Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globe Picks - 2008

The Golden Globes are at 8 PM EST tonight on NBC, and to prepare, I will give you my picks, that will be followed soon by Oscar Picks. That is, when the noms come out.

Best Picture - Drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire - My pick

Slumdog is a tour de force, fast-paced, kinetic, a wonderful film. I know people are praising "Button" for its "magic," which was nearly vacant from my viewing, and I know I won't be so enchanted by "Frost/Nixon", "The Reader", and "Revolutionary Road" (three films I haven't seen) that I won't choose Slumdog. Omissions include "Synecdoche, New York," "Milk," and "The Dark Knight." (I revise my opinion and say that out of these nominees, the best was "Revolutionary Road.")

Best Actress - Drama
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married - My pick
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Hathaway was stunning in her transformation from "Get Smart" to black sheep sister in "Rachel." She brought the best out of a movie that could have fallen apart without her. Meryl Streep was fantastic in "Doubt," but she had support from the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis. Kristin Scott Thomas deserves a Tony for her Broadway role in "The Seagull," although here she brought some raw nature to her role. It was that last scene that messed it up for me. I am wondering if Winslet can pull off April Wheeler, but I'm pretty convinced she'll do a good job. Omissions include Melissa Leo for "Frozen River" in the best performance of the year.

Best Actor - Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler - My pick

Even from the trailers, Mickey Rourke looks like he did a heck of a job (I haven't seen the film). Sean Penn was great in "Milk;" he's my second choice. Brad Pitt was miscast and mediocre in "Benjamin Button," and DiCaprio doesn't seem to look like he can hold his own with Winslet and play Richard Yates' Frank Wheeler. Omissions include Gabe Nevins for "Paranoid Park," (a great, underrated youth performance), Josh Brolin for "W.," Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Synecdoche, New York," (the most underrated performance of the year), Mathieu Almaric for "A Christmas Tale," and Richard Jenkins for "The Visitor."

Best Picture - Musical or Comedy
Burn After Reading
Happy-Go-Lucky - My pick
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Although it was more of a dramedy, "Happy" was a fabulous film. "Burn After Reading" was very funny, and I thought the way it applied comedy to violence was interesting; it was my second choice. I didn't see the other three, but I know that there is some buzz surrounding "Mamma," and this award. I don't think it should win.

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky - My pick
Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey

Hawkins was great as an optimist, and with a win here she'll get an Oscar nod. She's definitely the strongest actress in this field, no question. McDormand was still very funny, but she's been getting compared to her role in "Fargo," which makes no sense, as she plays a cop in one and a gym employee in the other.

Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Javier Bardem, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell, In Bruges - My pick
James Franco, Pineapple Express
Brandon Gleeson, In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman, Last Chance Harvey

Farrell does hilarious work "In Bruges" (mind the horrible pun used frequently by promoters). Gleeson was very funny as well, and Bardem did well.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt - My pick
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Viola Davis is a powerhouse in "Doubt", and she definitely deserves the award. Marisa Tomei looks good as well, Amy Adams was very good, Winslet looks good, and Cruz looks pretty overrated in a role as a mentally unstable painter. Omissions include Samantha Morton for "Synecdoche, New York," and Rosmarie Dewitt for "Rachel Getting Married." (I eat my words about Cruz and say she should win after actually SEEING THE MOVIE!)

Best Supporting Actor
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight - My pick

Hoffman's performance drives "Doubt" it's highest of heights, and I would have crowned it champ if it had been for Heath Ledger, who commands the screen horrifyingly in "The Dark Knight," a film that would have been merely adequate without him. "Doubt" would have been very good. Ledger gave it his all, and he should win. Fiennes was pretty awful in "The Duchess," so if he wins, it won't make any sense. Omissions include Eddie Marsan for "Happy-Go-Lucky," Dev Patel for "Slumdog Millionaire," Josh Brolin for "Milk," and Brandon Walters in the best debut of the year in "Australia."

Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E - My pick

Wall-E is a remarkable film, Pixar at its absolute best. It deserves the award. Omissions include "Waltz With Bashir."

Best Foreign Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Everlasting Moments
I've Loved You So Long
Waltz With Bashir - My pick

Although I haven't seen it, "Bashir" looks astounding, a tri-force in terms of awards (Documentary, Foreign, Animation). Omissions include "A Christmas Tale."

Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire - My pick
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road

Danny Boyle's film is amazing, and his style is the main reason. Daldry's directing looks great, but the same can't be said of Mendes or Howard for me. Omissions include Gus Van Sant for "Milk" and "Paranoid Park," Charlie Kaufman for "Synecdoche, New York," Mike Leigh for "Happy-Go-Lucky," (omitted as the film is a "comedy"), John Patrick Shanley for "Doubt," Christopher Nolan for "The Dark Knight, Jonathan Demme for "Rachel Getting Married," Andrew Stanton for "Wall-E," Tarsem for "The Fall," Courtney Hunt for "Frozen River," and Joel and Ethan Coen for "Burn After Reading."

Best Screenplay
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt - My pick
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
David Hare, The Reader
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

"Doubt" was adapted very well by Shanley, who supplied each character with great, multi-faceted dialogue. "Slumdog" is more impressive visually than as a screenplay. Roth recycled "Forrest Gump" in his terrible script. Hare's adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's "The Reader" looks impressive. And Peter Morgan had his time with "The Queen," which was sharp-tongued, as opposed to "Frost/Nixon," which feels... historic. Omissions include Charlie Kaufman for "Synecdoche, New York," Mike Leigh for "Happy-Go-Lucky," Joel and Ethan Coen for "Burn After Reading," Jenny Lumet for "Rachel Getting Married," Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon for "Wall-E," and Dustin Lance Black for "Milk."

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood, Changeling
James Newton Howard, Defiance
A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire - My pick
Hans Zimmer, Frost/Nixon

A.R. Rahman's Bollywood-style score is integral to "Slumdog Millionaire," something new for a score. The other four, especially James Newton Howard's "Defiance," are very well done and nice to listen to, but none figure in as well as Rahman's. Omissions include Jon Brion for "Synecdoche, New York," and Nico Muhly for "The Reader."

Best Original Song
Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, "Down to Earth," Wall-E
Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, and Michael Stevens, "Gran Torino," Gran Torino
Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele, "I Thought I Lost You," Bolt
Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarmon, Ian Dench, James Dring and Jody Street, "Once in a Lifetime," Cadillac Records
Bruce Springsteen, "The Wrestler," The Wrestler - My pick

Springsteen's great tribute Mickey Rourke's Wrestler is astounding. Beyonce wasn't too bad either.

Well, that does it. Expect Oscar picks soon!

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