The Golden Globes Preview! Episode II: The Revenge of Moving Pictures
And here, we...GO! That's right everyone, it's time to jump back into my Golden Globes preview. Wednesday, I took a look at the TV nominees. Today, I dive into the big ones, the show stoppers, the main event, the film nominees. This here is the place where Oscar hopes are renewed, dashed, and ultimately rendered meaningless until the Screen Actors Guild Awards happen a few weeks from now. Great stuff. But enough about the excruciating pain that is the award circuit, let's get this shindig started. Lights, camera, DEAN!
Best Animated Film
Anomalisa vs. The Good Dinosaur vs. Inside Out vs. The Peanuts Movie vs. Shaun the Sheep Movie
I know what you're thinking; this is Inside Out's all the way, and everyone else is vying for second place. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! While The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep might as well go home and dream of a world where Inside Out was released next year, Anomalisa, armed with mad scientist Charlie Kaufman at the controls, is a late comer to the party that's nothing to sneeze at. The film's very warm reception and the cred behind it should be enough to give Pixar at least a scare, if not steal the trophy outright.
Winner: Inside Out. What? I said Anomalisa could give it a scare; I didn't say it would beat Pixar and its latest weapon of animation destruction. Look on the bright side fans of non Disney animation studios...never mind, there is no bright side, Pixar will probably win again next year too. Man that got dark fast.
Best Original Song
"Love Me Like You Do" (Fifty Shades of Grey) vs. "One Kind of Love" (Love and Mercy) vs. "See You Again" (Furious 7) vs. "Simple Song #3" (Youth) vs. "Writing's On the Wall" (Spectre)
I'll give this category this much; I only hated one of these songs, the predictably mediocre "See You Again", which I guess is nominated because the HFP felt it needed to honor Paul Walker in some way (a tribute would've been nicer guys). As for the rest, this seems to be a competition between "One Kind of Love" another gem by master songwriter and Beach Boys honcho Brian Wilson and (I can't believe I'm saying this) "Love Me Like You Do". Yes, the song from Fifty Shades of Grey might win this award, which just goes to show you how damn good Ellie Goulding was belting that thing out. Like Dakota Johnson, she and that song deserved better than that exploitation film. Points must also be given to Sam Smith for "Writing's On the Wall"; yes it's not really a Bond song, but the kid does still do a good job with it. Put it in any other movie, it's a winner.
Winner: Wilson. Do I really need to explain it? Let's move on.
Best Original Score
Carter Burwell (Carol) vs. Alexandre Desplat (The Danish Girl) vs. Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight) vs. Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs) vs. Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto (The Revenant)
This category gets a massive protest from me due to the actual best score of the year, Junkie XL's epic, droning, heavy metal sucker punch that the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack, was left out for reasons that I don't quite understand. It's like the HFP doesn't get what the kids are into these days (says the man who just bashed a Wiz Khalifa song)! Beyond that, I can only imagine this is coming down to the legendary Morricone (nominated for his first Golden Globe in fifteen years) and Desplat, who seems to get nominated every year at this point. The lesson as always; change your name to Desplat, score a Harry Potter movie, and profit till the day you die.
Winner: Morricone. His score for Hateful Eight wasn't just the best part of the movie, it's the best non Fury Road music I've heard in film this year. Give the legend his due HFP!
Emma Donahuge (Room) vs. Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight) vs. Charles Randolph and Adam McKay (The Big Short) vs. Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs) vs. Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)
Ah, the screenplay award, where the presenters make jokes about how big of pretentious pricks writers are before giving the award to the film that the HFP (or Academy) just doesn't quite love enough to give Best Picture. Don't get me wrong; you'd love to have this award (hell, as an aspiring screenwriter, I hope to win this one day), but you know the moment you've won it that your night is over. I'll let Super Kami Guru sum it up perfectly.
So who will be the bronze medal? Well, Spotlight actually has a chance to win the big one last in the night (meaning it's out), while Steve Jobs was such a tepidly received film that it somehow looks to leave the great Aaron Sorkin out in the cold (although in fairness, Steve Jobs wasn't Sorkin's best work by a mile). That leaves you with the tag team of Randolph and McKay (whose Big Short was an unexpected success), Donahuge (because Room isn't winning anything other than this or Best Actress for the wonderful Brie Larson) and the residing king of the bronze medal, our lord and savior Quentin Tarantino himself. You'll get more than a screenplay award one day Q; one day.
Winner: Randolph and McKay. I loved Hateful Eight, but the award circuit seems cold towards the film as a whole, while Room's best chance to win anything remains with Larson. Randolph and McKay meanwhile deserve recognition for their work, and this serves as a best chance. Are you ready to live in a world where the dude who made Anchorman's 1 and 2 and Talladega Nights might be a Golden Globe and Oscar winner?
Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano (Love and Mercy) vs. Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) vs. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) vs. Michael Shannon (99 Homes) vs. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
A lot of cool nominees here. Paul Dano is one of my favorite performers today, Elba is a boss, Michael Shannon remains one of the most underrated performers alive, Sly Stallone is always a joy to watch (whether it's for the rare display of what he can do or his unbelievable skill at making unintentional comedy) and it's pretty cool to see Rylance, a guy I'd never heard of before this show, having two chances to snag a Golden Globe. That said, there really is only one person who has a shot here. And who is that guy?
Winner: Stallone. The nostalgia is real everyone, and with Sly not having that many more chances for this, look for him to finally win that acting award for playing his most iconic role. Tears and standing ovations shall be included.
Best Supporting Actress
Jane Fonda (Youth) vs. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) vs. Helen Mirren (Trumbo) vs. Alicia Vinkander (Ex Machina) vs. Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
A two horse race that should be a three horse race, as Ex Machina (Alex Garland's trippy, well acted science fiction film that sadly got lost in the shuffle) was really good and Alicia Vinkander was the driving force behind it. Alas, this will be either Winslet, the best part of Jobs (yes, I said it. What are you going to do about it Michael Fassbender?!) or Leigh, the best part of Hateful Eight not named Morricone or Tim Roth, taking home the prize. The other lesson as always; never play a synthetic android/robot/replicant. Unless it's Blade Runner; then awards don't matter. Happy birthday Roy Batty!
Winner: Leigh. She was really good in Hateful Eight, and that Tarantino magic somehow seems to work when it comes to the Supporting Actor/Actress category. Good for Leigh too; now I can remember her for this film instead of having sex on top of the fire truck in Backdraft (a scene that's right up there with every second of the Nicolas Cage Wicker Man and the "LOVING YOU KEPT ME ALIVE" scene from Pearl Harbor as the greatest unintentional comedy moment in film history).
Best Actor (Musical or Comedy)
Christian Bale (The Big Short) vs. Steve Carrell (The Big Short) vs. Matt Damon (The Martian) vs. Al Pacino (Danny Collins) vs. Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)
Another rule for award circuit newbies; when a film has two actors nominated in the same category, that's no good. The reason; two actors in nominated for the same film usually split the vote, which generally gives them a less likely chance to win. Look for that to be a major factor in this category, where Carrell and Bale would normally look like favorites to take home the gold. They'll still be in contention though, along with Damon and Ruffalo, who is a welcome sleeper for his little seen, but highly acclaimed indie flick Infinitely Polar Bear, which is also the best named movie of 2015. By like over 9,000 miles.
Winner: Damon. With Bale and Carrell splitting votes, no one caring about Danny Collins and Infinitely Polar Bear being too small of a picture to make a dent, Ben Affleck's best buddy (who critics loved in Ridley Scott's fall hit) will walk out with the gold.
Best Actress (Musical or Comedy)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) vs. Melissa McCarthy (Spy) vs. Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) vs. Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) vs. Lily Tomlin (Grandma)
This is the most interesting category of the film nominees, if only because absolutely no one from this list is getting nominated for an Oscar. I look for this to actually be between the two people you'd least expect to win; McCarthy and Schumer, as their films here were both the best and most notable of the group. Of course, you can never count out "American Sweetheart" Jennifer Lawrence, because she's, well, Jennifer Lawrence. That evidently means more than the fact that not a single solitary soul gave a crap about Joy.
Winner: Schumer. Not only was she uproariously funny in the funniest film I saw in all of 2015, but she actually showed off some solid dramatic chops during the film as well. That, and the slightly more serious subject matter of Trainwreck over Spy is enough for me to pick her over McCarthy.
Best Actor (Drama)
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) vs. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) vs. Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) vs. Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) vs. Will Smith (Concussion)
It's times like these when one really wishes Concussion had been a better movie. Can you imagine if Will Smith had had a legit chance of winning this award? I'd be calling NBC requesting a camera be put in Roger Goodell's house the night of the Globes, just to see his face go pale at the thought of a film so anti-NFL possibly making a big splash. By the way, what do you think Goodell has seen more times; Concussion or the Ray Rice tape? I'll wait for the answer.
As Concussion was merely good instead of great though, Smith is a long shot at winning. Ditto for Fassbender, leaving this to be decided between the old golden boy DiCaprio, Cranston (who has a shot thanks to his film being about a filmmaker. Award shows LOVE that) and the new golden boy Redmayne (who won the Golden Globe a year ago). Note that my friend Joe Brown is a huge Leo mark, has already declared that Leo will win this award and the Oscar and will probably start an anti-Redmayne site if Leo doesn't win. Fandom is a funny thing.
Winner: Redmayne. I hope I'm wrong on this (mainly because I think Redmayne is a tool), but he took a big gamble with the role he took in The Danish Girl, and award shows and Leo just don't agree with each other. Basically, I'll believe DiCaprio is winning something when I see it. Bring on the websites!
Best Actress (Drama)
Cate Blanchett (Carol) vs. Brie Larson (Room) vs. Rooney Mara (Carol) vs. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) vs. Alicia Vinkander (The Danish Girl)
A literal pick 'em. Seriously; I could see any one of these five ladies taking home the gold, making this the first actual wide open category in the entire Globes field. The only question here is how much many votes Blanchett and Mara, the two favorites, split for being in the same film.
Winner: Larson. I could make the argument she should've gotten a nomination a couple years ago for her performance in Short Term 12, and the buzz from Room has her poised to not only win here, but to become a challenger for J-Law's crown of "American Sweetheart". She barely ekes out Blanchett here, while I cry tears over Mara not winning again. Can someone please explain to me how she didn't win for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? I still don't understand that!
Todd Haynes (Carol) vs. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant) vs. Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) vs. George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) vs. Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Another award circuit trope; unless they've just done the best work of their career, an actor, writer or director isn't winning the same award two years in a row. This applies to Inarritu, who's Revenant was well received, but not nearly on the same level as his masterpiece Birdman, which rightfully won almost every award it was nominated for last year. With him out, McCarthy more likely to see his film win the big one and Scott's Martian not being on the same level as the rest of the films here, look for this to be a battle of crowd favorites. As it should be; Todd Haynes has been a great filmmaker for years who has perhaps made his crowning achievement in Carol, while Miller's Fury Road was, in my opinion, the best film of 2015. You'll be satisfied with whoever wins between the two.
Winner: Miller. Fury Road was that damn good, and while I sadly don't see it winning Best Picture, I think the HFP shows enough appreciation to give Miller the nod for Best Director here. Also look for this to be a prelude to him winning Best Director at the Oscars as well. I can see it now; what a moment. WHAT A LOVELY MOMENT!
Best Picture (Musical or Comedy)
The Big Short vs. Joy vs. The Martian vs. Spy vs. Trainwreck
Three of these were the three funniest films of the year. One of these was a disappointing reject. And another wasn't even a comedy at all. Seriously, how is The Martian here? Did the HFP mix up comedy and sci-fi, or did they just run out of room in the drama section? This is the most perplexed I've been about a Ridley Scott film since 20th Century Fox decided that Kingdom of Heaven needed to be trimmed 40 minutes. And thus, a cinematic masterpiece still lies unknown to most of the known world.
Winner: The Big Short. I could see The Martian winning here, but out of all these films, The Big Short is the most prestigious, award attractive comedy, and thus it'll be awarded as such. To the grand finale!
Best Picture (Drama)
Carol vs. Mad Max: Fury Road vs. The Revenant vs. Room vs. Spotlight
If you had told me last year that not only would Mad Max: Fury Road be a Best Picture nominee at the Globes but that it could also win, I'd have assumed 2015 was the worst year in film since the time The English Patient won Best Picture. Somehow, 2015 wasn't that bad, and Fury Road just ended up being that good. And it does have a shot to win here, alongside Carol and Spotlight, an ensemble reporting film that critics loved and that only feels somewhat like The Hurt Locker to Fury Road's Avatar. Seriously, can we just admit that was a mistake now? Not that Avatar was the best film ever, but it's proven to be a lot more memorable than The Hurt Locker, a war film that I wouldn't even categorize as being in the top 30 as far as war movies go.
Winner: Spotlight. There's not enough words to describe how I want this to be Fury Road's award, but I don't see it happening (and frankly, a nominee here and at the Oscars is a victory even of itself for Miller's magna opus). Meanwhile, Haynes' Carol could steal this, but I get the feeling the HFP (and the Academy) are going to get the same cold feet they got when Brokeback Mountain was involved, which leaves the well done, if safe Spotlight to take home the gold. I can hear the Oscar ratings going down as we speak.
And that my friends is my Golden Globes preview! Hope you enjoyed it, and if you're actually checking out the show this Sunday, hope you enjoy that as well. I'll be back later with some LU talk. Till next time, Immortan Joe's thoughts on me not picking Fury Road to win Best Picture.