On Sunday, January 16, 2005, NBC will broadcast the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. If you know anything about award ceremonies you know the Golden Globes are a precursor to the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars) – the Super Bowl of the Motion Picture Industry.
This year’s categories are loaded with talent. Alexander Payne’s Sideways leads the pack with seven nominations. That’s quite impressive considering there are only thirteen film awards up for grabs. Predicting who will win is not an exact science. Just because you think an actor/actress is deserving of an award does not mean he/she will win. That’s why I prefer the “Who Should Win vs. Who Will Win” columns you see printed in newspapers the day of the Golden Globe Awards. With this format you get the columnist’s two cents on why one performer will succeed while the others just miss that elusive brass ring.
So, without further ado I present you my predictions of “Who Should Win” and “Who Will Win” this Sunday night.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win: CATE BLANCHETT for The Aviator
Cate eats up the screen with her portrayal as Katherine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Some may see her acting as over-the-top, but I disagree. Blanchett mimics Hepburn’s quirkiness to a tee. This is the type of performance the Academy voters love. Well, that won’t help her win a Golden Globe (the Hollywood Foreign Press decides all winners). Better luck next year.
Who Will Win: VIRGINIA MADSEN for Sideways
Next to David Carradine, Virginia Madsen deserves comeback of the year recognition. She has been away from the limelight (if she was ever there to begin with) for a very long time. Her most notable role, prior to Sideways, was Helen Lyle the female protagonist in Candyman. Madsen has had bit parts over the years but nothing the size and scope of her Maya character. The way she describes a bottle of wine – giving it a human dynamic – is quite fascinating. Madsen does an exemplary job playing off Paul Giamitti in a supporting role.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win: CLIVE OWEN for Closer
Clive Owen may not be a household name here in the States, but he will be. Rung by rung Owen is making his way up the Hollywood ranks. His performance in Closer can only help him. In the Mike Nichols film, Owen plays Larry, a dermatologist. Throughout this film of love and adultery his vindictive nature is laid out on the silver screen. Larry is definitely a proponent of the “All’s fair in love and war” motif. Owen’s acting is tremendous, but do voters want a scoundrel of a character to win?
Who Will Win: THOMAS HADEN CHURCH for Sideways
Like Virginia Madsen, his Sideways co-star, Church has apparently resurfaced on earth. Many may remember his character Lowell Mather on the early ’90s sitcom “Wings.” Since then, however, he hasn’t done much acting work – preferring to work on his ranch in West Texas. When Alexander Payne was casting About Schmidt, Church auditioned for the role of Randall Hertzel. He did not get the part (Dermot Mulroney was cast instead) but Payne didn’t forget him. When casting Sideways Payne was approached by A-list talent to play the character of Jack, a washed up actor. In a strange twist of fate, Payne went with Thomas Haden Church. Good call.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win: “Old Habits Die Hard” Music & Lyrics by: MICK JAGGER & DAVID A. STEWART for Alfie
So what if the song is Top 40 material. Mick Jagger and David A. Stewart have a nice, catchy song with an up-tempo beat that epitomizes Jude Law’s Alfie character.
Who Will Win: “Learn to Be Lonely” Music by: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, Lyrics by: CHARLES HART for The Phantom of the Opera
Since it won’t win any of the major motion picture awards, consider this a consolation prize for The Phantom of the Opera.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: CLINT EASTWOOD for Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood brings forth his one-man-band style with Million Dollar Baby. Sure his acting and directing may get all the critical buzz, but let us not forget that he composed the film as well. The nice, melodic sounds of keynotes and blues strokes complement his ill-tempered boxing trainer.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: House of Flying Daggers
Spectacular. Spectacular. A visual spectacular. In 2004 Zhang Yimou delivered a one-two punch with the theatrical releases for House of Flying Daggers and Hero. It’s a shame that Hero couldn’t be nominated as well (it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002). Flying Daggers replaces the mystery and chivalry of Yimou’s previous effort with romance. The strong cast and “poetry in motion” fight sequences are a great mix. But it is the keen sense of artistic acumen and sumptuous visuals that propel this film into the stratosphere.
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: ALEXANDER PAYNE & JIM TAYLOR for Sideways
For the Golden Globes the nominations for adapted screenplay and original screenplay are combined. So, while Charlie Kaufman will most likely win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, he will lose this round. The award will go to the collaborative efforts of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. Their adaptation of Rex Pickett’s novel stays relatively true to the book, only a few minor differences. I’m glad to see somebody in Hollywood values the source material.
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Who Should Win: CLINT EASTWOOD for Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood, the premier actor-director, for the second straight year gets a nod for Best Director. Eastwood directs with precision and the cinematography for Million Dollar Baby backs up my claim. Too bad he won’t snag a Golden Globe for directing. 2004 is the turning out to be the “Year of Scorsese.”
Who Will Win: MARTIN SCORSESE for The Aviator
Can he win another directing honor? That’s right. In 2003 Scorsese won for Gangs of New York. He will attempt to do the same with The Aviator. So far the critics have been favorable to Scorsese’s latest. Many believe this is the year that he will finally win an Oscar for directing. I’ll buy that. Martin Scorsese will win for directing, but it will be an award that celebrates his entire filmography not his latest effort.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: KATE WINSLET for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This is a pretty thin category. Besides Kate Winslet, no other performance stands out. Annette Bening got some early critical buzz for her performance in Being Julia, but I haven’t heard anything since. The fact that Kate Winslet could conceivably be nominated for two Academy Awards makes her a shoe-in in my book.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: JAMIE FOXX for Ray
Talk about the performance of a lifetime. Jamie Foxx totally owns this film. His portrayal as legendary musician Ray Charles has been one of the most talked about acting performances of 2004. He definitely lives up to the hype. Foxx has all of Ray’s nuances (especially his body language and choreography). No longer will Jamie Foxx be known as the character Bunz from Booty Call.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: HILARY SWANK for Million Dollar Baby
Yes, the next Karate Kid will win her second Golden Globe Award. Two nominations, two awards. Not too shabby. Swank won in 1997 for Boys Don’t Cry. Since winning the Oscar for Best Actress the only memorable film she has played in was Christopher Nolan’s remake of Insomnia. Thankfully, Clint Eastwood cast her in his Million Dollar Baby. As Maggie Fitzgerald, dream-to-be boxer, Swank has a certain prowess that we saw in Halle Berry and Charlize Theron from a few years ago. Remarkable females in astonishing roles.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: JOHNNY DEPP for Finding Neverland
This chameleon of an actor has gone from A Nightmare on Elm Street to “21 Jump Street.” I’ve been a fan of Johnny’s ever since Edward Scissorhands. His collaborations with director Tim Burton never fail to disappoint. Last year he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. While I thought the character was eccentric, it didn’t seem Oscar worthy. Thankfully, however, it provides momentum going into the Golden Globes. His performance as playwright J.M. Barrie in Neverland is quirky, but more grounded than Sparrow.
If Depp doesn’t win, look for the upset by Don Cheadle.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Who Should Win: The Incredibles
I know my prediction sounds unfathomable, but stranger things have happened. (Remember when Beauty and the Beast was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture?) The Incredibles was a delightful film that both children and adults enjoyed. It may not have Charlie Kaufman’s vivid imagination or the set pieces of The Phantom of the Opera, but I don’t care. This PG-rated feature is one of the best animated films around. The only thing preventing a Golden Globes win may be the lack of real-life actors.
Who Will Win: Sideways
Alexander Payne has proven with each new feature that the characters come first. Since his feature film Election, Payne has made critics take notice of actors and actresses they may normally overlook. Matthew Broderick, Dermot Mulroney, Virginia Madsen, and Thomas Hayden Church, for example. The seven awards it is up for is no joke. The film is that good.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Who Should Win: Finding Neverland
Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) has directed a magical film. The performances by Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Freddie Highmore alone warrant attention. Add the screenplay and supporting cast and you have one hell of a film. So far it has garnered the National Board of Review’s Award for Best Film of 2004. I expect to see some more accolades come its way. Finding Neverland is one of those films that touches your soul by making you laugh and cry. The set design, early 20th century, also makes the film a sight to behold.
Who Will Win: Million Dollar Baby
Dirty Harry wins. If my prediction is correct, this will mark the first time a Clint Eastwood film has won Best Picture at the Golden Globes. This film has great direction, great acting, great everything. It’s nice to see Morgan Freeman in a fine role for a change. It’s his best performance since Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding in The Shawshank Redemption. This human tragedy by Eastwood will edge out Martin Scorsese’s big-budgeted Aviator.
(All movie posters – credit: www.impawards.com)
(All photos – credit: movies.yahoo.com)