In addition to the Los Angeles Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online announcing on Sunday (FYI – LA Film Critics will be tweeting their winners around 12:30pm PST – follow them @LAFilmCritics, and us, @awardsdaily), and New York Film Critics Circle announcing on Monday, the Golden Globes will announce their nominations Tuesday morning. That makes this one of the most intense few days of the early part of the awards race. After we hear from the major critics, we will then start hearing from the industry – the guild awards, like the SAG, the DGA and the PGA and eventually, the AMPAS will carry their heavy load to the final gasp of awards season. You have to kind of feel for the AMPAS of late. When I first started this back in 1999, there weren’t that many other awards shows or award announcements leading up to the Oscars. Now, it’s an odyssey. It’s an exodus.
It is because of this that the AMPAS can sometimes go against the grain and provide an upset or two. One notable recent upset was Geoffrey Fletcher winning screenplay for Precious. Another was the year Alan Arkin beat Eddie Murphy for Supporting Actor.
It is worth noting that the Golden Globes provided the one big surprise last year when the HFPA went for Avatar all the way down the line. Early reports from Kris Tapley about their responses to various films had them “hating” The Hurt Locker and “loving” Avatar and Up in the Air. That they failed to see what was great about The Hurt Locker revealed much about them, their tastes, and how they fit in the changing landscape of awards season. And it is changing. Anyone who doesn’t see that is not paying attention.
When Avatar won the Globe, everyone who was hoping for The Hurt Locker to do well, or at the very least for Kathryn Bigelow to win Best Director, was disappointed. If Bigelow had won Director and Avatar had won Picture, who knows how things would have gone, but Cameron winning both seemed to flip a switch that had people wanting to see HER win, and HIM lose. Perception is (almost) everything.
But The Hurt Locker won the PGA shortly thereafter and that really did cement it for The Hurt Locker because people realized that, with ten Best Picture nominees and a preferential ballot, Avatar could not beat the Little Movie That Could. It was no contest from then on. In fact, heading into the Oscars, we all still thought there was a chance Avatar could beat The Hurt Locker because of the money aspect. In the end, Avatar didn’t make the kind of impact it should have. It was The Hurt Locker all the way down the line. Not quite Slumdog Millionaire, but pretty close.
Therefore, we have to now assume that there isn’t a lot of connection between the Globes and Oscar – there are just too many stops in between now. The Globes are too early. There are too many other award shows that come after it. There didn’t used to be. There used to be only the Globes and then the Oscars. Now we have the Critics Choice awards and the SAG awards, primarily. And we also have the internet.
The Gurus of Gold have posted a poll of those they expect to be nominated for the Golden Globes. I think it’s a good sampling of how things might go. The HFPA are not afraid to make bold choices, however, so we should expect to see something other than the norm to pass through before all is said and done.
What the Golden Globes are good for is planting an idea, a possibility, a “for your consideration” ad for a contender. It is like a dress rehearsal for the awards to come. One can tell when they see someone or something nominated how it makes them “feel.”
What they aren’t particularly good for nowaways is predicting the Oscar nominations. Having said that, all five of the Golden Globe nominees for Best Pic drama last year were best picture nominees at the Oscars:
Avatar (won Globe)
The Hurt Locker (won Oscar)
Up in the Air (led Globe nominations)
Moreover, those were the strongest films of the year.¬† Not a single film from the musical/comedy category made the cut, despite there being five slots.
Four out of five of the Best Director nominees at the Globes made it to the DGA and then to the Oscars. Clint Eastwood took Lee Daniels’ place.
In the acting categories, a majority of last year’s nominees, not all of them, ended up staying in the awards race. So, as is said in The Social Network, “please, arrive at the point.” The point is that, if you go by last year’s picks, we should still see the year’s strongest films featured here, give or take one or two.
The Gurus of Gold have these five predicted:
1. The King’s Speech
2. The Social Network
3. Black Swan
5. The Fighter
And after those:
My own predictions threw in Another Year and Blue Valentine, assuming there would be some surprises. I am not convinced that the Guru’s choices here for the top five films will end up being the top five films of the year. I think to find those you have to find the top five directors. But I can’t find five top directors yet. I can only find three that I feel like are shoo-ins.
1. David Fincher
2. Christopher Nolan
3. Tom Hooper
From there, you have the “all things being equal” group.
David O’Russell for The Fighter, Debra Granik, for Winter’s Bone, Darren Aronofsky’s daring, but not quite well reviewed, Black Swan, Danny Boyle, whose 127 Hours DOES have the better reviews?¬† Do Joel and Ethan Coen make it in? Did the HFPA like True Grit? Does Clint Eastwood and Hereafter (a total HFPA movie if there ever was one) have a shot here? Martin Scorsese Shutter Island?
Moreover, there are stronger films, like The Town, which could thrust Ben Affleck as director into the race. And Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right.
I still feel like the race is kind of all over the place. To me, the awards race boils down to The Social Network and everything else. I have always felt that way since I first saw it – whether this will turn out to be right or not is another matter. Finding the rest of them, and in what order, is what is baffling me. I still feel like The King’s Speech will dominate the male acting categories, Toy Story 3 will take animated, Aaron Sorkin will finally win the first Oscar he’s nominated for in the Adapted category, but Original seems down to The King’s Speech vs. Inception vs. Black Swan.
But the safe bet for The Globes drama is probably:
The Social Network
The King’s Speech
Black Swan or 127 Hours
For Musical/Comedy (per the Gurus):
The Kids Are All Right
Alice in Wonderland
Love and Other Drugs
Made in Dagenham
How Do You Know
Kris Tapley has added in The Tourist and Nowhere Boy – I think both are really good, really unexpected but totally believable calls. I have Morning Glory and Date Night. Why? Because “Leo, I married a fool” (ref. Annie Hall). I am not the best predictor — especially not of these.¬† Those above look good enough to me so I’ll just go with those.
Best Actress, Drama is also a tough nut to crack, but let’s say it’s down to (per the Gurus, which also happen to match my own):
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
I really think Tilda Swinton for I Am Love could pop up here. She’s great in the film, a well liked star — and it’s very much a Golden Globes type of vibe.¬†¬† Anne Thompson has predicted her to be nominated and I think that’s a great call.
Best Actress Musical/Comedy (per the Gurus)
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Sally Hawkins, Made in Dagenham
Emma Stone, Easy A
I have to say that Kris Tapley’s choice of Cher for Burlesque is a great call. Cher, back at the Golden Globes – how can they resist? I picked Kathryn Heigl (I know, lame call) because I do think they like to bring the star power to the red carpet — the hotter the tail, the better.
Best Actor, Drama (per the Gurus)
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges True Grit
I have predicted Robert Duvall for Get Low, just one of two predicting him. Other outside votes going to Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island and Inception, Aaron Eckhart for Rabbit Hole and Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine. I really think Gosling has a great shot here – not just because of his great performance but because he’s a big star, and it’s a Weinstein film.
Best Actor, Musical/Comedy (per the gurus – but it is ALL OVER THE MAP)
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Harrison Ford, Morning Glory
Robert Downey, Jr., Due Date
Paul Rudd, How Do You Know (I thought he was being pushed as a supporting actor, though)
Other names floating around include Jim Carrey in I Love You, Phillip Morris (I lamely put him in the number one spot), Michael Douglas, etc. So many names, so little time. Tapley continues to believe Nowhere Boy will make a splash — he must have insider information on this.
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Justin Timberlake, The Social Network
Justin Timberlake is great in The Social Network. To my mind, it is one of the better performances of the year. If given my choice, all three supporting actors from the film would be nominated — Armie Hammer, Timberlake and of course, the magnificent Andrew Garfield. But it’s NOT MY CHOICE, BLANCHE. IT’S NOT. There are so many contenders for this category, it suddenly boggles the mind. I put Sam Rockwell for Conviction because I think Fox Searchlight is pushing him hard, despite the film’s overall lackluster reception. I also think Sean Penn deserves to be nominated, but probably won’t. It is so hard to boil them down to just five, really, in this category especially.
Finally, and this is the last category I can bear to do on the Globes, Supporting Actress:
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
I don’t know why I left off Bonham Carter on my predictions – she is probably a shoo-in, but I just figured her part is so weak compared to the two men, AND other women gave stronger performances. But you never know. I put in Miranda Richardson for Made in Dagenham instead. I am sure I will be wrong.¬† Tapley once again has Kristin Scott Thomas for Nowhere Boy and smartly predicts Dianne Wiest for Rabbit Hole.
This is a preliminary look at the major contenders. I am sure we will discussing more of the Globes in the coming days. Do you think these predictions are right on the money or wrong as all get out?