Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Oscar Narrative: First Golden Globe Predictions - Comedy/Musical Categories

In mid-October we hit a kind of lull in the Oscar race (as evidenced by my lack of posting the last two days). The festivals are winding down with a few key exceptions, and we are basically treading water, looking at the box office, and waiting for the last few pieces to fall into place before the psychotic month of December. So in the lull, I will finish by Top 100 Television Shows Since 2000, cover the Gotham Awards (Nominees to be announced next week), and take a look at this year' Golden Globes. The Golden Globes have seemingly played a heavier influence in the last several years, especially since the calendar was shortened. It is a highly viewed platform for contenders to practice their speeches, and for tons of positive press. So let's start looking at the Globes.

Best Picture - Musical/Comedy
August: Osage County
The Heat
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Other Contenders - Before Midnight, The Heat, Enough Said, Black Nativity, The Sapphires, Saving Mr. Banks,  Frances Ha, Don Jon, Now You See Me, This is the End, The Bling Ring, About Time, Last Vegas, We're the Millers, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Red 2, Unfinished Song

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Bruce Dern "Nebraska"
James Gandolfini "Enough Said"
Oscar Isaac "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Joaquin Phoenix "Her"
Ben Stiller "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Other Contenders - Ethan Hawke "Before Midnight", Steve Coogan "Philomena", Will Forte "Nebraska", Will Ferrell "Anchorman: The Legend Continues", Chris O'Dowd "The Sapphires", Joseph Gordon-Levitt "Don Jon", James Franco "Oz the Great and Powerful", Forest Whitaker "Black Nativity", Michael Douglas "Last Vegas", Kevin Kline "Last Vegas", Morgan Freeman "Last Vegas", Robert DeNiro "Last Vegas", Terence Stamp "Unfinished Song"

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Sandra Bullock "The Heat"
Julie Delpy "Before Midnight"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Enough Said"
Melissa McCarthy "The Heat"
Meryl Streep "August: Osage County"

Other Contenders - Greta Gerwig "Frances Ha", Scarlett Johanssen "Her", Jennifer Aniston "We're the Millers", Kristen Wiig "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", Helen Mirren "Red 2", Emma Watson "The Bling Ring", Angela Bassett "Black Nativity", Jennifer Hudson "Black Nativity"

Commentary - It will be interesting to see where the final placements are for some of these films. Everyone seems solid that Saving Mr. Banks is a Drama, but the trailer promises laugh as well, and it will definitely be funnier than the likes of Before Midnight and Philomena, both of which belong in the Drama category, but will be here most likely instead. Nebraska and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty have big names attached to them including Ben Stiller and Alexander Payne, and Inside Llewyn Davis has music and the Coens behind it. Philomena has Weinstein, and The Heat could be the "big, loud comedy" slot this year. Still, these are the top five for the moment. The question is, will they go for the indie comedies (which they usually ignore), like Her, Before Midnight, Frances Ha, and Enough Said? Or will they embrace the bigger, bolder, comedies like The Heat, Anchorman, We're The Millers, Don Jon, This is the End, etc.? Right now I am sticking with the biggest Oscar contenders, and one big comedy, but we all know the Globes will throw curveballs, so I will definitely adjust as the category placements get sorted out. I also wonder about two films that don't look great in terms of quality but have Golden Globe written all over them. Black Nativity is a musical with big-time actors, and Last Vegas has four Golden Globe nominees/winners in it. Don't be shocked if these two get some nods. In Best Actor, I am going with the four leads in the four male-led Best Picture frontrunners, and James Gandolfini, who will most likely campaign as supporting for Oscars, but will most likely go lead here. But look out for the Vegas quartet, Ethan Hawke, Will Ferrell/Forte, and Chris O'Dowd, for the upbeat musically infused The Sapphires (another one the watch out for with Weinstein and music behind it). In Best Actress, Judi Dench is the frontrunner if Philomena remains a comedy. Also Julia Louis-Dreyfus should be an easy choice. Even if Before Midnight isn't big enough or funny enough for Globe voters, Julie Delpy could get into a race that is not as stacked as its male counterpart. Also, The Heat was a huge hit, and nods for Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock would be very Globe-esque. Also watch out for Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johannsen, Emma Watson, and the duo from Black Nativity to potentially crash the party.

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