The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hands out its Golden Globe Awards Sunday. Read on to see who could, should and will emerge victorious in all the show’s film categories.
Best Picture – Comedy/Musical
“Bridesmaids” has become a surprise heavyweight in awards season, amassing a growing wealth of nods from critics’ groups and guilds. It stands a better chance to win here than fellow contenders “50/50,” “Midnight in Paris,” and “My Week with Marilyn,” the latter of which many would argue isn’t even a comedy. But all will cower at the feet of “The Artist,” the runaway favorite to win not just at the Globes, but at the Oscars as well. The silent, black-and-white Hollywood valentine should prove as irresistible to the HFPA as it has to critics and audiences the world over. It can’t be beat.
Will win: “The Artist”
Could win: None
Should win: “The Artist”
Best Actor – Drama Best
Like “The Ides of March,” the film for which he’s nominated, Gosling sits at the bottom of his field of contenders, and one should think he’s mainly here for the stellar year he’s had. Leonardo DiCaprio played a mean “J. Edgar,” but his film hasn’t had nearly enough support for him to clinch a victory, and the same goes for Michael Fassbender, whose devastating work in “Shame” can’t trump the movie’s polarizing content. The duel is between pals George Clooney and Brad Pitt, whose respective turns in “The Descendants” and “Moneyball” also will have them squaring off for the Oscar. Clooney’s the frontrunner, but I’m thinking Pitt sneaks in for the win.
Will win: Pitt
Could win: Clooney
Should win: Fassbender
Actress – Drama
With the exception of Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), whose slot will be filled by Williams, this dramatic Best Actress lineup should repeat at The Academy Awards, as Glenn Close continues to soldier on as a knee-jerk candidate for “Albert Nobbs,” and Tilda Swinton has all but cemented herself in the top five with multiple noms for her work in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” And no one’s bumping out Viola Davis (“The Help”) or Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), the category’s two strongest nominees. Davis has heat, but this is Meryl’s year, and the HFPA, like everyone else, adores her.
Will win: Streep
Could win: Davis
Should win: Streep
Best Picture – Drama
Aside from the Producer’s Guild, the HFPA is about the only group to give Clooney’s cynical political thriller “The Ides of March” a fighting chance. The film is nominated here; however, it’s the least promising in a crop that also includes “War Horse,” “Moneyball,” “Hugo,” “The Help,” and Clooney’s other 2011 drama, “The Descendants.” Both “Hugo” and “War Horse” boast breathtaking spectacle, and “Moneyball” is a smart hit, but this race will come down to “The Help,” a crowd-pleasing box-office champ, and “The Descendants,” a humanistic family drama with heaps of critical kudos. Barring an upset, the latter should come out on top.
Will win: “The Descendants”
Could win: “The Help”
Should win: “The Descendants”
Other Category Predictions
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
The brand new and sadly brief relationship between a grown man and his terminally ill, freshly un-closeted septuagenarian father beats at the core of “Beginners,” the playful and autobiographical new indie from writer/director Mike Mills.
Like the book within the book on which it’s based, “The Help” largely works because it’s often told from the point of view of the black maids it aims to (mildly) emancipate. Thus, while no one should expect the movie to thrust Hollywood forward in terms of race representation, many can rest easy knowing it isn’t just another “The Blind Side” – an ostensibly anti-racism film that’s hopelessly racist nonetheless.
There are virtually no limits to the appeal and accessibility of “The Artist,” the French-made, silent, black-and-white Hollywood homage that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and is now gobbling up critics’ awards left and right. Naysayers accuse the film of being out of touch with its era (the transition from silents to talkies circa 1930), but “The Artist,” in all its relentless, romanticized charm, has little interest in being a historical record. Timelessness is its goal — the enduring ability of fundamentally, modestly dazzling images to captivate, and the undying, universal power of visual narrative.
One of the most blissful pleasures to be found at the movies this year is Michelle Williams’ performance as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn,” a British drama that charts the London production of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” Monroe’s 1957 collaboration with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh).
A marvel of keen emotional intuition and non-judgmental human portraiture, Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” has a big and wonderful understanding of the many things that surround a person’s life, and subsequently, a person’s death.
Can Martin Scorsese inspire a new generation of classic-film buffs, who marvel at the crank of an antique camera, the magic cascade of light through celluloid, and the fanciful, dawn-of-the-medium creations of filmmaker Georges Méliès?
Set in a Tex-Mex tumbleweed town in urgent need of a hero to solve its dwindling-resource crisis, the golden CGI nugget “Rango” handily nails western-movie nostalgia and modern-day resonance in one swell swoop.