for Dogs" and " My Bloody Valentine: 3D") be supplemented by two of my favorite movies of 2008 out here in wide-release world?

Well, enough about that. I'll close with this "sneak peek" clip from Pixar's next flick, "Up," introduced by director Pete Docter. It doesn't reveal too much more than the little we've already seen, but there are couple of cool storyboard shots from what I'm sure will be one of my favorite flicks of next summer. Enjoy, and have a perfectly bearable Monday.


jeremy said...

Whoa--finally saw The Wrestler. I haven't been that bored in a movie since . . . well, maybe Alien vs. Predator 2. The Evan Rachel Wood scene was horrible and besides the physicality of the part, I felt like Rourke was ACTING the whole time. (Not to mention Marisa Tomei who was confused showing her breasts with acting). Outside of an interesting first act, the 2nd and 3rd were just standard reunion flick. I really expected to like the film . . . I can't believe it was so boring.

Reel Fanatic said...

Well, we can't disagree more than that - civilly, of course - Jeremy ... I guess I just like the sports underdog genre quite a bit, and thought Aronofsky just put his own stamp on it and made it his own ... And Mickey Rourke, again, I don't think we could disagree more

Chris said...

I guess it has been awhile since Woody Allen was up for a major award...I've always found it amusing that he plays jazz on Oscar night rather than attend.

His last nomination was back in 2005 for writing Match Point so I guess it wasn't too long ago, but it's been forever since he got a directing nom--1994's Bullets Over Broadway.

Reel Fanatic said...

Ah ... I liked Match Point quite a bit, but I must say I prefer Woody when he's clearly having fun

Mercurie said...

This is the big disadvantage of living in a rural area--most of the movies nominated for Golden Globes won't make it here unless the Ragtag (the art theatre in the big city/college town of Columbia) gets them! At any rate, January and February seem to be a miserable time for movies.

Susan said...

I've been following you for a bit and I just want to say nice blog! I COMPLETELY agree with you about Kate...I was thinking "really?!!" And her horrible speeches, along with
Sally Hawkin's speech got me thinking... What is it with actor's who can't speak in public. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm hesitating about seeing "Happy-Go-Lucky" upon viewing the trailer. Hawkins' character looks a mite too annoying for my tastes, but the film has been getting some good acclaim. So I dunno.

Colin Farrell deserves the win, and I'm glad to see "In Bruges" getting due props, along with "Slumdog".

And "Up" looks like another Pixar winner. Ignoring "Cars", their record is pretty much pristine.

Sachin said...

I do think The Dark Knight will get an Oscar nod for best film and I have a feeling that Slumdog... won't get a best picture nomination but will surely get one for best director. There were so many diverse indie winners at the Globes that I think the Oscars will swing back towards the big studios for all the awards.

Hope I am wrong though :)

Reel Fanatic said...

It's always nice to hear from a new reader (or new commenter, I should say), so welcome, Susan ... And V-Knowledge, be warned that Sally Hawkins is indeed every bit as annoying in "Happy Go Lucky" as she is in the trailer, but I didn't mind it because that was clearly Mike Leigh's point ... As he slowly makes her adapt to the reality around her (and vice versa), it slowly gets more and more interesting ... and I just hate "Cars" too!