Thursday, December 10, 2015

Check Out the Nominees for This Year's Golden Globe Awards

Rooney Mara in Carol
Today, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) released the nominees for this year's Golden Globe Awards. Honoring the best in film and TV, the award has often been considered a strong indicator as to what The Oscars will look like. While this isn't entirely true, the one advantage that the ceremony has is that it honors films in both comedy and drama departments, thus allowing less prestigious titles to pick up traction. This year shows no exception, especially with the presence of a few surprising picks, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Concussion, and Trumbo. The following is a look at the movie categories, followed by personal thoughts on each of the categories.


-The Martian
-The Big Short

THOUGHTS: Among these titles, Joy has most consistently been the film to beat - largely thanks to it being yet another David O. Russell film that features an all star cast. However, the remaining nominees are interesting, especially with The Big Short serving as a comedic parable about a recent economic crisis from Adam McKay (you know, the man behind Anchorman). It's also nice to see crowd favorite The Martian pop up, even if it's placement in the Musical or Comedy category is a little laughable, even after the rules were announced. Despite it all, I am hoping that Trainwreck gets some attraction, if just because it would make the Oscars race interesting. It would also be the second time in which a female-lead, Judd Apatow produced movie (following Bridesmaids) got into the Oscars.

Scene from The Revenant

-The Revenant
-Mad Max: Fury Road

THOUGHTS: Considering the general consensus that has been building over the past few months, this list isn't too shocking. Spotlight seems primed to win Best Picture and has yet to be properly refuted. It's also nice to see Carol in the race, as hopefully it will have staying power as the awards season kicks up. I'm also impressed that Room, a film that I feel had been too below radar, is getting plenty of attention. However, the big surprise is that Mad Max: Fury Road makes it into the cut. It's not that it's a bad thing, but it seriously feels off considering the general consensus that these awards shows go for. Among the films that I am surprised to see missing is the really good Steven Spielberg Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. While not as shocking considering its box office traction, I am also sad to not see Steve Jobs here. I have faith that we'll be seeing Spielberg in the Best Picture race, but I don't know so much about the other film, especially as more awards overlook Steve Jobs.

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

-Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
-Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
-Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
-Will Smith (Concussion)
-Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

THOUGHTS: I am sick of talking about The Revenant being the film that gets Leonardo DiCaprio the Oscar, and I haven't even seen it yet. I kind of wish that film will just go away until it comes out. I do have high hopes for Eddie Redmayne, even if the film's general traction hasn't been as big as it was for him last year with The Theory of Everything. I am also just really ecstatic to see Michael Fassbender on this list, of whom I still feel is the best of the bunch and is likely to be overlooked because of Steve Jobs' box office problems. I am not as wild about Will Smith or Bryan Cranston showing up, but that's partially because I haven't seen those movies. 

Scene from Brooklyn

-Brie Larson (Room)
-Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
-Cate Blanchett (Carol)
-Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
-Rooney Mara (Carol)

THOUGHTS: I'm so glad to see two votes for Carol here, which gets me a little optimistic that there will be two Carol Best Actress nominees come The Oscars. Among the others, I am definitely glad to see Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan among the list, as they are among some of my favorite younger actresses currently working. It's even nice to see Alicia Vikander on here, who I feel has been having a very good year from the looks of it. Overall, probably one of my favorite set of nominees from this year.

Lily Tomlin in Grandma

-Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
-Amy Schumer (Trainwreck)
-Lily Tomlin (Grandma)
-Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
-Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van)

THOUGHTS: Overall, I am not nearly as impressed with this category as I am for the dramas. I definitely can see this being Jennifer Lawrence's category yet again, largely with many already hailing this as one of her career bests. I am curious to see if Amy Schumer can overtake her, especially with such an impressive year between her TV series Inside Amy Schumer and the various other news pieces that she's been involved with. However, I am glad to see Lily Tomlin on here, who seems to be having a great year (she was also nominated in TV for Grace & Frankie). I hope that she gets enough of a push to make it to The Oscars, as she more than deserves to be up there.

Scene from The Martian

-Matt Damon (The Martian)
-Steve Carell (The Big Short)
-Al Pacino (Danny Collins)
-Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)
-Christian Bale (The Big Short)

THOUGHTS: Among these, I am not surprised to see Matt Damon on here. He is one of the few that seems to have been gunning for nominations since The Martian was labeled a comedy. The question is if he can ride it to The Oscars, which seems more and more likely as time passes. However, I am impressed that The Big Short has come out of nowhere to pick up a lot of steam, which may make it one of the surprise Best Picture nominees come July. However, I am mostly surprised that Steve Carell, in the past two years, has pretty much become a "prestigious" actor after having starred in comedies for most of his career. That's mind boggling to me. 

Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

-Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
-Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
-Jane Fonda (Youth)
-Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
-Helen Mirren (Trumbo)

THOUGHTS: I am very surprised, and excited, to see Alicia Vikander here. Good on her for getting two nominations this year. I definitely think that Ex Machina is one of those great sleeper hits of 2015 and worthy of your attention. It's also nice to know that despite being shut out of everywhere else, The Hateful Eight has gotten Jennifer Jason Leigh a nomination - a fact made more of a relief considering how much Quentin Tarantino has praised her work. Still, I am a fan of Kate Winslet in the underrated Steve Jobs. She held her own against Michael Fassbender, and while she will likely lose, I can only assume that this means that Steve Jobs isn't a total shut-out at The Oscars. Also, are people really talking about Trumbo that much?

Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies

-Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
-Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
-Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
-Michael Shannon (99 Homes)
-Paul Dano (Love and Mercy)

THOUGHTS: I still don't get the love for Beasts of No Nation, which was more of an exhausting, depressing movie than anything worth celebrating. It's nice to see Mark Rylance in the mix, of whom gave one of the breakout performances of the year in Bridge of Spies, adding humor to the drama and giving his character plenty of dimensions. Considering that the film was shut out of almost every category, it's a relief to see that here. It would be interesting to see Sylvester Stallone make it to The Oscars, if just because that'll show his affiliation with Rocky to be something fruitful and worthwhile - also, it will be interesting to be nominated for the same role in different categories.

Scene from Mad Max: Fury Road

-Ridley Scott (The Martian)
-Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)
-Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
-Todd Haynes (Carol)
-George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

THOUGHTS: I just want to say that I'm still shocked and happy to see Mad Max: Fury Road continually show up during awards season. It's such an aggressive and action-filled film that it almost feels like it would've been ignored entirely. Still, it's nice to see George Miller in for director. It's great to see Ridley Scott back as well, especially after a run of subpar films that nobody liked. Still, I wonder if Spotlight will take this category, as it is likely to take the Best Drama category as well. I really hope there's a split and that direction is more praised for effort than clarity, but we'll have to wait and see.

Scene from The Hateful Eight

-Steve Jobs
-The Hateful Eight
-The Big Short

THOUGHTS: There's a lot of obvious picks here. Nominating The Hateful Eight seems fine, considering that Quentin Tarantino is one of the few directors whose voices are too distinct to remove from his work. Likewise, the audacious and dizzying power of Steve Jobs feels like a welcomed yet obvious pick. Among the others, it's nice to see Room and The Big Short on here to add a little variety. I haven't seen Spotlight, so I am unsure how well it is written, but it's likely going to get credit for being a dense exploration of its subject matter.

Scene from Inside Out

-Inside Out
-The Good Dinosaur
-Shaun the Sheep Movie
-The Peanuts Movie

THOUGHTS: With exception to Shaun the Sheep Movie, I am a little disappointed that this largely an American animation output. Even then, there's quite a nice variety to offer here. I am mostly excited that Anomalisa has slowly become more and more of an imminent threat with every passing nomination. Even if I have doubt that The Oscars will have a double Pixar bill, I also am glad to see The Good Dinosaur not being excluded just because its box office isn't so hot right not. Still, we all know that Inside Out is going to take it. It's just an amazing movie that reflects Pixar at its best. No contest.

Scene from Son of Saul

-Son of Saul
-The Fencer
-Brand New Testament
-The Club

THOUGHTS: I will admit that I have not seen a lot of foreign films from this past year. However, I do keep hearing great things about Son of Saul, which does seem like it's only a short jump from being recognized at The Oscars for its dark and brooding portrayal of the Holocaust. I know very little about the rest, so I cannot comment on any of them at this moment, though I am curious to check out Mustang.

What do you think of this year's nominees? Who do you think will win? Who missed out?

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