Tomorrow on NBC, the pre-cursor to the Oscars will air: The Golden Globes.
Each year, I try my hardest to watch as many nominated films as I can. This way, I can give a more accurate decision to who I believe *should* win both awards. There seems to be a lack of depth to the choices in several categories this year. I knew I wanted to see a film last weekend in the theater and one today but had a really hard time deciding which. This is not due to all the wonderful choices out there... and a few of the highly-acclaimed films still aren't widely released in my area.
Without further ado... and please note, these are my choices for who SHOULD win, not who I THINK will win:
BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA:
-The King's Speech
-The Social Network
The Social Network actually blew me away. I wasn't expecting it to, to be honest. A film about our favorite internet time-waster doesn't exactly sound like award-season material. From the very first scene of witty banter, my hopes became high. The script held my interest throughout the entire film. I was intrigued by the background of a multi-billion-dollar empire that I didn't give much thought to when I logged in on a daily basis. Whether the story held truth or not didn't matter. The performances, script, direction and score were all spot on.
I am incredibly confused how The Fighter made it into this category. This film has been critically-panned more than praised and it lacks originality.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS- DRAMA
-Halle Berry (Frankie and Alice)
-Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
-Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)
-Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
-Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
I may be the critiquing oddball here but I think Jennifer Lawrence's gritty but understated performace should win here. There was no fancy makeup or costuming in this film. What you saw is what you got. The actors in this film all had to push through rough exteriors with emotional gusto. A bright future lurks for Jennifer Lawrence, who no doubt has casting versatility.
Natalie Portman has her best role yet but it also feels like it could be the beginning of the end to her serious acting career. Her next film is a rom-com with Ashton Kutcher. That speaks for itself. In the film after that, she's "The Other Woman" (literally)- a Hollywood cliche recycled in 3/4 films. Several recent Best Actress winners have nearly fallen off the radar upon winning. This is why I think she *will* win; the signs are pointing in that direction from all sides. Plus, it's really her only far-reaching role to date. The rest have all been consistently... similar.
I have to admit, I am personally surprised that Hailie Steinfeld (True Grit) wasn't nominated. She won the Critics' Choice Award last night, deservedly so, but it is obvious she was shut out of the Globes only because of her age. I think it could have been an opportunity to give notice for her potential in the long haul for Hollywood, instead of one to fail. For shame.
No comment on why Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman are nominated this year.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR- DRAMA
-Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network)
-Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
-James Franco (127 Hours)
-Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)
-Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)
I honestly laughed when I saw Wahlberg's name in this category. He's proven to have a more serious acting future in "The Lovely Bones." I don't get the choice here at all.
Ryan Gosling is very much a method actor. I don't dislike the guy but I think he is incredibly predictable onscreen. His movements are calculated and as a Filmspotting critic pointed out, he is ALWAYS moving in a scene. He'll scratch his ear, fidget with something, wipe his nose... it's almost like a multiple-choice test. "Which one will he do next?"
It's an incredibly tough choice in this category between the other three but I think it is James Franco's YEAR in everything. He was on General Hospital, just because he could be. People who once hated his non-chalant attitude onscreen before suddenly began to respect him because he creates his own rules. He carried the entire film on his shoulders in this one and physically endured the conditions his character endured in a less than friendly environment. Audiences felt his pain (sometimes a bit too much so) and I have never been in a theater that was as quiet and focused as I did for "127 Hours."
Jesse Eisenberg still has a bright future ahead of him, in so far as I think he will have yet another phenomenal role in a few years. Here, he proved to be an actor with depth that I both loved and hated at the same time. That is one of the single-most important aspects I look for in a leading actor. I just don't think it will be his year. If it is, it will be the peak of his career, sadly.
Colin Firth is so likable and meek and sweet in everything he does. I regretfully have not seen "The King's Speech" yet and am dying too. However, he is so consistent in his films, I almost feel like it wasn't much of a stretch for him this time around. I may be proven wrong.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
-Amy Adams (The Fighter)
-Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech)
-Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
-Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
-Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
I feel like half of this category was chosen wrongly. Helena Bonham Carter is my pick because she captivates me in the film's trailers. She does in everything she's in. I think she would be the smartest bet, since the others would all be forgotten after this year if they win. Sad but true.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
-Christian Bale (The Fighter)
-Michael Douglas (Wall Street)
-Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
-Jeremy Renner (The Town)
-Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
That is not a mistake, I have two choices here! Since I haven't seen "The King's Speech" yet, I'm assuming Rush's accolades hold true. He is always brilliant. He will most likely win too. Bale is a strong contender but again: "The Fighter?" Andrew Garfield hasn't been recognized as much here in the US for his work but he is one of my favorite future stars. Re-watching "The Social Network," I think he earned his nomination here from his absolutely gripping scene in the Facebook headquarters near the end of the film. Watch it again and you will believe too.
-Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
-David Fincher (The Social Network)
-Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
-Christopher Nolan (Inception)
-David O. Russell (The Fighter)
A film cannot be brilliant without its director. Fincher is always respected and I think he should be incredibly proud of creating a film about Facebook that easily could have turned into a joke. Well-done.
"The Social Network" is deserving of a sweep. I think "The King's Speech" will win most of the awards though. It's a period piece, which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves and who isn't a sucker for British accents? The Fighter being nominated so frequently is mind-boggling and frankly, a bit ridiculous. Christian Bale is the only nominee that makes sense. 127 Hours should have earned a Best Director nomination in Danny Boyle but he was probably overshadowed by his previous work on "Slumdog Millionaire." "True Grit" is a surprising omission this year. Of course, "No Country For Old Men" was a recent accolade for the Coen Brothers but I think the simplicity of "True Grit," carried by a 12-year old girl and Jeff Bridges (another snub) still stick in my mind several hours after viewing it.
My film critiques are typically a lot better. I should not wait until the end of a night to even try explaining myself. ;)