December 11, 2008

The Golden Globe nominees are announced...

Here. I've seen few of these things -- and not just because many of the best movies don't play until the end of the year. It's also that I don't enjoy going to the movies these days -- for about 6 reasons.

But I did see "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which is up for best comedy/musical. And it's got a best comedy/musical actor, Javier Bardem, and supporting actress, Penélope Cruz. I haven't seen the competition, so it's not my place to say who ought to win, but they were excellent, especially Penélope Cruz. She's in competition with Kate Winslet -- a favorite actress chez Althouse -- who is nominated for "The Reader," but Kate also has an actress in a drama nomination, for "Revolutionary Road," so both Kate and Penélope can win.

There's some interesting competition, too, in the supporting actor category:
Tom Cruise for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Ralph Fiennes for The Duchess (2008)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008)
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)
All I can say is, if you're going to give anyone extra points for drugs, give them -- the points, not the drugs -- to Robert Downey Jr. for living, not to Heath Ledger for dying.


Darcy said...

All I can say is, if you're going to give anyone extra points for drugs, give them -- the points, not the drugs -- to Robert Downey Jr. for living, not to Heath Ledger for dying.

Yes! And beyond that, I think Ledger's performance was really entertaining...not great.
In fairness, I haven't seen the other movies, so it might be great in comparison. But that would really be disappointing to me if it was.

I liked The Dark Knight an awful lot, I just don't think anything in it is Oscar or Golden Globe material.

Ralph Fiennes. Just had to type that. Love him.

ricpic said...

The TV series Mad Men is about a thousand times better than the films up for awards this year.

MadisonMan said...

I've only seen the trailer, but PSHoffman looks amazing in Doubt. (So does Meryl)

Zachary Sire said...

Ridiculous. Not that these clowns are important, but overlooking three of the most critically acclaimed and audience beloved films of the year (Wall-E, Dark Knight, Milk) is just beyond stupid. Good luck with the ratings in January! This will be the last network telecast of this "awards" show ever, watch.

Ophir said...

The Israeli animated semi-documentary film Waltz with Bashir is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. I haven't seen (or even heard of most) of the others, so can't say how it ranks next to them, but I thought it was very good. If it comes out in the US, it's worth checking out.

Incidentally you recently posted about one of the other nominees. So I don't know about the Oscars, but perhaps he'll show up at the Golden Globes.

kjbe said...

Though he’s got the light(est)-weight part of the group, here, RDJr is someone who’s performances I look forward to both because he can be a decent actor and knowing (in too real a way) what he’s endured. I haven’t seen Tropic Thunder (I think it’s on the Netflix list, somewhere), but heard Cruise kicked-ass in the one scene he was in. I suspect, it’ll come down to Hoffman and Ledger, with Ledger winning out. Man, that guy was out there – or at least that was the impression I got, sitting a wee bit too close at the IMAX.

Sloanasaurus said...

Wall-E is the best movie I have seen so far this year.

MayBee said...

I'm irritated that so many of the nominees are movies (or from movies) that have only been put into limited release for award purposes.
Frost/Nixon has played publicly in 3 theaters, I believe
Revolutionary Road and Benjamin Buttons will be released later this month.

I realize that's the game, but as I said I find that irritating (especially when, as others have mentioned, movies like Wall-e were ignored).

I loved Slumdog Millionaire. See it.
And I'm thrilled for Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr, and the whole Tropic Thunder gang.

George M. Spencer said...


Agree with your "Mad Men" comment. "Revolutionary Rd." looks like a lesser version of the same concept.

'Dark Knight' was indeed dark and sickeningly sadistic and about one hour too long. I walked out of the 'Indiana Jones' movie. The Philippe Petit documentary Man on Wire was far more exciting. (This amazing champion of the human spirit spent 45 minutes!! on a tightrope strung between the two towers and went back and forth eight times!)

Am still waiting for someone somewhere to make a war movie about Iraq or Afghanistan. Guess 'Iron Man' is as close as we'll come to that. Sadly, because films have to be marketed internationally, the days of seeing movies that celebrate American military valor are probably over forever.

froggyprager said...

I saw Tropic Thunder with 3 other people who all hated it. I thought it was an interesting idea and kind of fun but I don't think any of the performances were award worthy. How could they possibly give RDJr the award for that movie, he played a actor trying to play a black character in black face. I don't think so.

sonicfrog said...

WOw! What a list.

Didn't see the Hoffman or Fiennes films, but every thing they do is good, so I'm not surprised they're nominated.

Robert Downey was great in TT. If the word hadn't been out that it was him playing that part, I never would have known. And this was the first performance by Tom Cruise that I have really enjoyed in fifteen years. He definitely needs to stop doing roles like "Valkyrie" (the previews looks dreadful), pull a Lucile Ball and start doing comedy. But I think his role was too short to get the final nod.

Heath Ledger? What a fun, gritty performance. All I can say is: "Wanna see the disappearing pencil trick?".

MayBee said...

The Duchess is a really good movie, and Ralph Finnes made it work because you had to both hate him and not hate him. He is awkward, dignified, powerful, clumsy, indulgent, repressed, and repressive. His body language is incredible without drawing attention to itself.

And again, see Slumdog Millionaire.

ron st.amant said...

I was perfectly willing to dismiss Heath Ledger's performance and all the acclaim it was getting as post-death hype...until I saw the film.
He is quite brilliant, and deserving of all the praise he received. In fact I'd argue he should have received a nod in the Best Actor category since he dominates the film.
I have NOT seen the other films in the Supporting Actor yet so I couldn't say whether the performace is stronger than the others, but I *would* find it hard to fathom, at this point, that he doesn't win.

Titusisverytired said...

Why do the television series and actors have different years after them?

For example: Monk (2002).

I thought it was an awful year for movies this year.

Godot said...

Althouse: tell us the 6 reasons you don't enjoy going out to the movies.

Unknown said...

Wanna see the Tom Cruise scene? He might be weird, but he sure can act.

Titusisverytired said...

I don't watch much television.

I don't think I have seen any of those television series.

Joe said...

Heath Ledger was a good actor, but Robert Downey Jr. continues to amaze me. He's not always great, but almost always interesting.

Hoffman is also a good actor but awfully one note. Yes, he sometimes plays wildly different characters, but he plays them pretty much all the same, often changing just his accent. Unfortunately, his favorite acting mode seems to be "whine a lot."

Harsh Pencil said...

I agree with Saurus,

Wall-E is the best movie of the year. In fact, it is simply fantastic. As a movie. Not as a kids movie, not as an animated movie, but as a movie.

Harsh Pencil said...

I agree with Saurus,

Wall-E is the best movie of the year. In fact, it is simply fantastic. As a movie. Not as a kids movie, not as an animated movie, but as a movie.

Edmund said...

I've not seen the film of Doubt yet, but saw the stage play a year or two ago. It's odd that they rank Philip Hoffman's part as the priest as a supporting part. It's one of 3 leads the Priest (Hoffman), Mother Superior (Streep), Young Nun (Adams).

lowercase said...

Vote for Ralph Fiennes - because his eyes make my day --- just a little bit better.

By dying, I am spared the boring ass fifth bout of rehab pr stories that Downey, Jr. has made me suffer through. Why should such a fuck up be given such easy money time and time again? He's not that good. He's like the George W. Bush of acting nepotism. People manage to "live" every day and w/o those kinds of rewards. I'd rather Heath lived, but at least he didn't try and take over mindspace with his dramatic efforts to actually make it through a day.

Donn said...

I didn't care for The Dark Knight, although Ledger's performance was certainly memorable.

My favorite movie of the year was Young@Heart, which I guess was released in 2007, but never made it to a local theater until this past summer.

This weekend I will see Frost/Nixon and Milk. I'm very surprised Milk didn't make the GG award for Best Picture. I will also see the new Pitt movie after it comes out, along with Doubt.

I liked Hathaway's performance in Rachel Getting Married a lot, and also enjoyed Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Personally, I enjoy the Golden Globes more than the Academy Awards.

Bill said...

Nothing for The Shield's final season, I see.

Baron Zemo said...

My dear lady you must always presume that the actor who plays the retard will win.

That would mean that Sarah Palins baby should win the Oscar this year.

blake said...

but overlooking three of the most critically acclaimed and audience beloved films of the year (Wall-E, Dark Knight, Milk) is just beyond stupid.

o/~One of these things is not like the other...~\o

blake said...

The Golden Globes' value is almost entirely in its bizarre hilarity. The Hollywood Foreign Press, for cryin' out loud. These are people who have the sweet gig of mooching off of whomever.

I'm tempted to move out of the US just to see if I could get a job.

Dark Knight. Ledger will win, I suppose, but think I'd prefer to see Cruise or Downey, Jr. Anyone else notice Ledger channeling Nicholson a bit at times?

Cruise is in several scenes in Tropic Thunder. Hilarious. Anyone remember him as "Austin Powers"? He definitely should do more comedy.

Ophir-- From what I've seen, we don't get Israeli films for a good year after they're released. (And I live in a pretty heavily Jewish area.)

OG-- Man on Wire is good. Phillipe Petit himself is a mixed bag.

Titus: The year generally indicates the release year. In the case of TV series, the first year they air. Monk first aired in 2002 (and is scheduled to end at the completion of season 8).

Rachel Getting Married is a very fine film but not for everyone for a number of reasons. I know a guy who liked it but had to walk out because the shaky-cam was making him sick.

Wall-E is one of the 10 best of the year. It's also a perfect storm of political correctness, so it's been over-rated relative to the always excellent Pixar canon. Nonetheless, I rank it as one of the top 10 post-apocalyptic films of all time. And easily #1 among the highly elite category of "family friendly post-apocalyptic films".

Slumdog Millionaire will be nominated for best picture. I don't see how it can miss. It might not win, of course, but unless there's an absolute flood of outstanding movies that tickle the Academy's fancy, it's a shoo-in.

Unlike Althouse, I do like going to the movies (for six or more reasons), so I'll be seeing most of the AA noms in the next few weeks, as they trickle out in an annoyingly uneven fashion.

Darcy said...

Interesting thoughts, blake.

Thanks for the tip on the shaky cam, too. If it's anything like Cloverfield, I won't be able to watch it. I had to lay down across the seats at the movie theatre after watching some of that! My kid was not amused. :)

Agree on Ledger. I wasn't as impressed as most people seem to be with this performance. It was well done, no doubt. Creepy villain! But I guess I can't get over thinking a lot of actors could have been as effective in that role...seems kind of harsh, I know. But it wasn't a "deep character" role to me.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse: tell us the 6 reasons you don't enjoy going out to the movies."

Hmmm. Let's see.

1. I have other things to do that I like more.

2. The movies they make these days aren't that interesting to me.

3. I don't have a good movie companion.

4. Ever since the seats got really comfortable, I've tended to fall asleep.

5. I don't like to make the commitment to watch straight through for 2 hours (so I tend to prefer to watch on TV where I can pause).

6. The actors these days -- especially the plastic surgeried women -- lack character and act in a way that feels phony to me. The style of acting and the look of actors has changed for the worse.

I can do a few more:

7. I used to like animated movies, but I loathe the 3-D computer animation. I don't like CGI in live-action films either.

8. Movies tend to be made to appeal to young people -- love stories about relationships and so forth -- and I've gotten older.

blake said...

Well, The Boy says Rachel isn't as severe as Cloverfield, shaky-cam-wise, but he's talking at least partly about the fact that in Rachel, the camcorder approach makes you feel like you're a guest at the wedding. It feels very first person.

Kids today. I think the exposure to first-person games and shaky-cams has developed their brains in a way that they don't process it the same way older folks do.

I liked Ledger a lot, and his death is definitely a loss. I just don't think that makes his very good performance Oscar-worthy. And I don't think it's a good thing to give it to him for other reasons.

blake said...

#7 is a deal-killer. It's hard to escape the CGI these days.

ron st.amant said...

Edmund, I'm pretty sure the studios decide to submit actors for lead or supporting category.

Ann, do you like stopmotion animation then (think the old Rankin-Bass Christmas shows)?

Darayvus said...

Wall-E was Idiocracy for yuppies. Even by Hollywood standards it was smug and obnoxious. It might actually be the most bigoted movie in modern times; maybe since Song of the South.

The average American, to a Wall-E fan, is a fat slob who shops Wal-Mart and drinks slurpees while being spoon-fed infotainment. Not like the Wall-E fan, who really cares about pollution and global warming and sustainability and other Issues.

Wall-E fans are our intellectual and, therefore, moral superiors. Just ask 'em.

blake said...

Why wouldn't Idiocracy be Idiocracy for Yuppies?