Mr. Movie

My take on Golden Globe nominations

I haven’t seen all of the Golden Globe nominated movies.

The few they haven’t screened for most critics yet are: Crazy Heart, The Last Station, Sherlock Holmes and The Lovely Bones. The day I write this I’m going to see It’s Complicated and Sherlock Holmes is next week. I won't get to see The Lovely Bones until next year and who knows when they'll do Crazy Heart or The Last Station.

None-the-less there are some glaring misfires in this year’s nominations. What? No New Moon? It's a jab. Unfair, too. But the Golden Globes — and the Oscars, too — could use a worst blockbuster of the year category.

Picture, Drama: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Up in the Air.

You’ll catch my review of Avatar on Friday by agreement with the studio I can’t comment. And I haven’t reviewed Up in the Air but it’s probably the best in the category and arguably of the year though I did love Inglorious Basterds.

Some better pictures were left off the list. Moon, the little-seen but highly acclaimed sci-fi flick is one. The Damned United is another. One to watch for if it ever opens in Tri-Cities — and I’m keeping my fingers crossed — is Precious. Very difficult movie to watch but so powerful.

A gripe: depending on where you classify Star Trek it belongs in one or the other of the two categories and remains the most fun I had in a theater all year. The casting alone is impressive and uncanny but to take the franchise in a new, bold and original direction takes guts. And to have it work so perfectly is as close to a miracle as you'll ever see in a theater. C'mon, I know it's science fiction but this movie deserves better.

Picture, Musical or Comedy: (500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia, Nine.

There are some here I can’t comment on either. Such as Nine which I’ve seen. For smart and funny, you can’t beat the funniest film in years: The Hangover, a film that made you wish you were in the room when the people involved wrote the script. A few scenes in the movie still make me laugh when they come to mind. In the screening, I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

The Hollywood Foreign Press also ignored Zombieland which did the same thing. It’s far funnier and better written than the sometimes not-so-good Julie & Julia where more Julia beats the calorie-shy Julie story. Kudos though for picking the very smart (500) Days of Summer.

Actor, Drama: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart; George Clooney, Up in the Air; Colin Firth, A Single Man; Morgan Freeman, Invictus; Tobey Maguire, Brothers.

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Matt Damon, The Informant!; Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine; Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer; Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man.

Ben Foster’s performance in The Messenger tromps anything I’ve seen in the Actor, Drama category, though Jeff Bridges is always a good bet. But I haven’t seen Crazy Heart. Clooney flies high in Up in the Air. Colin Firth gives a great performance in his picture and I’m glad to see Tobey Maguire get some much-deserved recognition for Brothers. Spider-man got him commercial attention but didn’t require much in the way of chops. Brothers does.

Missing is Brad Pitt for Inglorious Basterds and Michael Sheen for The Damned United.

Actress, Drama: Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria; Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side; Helen Mirren, The Last Station; Carey Mulligan, An Education; Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel ’Push’ by Sapphire.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Sandra Bullock, The Proposal; Marion Cotillard, Nine; Julia Roberts, Duplicity; Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated; Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.

Every year, it is a struggle to find 10 outstanding performances for actresses. This year, it is just the opposite. Find me 10 great pieces of work from actors. I haven’t seen Helen Mirren’s work in The Last Station but can tell you this category contains the best acting of any of the Golden Globe categories.

I might have not picked Julia Roberts for Duplicity and added Zooey Deschanel who shined in (500) Days of Summer. Other than that no one is missing and picking from these exceptional performances will be impossible for the judges.

Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, Invictus; Woody Harrelson, The Messenger; Christopher Plummer, The Last Station; Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones; Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds.

Hand the Globe to Christoph Waltz. I will admit that I haven’t seen Plummer’s performance in The Last Station or Tucci’s or Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, but I find it hard to believe that anyone is going to top what is the best performance by anybody in any category last year.

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Nine; Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air; Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air; Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel ’Push’ by Sapphire; Julianne Moore, A Single Man.

Vera. By a landslide.

Animated Film: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, Up.

One interesting thing about 2009 is the number of family friendly, kid-oriented flicks released. And these are just a few of them. My favorite — and the most creative — is Coraline, a 3-D film with so much depth and creativity that you’ll swear there are four and not three dimensions.

These are my comments. Now yours.

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