Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Up in the Air
Well...like I said, I've been a bad movie buff this year. I haven't seen any of these films. Shame on me! However, I have heard stellar reviews of every single movie on this list, and all of them are ones that I've been wanting to see. Who will go home with the award? I honestly have no idea. Normally I'd say that Precious was going to win, simply because the bleeding hearts in Hollywood lap up heartbreaking dramas (not that that's a bad thing), but when it's up against such strong competition, I begin to have my doubts.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - 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
Once again, I find this impossible to call. Emily Blunt's star has clearly been on the rise for some time, and I'm dying to see her in the part of Queen Victoria. Indeed, even her casting in this film seems to hint at success yet to come, as she joins the ranks of those who have played the British monarchs (including her competitor, Helen Mirren). Seeing Sandra Bullock in this category is also pleasing for me. Ever since seeing her as the racist housewife in Crash, I've been hoping to see her in more serious roles. She seems to spend most of her time in cheesy romance movies, and now that I've got a taste for her as a serious actress, I'm hankering for more. The Blind Side looked like it might be a little cheesy, but it's still made my "To See" list. As for Helen Mirren, do I really need to say anything? That woman is an acting goddess. Despite my limited knowledge of her role in this latest film, I would be neither surprised or unhappy to see her walk away with the award. Finally, we have newcomers Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe. I first saw Mulligan in her debut as Kitty Bennet in 2005's Pride and Prejudice and thought she looked as much at home in front of the camera as her more seasoned costars. Her newest movie, An Education looks phenomenal and is based on a novel by Nick Hornby, one of my favorite authors. Her performance has earned her rave reviews, and her sense of poise and style on the red carpet has already earned her the title of today's Audrey Hepburn. Clearly she is a force to be reckoned with. And then you have Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the title character in Precious. It's obvious that the girl has talent, even from the brief clips of her performance that I caught in the trailer. And with such a weighty role, she's holding her own against these formidable women.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Tobey Maguire - Brothers
Another list full of knockout champs, and all actors whom I admire deeply (with the exception of Maguire. No offense to him, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive him for Spiderman 3). All seasoned actors with talent coming out of their ears. If I had to narrow it down to two, though, I'd say George Clooney and Morgan Freeman were the most likely to walk away with the award. Clooney is something of a darling, although not undeservedly as he tends to tackle challenging roles, and he seems to be getting a lot of nominations in recent years. As for Morgan Freeman, he's given us years of fantastic performances, and he's playing Nelson Mandela. People aren't kidding when they say that biopics are free tickets to the Oscars. And with good reason; playing a living person means going to a whole different level of acting. People have something to compare you to, so they won't believe your performance on your talent alone. You have to successfully portray the person that you're cast as, which is no easy task. As for the other nominees, I adore Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth and would love to see either of them take home the award. They are both incredibly talented actors, and I have no doubts that they gave exceptional performances in their roles. In a perfect world, the advantages that I listed above for Clooney and Freeman would have no effect here, and the actors would be awarded based on these performances alone. Time will tell just how perfect the world we live in is. As for Tobey Maguire, I couldn't get enough of a feel from the trailer for Brothers to tell you my impression of his performance. The movie didn't really grab my attention, but, then again, neither did No Country For Old Men, and look how that ended up.
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
(500) Days of Summer
Julie & Julia
For once, a category in which I have a clear favorite! If I controlled the Golden Globes, the award would go to (500) Days of Summer, no question about it. It's refreshingly original, funny, shamelessly steeped in pop culture, and, most importantly, relatable. It's not your average sappy love story, and the hilarious script and fantastic performances from the actors (Joseph Gordon-Levitt in particular) made it one of my favorite movies of the year. I've been waiting for it to come out on DVD since I saw it at the film festival back in April. My second choice, however, would be Nine. I have been dying to see that movie since I first saw the article on the ladies in Vogue a couple of months ago. It looks like a sensory smorgasbord. The dancing, the singing, the costumes, the lights! Completely sensational. I just hope it lives up to my expectations. Julie & Julia was a wonderful movie, but not the best comedy or musical I've seen this year. I felt that it would have been far more satisfying if they'd just left out the Julie storyline and made a movie entirely about Julia Child instead. Speaking of Meryl Streep, I haven't seen It's Complicated yet, but I have to say that, from the trailer, it didn't strike me as being an exceptional movie. Funny, perhaps, and cute, but not awards material. However, I could be totally wrong. And, finally, The Hangover. I have had countless people of all different tastes in movies tell me that this was a hilarious movie that I absolutely have to see. I still haven't seen it. Once again, it may be funny, but it didn't pique my interest when I saw the trailer, and I have a hard time stomaching crass, bawdy humor. Needless to say, if this wins over (500) DoS, I will be beyond pissed off.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Sandra Bullock - The Proposal
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Julia Roberts - Duplicity
Meryl Streep - It's Complicated
Meryl Streep - It's Complicated
So. Sandra Bullock. While I'd love to see her win for Drama, I'm not so keen on her nomination in the comedy category. The Proposal looked like just another cheesy, gimmicky rom-com, and I wasn't driven to see it. I'm sure I'll watch it eventually, but I'm in no hurry. Same with Duplicity. Julia Roberts is a fantastic actress, but lately she's been playing a lot of the same roles. I can't say with certainty that she's not deserving of the award, but Duplicity looked like just another spy movie. Needless to say, I'm not convinced. Now, Marion Cotillard is a different story. Not only does Nine look phenomenal, but she is one of my absolute favorite actresses currently working. She's classy, she's poised, she's absolutely adorable, and she gives fantastic performances every time. I've admired her ever since she won for La Vie en Rose, and I would love to see her walk away with another award. As for Meryl Streep, she was excellent as Julia Child, and I would be tickled pink if she won the Golden Globe for that performance. Like I said, I think the movie would have been better if she'd been in more of it. She was charming, lovable, hilarious, and inspiring, and if she's going to win for either of her roles, I would much prefer that it be for this one.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
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
Oh goodness, the choices. Once again, I would be pleased so see anyone from this list walk away with an award. I've always had a soft spot for Matt Damon, who tackles both drama and comedy alike with amazing talent and grace and isn't afraid to look funny or make a fool of himself (the only reason that Sarah Silverman song "I'm F*cking Matt Damon" was funny was because he was in it himself). Not to mention the fact that The Informant has been on my "To See" list for quite a while now. I feel slightly the opposite about Daniel Day Lewis, actually. I've always had a slight prejudice against him ever since I watched The Crucible, where he got so into character that he didn't brush his teeth for the entirety of the filming and they turned orange. I was too busy trying not to gag when he was onscreen to appreciate his performance. Despite that, I've begun developing an affection for him in recent years. He is an incredibly dedicated actor (as shown in that little anecdote), and it's pretty much a guarantee that any performance he gives is going to be spectacular. Needless to say, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to see him win. I've also been feeling slightly prejudiced against Robert Downey Jr. recently, but for different reasons (he's going to be playing Elwood P. Dowd in Steven Spielberg's remake of the classic movie Harvey, which is pretty much unforgivable in my mind. THE ROLE WAS WRITTEN FOR JAMES STEWART, THEREFOR NO ONE BUT JAMES STEWART SHOULD PLAY IT). However, he is an extraordinary actor with a biting sense of humor, and I am terribly excited to see him in Sherlock Holmes. Despite my reservations about his other career choices, I do think he's deserving of a nomination in this category. However, the nomination that I'm most excited about is Joseph Gordon Levitt, and not because I loved (500) DoS. Actually, he was the reason that I saw that movie in the first place. Joseph Gordon Levitt is my absolute favorite contemporary actor, and it's about time his talent was recognized. He picks his movies based on the quality of the script, which is why I know that any movie with him in it will probably be good (with the exception of G.I. Joe, which he picked as a break from doing serious roles. What a horrible movie). The first time I saw him in a role other than as a geeky kid (see 3rd Rock From the Sun and 10 Things I Hate About You) was in the indie film Brick, and it was so different from any other role I'd seen him in that I didn't recognize him at first. I'd never given him a second's thought before then, and suddenly I was renting every movie he'd done recently, with mindblowing results (go watch The Lookout and tell me he's not a brilliant actor). I will be sorely disappointed if he doesn't win the award, but even seeing him nominated makes me insanely happy. As for Michael Stuhlbarg and A Serious Man, I must shamefully admit that I know nothing about either of them and, therefore, have no insight into whether or not he can hold his own against such talented actors.
That's it for Part 1 of my thoughts on the 2010 Golden Globes. I will be posting more on the rest of the nominees (best director, screenplay, song, score, foreign language film, supporting actor/actress, and animated film) later, but for now, I'm out of time. Cheers!