Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: First Golden Globe Predictions - Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical

First Golden Globe Predictions
Chadwick Boseman "Get On Up"
Ralph Fiennes "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Michael Keaton "Birdman"
Bill Murray "St. Vincent"
Joaquin Phoenix "Inherent Vice"

Other Contenders - Chris Rock "Top Five", James Corden "Into the Woods", Bill Nighy "Pride", Bill Hader "The Skeleton Twins", Jon Favreau "Chef", Mark Ruffalo "Begin Again", Alfred Molina "Love is Strange", John Lithgow "Love is Strange", Ansel Elgort "Men, Women & Children", Chris Pratt "Guardians of the Galaxy", Jamie Foxx "Annie", Colin Firth "Magic in the Moonlight", Andre Benjamin "Jimi: All is By My Side", Domhnall Gleeson "Frank", Michael Fassbender "Frank", Tyler James Williams "Dear White People", Zach Braff "Wish I Was Here", Jason Bateman "This is Where I Leave You", Zac Efron "Neighbors", Seth Rogen "Neighbors", Kevin Hart "About Last Night", Jonah Hill "22 Jump Street", Channing Tatum "22 Jump Street", John Lloyd Young "Jersey Boys"

Commentary - Unlike the actress category, this is a deep and long list of contenders, who not only are big names, but also give well-received performances, in well-liked movies, making for an interesting race to five. I think that no matter what happens it is going to be hard for anybody to topple Michael Keaton. He is a veteran movie star, has a performance that people can't stop talking about it, and is a sure-fired Oscar contender. Right behind him is Bill Murray who is getting an abundance of praise for his soft, yet raucous performance in St. Vincent. Oscar voters will most likely not respond, but I think Globe voters will eat it up. Ralph Fiennes got plenty of Oscar buzz out of the gate with the early premiere of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. But with so many names in the mix, his Oscar chances are looking slim. No fear though for the wonderfully funny Fiennes, I think that the HFPA will not overlook him this year. The last two slots are tricky. I am currently going with Chadwick Boseman, who was fantastic as James Brown. It is a mix of comedy and musical that could really pop for voters. But the film has disappeared off the radar, so it needs a campaign for it to happen. Finally, I am assuming that Globe Voters will have more love for the wacky Inherent Vice than Oscar voters, which puts Joaquin Phoenix back in the race. But he nor Boseman are a lock, there are a lot of big performances, and big stars waiting in the wings. Chris Pratt could get in if they embrace Guardians of the Galaxy, which I'm not sure of. Top Five was received with rapturous ovation on the festival circuit, and if they can kick their campaign into gear there is a lot of possibility for Chris Rock. Jon Favreau was engaging in Chef, Mark Ruffalo whimsical in Begin Again, Bill Hader surprisingly dramatic in The Skeleton Twins, and Ansel Elgort is said to be the standout of Men, Women & Children. The musicals have some big names, all of which could get in including James Corden for Into the Woods (will he be outshone by bigger names?), Jamie Foxx for Annie (it looks bad), and John Lloyd Young for Jersey Boys (tepid reception, but they love musicals). John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are an engaging pair in Love is Strange, and Andre Benjamin, Tyler James Williams could have breakthrough nominations. Finally, don't forget the raunchy comedies, every once in a while they reward things like Bridesmaids and The Hangover. The 22 Jump Street and Neighbors leads are certainly worthy, and could surprise a few of the more, oh how should I put this, stuffy contenders.

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