Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Golden Globes: My Hopes for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the 69th Annual Golden Globes ceremony.  I, unfortunately, won't be watching it live (because I have no cable or digital antennae connection), but thanks to the internet, I'll still know the winners instantly.  And, of course, the next day I will be watching all the clips of Ricky Gervais hosting again.  But for now, I'll just talk up my opinion of who I'd like to see win tomorrow.

Let's start with Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture.  This category always seems unfair to me.  Unlike the Best Actor, Actress, and Picture categories, all drama, comedy, and musical performances get lumped together.  This always inevitably means that a dramatic performance will win over a comedic performance.  It's a disappointment I've heard many share, yet it still happens every year.  Not that I believe the dramatic performances were bad.  I just wish comedic performances got more credit.  This year, however, there are no comedic performances in these two categories.  For Actor, I'm hoping either Kenneth Branagh or Albert Brooks wins.  Branagh does a superb job portraying Sir Laurence Olivier in "My Week With Marilyn."  And Brooks made a magnificent, against-character choice to play a LA mobster in "Drive."  As for Actress, I would be happy if it went to either of "The Help" actresses, Jessica Chastain or Octavia Spencer, but by earlier awards, I think it's going to Spencer (which is much, much deserved).

Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama has several wonderful performances in it, but quite a few that I just don't understand.  Wooooo, Glenn Close plays a woman pretending to be man in "Albert Nobbs," but have any of the voters actually seen that movie??  It's horrible!  There are no likable characters, no arch to anyone, and no real resolution to a story you don't care about.  Also, even though it's named "Albert Nobbs," he really doesn't have much influence on the story at all.  And Nobb's (Glenn Close's character) reasoning for pretending to be a man makes no sense at all.  I love Close, but this is not her best work.  And for the men, I don't see what the big deal is about "Moneyball." It's an interesting story, but other than that, no big deal, movie-wise.  Brad Pitt gave a much, much better performance in "Inglourious Basterds."  As for the rest, Clooney is good, but he's still being Clooney.  Ryan Gosling should have been nominated for "Drive" instead of "Ides of March."  And once again, Meryl Streep gives an amazing performance, but it feels repetitive.  My two hopes are Viola Davis for "The Help" and Michael Fassbender for "Shame."

Now, as for Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, the nominees are a little more all over the board.  Like I mentioned before, the division of all these categories is odd.  Most musicals that make it onto the nominees list are dramas, so putting them up against actual comedic performances is a bit unfair.  Also, the definition of comedy or musical is very blurry.  I would never consider "My Week with Marilyn" a comedy, so I'm guessing they submitted it as a musical, but there are only two songs in the entire film.  Both "Carnage" and "Young Adult" are depressing dark comedies, but at least "Young Adult" doesn't make you want to stab your eyes out as much, just to make the arguing stop.  And "The Artist," my favorite film of the year, could be labeled comedy, drama, musical, caper...okay, maybe not the last one, but putting "The Artist" in this category was clearly a PR move to get less competition.  But I still hope Jean Dujardin for "The Artist" wins for Actor, and I'm guessing Michelle Williams will win for "Marilyn," though I would love Kristen Wigg to win for "Bridesmaids," the only true comedy in the bunch.

Finally, Best Picture - Drama and Musical/Comedy...Once again, the Comedy section walks a thin line of how they all fit in this category, but my bet (happily) is on "The Artist."  As for Drama, everybody seems to love "The Descendants."  It was a good film, but not great or worthy of all this praise.  Maybe it's just me, because I'm bombarded by it more than others - but there were much better films this year.  Also, again, I don't understand the craze for "Moneyball" either.  Are people this year just so happy to see their teenage crushes on screen?  Is that it?  The other big contender, "War Horse," was good but not great.  It was like Steven Spielberg really wanted to make his own "Gone with the Wind," (because he doesn't have any other epics that big in his career...riiiiiight).  Anyway, it is very melodramatic.  So that leaves my two tops - "The Help" and "Hugo."  I think I would be happy with either of them winning.

So those are my choices for tomorrow.  Let's see how well I did later.  Anybody wanna make a bet?  (Teehee)  Until later, everyone!  Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011: The Best of the Best

Okay, it's hard to keep up a blog without at least self-made deadlines or goals.  (Paid deadlines would be even better, but, hey, can't have everything...yet.)  So I am officially back with a new goal to post one entry every week!  And this time it doesn't end on New Year's Day 2013.  This goal goes on until my computer breaks, my hands stop working, or I run out of movies.  So HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!  Welcome to 2012!

I thought I'd start out this year with the quintessential January post - the year in review.  2011 was a great year, I must say.  Personally, I moved in with my boyfriend and got engaged (yay me!), but even movie-wise, there were some amazing films.  However, my favorite of them all has to be "The Artist," hands down.  If you ever, EVER have a chance to see it, do!  I'm not a big silent movie fan, due to a couple of factors.  One - my love of movies started from watching big musicals like "The Sound of Music."  I love the huge numbers, and tend to sing along with them.  Hence, I like sound.  Two - I never really liked the over-the-top pantomiming of silent actors.  After seeing "The Artist," though, my perception of silent films completely changed.  Jean Dujardin, who plays the titular artist George Valentin (a wonderful mix between Errol Flynn and Gene Kelly), did an amazing job!  Not only was he able to do the silent era pantomime to a tee without over-hamming it, he also portrayed such believable, subtle, emotions during the dramatic parts.  He is definitely my favorite performance of the year.  If you love the history of film at all, "The Artist" is a must see.

Also in my tops for the year is "Hugo," a great choice for a double feature with "The Artist."  When I first heard Martin Scorsese was directing a children's movie, I was very curious.  What made Scorsese, of all people, want to direct this fanciful film about an orphaned boy living in a Paris train station.  Then I saw the film, and I understood completely.  It is a magical story that ultimately tells a tale about the beginning of film.  Both the young boy playing Hugo (Asa Butterfield, who is set to star in the upcoming "Ender's Game," which I'm stoked about!!) and Ben Kingsley, a lowly toy shop owner, give beautiful performances.  And Scorsese's art direction along with his use of 3D was breathtaking (and I'm usually not a 3D fan).  Unfortunately, "Hugo" suffers from some common flaws.  It is an adaptation of a novel, so some of the minor characters' importance in the book doesn't translate to the film.  And also, I don't think it was marketed properly.  The nature of the story changes course halfway through the film, so I believe Paramount didn't quite know how to promote it properly.  It is worth seeing, though.

My second favorite film of the year was "Rango," my definite choice for Best Animated Feature.  Going in to see "Rango," I was very, very skeptical.  It's trailers where just odd.  But while watching it, I had one of those great movie experiences, where you are so pleasantly surprised by how much you are loving it, you are smiling from ear to ear.  It has one of the most original stories I have seen in a while, let alone in an animated film.  Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp together once again - never a bad combo.  Plus the actors actually acted out their parts all together for the entire film, and then the animators copied their expressions.  Not with motion-capture technology, but with good old side-by-side comparison.  I think it's a little over the top for young kids (there are some very grown-up jokes in there), but my four-year-old niece absolutely loves it too.

Finally, the best franchise conclusion ever was last year - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2."  I had been waiting for this for a long time, but I also didn't want it to end.  I watched the live broadcast of the premiere in London and cried.  I watched JK Rowling hug and thank the main three and cried.  I even read all the articles about everyone saying goodbye and cried.  But when the night came, and I had my Potter glasses on, my handmade lightning bolt pin on my shirt, and my tickets in hand, I could not help but bounce up and down.  And I was not disappointed.  It was a great conclusion.  "Part 1" is still my favorite, but "Part 2" is a resounding second.  The only thing I wish was different was the ending of the battle, without the small "that scene should be bigger" feeling in it.  But all in all, I hope and wish it gets more awards recognition than it probably will.  That team did an amazing job over the last decade.

So, those are my tops for 2011.  I highly recommend each of them.  See or rent them this month while the crapper stuff of 2012 comes out in the theaters.  Until next week!