Friday, January 22, 2010

MovieGeek covers the Golden Globes

Hi, I'm Kelly Foster. I handle all of the Special Events at The Little; and I've been dubbed MovieGeek when I guest write blog columns.

I will be offering my personal coverage and opinions as we move through the awards season. I've been involved in theatre and film since I was a youngster--no trivia is too arcane for me! Here's my take on the Golden Globes. Sorry it's a few days late, but I had to calm down after the whole Avatar thing. I hope you enjoy reading. I look forward to hearing your comments!

I think Warren Beatty put it best when he commented "The Golden Globes are fun, the Oscars are business."

If the Academy Awards are The New York Times, then the Globes are The Weekly World News. This year's show had one recurring theme - "NBC Sucks", starting with Julia Roberts on the red carpet proclaiming "NBC is in the toilet right now!", followed by Tom Hanks chiming in "NBC said it was going to rain at 10, but they moved it to 11:30". That pretty much set the tone for the night.

Here are a few standout moments to begin with…
Mo'Nique winning Best Supporting Actress for Precious and gave a teary, emotional thank-you speech. Mo'Nique has not endeared herself to voters this awards season (by skipping most of the awards show and not campaigning for votes), so this was the perfect way to show that she's serious ... about winning an Oscar.

Meryl Streep winning Best Actress (Comedy) for Julie and Julia, and gave what can only be described as a very "Streep-ian" speech. If I didn't know better, I'd say she was mocking the Saturday Night Live bit that mocked her the night before.

Ricky Gervais was fine as host (although I do think there is such a thing as being too self-deprecating), and he had the biggest "oh no he didn't!" moment of the night when he introduced Mel Gibson saying, “I like to drink as much as the next bloke, unless the next bloke is Mel Gibson.”

Sandra Bullock wins Best Dramatic Actress for The Blind Side. You've got to be kidding me. Let’s wait a few more years till she actually gets the right role to warrant an award. And I say this as a HUGE SB fan.

Now let me delve into the turbulent waters of the Best Picture and Best Director races and I will try and restrain myself.

The 100 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association must have really loved James Cameron's “Avatar” to keep from voting for his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director for “The Hurt Locker”. Ask yourself: Given the chance to honor the maker of what may become the biggest box office hit of all time with a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Motion Picture and take the rare opportunity to acknowledge a woman for besting men in a man's world, shouldn't you take the double?

I like “Avatar”, but Cameron is a technological master, not a master director. He's certainly not a writer, not of scripts and not of speeches. On Sunday, the ‘King of the World’ was a bag of wind, and his ex-wife -- his better on this night -- was nowhere in sight.

In the turnaround time between their nominating and casting their final ballots, the foreign press drop-kicked both their drama favorite 'Up in the Air' and their comedy/musical favorite 'Nine' to the curb. 'Up in the Air' cashed in only one of its six nominations -- the best screenplay award to 'Up in the Air' -- and 'Nine' went oh-for-four. Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds,' which also had four nominations, felt the love just once, for Christophe Waltz's supporting actor performance.

The foreign press spread their awards with apparent equanimity. No movie got more than two Globes and only three -- 'Avatar,' 'Up,' and 'Crazy Heart' -- got that many. But neither 'Up' nor 'Crazy Heart' is in the running for a Best Picture Oscar. 'The Hurt Locker' was, but, after it was shut out at the Globes, may no longer be. Certainly, unnecessary damage has been done to Bigelow.

OK, the foreign press, as someone noted during Sunday's Globe broadcast, is a strange bunch. They're not driven by logic or even by taste; they're driven by their need for writing assignments. And they are going to get a lot more assignments for a movie that's about to gross more than $1 billion overseas than for one that has already run its course in foreign markets with barely $3 million in ticket sales.

People often overstate the predictive power of the Golden Globes when it comes to the eventual Academy Award winners. After all, there’s no overlap between the voting bodies. But after Sunday night I can’t help but feel several races beginning to shift, for better or worse. For instance:

Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique were locks before last night, and they’re even stronger locks now.

Best Actor

It was certainly a race between George Clooney and Jeff Bridges. That Bridges received the heartiest standing ovation for any Globe winner means the Hollywood community isn’t just loving his touching performance in Crazy Heart, but that they’re also looking at this like a career-achievement award. The foreign press can take pride in the Globe they gave to Jeff Bridges as Best Dramatic Actor for 'Crazy Heart.' It was a career-capping performance, and Bridges' humble acceptance speech is one that Oscar voters will want to hear in their own hall. After four losses at the Oscars, he may just get the big trophy after all.

Best Actress
They tied at the BFCAs, and now Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock picked up Globe wins. Everyone will now say it’s between the two of them for the win, and they’ll be right. The Globes were Carey Mulligan’s best shot at a victory; she and Gabourey Sidibe will now need to be content with a nomination. (And I hope they will be!)


  1. You rock, MovieGeek!

  2. I agree with your comments on Avatar. It seems the term "Best Picture" has become confused with "Breakthrough/Popularity Picture." This reminds me of a few years ago when Crash won the Oscar it deserved by beating Brokeback Mountain.
    The Hurt Locker was an exceptional film, and it currently has my vote. Avatar was amazing to experience and had a strong message, but I don't think it's anything more than a breakthrough film. My 2 cents...