Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Lacklustre-Much? Golden Globes

So the Golden Globe nominations are out.

And as I'm wont to do every year, I moan and complain about it.

Let's take a look at the most glaring discrepancy/flaw/weirdness here: the whole Comedy/Musical category. Like the genre of films that it recognizes, it's pretty much a joke. You know that the world's gone topsy turvy when a movie with a serious-ish trailer (that has a track by Muse to boot), that is directed by the acclaimed director of The Lives of Others (that went on to win the Best Foreign Film in the Oscars some years back), features the acting talents of two Hollywood heavyweights as the dramatic leads, is considered for the top prize as a COMEDY.

Yes, The Tourist, I'm looking at you.

I wish I could complain about Burlesque, but there has been no other musical that isn't animated that has been released this year, so I suppose it has been given the obligatory nod. The Kids Are All Right is a no-brainer. The combined acting brilliance of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore is more than enough to sway any jury. But quite a big surprise here is Alice in Wonderland, a movie that I enjoyed for its graphics but was as scatterbrained as the March Hare plotwise and Johnny Depp-wise.

And whaddaya know, both Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist, two movies that I was not particularly impressed with in this category, has given Johnny Depp two nominations as well, in the COMEDY/MUSICAL category yet again. I guess they must really like Mr. Depp with crazy hair; he has won a Golden Globe two years back for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (another dude with crazy hair). I've got nothing against Mr. Depp, really. In fact, I quite admire him for being a very gifted chameleon and a great actor all-around. Maybe I should sit down and watch The Tourist and see what the fuss is all about (despite a 20% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a generally unfavourable review by Film School Rejects). As for Red, well, let's say that was a pretty pleasant surprise. I was bummed at not being able to watch it in cinemas, but I suppose Dame Helen Mirren wielding guns is enough to wow its way into nomination.

Meanwhile in the Drama category, no big surprises there, except for Halle Berry's nomination for Frankie and Alice, a movie that completely slipped under my radar. Ever since the trailers and early reviews for Black Swan, The Social Network, Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole and Winter's Bone were released, the acting categories were pretty much set, though it was a pleasant surprise to see Colin Firth and James Franco there as well (for The King's Speech and 127 Hours, respectively). Although I'd expected Mr. Franco to be nominated for his portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in Howl.

The Supporting Actor/Actress categories were more of a mixed bag, with Paul Giamatti and Kevin Spacey thrown in as wild cards. Two other surprising noms are Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs. So this movie is better than the more promising (to me, at least, because of its cynical undertone) How Do You Know? Interesting.

Nods for The Fighter come as no surprise at all, since it has a heavy The Wrestler and even Bronson feel that seems to get favoured come awards season every year. Christian Bale, anyhow, can always be trusted to put on a good performance, he as much of a wild card as Mr. Depp.

Ah, The Social Network. Forgive me for being prejudiced but I'd just seen this movie, and I still can't get the performances of the magnetic leads out of my head. Till today I can still be awed at Mr. Garfield's passionate delivery of the you-better-lawyer-up line to Mr. Eisenberg as the scene replays in my head. Both lead actors had good performances, but I'm afraid they might be on the losing end here, as they are up against some serious heavyweights in each category. If they win they'll end up looking like punks instead of deserving winners.

I am very, very happy for Inception's nominations in the Best Motion Picture - Drama category and the Best Screenplay category, for those were, in my opinion, the movie's best strengths. I do hope it will win, as its win will push forward a (hopefully) revolution and a revelation, that you can astound visually as you can mind-blow and still deliver a great film. (I hope you're reading, Mr. Bay). But at the same time, I am also very hopelessly in love with Aaron Sorkin's awesome screenplay for The Social Network. Well, no matter where the axe falls, I will nevertheless end up with a happy heart, for both screenplays are equally deserving. The King's Speech's screenplay looks just as promising, actually... gah, whoever wins, I'm sure they deserve it.

In the TV category there aren't many surprises this year, as almost every category looks like a carbon copy of the previous year (I wonder what will happen when Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, 30 RockHouse M.D., Mad Men, DexterBreaking Bad and United States of Tara go off the air (though I see The New Adventures of Old Christine has not been recognised this year); I imagine that the Foreign Press will be scrambling to choose their next staple-mates). They're good shows, all of them, no doubt about that, but reading the same set of names every year can be quite tiresome. There are other shows on TV that are just as deserving of recognition, don't you think? That said, I'm happy that The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire (though not surprising, really, of the latter...) are acknowledged, though I suspect Boardwalk Empire will end up becoming the next The Sopranos.

I haven't seen many of the nominees for the miniseries category, though I'd just watched half of the first episode of The Pillars of the Earth, nevertheless, I'm all for it as it has great production value and a very strong cast all around. But sadly, no recognition for Rufus Sewell or Eddie Redmayne? I thought Eddie Redmayne did very well as Jack... oh well. Nevertheless, I suspect Claire Danes will win for Temple Grandin, as her performance was completely out-of-this-world, and you'd be forgiven if you'd forgotten that you were watching Claire Danes in the first place. I've been wanting to check out The Special Relationship for quite some time though, as I'm a sucker for politics (I really really liked Frost/Nixon) and the writings of Peter Morgan in general (the super brilliant genius who not only wrote Frost/Nixon but also wrote AND directed The Queen, as well as its predecessor The Deal). The Deal, The Queen, and The Special Relationship are a three-part dramatisation of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's political career, so as a sucker for political movies I'd very much like to complete the trilogy by getting my hands on The Special Relationship). :D

There are some glaring omissions here though; for all it's worth, True Grit seems to have been blindsided (which is nigh impossible, since it features the acting talents of true heavyweights: Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, AND the writing talents of none other than the Coen brothers, both of whom are usually critics' darlings), as is Fair Game, and for the Comedy category, I can think of other movies that seem funnier than The Tourist, i.e. I Love You Philip Morris, The Other Guys, Cyrus, and - AND, what about Scott Pilgrim? Or friggin' Kick-Ass? Those are epic-er comedies than, pfffft, The Tourist!

Something very wrong is afoot in Hollywood. But what the heck, it's not like I can do anything to change it. =__='''''''''''' Do drop your two cents here - every comment counts!

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