Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Rundown of This Year's Golden Globe Nominations

Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice
Following the release of the SAG Award nominations yesterday, today marks the release of the Golden Globe Award Nominations. As with every year, this is one of the most interesting/baffling award as it recognizes the best with a few films that shouldn't even be there. Thankfully, this year isn't an exception and while there isn't that many, they pop up here and there to remind you why you love this drunken cousin of an award is special. Who made the cut? Who didn't? Check out the nominations after the jump.

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Best Picture (Drama)
The Imitation Game

Overall Thoughts: These are all definitely all films that I feel would be around when the Oscars roll around. As predictable as it is, this is Boyhood's award to beat (even though Selma makes a convincing foe). I am glad to see Foxcatcher still sticking in there however, as I have felt like it faded out of the consciousness in recent months. However, does anyone know what happened to Unbroken? It was supposed to be a big film during awards season. Guess the early reviews were foretelling.

Left to right: Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)

St. Vincent

Overall Thoughts: This is a disappointing year for the sporadic and reliably off Comedy or Musical category. Yes, we expect Birdman and Into the Woods to be here. One of the welcomed signs is The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is a personal favorite of the year. I'm hoping that it can withstand the awards season and get into the Best Picture race, though that seems unlikely. However, what's St. Vincent doing here? Did anyone really like it that much? Also, kudos to recognizing Pride, which I feel has gone underseen this year.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
Best Actor (Drama)

Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo - Selma
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

Overall Thoughts: This list is very similar to what we have already seen from the SAG Awards. Even then, I am surprised and happy to see Jake Gyllenhaal getting recognition for his very memorable performance. I don't really have too many complaints from this list, though this is Eddie Redmayne's award to lose. Still, this is about as solid a prediction of the Oscars nominees as I have seen, except switch Gyllenhaal for Michael Keaton in Birdman.

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Best Actress (Drama)

Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild

Overall Thoughts: What am I missing with Cake? It has popped up twice now and I have never heard about it before yesterday? Can it actually be any good? The other nominees are pretty much locked in for Best Actress nominations at this point with no big surprises. However, this is Julianne Moore's award to lose. She was phenomenal in the film and while Rosamund Pike was equally great, I think her role is too controversial to change the tides.

Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)

Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Bill Murray - St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix - Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz - Big Eyes

Overall Thoughts: Is St. Vincent actually that good? Reviews haven't been kind, yet it has popped up a few times already in the Golden Globe nominations. This is a little irksome and it feels like they only wanted Bill Murray at the party. I am feeling the same way about Christoph Waltz, though I am actually hoping it is pretty good. I'm glad to see Joaquin Phoenix and Ralph Fiennes on this list. The latter I hope will make it to the Oscars race, but the race is already too crowded and if someone from this category will make the cut, it is likely Michael Keaton, as Birdman is getting a lot of traction right now.

Quvenzhane Wallis in Annie
Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)

Amy Adams - Big Eyes
Emily Blunt - Into the Woods
Helen Mirren - The Hundred Foot Journey
JulIanne Moore - Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis - Annie

Overall Thoughts: I honestly think that Quvenzhane Wallis made the cut because they feel bad for not nominating her for Beasts of the Southern Wild. While Annie hasn't gotten a lot of recognition here, it is interesting where it is showing up. I feel like the Golden Globes just like Helen Mirren and nominate her anywhere they can. I'm glad to see Emily Blunt on here, though I am unsure how good the film will be. I didn't like Julianne Moore in her meta role on Hollywood, though I feel that is exactly why she was nominated. This category is more puzzling than the drama category. If I had to guess, I would give it to Amy Adams, who won this category last year for American Hustle.

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

Overall Thoughts: I could be wrong, but this is the exact same line-up from the SAG Awards. While I am a little baffled by Robert Duvall's placement on the list, everyone else makes sense. I haven't seen Foxcatcher yet, but I do think that the reports of Mark Rufalo giving a physical performance definitely puts her nicely on the list. However, I do think that with all of the hype around J.K. Simmons right now, this is his award to lose. Hopefully I will see it soon and get back to you on that.

Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year
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

Overall Thoughts: Ugh. Meryl Streep. Really? This particular category has a few names that I am sure will be around come Oscar night: Keira Knightley, Emma Stone and Patricia Arquette. I am curious to see if Jessica Chastain's trajectory will help her land a nomination. While A Most Violent Year has been a sleeper hit lately, things could easily change come next month. However, I would bet that this is Arquette's award to lose, as her role is touching and powerful in ways that the others can only strive for.

Scene from How to Train Your Dragon 2
Best Animated Film

Big Hero 6
The Book of Life

Overall Thoughts: At this point, this is the locked list of films that you'll likely see. While I could complain about the absence of The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea, it sometimes comes down to popularity, and these films have it in strides. While I loathed The Book of Life, I guess it is fine being on here. I can only hope that the Oscars vote a little differently. As stated in my initial release, I love How to Train Your Dragon 2 and find it to be the most ambitious animated movie of the year. However, I am sad to think that this is The LEGO Movie's award to beat, as I find it mediocre at best. Still, there's too much buzz around it to argue any other way.

Scene from Ida
Best Foreign Film

Force Majeure
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem
Tangerine Mandarin

Overall Thoughts: While I haven't seen Mommy, I am shocked to see it missing off of this list. I think that it's supposed to be really good based on reviews. I am glad to see Force Majeure on the list, which is one I wish that I could see before the end of the year. However, of the ones available, I really would recommend checking out Ida. It has been the most successful foreign film of the year and is every part as gorgeous and artistic without being too long or complicated. I do honestly think that because of its reputation, it may end up being the film to beat.

Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Director

Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay - Selma
David Fincher - Gone Girl
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood

Overall Thoughts: I only wish that this meant that Wes Anderson stood any chance at the Oscars. I feel like the film will fall more into the outlier section than a front runner. Still, there's a few big names on here lead by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and Richard Linklater. Between the two, I am not sure which will win, though I feel like Linklater has the edge. I feel like the Gone Girl love is going to be ignored at the Oscars for its controversial subject matter. It will get Best Actress, but nothing else.Otherwise, this is a welcomed sign for those expecting something from Ava Duvernay. Selma has proven itself a worthwhile candidate after all.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Best Screenplay

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game

Overall Thoughts: A very predictable list when all is said and done. The twists of Gone Girl definitely give it a warranted place on the list. I am glad to see The Grand Budapest Hotel on here, as it may be Wes Anderson's most eloquent film to date and this is the category it is likely to get at the Oscars. Everything else is fine, though I always felt odd about Boyhood being on a "screenplay" list because of how free formed it feels. 

Left to right: Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat - The Imitation Game
Johann Johannson - Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez - Birdman
Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Overall Thoughts: I am really glad to see The Imitation Game on this list. Alexandre Desplat had a phenomenal year as far as scores go and could easily fill up half of these slots. This particular one is exceptional. Interstellar is Hans Zimmer's best in years. The Theory of Everything added a nice romanticism and dream logic to the film in the best ways possible. Gone Girl is a solid hat trick that sounds mundane but has something greater underneath the surface. However, I loathe the Birdman score. Not because it is entirely percussion, but because it doesn't have any rhythm or momentum in it. It is very sporadic and lacks charisma. Of these, I am unsure which will actually stand a chance of winning, though I pray that anything except Birdman does.

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Best Original Song

“Big Eyes," Big Eyes - Lana Del Rey
“Glory,” Selma - John Legend & Common
“Mercy Is,” Noah - Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye
“Opportunity,” Annie - Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, & Will Gluck
“Yellow Flicker Beat,” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - Lorde

Overall Thoughts: I wrote a whole article about Lana Del Rey sometime last week, so I am excited to see her make the cut. Similarly, I am glad to see Lorde on here. Both produced top notch music for these given movies. The remainder are songs that I haven't heard or have no opinion on. I am especially excited that "Everything is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie didn't make the cut. I really hate that song. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is a category that often differs from the Oscars in a lot of ways. I wonder what is going to make the cut and what will stick around.

Closing Remarks: A pretty solid year for nominations and a lot of predictable titles that are likely going to be around come the Oscars. Otherwise, there isn't much to really complain about. I am a little baffled by seeing Annie, St. Vincent and The Judge on this list, but this is the Golden Globes after all. Solid year and the Oscar race is starting to take shape. Share your thoughts in the comments.

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