I wasn't sure if I wanted to get in the predictions game for the Globes. Unlike the Oscars, they're too unpredictable. But Filmbrain got my prognostication juices flowing, so I thought I'd chime in. Surprisingly, he and I agree on a lot concerning what should happen and what will happen later tonight.
First, though, Filmbrain also mentioned the conversation he was having in the comments with Britopia regarding how some films have been hurt by having only one creative voice writing and directing the film. Maybe I misunderstood what you wrote, but I don't think that big budget Hollywood fare with multiple credited and uncredited screenwriters benefits from that number of people working on the script. In fact, I would argue that most scripts with that many credits (something determined by the Writers Guild indicating that elements of all the various individual work still exists in the final film) are often overwritten, muddled and thoroughly full of crap. What I was trying to say is that I think we see so many writer-directors these days because writing your own script is just about the only way to break-in to this business as a director.
This was not the case during the heyday of the major studios when directors and writers were under long-term contract (a completely different animal from the modern development deal), and studios had large, active stables of writers churning out scripts, thereby creating plenty of material to keep all the directors working.
Anyway, back to the Globes. I'm actually going to admit up front that I don't really have any great ideas about what will definitely win. While the Globes are often unpredictable, with the exception of Eternal Sunshine (which I'm fairly certain won't win), most of the good nominated films don't really stand-out from the pack:
- Best Picture – Drama: Filmbrain hates Million Dollar Baby; I like it, but don't love it anywhere near the seeming majority of critics. In answer to his question, there actually was a positive reaction to Finding Neverland, but it wasn't so overwhelming. In fact, I was shocked as hell when it won the National Board of Review's top prize. Still, for my money, The Aviator was the best of the six films nominated (sorry, but Closer's failures barely outdid its successes), and I think some sentiment for Scorsese could swing the prize his way. Then again, they gave him a Director award two years ago for Gangs of New York, which is why, like Filmbrain, I see this as being the night of Million Dollar Baby. Should win: The Aviator. Will win: Million Dollar Baby
- Best Actress – Drama: I couldn't disagree with Filmbrain more strongly about Imelda Staunton: I will absolutely call it the best performance I saw in any film this year, male or female, lead or supporting. She could win, but I doubt it. I think there's more of a chance for Filmbrain's pick, Nicole Kidman. Kidman was the only thing I loved about Birth, but not because "she delivers all her lines at just above a whisper." If anything, that's what's wrong with the movie – Jonathan Glazer created an environment that was so cold and devoid of emotion much of the time that I just didn't buy it. With that said, the scene at the philharmonic where Kidman says nothing but we see a range of emotions and transformation of character when the camera simply won't leave her face is absolutely remarkable. But you know, it doesn't matter, because Filmbrain and I make the same prediction here as well. Should win: Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby . Will win:
- Best Actor – Drama: Actually, I find this to be a very competitive category other than Liam Neeson. Everybody seems to love his performance, but I thought he was just OK. His accent bugged the crap out of me. The other four I thought were all brilliant. Don Cheadle carried all of Hotel Rwanda on his shoulders with a subtle complexity missing from the rest of the movie; Javier Bardem provided a quiet dignity quite unlike what we expect from this kind of role (read: Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot); Johnny Depp is becoming a more suave, less rough version of Brando; and Leonardo DiCaprio impressed the shit out of me and hasn't received the credit he deserves. I'm going to go out on a limb on this one, and while I wouldn't be surprised if Filmbrain is correct and the prize goes to Neeson … Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Aviator. Will win: Don Cheadle for Hotel Rwanda (It's a more "important" film.)
- Best Picture – Musical/Comedy: I've seen all of these, and Filmbrain is right – this is too easy for both picks. Should win: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Will win: Sideways.
- Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Filmbrain should skip De-Lovely which simply is further proof that Irwin Winkler should stick to producing only. I'm going to agree with him here too, even though Being Julia was a relatively terrible movie, so bad that even Bening's good work seems less than it is. Should win: Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine. Will win: Annette Bening for Being Julia.
- Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: I haven't seen Beyond the Sea, so I can't really speak for or against Kevin Spacey. But I have a hard time imagining a performance more fascinating in its quiet complexity and nuance than Jim Carrey playing straight man. Director Michel Gondry I'm sure deserves much of the credit, but even more so than in The Truman Show, Carrey proves that there is a great actor lurking, hidden underneath all the schtick. This one seems pretty obvious to me too, even though it easily could swing Paul Giamatti's way. The HFPA obviously likes the mess that is Ray since it received a Best Picture nomination, and Jamie Foxx was the only consistently great thing in the movie. In fact, as I've said this before, Foxx gave two of the best performances of the year in two of its most overrated and disappointing films. Should win: Jim Carrey for Eternal Sunshine. Will win: Jamie Foxx for Ray.
- Best Foreign Language Film: I never saw Filmbrain's top film of the year (Last Life in the Universe), but since it's not even nominated, I'll speak to the actual finalists. In the comments to my last post, Gwenda asked why nobody has mentioned A Very Long Engagement Speaking only for myself, it's one of the few nominees I still haven't seen. I've heard some great things about it, and I'm dying to see it – I plan to within the next week or so. (I also have not yet seen The Chorus, which just opened in NYC this weekend.) I think this award comes down to the other three nominees anyway, and will be a battle between The Motorcycle Diaries and House of Flying Daggers. A coin flip for me on both my pick and prediction … Should and will win: House of Flying Daggers.
- Best Supporting Actress: This is actually a very strong category from top to bottom, but like Filmbrain, I think it's a slam dunk. Should and will win: Cate Blanchett for The Aviator.
- Best Supporting Actor: I agree again with Filmbrain that nobody deserves this award more than Clive Owen who was by far the best thing about Closer. However, I'm going to hedge my prediction here a little bit because I think HFPA members probably cast their votes with the Best Actor – Drama award in mind. If I'm right about Jamie Foxx winning for Ray, then he won't win here for Collateral -- people won't vote for him twice. However, if they choose to go another way with that award, this one will be his to lose. Since I do think he'll win the bigger prize, it's still a MDB night. Should win: Clive Owen for Closer. Will win: Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby.
- Best Director: Not sure why Filmbrain made no picks, other than maybe his horror at the idea of Clint Eastwood winning. I think this one will be close. The question is which critically beloved, and potentially overhyped, film will take home the prize: Sideways or Million Dollar Baby? If you see the acting awards going to MDB, give this one to Eastwood. If you don't, or if Sideways's actors are winning, give it to Alexander Payne. Personally, I think Sideways is the better film, but Eastwood did the more impressive directing job because he had the weaker script. And while my love for Scorsese knows no bounds, he shouldn't have won for Gangs of New York but did, so he won't win this one. Of course, the guy who should win wasn't even nominated. Really should win: Michel Gondry for Eternal Sunshine. Nominated should win: Alexander Payne for Sideways. Will win: Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby.
- Best Screenplay: Here's another reason Payne won't win the director award; he and writing partner Jim Taylor will be taking home this one. Shockingly, again Filmbrain and I agree. Should win: Charlie Kaufman for Eternal Sunshine. Will win: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor for Sideways.
- Best Song and Best Score: I decided that I don't really care this year. I appreciated Eastwood's sparse score for Million Dollar Baby, and I thought Howard Shore's work for The Aviator was fantastic, but neither blew me away. None of the songs really grabbed me as definitive winners either, although Wyclef Jean's "Million Voices" from Hotel Rwanda is the best of the lot. I don't have clue one what the HFPA will do, but if I were voting, I'd go with Wyclef and Shore.
That takes care of the films. Here are some quick notes on the TV side of things:
- Best series – Drama: This is the category where the HFPA always seems to surprise. They like to be the first to award that new(ish) show, proving that they're more adventurous than the Emmys. This year, that desire could swing in three directions. Going out on a limb … Should win: Deadwood. Will win: Lost.
- Best series – Comedy: The nominees fall into two groups: the ok and above-average, and the absolute best shows on television. Will & Grace is simply an embarrassment and shouldn't be anywhere near the word "best." Entourage showed promise, but it never really rose to excellence. Sex and the City went out with a satisfying final season, but it was still weaker than previous years. I'd be happy if Desperate Housewives wins, but I'd be happier if the best show on TV got the award. Based on those Best Actress nominations though, the forecast doesn't look good. Should win: Arrested Development. Will win: Desperate Housewives.
- Best Actress – Drama: A competitive category -- Falco once again was the best part of a phenomenal show, but she's won twice already. Jennifer Garner or Christine Lahti could take it, but critics love Nip/Tuck, and here's a chance for them to say so. Should win: Edie Falco for The Sopranos. Will win: Joely Richardson for Nip/Tuck.
- Best Actor – Drama: This is another toss-up. Sadly, the one actor who deserves it the most, Ian McShane, is probably the only one who can't win. While any of the other four nominees have a great shot, I'm going to say the Globes follow the Emmys in this case and go with the quirky and fascinating Spader. Should win: Ian McShane for Deadwood. Will win: James Spader for Boston Legal.
- Best Actress – Comedy: How does one choose? Will the three Desperate Housewives cancel each other out? Maybe, but I can't really see either Sarah Jessica Parker or Debra Messing winning this time around. This is a simple role of the dice, so I'm just going to pretend that the HFPA members think like I do in this one category. Should and will win: Marcia Cross for Desperate Housewives
- Best Actor – Comedy: This one is quite difficult to predict as well. In fact, it's probably the biggest toss-up of the night, even though there is one actor who should be the clear winner. I doubt it will be Matt LeBlanc or Charlie Sheen, but the other four all have a shot. I'm going to go out on a limb, though, and suggest that nominating Larry David without giving similar recognition to his show is actually a good sign for him. Should win: Jason Bateman for Arrested Development. Will win: Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm.
I didn't see enough of the other TV categories to really make an informed judgment or prognostication, but I wasn't a fan of Iron-Jawed Angels, and as I've mentioned here elsewhere, I thought The Life and Death of Peter Sellers was a missed opportunity for something special, even though Geoffrey Rush was fantastic. I'd be happy to see him win for Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries, and I'll be rooting for Drea De Matteo (The Sopranos) and Oliver Platt (Huff) in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress TV categories.
I plan to be doing some form of
live blogging during the show tonight on my site, and then I'm pretty sure all of us will be back here for some form of reaction after the show. Until then ….