It's hard to know what to make of this Golden Globe splinter group. There is never much of a narrative thread in their nominations. You can't sense from year to year a type of film they like or whatnot. Which makes them feel a bit suspect. They also do very strange things which you're about to see if you read their nominations. They never get much attention and yet they keep plugging away. This year they were especially kind to 2012 (who knew?), Nine and The Stoning of Soraya M. But they were downright rude to the sci-fi drama Moon which received zero nominations despite their lack of aversion to sci-fi films. I mention this because the moon is a natural satellite and the Satellites are artificial. Maybe they're jealous. What they're orbiting we know not.
Their Top Ten List...
Bright Star | An Education | (500) Days of Summer (not nominated in their best picture categories)| The Hurt Locker | Inglourious Basterds (not nominated in their best picture categories) | Nine | Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire | A Serious Man | The Stoning of Soraya M. | Up in the Air
- I like looking at top ten lists -- even artificial ones -- because I like seeing the curveballs. The Stoning of Soraya M is definitely it. Note to self: watch the screener. But a top ten list is not enough... there's also several best picture categories. Everyone is a winner!
Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Bright Star | An Education | The Hurt Locker | The Messenger | Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire | The Stoning of Soraya M.
Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)
The Informant! | It’s Complicated | Julie & Julia | Nine | A Serious Man | Up in the Air
- This particular lineup is actually feasible as a Golden Globe prospect as well. But the Globes are hard to predit. We'll see.
Best Motion Picture (Animated or Mixed Media)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs | Fantastic Mr. Fox | Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | The Princess and the Frog | Up | Where the Wild Things Are
Best Documentary Feature
The Beaches of Agnes | The Cove | Every Little Step | It Might Get Loud | The September Issue | Valentino: The Last Emperor
Best Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces | I Killed My Mother (Canada's Oscar submission) | The Maid | Red Cliff | The White Ribbon (Germany's Oscar submission) | Winter in Wartime (The Netherlands Oscar submission)
Jane Campion, Bright Star | Neill Blomkamp, District 9 | Lone Scherfig, An Education | Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker | Rob Marshall, Nine | Lee Daniels, Precious
- The best director citation for first timer Neill Blomkamp (District 9) is straight up bizarre even if you think he's deserving. His film didn't make their top ten list or any of their best picture lists, not even Mixed Media! What's up with that?
Best Actress (Drama)
Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Stoning of Soraya M. | Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria | Abbie Cornish, Bright Star | Penelope Cruz, Broken Embraces | Carey Mulligan, An Education | Catalina Saavedra, The Maid
- No Sidibe but they gave her a special prize. Aside from Mulligan they ignored the expected Oscar competitors
Best Actor (Drama)
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart | Hugh Dancy, Adam | Johnny Depp, Public Enemies | Colin Firth, A Single Man | Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker | Michael Sheen, The Damned United
- I knew that somebody would mention Johnny Depp. He's too big of a star for all of the star hungry awards groups to ignore. Will the Globes be able to resist this mega wattage?
Best Actress (Comedy Or Musical)
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal | Marion Cotillard, Nine | Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer | Katherine Heigl, The Ugly Truth | Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
- I can't really see this lineup repeating at the Globes. We're probably in for a Streep two-fer. And the Globes have always been fond of Michelle Pfeiffer so it'll be interesting to see if they go for Chéri. But they probably won't given the lack of campaigning.
Best Actor (Comedy Or Musical)
George Clooney, Up in the Air | Bradley Cooper, The Hangover | Matt Damon, The Informant! | Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine | Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man
- As we know the studio requested Up in the Air to compete in "Drama" at the Globes. But the Globes aren't required to do as the studio says. Though they usually do. Also it's worth noting here that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was left out despite driving (500) Days so effortlessly to its most whimsical and its most painful moments. That's a shame. It's also tremendously weird that it's considered one of the ten best movies of the year but not one of the six best comedies, even though half of the competition there did not make the top ten list.
Best Supporting Actress
Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning| Penelope Cruz, Nine | Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air | Mozhan Marno, The Stoning of Soraya M. | Mo’nique, Precious
- er.... Emily Blunt as a double nominee? Weirdness. I guess they really want her to show up at the ceremony.
Best Supporting Actor
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger | James McAvoy, The Last Station | Alfred Molina, An Education | Timothy Spall, The Damned United | Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
- I'm curious if anyone or anything from The Messenger is able to get any Oscar traction. In some ways Woody Harrelson might be an ideal candidate for AMPAS notice given the year he's having with a big hit Zombieland and given the nature of this here role. But the film is teeny-tiny and that's what the Indie Spirits were created to honor.
Best Original Screenplay
Jane Campion, Bright Star | Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer | Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker | Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man | Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, Up
- This list seems very likely to repeat all the way to Oscar
Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9 | Nick Hornby, An Education | Nora Ephron, Julie & Julia | Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious | Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
- Yet more kudos for District 9 which has excellent everything... but is not excellent itself! Please note that Satellite distinction. I hadn't really thought about Julie & Julia as an Oscar threat in this category. But maybe the industry would like to honor sometime hit maker Nora Ephron?
Best Art Direction
Terry Gilliam, Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus | Nathan Crowley, Patrick Lumb and William Ladd Skinner, Public Enemies | Eddy Wong, Red Cliff | Chris Kennedy, The Road | Ian Philips and Dan Bishop, A Single Man | Barry Chusid and Elizabeth Wilcox, 2012
- I am perplexed all over the place. 2012? It's nice to see foreign films like Red Cliff honored but on the other hand, it just opened. And all awards groups tend to have that "we just saw it!" problem. Which is one of the many reasons that studios make your life miserable with the waiting. Would that all awards voters would take their jobs seriously and keep lists of great stuff all year that they could consider once it's time to vote.
Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds | Guillermo Navarro and Erich Roland, It Might Get Loud | Dion Beebe, Nine | Dante Spinotti, Public Enemies | Lu Yue and Zhang Yi, Red Cliff | Roger Deakins, A Serious Man
- Inglourious... I'd be very happy to see Richardson honored at the Oscars but I have so many doubts. They passed over his beyond excellent work on Kill Bill. It could happen again. I think Beebe is winning the eventual Oscar.
Best Costume Design
Consolata Boyle, Cheri
Monique Prudhomme, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Colleen Atwood, Nine
Tim Yip, Red Cliff
Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria
- Chéri... yay!
Best Film Editing
Julian Clarke, District 9
Chris Innis and Bob Murawski, The Hurt Locker
Greg Finton, It Might Get Loud
Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith, Nine
Angie Lam, Yang Hongyu and Robert A. Ferretti, Red Cliff
David Brenner and Peter S. Elliot, 2012
- They really liked this It Might Get Loud doc. Unfortunately they also really liked 2012 all over the place. Like Red Cliff that just opened which might explain the fervor.
Best Original Score
Gabriel Yared, Amelia
Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant!
Elliot Goldenthal, Public Enemies
Michael Giacchino, Up
Rolfe Kent, Up in the Air
Carter Burwell and Karen O, Where the Wild Things Are
- Yared's Amelia score annoyed the crap out of me. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come but then it is a very LOUD and IMPORTANT SOUNDING and EMOTIONAL CUE type score so maybe the Oscar's music branch will go for it. They Like It Loud.
Best Original Song
“The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart (T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham)
“We are the Children of the World” from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Terry Gilliam)
“Cinema Italiano” from Nine (Maury Yeston)
“I See in Color” from Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (Mary J. Blige)
“Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman)
“Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman)
- I suppose I should just say it. I H-A-T-E "Cinema Italiano"... it's a blight on the otherwise fine Yeston Nine score. The other new number "Take It All" is much stronger as songs go.
Best Sound (Mixing and Editing)
It Might Get Loud | Nine | Red Cliff | Terminator Salvation | Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen | 2012
Best Visual Effects
District 9 | Fantastic Mr. Fox | The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus | Red Cliff | Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen | 2012
- Basically they just decided on about 7-8 films to nominate for everything. In this way they're exactly like the Oscars... only in this way though.
Michael York in 2009 --->
But wait there's more. For no explicable reaon they mix up their nominations with awards without competitors. They're giving Best Ensemble to Nine, Outstanding New Talent to "Precious" herself Gabourey Sidibe (who I suspect will be splitting the "breakthrough" prizes at the other precursors with Carey Mulligan) and special achievement awards to Roger Corman, Roger Deakins (also a nominee, strange) and 70s star Michael York (Cabaret, Logan's Run) and his cheekbones. Those babies do deserve an "Artistic Contribution" prize.