Here's a quick rundown of what we loved and how we think it'll effect Oscar nominations due in just two weeks in the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 2nd. In no particular order -
Mo'Nique, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Precious is, to anyone even the least bit familiar with the trailer for this film, well deserving of her recognition by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Amidst this film's constant awards buzz, Mo'Nique's performance was rightly singled out and we expect a nomination for an Academy Award, even possibly a win, but this is the only category we see shining through for Precious.
Sherlock Holmes also garnered a single but well deserved Golden Globe in the category of Best Actor, Comedy for Robert Downey Jr. In his acceptance speech, Downey joked about the movie "needing" him, but while chuckling along with his wink-and-a-nod speech, he couldn't be more right. Not only was Downey the only reason Holmes soared at the box-office, he is also the only reason to produce a sequel. Finding himself now with two franchises to draw on, Downey's presence makes the next Sherlock Holmes at least as eagerly anticipated as this year's Iron Man 2.
Jeff Bridges appears to have finally found the film that may win him an Oscar. In one of the slightly more surprising wins of the night, Bridges took Best Actor, Drama honors with his performance as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart over odds on favorite George Clooney (nominated for Up in the Air). It's a certain bet that Bridges will hear his name on February 2nd when Oscar noms are announced but we think this win has greatly increased his chances for hearing his name on March 7th as well.
Sandra Bullock had one hell of a year. We're not sure that's it's over quite yet but even if there isn't an Oscar in her future, last night's Golden Globe for Best Actress, Drama is certainly a nice way to cap off the two most successful movies of her career. We loved The Blind Side (and The Proposal, which she was also nominated for), and we're hoping all of this success will see Bullock evolving into a true powerhouse in filmmaking. Expect a nod for The Blind Side come Oscar's announcements.
There's a casualness about the atmosphere at the Golden Globes that stands out nicely against the restrictive theater seating and imposed glitz of the Oscars, and perhaps that's one reason why it seems the Globes more readily honors films that are actually popular. There have been years when it seemed a big box-office, or even modest ticket sales, disqualified a movie from an Oscar win.
Not so the Globes, which honored tremendously successful films all night. Even then it was a bit of a surprise to hear the Best Picture, Comedy category announce a Golden Globe for The Hangover. A hugely popular success with a worldwide gross of more than $460 million, The Hangover was chosen over critically acclaimed films like 500 Days of Summer and Julie & Julia. In fact, The Hangover, at this writing, has a box-office total of more than $140 million over all of the other films in this category combined. A nice acknowledgement that moviegoers may actually know something about the movies they pay to see. (At least on occasion.)
And speaking of box-office... as the Golden Globes show began its live broadcast last night, the motion picture Avatar was busy passing 1977's Star Wars as the third largest grossing North American movie in history. Now, with less than 50 million to go before taking the number two slot from The Dark Knight, James Cameron has got only himself to beat for further box-office records.
Avatar, already the second most successful movie in global history with worldwide box-office standing in excess of $1.6 billion dollars (in just over 5 weeks of release), took home Best Picture, Drama & Best Director Golden Globes. Director James Cameron has distinguished himself as a creative force that has changed his industry, not with a wobble or nudge but with an explosion of sight and sound, quite literally into a new dimension. Oscar is calling. With $2 billion in tickets likely sold by the time the Academy hands out it's gold statuettes, Cameron deserves to be honored (and should be considered slighted if he is not) in the same categories on March 7th. Oscar, we hope, is taking note.
For the record - we loved host Ricky Gervais, (particularly his introduction of Mel Gibson), speeches by Meryl Streep and Robert Downey Jr. and Sandra Bullock's gown. We cringed at Drew Barrymore's rambling and were annoyed by the ever constant camera shots of George Clooney and Sir Paul McCartney. We've also had more than enough of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, in De Niro's own words, "giving each other awards". Need we remind you that last year saw De Niro fumble again with Everybody's Fine and Scorsese hasn't had a real project since 2006's mundane Departed. Shutter Island, Scorsese's next release starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was delayed from last year and looks like a suitably suspenseful, but ordinary thriller. These guys are both legends of American cinema, but we're of the opinion that the necessary accolades have, by now, all been given.
Lastly, a moment to recognize Nicole Kidman and the gracious and appropriate handling of the earthquake crisis in Haiti. Perfectly delivered, eloquent, and we hope, tremendously effective.
Check out Moviedozer.com as we run up to the Oscars with coverage of the nominations and all of the hype and buzz. See you there.