Monday, December 11, 2017

My thoughts on the Golden Globe noms; Lady Bird and its chances for Best Director/Picture

What happens when you watch the Golden Globe nominations and then head off to the day job is that all of your peers in the Oscar watching world do the heavy lifting for you, so I'm going to do my best not to steal but put a couple of my thoughts down about all of this.

For one thing, "All the Money in the World" might actually be good. We hear and have heard for decades about the Hollywood Foreign Press being easily wined and dined, but it's actually been a couple of years since we saw some really weird stuff going on. ("The Tourist" anyone?)

The inclusion of "All the Money in the World" with nominations for Ridley Scott as Best Director, Christopher Plummer as Supporting Actor and Michelle Williams as Best Actress (Drama) means one of three things. 1. The film is good. Awards worthy good 2. They are rewarding the opportunity they were given to view it first (I really don't see this as the case, even though most progs are saying so). 3. They are rewarding the efforts of Scott/Plummer for pulling this off and threw Michelle Williams in the mix because, well, she is Michelle Williams and always acts the hell out of every role she is given.

Not seeing Greta Gerwig in as Best Director makes me wonder about "Lady Bird." There is always SO MUCH NOISE in the Oscar race. And we can get wrapped up in it. I know I can. Which can make us think that films like "The Crying Game" or "The Social Network" have a chance at winning. They don't. To break away from the likes of "The King's Speech," "Crash" or "The Artist" it takes a film being exactly of the moment and/or representing the EXACT message the Academy wants to send to win. Hence wins for "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight." I have said for years that the Academy only votes for films they love. I still believe that to be true. But I think I'm becoming a bit more cynical to that being the only factor in their votes.

Having finally seen it, I will say that "Lady Bird" is fantastic and delightful. Greta Gerwig is an incredible actors director. I found her eye for characters to be incredibly refreshing. Not once did these people cross the line into twee or false, something I was quite concerned about going into the film. Mostly because of preconceived notions I have had of Gerwig over the years of not seeing her films! (That was remedied last year!)

The performances by Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein, Odeya Rush, Lois Smith, Timothee Chalamet and Stephen Henderson are all incredible. No offense to "Mudbound" or "Get Out," but from what I have seen so far, this is the best ensemble of the year.

But as much as I like the film, and can see it in my top 10, I just don't know how much it will stay with me. The gravitas/scope argument. I hate to say it, but in terms of the best of the year, I get it. I still have not seen enough films to tell you if Gerwig deserves a nomination this year over the likes of Ridley Scott, but her work is deserving of a nomination. If that makes sense.

I'm not sure the Academy is going to care if they nominate a woman, even in this "climate." I don't think they think that way. Even with its new members. And if they didn't nominate Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty" they can absolutely not nominate Gerwig.

And for Best Picture? "Lady Bird" had noise last week. And it such a good film. But I can't see it going the distance. What film will go the distance? Who knows. At this point that's really hard to determine. It probably won't be "The Florida Project" or "Darkest Hour" both left off the Golden Globe Best Picture Drama list. I think we might have one of those years where we simply mark off the ones that won't win and see what we have left.

If anything seems poised to win, I would say it is "The Shape of Water." Which, if you will recall was poised with "Dunkirk" as the potential frontrunner back when it won Venice.

Other things to note:

I for one am glad "The Big Sick" was shut out. I'm sorry. I still don't understand why some people think this film is worthy of a Best Picture nomination.

Kudos to Sasha Stone for predicting Hong Chau for "Downsizing." I can absolutely see this happening. Although, sight unseen.

I have decided to chill out on my need to publish my top 10 by the end of the year. I'm still going to do my Honor Roll and Top Television of the year, but I will not rush naming my favorites until I know I have seen (almost) everything that should be considered.

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