Mr. Movie

Tri-Citians have missed many Golden Globe winners

Normally, I write a Golden Globe awards prediction column.

This year, it got skipped because I was sick most of the last two weeks and it was all I could do to just get the films I’d seen reviewed.

So this is retrospect.

Three things really stand out about this year’s winners.

The first compares this year with last. I much preferred last year’s 30-minute press conference. The writer’s strike prevented the full-blown, three-plus hour telecast I endured on Sunday night.

Nothing pointed that out more than Kate Winslett’s rambling, pointless, acceptance speech for best supporting actress in The Reader. On and on she went. Her second grab was at the end of the evening for best actress in a drama for Revolutionary Road, the film that reunited her with Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Just as bad were rambling introductions by celebs of all sorts desperately trying to one-up each other.

Second, only about half of the big winners have been seen on Tri-Cities screens. Wall-E which won best animated feature, Happy Go Lucky that got Sally Hawkins the award for best actress in a musical or comedy and that category’s eventual winner Vicky Cristina Barcelona have all been here.

The Dark Knight is another, and it gave the late Heath Ledger his expected best supporting actor award. Gratefully, the Hollywood Foreign Press made his tribute short, sweet and not overly weepy. It was perfect.

You also caught In Bruges. It was on a Tri-Cities screen for a whole week. Colin Farrell took home the globe for his best actor in a comedy or musical performance.

The big winner was director Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. It was best dramatic picture, best director, best screenplay and musical score.

Mickey Rourke’s comeback flick The Wrestler netted him a much-deserved best actor in a dramatic role, and Bruce Springsteen got the best song award for the film.

The best actor category was the most difficult of all to root for a winner. I pity those having to pick. Frank Langella’s Richard Nixon and Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk for Frost/Nixon and Milk were riveting, award-winning performances equal to Rourke’s. I also loved DiCaprio’s work in Revolutionary Road and Brad Pitt shined in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

It is unusual that four of the biggest winners have not been seen in Tri-Cities. The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader and Revolutionary Road are all great films that made my top-10 best list last year. They will eventually get to the Tri-Cities and will be worth catching.

In a normal year, most would have been here by now. However, nothing these days is normal, and film prints are expensive so producers are cutting corners like everyone else. They make their profits in large markets and hope for gravy in markets the size of the Tri-Cities.

These days, the risk for that gravy isn’t worth the expense. So look for a slower roll-out for these films at least for the rest of the year.

Who got shut out was very interesting and may assist with Oscar predictions. Doubt, Frost/Nixon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button were shut out.

Thirdly, I like the choices the foreign press made. They are almost exactly as I predicted in the column I didn’t write. Critics tend to be fairly good at picking winners in an ordinary year, but I’ve never been this accurate in all the year’s I’ve been picking.

Too bad I didn’t publish -- or at least go to Vegas and place a bet or two.

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