Thursday, December 11, 2014

Golden Globe Nominations: What They Mean

Hollywood listened closely this morning as the Hollywood Foreign Press released their annual Golden Globe Nominations. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes divide their Best Picture and Best Actor/Actress nominations separately into both comedy and drama categories, meaning there aren't many major performances and films getting left out of the awards show. Here's a look at the motion picture nominees and what we can take away from the crops of finalists.

Best Picture - Drama

Nominees are: Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Selma and The Theory of Everything

Best Picture - Musical or Comedy

Nominees are: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Pride, St. Vincent

The Scoop: It's surprising to see Angelina Jolie's prisoner of war drama, Unbroken, completely ignored, especially in this race. After walking away with only one SAG nomination (Stunt Ensemble), this sluggish first step into the awards season could spell trouble for Unbroken. While the overlap in voting body between the Globes and Oscars is insignificant, perception definitely holds some clout. Also, omissions for Gone GirlA Most Violent Year and American Sniper will effect each film differently. I sense very little impact for the missing wife drama (especially since it received plenty of individual nominations), but this could end up being a big blow to Eastwood's American Sniper.

Best Actor - Drama

Nominees are: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), David Oyelowo (Selma) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Best Actor - Musical or Comedy

Nominees are: Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) and Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

The Scoop: While Jake Gyllenhaal has had himself a fantastic week with recognition from both the Screen Actors Guild and the Globes, and believe me it's well deserved, the same old suspects are hurt by these nominations. Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) and Jack O'Connell (Unbroken) have both been fringe players up to this point, but striking out in both big competitions this week will only distance them further from the pack. Finally, Oscar Issac (A Most Violent Year) missed out on a SAG (which is a more important precursor) because of screening issues, so this omission isn't as crushing to his chances.

Best Actress - Drama

Nominees are: Jennifer Aniston (Cake), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy

Nominees are: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Emily Blunt (Into the Woods), Helen Mirren (The Hundred-Foot Journey), Julianne Moore (Map to the Stars) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie)

The Scoop: The "big four" landed  Drama nominations like everyone expected. Jennifer Aniston takes another small but important step to securing the first Oscar recognition of her career, which may require me to start calling them the "big five". Emily Blunt is one of Aniston's main competitors, so her inclusion keeps things interesting for that fifth and final spot moving forward.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees are: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees are: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman) and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

The Scoop: For the men, this class appears to be holding steady and it's becoming less likely to see anyone else in the final mix. Similarly, everyone was surprised by Naomi Watts' Supporting Actress SAG nomination for her "lady of the night" role in the comedy, St. Vincent, but it seemed fairly obvious that Jessica Chastain was the safe bet to round out the top five for the Oscars. It will be difficult to supplant any one of these women.

Best Director

Nominees are: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Ava DuVernay (Selma), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman) and Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Best Screenplay

Nominees are: Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game

The Scoop: In the director race there are so many worthy contenders this year, but Wes Anderson's shocking inclusion must come with a disclaimer ... Warning: This probably won't happen with the Oscars. DuVernay has quickly become a trendy riser as she's seemingly destined to become the first woman of color to ever be nominated for Best Director. Linklater and Inarittu feel like locks too, but seeing Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) lose out to Fincher is a very interesting turn of events. I think Tyldum is also safe bet for the Oscars. Lastly, the Academy Awards separate their screenplays by original and adapted, so each nominated script here will probably be a finalist when it really counts. 

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