Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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

First Golden Globe Predictions
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
St. Vincent

Other Contenders - Inherent Vice, Begin Again, Top Five, Jersey Boys, Guardians of the Galaxy, Love is Strange, Get On Up, The Hundred-Foot Journey, 22 Jump Street, Neighbors, Maps to the Stars, The Skeleton Twins, Chef, Annie, Men Women & Children, Paddington, Magic in the Moonlight, Maleficent, Dear White People

Commentary - An interesting race is brewing, especially if Into the Woods is even half decent. Globe voters love musicals, and this is just the type of bold musical that is right up their alley. But Birdman is a critical hit, beloved by a broad base of voters, audiences, and critics, and could end up being one of the biggest Oscar players of the year. Of course so could Into the Woods if it lives up to its hype. As I said, a huge battle is brewing. But these are not the only two contenders in the race. I don't know if The Grand Budapest Hotel can summon any Oscar buzz beyond a few categories, but I expect Globe voters to remember it well. They like Wes Anderson, and it is a star-studded cast that makes their celebrity beepers go crazy. St. Vincent's success probably depends on whether it can reach its audiences, although with the dynamic duo of McCarthy and Murray, I think it has a good shot of doing so. It has the sheen of a raunchy comedy, but has enough heart to reach voters across the spectrum. I think it gets in. It is that last slot that its giving me trouble. Jersey Boys and Get on Up are summer hits that have the musical twist that HFPA members love. Top Five has the chance to be a real hit, and it is going to get some nice campaigning. I think it is right on the verge of a nomination, all it needs is a big opening. Begin Again, Love is Strange, Chef, The Hundred-Foot Journey are light and feel-good dramedies that a lot of the times beat out the more obvious choices.Guardians of the Galaxy is the big blockbuster of the bunch, but superhero movies have about as much luck here as they do in top Oscar categories. And finally there is Inherent Vice, which might just be a too bit out-there for voters.  Instead, I am going out on a bit of a limb. Pride is a feel-good British comedy that combines gay rights and labor rights into one movie chocked full of veteran British icons. It is getting good reviews, but it kind of crashed at the domestic box office. Still, I think it appeals to the international critics that make up the HFPA, and could be just the perfect movie to round out its top five.

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