Monday, August 15, 2005

Golden Globe Best Actress: Comedy or Musical

Recently while updating my Oscar predictions it became clear that the Best Actress field is pretty deep (provided, of course, that a third of the upcoming films contain solid performances even if they don't totally deliver as films). Whenever the race is very competitive the category to watch is Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. That category always manages to keep some names afloat that would disappear if there were not split precursor awards.

So... let's look at the names. Immediately you can discount Paltrow, Hayek , Huffman, Theron, Richardson, Binoche, Zhang who will all be shooting for a spot in the dramatic lineup. There won't be any hesitation with those categorizations.

The obvious COMEDY/MUSICAL contenders? There's Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents... the women from Prime Meryl Streep & Uma Thurman, Diane Keaton in The Family Stone, and Rosario Dawson from Rent. And because the Comedy lineup usually has at least one (sometimes two) performers with zero shot at subsequent Oscar recognition there's always Diane Lane in Must Love Dogs, Jennifer Aniston in Rumor Has It, Jane Fonda as a Monster in Law or Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality 2 as celebrity seat fillers.



But the real important "what to watch" in the coming months is the women who could categorize themselves either way. Some campaign teams may wait to see what others do before they decide the best move for their woman. Having a Comedy Globe nomination to campaign with is a smarter Oscar move (in most cases) than being left out of the Drama field altogether... even if you really belong in the drama field. The wait and see contenders? Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger. She's very funny in the movie but it's a pretty serious comedy. Claire Danes as the Shopgirl will probably go the comedy route but you can't be sure. Reese Witherspoon as June Cash in Walk the Line for a pure Oscar win bid she'd probably be smart to attempt the drama category. Except that if you compete in a musical drama you almost always win in the comedy category. So does she want the maybe-Oscar or the sure-thingGlobe? The women of In Her Shoes Cameron Diaz & Toni Collette , Radha Mitchell in Melinda and Melinda (whose character can sorta compete in both categories ;) ) and Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown.

Who goes where? And who benefits from their decicions? It looks like an exciting race.

18 comments:

Cal said...

Nearly everybody you mentioned as either way I believe will go to the comedy category, which looks pretty strong at the moment. Allen will definitely go to comedy, as she'll have a decent chance to win. Walk the Line will be put in musical (like Ray), so Reese will be as well (if it's leading).

I seriously doubt Radha Mitchell will last, although her performance is excellent. If she does, it should be in the drama group, as she does most of her work in that section, as does most of the film.

They can't nominate Sandra Bullock lol. No way.

NATHANIEL R said...

but if most of those ladies go the comedy route that is a LOT of serious contenders.

ALLEN
ANISTON
COLLETTE
DANES
DAWSON
DIAZ
DENCH
DUNST
KEATON
STREEP
THURMAN
WITHERSPOON

that will be MUCH more competitive than drama if it happens that way.

Anonymous said...

I made a mental note when I saw Melinda & Melinda to try to keep thinking about Radha Mitchell's performance until the end of the year. I thought she was sensational.

Just felt like throwing that pointless and personal gem into the mix.

Rob

NATHANIEL R said...

i wish i'd felt the same but i didn't connect to the performance much even though i wanted to love it.

adam k. said...

I could see Radha Mitchell lasting in comedy... but it's not so likely. Joan Allen will definitely go comedy and is probably the frontrunner if the campaign/career sentiment combo gets her the attention she deserves. Streep, I think, is a lock for a nod. Thurman looks iffy. Witherspoon will probably end up here even if she does go supporting come oscar time a la Zeta-Jones. Diaz and Dawson look promising, but who knows...
I think as of now, my picks would be:

Allen
Dench
Streep
Witherspoon
... and someone else... everyone seems equally likely after those four.

par3182 said...

does reese sing in 'walk the line'?

i'm guessing they'll find room for rosario dawson if 'rent' gets some ok reviews - it is the comedy or musical category, after all.

Anonymous said...

Ever since I saw "Upside of Anger", I figured that Allen would campaign in the Musical/Comedy category. Hopefully, she'll win it too. It was fantastic work.

Joe R. said...

Radha Mitchell is DOA, y'all. Not in a year this competetive. And not with another, FAR more acclaimed Woody Allen movie yet to arrive.

Rosario might have stood a shot in a weaker year. This year? No.

I'm couching my love of Joan Allen's performance in a stubborn pessimism, just so I'm less horribly pissed when (if?) she's passed over.

Anonymous said...

This is my favourite kind of Oscar/awards spec.

You're the best Nathaniel. Thanks.

I'm counting the days till Toronto. So much should become clear after that. Hopefully we'll know Witherspoon's category for Walk the Line.

Cal said...

It does look like a competitive race. I'm tempted to pick Dench, even at this early stage, but I agree with your contender list, apart from Rosario Dawson (iffy) and Toni Collette (who I think will be moved to the supporting category to accommodate the ever-so-popular Ms. Diaz). I don't think Claire Danes has much of a hope either.

As for Kirsten Dunst, if Elizabethtown doesn't get middle of the road reviews (like I think it will) and Marie-Antoinette is released at the end of the year there's a possible double leading nomination on the cards, with a view to a double Oscar nod. Maybe it's just wild imagination, but Dunst probably has a good chance to get in.

Anonymous said...

Reese (and Joaquin) will copy Ray and go musical route.

(they nominated Sandra for Miss Congeniality so they DO like her)

One thing we must always remember. The small film. This year there is a certain movie that APPARENTLY it gunning for 2004 release that is filled with Oscar potention.

Marie-Antionette. Dunst and Sophia Coppola... hmmm.

Joe, how do you know Rosario's chances are dead. Have you seen the movie?

Anyway, if there is actually a musical released in the year they try to fit it in somewhere so look for The Producers and/or Rent to seal a nod somewhere big.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

Oh, can I also throw in one lady I would LOVE to snag a Comedy nomination? I'm probably 100% alone in this but I'd love Angelina Jolie to grab a spot for Mr & Mrs Smith. She was so icy and perfect in that role.

Radha's not gonna go far I don't think. Especially if Match Point is as good as it's supposed to be, people will forget about M&M.

-Glenn

Joe R. said...

No, haven't seen RENT, the movie or the play. I'm not very high on its chances anywhere, so I'm naturally not that high on Rosario.

Add to that the fact that this year there is some serious competition for Comedy Actress and, lead billing or not, Rosario is more a part of an ensemble, and thus easier to overlook absent a jaw-dropping performance. Which could certainly happen. But I'm betting against it.

Anonymous said...

I think that you may have left someone off of your consideration list. I really believe that Julianne Moore will get a nom for "The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio". Like you send there is usually one nominee with no chance of an oscar nom, and I think this role would be perfect for that slot. I think it could turn out like this:

Allen
Aniston
Diaz
Moore
Streep *always a spot for her
Witherspoon

Anonymous said...

But Joe, you're outright dismissing the movie sight unseen. Sure, it might not be your cup o' tea and yes it may very well fail miserably come February, but for now, just like anybody who is not Cinderella Man, you can't discount anyone. Particularly a musical. They have the ability to really pique the interest.

Aniston seems like a good guess for a slot because they love their famous and pretty divorcees.

-Glenn

Joe R. said...

Well, yeah, but . . . that's the prediction game, right. I'm dismissing The Producers sight unseen, too, because I don't think it will be in the game when it comes to January/February. I could be wrong. But that's the prediction game.

adam k. said...

Ooh, yeah, forgot about Moore... yeah, providing the movie doesn't flop, I think her chances are good. What is the deal with this Aniston movie though? I don't think Aniston is ever a great bet in a film category. I think it will be:
Streep
Allen
Dench
Moore
Witherspoon

But lots of others look promising so it'll be very competitive.

Rent and the Producers I think will score in BP-Comedy, but not here. I think Rent could get that "best pic nom with no other noms" slot at the globes, and the Producers maybe best pic and one of two actor noms.

Very excited to see how all these fall/winter contenders pan out.

NATHANIEL R said...

But despite the comedic sounding title Moore's film is listed as drama in its "genre" on IMDB. And the trailer looks kinda weepy.