Oscars 2012 Update: Golden Globes Nominations

I am fascinated by the Golden Globes. Because on the one hand — they’re meaningless. They’re a group of about 100-something foreign journalists who like to nominate all the people they like/get all the really famous people to come hang out with them. And it has turned into this awards show. It’s wonderful.

What’s fascinating about the Globes is how you can clearly tell where the biases are, and at the same time — they are pretty damn close to what actually gets nominated at the Oscars. Not necessarily in terms of what wins, but definitely in terms of what’s in the conversation. The other thing I like about them is that we all know them really well. We know what they like and what they don’t like, we know what typically wins, and they’re almost always in line with that. And I think that’s why we let them continue to be such a big precursor to the Oscars, even though they really shouldn’t. We understand them. I love this weird dichotomy they have going for them.

Anyway, let’s get down to business, with the second of the three big awards shows that matter (SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globes… with the hidden fourth one that matters being the BFCA). Here are your nominations for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards (which are happening on January 13th, by the way). 

Best Picture – Drama

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Absolutely zero surprise here at all. Also, only five nominees. Last year, there were six. Basically what this tells me is that these are the consensus favorite films, which all but makes them the five locks for Best Picture. Nothing much more to say here except — one assumes this is between Zero Dark Thirty and LincolnArgo peaked too early, Life of Pi doesn’t seem like it has the juice, and there would be a huge shock if Django won. So let’s assume it’s one or the other, there. Conventional wisdom says Lincoln. The Globes love that shit. They also voted Avatar over The Hurt Locker, so either that’s telling or it just means you subscribe to the, “Oh, well, they’ll just make up for that this year.” Time will tell. I assume it’ll be one or the other at this point.

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Misérables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

Fascinating category. Curious to see where they go. It’s either Les Mis or Silver Linings, clearly. And I think Les Mis wins. If, for some reason, Silver Linings wins out, then you have a serious Best Picture winner contender on your hands. Until then — let’s assume the Globes will be the Globes.

Best Director

Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Interesting category. It’s the Globes, an organization that gave this award to Barbara Streisand, so you can’t count out that Affleck won’t win this. That said — I assume Kathryn Bigelow takes this. Spielberg is Spielberg, but you have to figure they won’t give him both. It’s not like that much went into directing Lincoln. I’d love to see Tarantino upset, but honestly, I see Ang Lee as the second choice here. But it still remains to be seen how much they love Django. The acting nominations say a lot, but again, I assume it’s an actor thing and them trying to be cool. I doubt they’d actually vote for it (like Basterds). I’d go Bigelow here. The Globes Best Director category is littered with makeup awards.

Best Actor – Drama

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

You’d think Richard Gere was a surprise, but the Globes love Richard Gere. And I’m cool with that. This keeps Joaquin Phoenix in the race, if only slightly. This is basically the SAG category, with Jackman and Cooper going to Musical or Comedy. So essentially, we’re left with the same six nominees we expected, and a surprising (in a positive way) showing for Richard Gere, which — I seriously doubt he has any traction for an Oscar nomination. I’d be surprised, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I still say it’s not happening. That said — Daniel Day-Lewis has to have this in the bag. Right? I feel like Hawkes has that indie slot that never wins (Richard Jenkins, Clin Firth, Javier Bardem, Demían Bichir, to go over the past four Best Actor Oscar categories), Gere is a “good job” nomination, and your category is pretty much Daniel Day-Lewis’s to lose, with Washington being one of those, “Maybe they will” nominees and Phoenix being a “Who the fuck knows?” nominee. Think of it this way: Day-Lewis wins: “Well, that makes sense.” Denzel wins: “Well they must have really liked that performance.” Joaquin wins: “Shit. That shakes things up.” Only one of these would be called a “shocker” if it happens. (P.S. One thing I want to bring up now, in case no one has yet — Steven Spielberg has never directed an actor to an Oscar win before. He should have (twice), but he hasn’t. And for those who just went, “That can’t be true” — look it up. The only real shots he had were Color Purple and Schindler’s — and all of those performances lost. Never happened before. It’s one of those trends that I’ll be real curious about come Oscar night.)

Best Actress – Drama

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Rachel Weisz hangs around the conversation, but this is another nomination that is ultimately empty. The Globes always nominate performances like hers. So don’t actually think she stands a chance at a nomination (though I will say — this is the one year where you can stand by that false hope, since the Best Actress category is so weak that it could happen, but think of it this way — do you really think that people will see that movie and she’ll get a major campaign for it? Doubt it). Naomi Watts picks up another big nomination, and I’m fucking stoked. (Even though again — not really a lead, but in a year like this, fuck it. I’ll take what I can get. I’d rather something I like over something that fits.) Mirren — is this really gonna happen? It would be pretty hilarious. She doesn’t do anything in that movie. It’s a stature nomination and nothing more. Either way — it’s Chastain vs. Cotillard. Chastain has to take this. And I’m going on that without even having seen the damn movie. But at this point, it seems like Chastain has all the momentum. We’ll see what changes over the next month. But for now, I say it’s her.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Jackman. Then Cooper. Then Murray. The other two would be shockers to everyone. Also, I think they did a good job here. Black has a lot of positive notices for that role, and he was good in it. McGregor also was terrific in The Impossible this year, and they nominated the film, so I’m cool with it. And Billy Murray was good in a mediocre movie, and I think this is the perfect recognition for him. Still — Jackman is your frontrunner. I’m not even gonna say Cooper has a strong chance. I still say Jackman wins despite it, since if they really love Silver Linings, it doesn’t need to sweep. It’ll just take Picture and Actress. This is Jackman all the way. I say Best Actor is between Jackman and Day-Lewis right now. That seems like how this is playing out.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

I’m so glad they nominated Maggie Smith for the right film. Also, do you think they’d nominate Meryl even if she doesn’t appear in a movie for that year? Otherwise — they got in some people they like, and it won’t matter, because if Jennifer Lawrence loses this, I’d be fucking shocked. (Well… not shocked. But surprised. Judi or Maggie might just win on age alone. That does happen here.)

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Well, Arkin seems all but locked, doesn’t he? Like the two Django nominations, but it’s hard to tell how much of that is them wanting to get Leo there. We’ll see. Hoffman seems locked, and Tommy Lee Jones was locked from November. So that makes sense. I say this is between Tommy Lee Jones and Leo. I can’t see them really going anywhere else here.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Amy Adams seems like a “We like you” nomination more than support for the film. Still don’t think she gets on the Oscar list. (What does she actually do in that movie except smile, look concerned and masturbate Philip Seymour Hoffman in a bathroom?) Sally Field seems locked, even though the performance doesn’t seem like anything to write home about. Hathaway seems like a lock no matter what the performance is, since films like that tend to take nominations with them, regardless of who plays them. Though she is a former nominee (and host), so that helps. Hunt is apparently gonna get nominated, which is fine. (She’s also naked a lot in that movie, which just felt like it needed to be said.) And Kidman — apparently that’s happening. I really want to see and like the performance now so I can start supporting it. I also say Hathaway wins this in a landslide. There’s nothing they like more in the Supporting categories (when they can) than giving it to people like Anne Hathaway. Helen Hunt is a spoiler, but I doubt it, and Kidman could make a play, but I also doubt it. Not big enough. It’s Anne by a mile here, and everything else to me makes me go, “Well damn, that changes things.”

Best Screenplay

Django Unchained
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

No surprise at all, really. They’re usually pretty good about picking out a good script. I’ve only seen two of the five films on this list, so I can’t put forth an opinion on this category at all. Right now, I think I can safely say that Argo won’t win, though the nomination is well-deserved. I think Lincoln is talky enough to potentially win, but I also doubt it. Zero Dark Thirty is a wild card, but right now, I assume it’s either Django or Silver Linings. That would be my guess, not having seen any of those three.

Best Original Score

Anna Karenina
Cloud Atlas
Life of Pi

This has a shot to be your Oscar category (though I expect Cloud Atlas to be snubbed, since that’s what they do. I still need to listen to all the scores from the year — you know… Oscar-type ones and such — but I do find that the Globes are a lot of the time better than the Oscars, in that when the Oscars miss something, the Globes are all over it. Like The Fountain). I’ll have more of an opinion on that in January. For now — Gotta figure this is Anna Karenina, Lincoln or Life of Pi. Though who knows? They may even go Cloud Atlas. I’ll have a better handle when I listen to them.

Best Original Song

“For You,” from Act of Valor (Keith Urban)
“Safe and Sound,” from The Hunger Games (Taylor Swift)
“Suddenly,” from Les Misérables
“Skyfall,” from Skyfall (Adele)
“Not Running Anymore,” from Stand Up Guys (Jon Bon Jovi)

I love how they need to get certain people to come to their show. This is the biggest joke category at the Globes. Fucking Madonna won this last year! MADONNA! (The joke isn’t that she won, it’s that she won for a song from W.E. Let’s also not forget that Burlesque won this category in 2010.) Thank god Adele wrote the Bond song, making it acceptable that she’s gonna win this. (I hope she wins the Oscar, too. That would be awesome.) If it’s not Adele, it’s Les Mis, and if it’s not that, they’re gonna give it to Taylor Swift. You know they will. (But they won’t. Adele is winning.)

Best Animated Film

Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph. Move on.

Oh, but I guess we should talk about the nominees. Well — Disney and Pixar are both getting on the Oscar list. Rise of the Guardians is a probable, and so is FrankenweenieHotel Transylvania is a joke, and they must think they’re gonna get some cast members like Selena Gomez to show up to “promote” it. So I guess there’s really not all that much to say.

I repeat my previous statement. Wreck-It Ralph. Move on.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Intouchables
A Royal Affair
Rust and Bone

Amour seems like the winner, but don’t rule out Intouchables. Also, I assume this will mostly be your Oscar category. Amour and Intouchables are locks. Kon-Tiki sounds awesome, and I think it gets on. A Royal Affair sounds like it has a decent chance. And Rust and Bone isn’t eligible (or rather, can’t win, because France’s entry is Intouchables and each country only has one entry). That said — Amour is your winner, right? Intouchables was kind of last year’s thing and we’re just late to the party. Though I guess that’s what these awards shows do (wait til we get to TV)… jump on the bandwagon a year too late.

Now for the categories I don’t care about.

Best Television Series – Drama

Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Newsroom

Rooting for Newsroom all the way. Curious to see where they go with it. Abbey is your raining champ. Homeland is coming on strong. I say it’s between those three. Breaking Bad is there on stature at this point and isn’t going anywhere. Boardwalk would be surprising to come back for a win after missing last year. Downton makes the most sense, and I’ll stick The Newsroom in there as a second choice. Homeland would not surprise me in the least. So that should really be my second choice. But I love The Newsroom (even though — yeah, dark horse at best).

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family

Modern Family. Girls is a second choice. (P.S. They love their musical melodrama-comedies don’t they?)

Best Miniseries or TV Movie

Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields and McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

I figure Hatfields and McCoys takes this on prestige alone. The Hour could upset. Political Animals doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Game Change seems like a one-winner at best type of thing, and The Girl — doubt it. One of those #4s. (Note: #4 is what I call the nomination that’s very deserved, but really has no shot to win at all. Think of… I don’t know… Best Picture 1994. That’s a good one. Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Shawshank, Quiz Show and Four Weddings and a Funeral. (One of these things is not like the other…) Quiz Show, there, is a film that we all agree belongs there, but given its competition, no one would really vote for it. I’d vote for it after the main three films of that year. Hence #4.) Either way, I have to assume this is Hatfields and McCoys all the way.

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Buscemi won in 2010, Kelsey Grammer won last year. This year — Jeff Daniels is pretty beloved. I’d say him winning is a stronger chance than Newsroom winning for series. Damian Lewis seems like the other frontrunner. Buscemi could come back and win again. That wouldn’t surprise me. I doubt they’ll go for Cranston at this point, but who the fuck knows with them? And Hamm — maybe? Hard to predict at this point. I’ll go back and look at their track record and see if they vote for people more than three seasons deep in a show if they haven’t voted for them before. It’s possible. Hugh Laurie won this pretty recently, and I’m assuming Gandolfini won a couple times for Sopranos that might not necessarily have been from the start. So we’ll see there. Still, I say it’s gotta be Lewis or Daniels, off the top of my head.

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama

Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Margulies won in 2009 and not since. She’s out. Danes won last year and could repeat. Britton would surprise me. Close seems unlikely. Probably more of a “We liked you on that show and now it’s over, here’s one more round of applause on the way out” kind of deal. I say it’s Danes or Dockery. Haven’t seen Downton, but I know they like it, and she’s getting nominations all over the place. It could happen.

Best Actor in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis CK, Louie
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Here’s how this award has gone the past five years, in reverse: Matt LeBlanc, Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin, Alec Baldwin, David Duchovny (with an Alec Baldwin before that). Good luck picking this one. (Wouldn’t it be awesome if Louie started winning these things?) Let’s assume it’s Baldwin for now, since they love giving him awards.

Best Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

This category is impossible to predict. Last year Laura Dern won. Before that, Laura Linney. Deschanel isn’t gonna win. Poehler, I doubt it. Fey doesn’t seem like she’ll come back and get a win. So let’s call this between Lena Dunham and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, with Dreyfus being your frontrunner. Why not? They seem to vote for people they like. Honestly, though — fuck if I know.

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn

Costner and Cumberbatch. Those are your possibilities. And based on how I think most people will vote, that pretty much assures me they’ll go Costner. You know everyone wants Sherlock to win. And it’s been my experience with the Globes — they never go that way. Never. So it’s gonna probably be one or the other. Owen is filler, most likely. Jones is a #4. And Harrelson — I doubt it. Probably Costner or Cumberbatch.

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Julianne Moore and Jessica Lange. That’s it. Sigourney is the dark horse. I still say it’s one of the first two. I bet the voters’ heads are exploding. These are three people they love and would give awards to if only one of them were in the category. Now they have three. What oh what will they do?

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie

Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Hatfields and McCoys
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Tough one. Love the Danny Huston nod. He’s awesome. Never seen the show, but he deserves nominations for just being in movies. Ed Harris is a big name and might bully everyone. Greenfield is nice to see, since he’s great on that show. I doubt he wins, though. Stonestreet is always a possibility, and Patinkin is just out of left field enough to sneak in a win. I never know with them. Since I don’t know — let’s call it Ed Harris or Danny Huston. I like them and would like to see them win. This is how I’m casting my vote, because at this point, this is like picking the Documentary Shorts — I don’t give a fuck and I don’t know what they’re gonna do (though with the Documentary Shorts — yeah, I kinda do at this point), so let’s have fun with it.

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie

Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vegara, Modern Family

Vegara or Maggie Smith. Those seem like your probables. Otherwise, I don’t care. Let it be someone else.

– – – – –

So those are your Globes nominations. Honestly, I bet if I went back to it after the ceremony, I’d probably end up guessing most of them. The Hollywood Foreign Press isn’t the hardest group to gauge. Once in a while they’ll shock you with something, but most of the time, you can tell.

Either way, these things are always fun. I love this time of year. Tomorrow I go over the BFCA nominations, and explain (for those who don’t already know), why they’re actually more helpful in gauging the Oscars than most other precursors.


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