Thursday, December 11, 2014

Golden Globe nominations: Big gain for 'Selma', death knell for 'Unbroken'?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association have announced the their nominees for the Golden Globe Awards, adding fuel to the campaign fires of some borderline contenders, but also dousing those of others.

I'll mention my specific commentaries for each individual category after the cut, but for now, a few immediate observations:

-Yesterday's SAG shutout of Selma proved merely to be a byproduct of its late entry into the race, as it popped up in four categories today (including Picture and Director).

-Conversely, Unbroken pulled up a big ole goose egg with both organizations. If any group was gonna chomp at the bit for Angelina Jolie's celebrity, it was the HFPA. It could still squeak out a Best Picture nomination a la War Horse -- another perfect-on-paper Oscar bait movie that disappointed on arrival -- but its hopes are dwindling fast.

-All of yesterday's SAG nominees repeated except for Naomi Watts, which means it'll be hard to anticipate who gets edged out come Oscar time. There's no way we're gonna have a perfect match-up across all three groups.

-The most unhappy snub of the day: John Carney's wonderful Begin Again being completely shut out of the Comedy/Musical categories and even Best Song! Criminal.

Check out all the film nominees and my quick thoughts below:

Best Picture - Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Thrilled to see Foxcatcher earn a well deserved nomination here. It's in real danger of being forgotten and left behind in this race. It's likely that at the end of the season, your Oscar winner will be one of the other four.

Best Picture - Comedy/Musical
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
St. Vincent
Pride has some pretty vocal champions, so they'll be very pleased with this coup. However, it's probably a showdown between Birdman (a bona fide Oscar nominee) and Grand Budapest (an on-the-bubble contender that very much needs this December exposure).

Best Actress - Drama
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
An exact duplicate of yesterday's SAG lineup. Will a fringe contender like Marion Cotillard or Gugu Mbatha-Raw be able to crack it? And can anyone beat Julianne Moore for the win?

Best Actor - Drama
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Once again, I'm stoked to see Gyllenhaal in the conversation, but also nominated is the man who'll likely bump him out of Oscar's top five: David Oyelowo.

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Hellen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore, Map to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis, Annie
I haven't seen any of these yet. The omission of Keira Knightley is frustrating beyond belief.

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Bill Murray, St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes
I would imagine this is Keaton's to lose. Glad to see Ralph Fiennes pop up somewhere this season!

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
This is the exact lineup most pundits (yours truly included) have been projecting for months now. If it does end up being the Oscar slate, could it be a self-fulfilling prophecy? I can think of at least another five women who deserve to be in the discussion (this category is actually kinda crowded this year, in my opinion).

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Another perfect replica of the SAG roster. And honestly, I'm not that surprised. Unlike the Supporting Actress race, this one is woefully thin on worthy contenders. Not to undersell the brilliance of these actors, but there aren't many others to choose from this year. It's quite probable that my own nomination lineup looks very similar to this.

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Avu Duvernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Interesting that Gone Girl shows up here (and in Screenplay), but not in Best Picture. Couldn't be happier for Anderson.

Best Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Birdman, Inarritu, Giacobone, Dinelaris & Bo,
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Looking ahead to the Oscar race, The Imitation Game can probably count on a win in at least one category. The Adapted Screenplay field is as desolate as it's been in years. Meanwhile, the Original Screenplay contest is so flooded with brilliant work, it's already a mathematical certainty that at least one masterpiece is going to be snubbed for the nod.

Best Animated Feature
The Boxtrolls, Anthony Stacchi & Graham Annable
Big Hero 6, Don Hall & Chris Williams
The Book Of Life, Jorge Gutierrez
How To Train Your Dragon 2, Dean DeBlois
The Lego Movie, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
No surprises here. The GKIDS titles almost never score with the Globes. That said, I think it's highly possible that both of them (Kaguya and Song of the Sea) turn up on Oscar morning. The question is, which film(s) will they knock out? A year after Disney had its biggest success in over a decade win multiple golden statues, I have an inkling it could be the highly disposable Big Hero 6 that gets the shaft.

Best Foreign Language Film
Force Majeure, Sweden
Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Israel
Ida, Poland
Leviathan, Russian
Tangerines, Estonia Georgia
As always, I'll selectively hunt down some foreign films to watch once AMPAS has narrowed the field a bit. All of these nominees are their countries' respective submissions. The only one I've seen is Force Majeure, and would make a fine Oscar nominee, though I suspect it may be too chilly to gain traction.

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Big Eyes" from Big Eyes, Lana Del Rey
"Glory" from Selma, John Legend & Common
"Mercy Is" from Noah, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye
"Opportunity" from Annie, Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler & Will Gluck
"Yellow Flicker Beat" from Mockingjay Pt. 1, Lorde
HFPA often stumps for popular artists in this category, which only makes the Annie nod all the more confusing.

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
The Imitation Game, Alexandre Desplat
The Theory of Everything, Johann Johannsson
Gone Girl, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Birdman, Antonio Sanchez
Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
With the disclaimer that I haven't seen The Imitation Game yet (I assume the score is decent because, y'know, Desplat), this is a really swell list. Here's hoping the music branch can select as good a lineup.


  1. "To chilly to gain traction".

    **Golf Clap**

  2. Ecstatic for Grand Budapest Hotel! I want it to win, even though I know all too well that Birdman will most likely steal its thunder, but I can dream!