Thursday, December 11, 2014

2015 Golden Globe Nominations and Reactions

This morning the nominations for the Golden Globe awards were announced in California at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and as usual I see a lot of the films I was expecting but also plenty of surprises. Here are the nominees, and in bold are the ones I correctly predicted.


The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Reaction: The lack of the film Unbroken combined with the rather lukewarm initial critical reception to the film tells me that I extremely overvalued the prospects of it in advance. It just seemed like total awards bait, but clearly my decision to pick it to WIN Best Picture at the Oscars with my first round of guesses was misguided. Still might get a nomination, but a win seems extremely unlikely..especially as we continue on here and you notice it is not recognized with even a single nomination by the Hollywood Foreign Press.

I have only seen two of the films listed above, Boyhood and The Theory of Everything, and the first not only deserves the nomination, it deserves the win. Richard Linklater crafted a stunning achievement unlikely anything I have ever seen. The other film, The Theory of Everything, is a baffling nomination in my world. I will only remember that work thanks to the lead performances, because literally everything else about it was totally safe and familiar and unexceptional. A nice, solid biopic, but it being nominated over something far more ambitious like Interstellar or a film that is far better in every conceivable way beyond male lead performance like Gone Girl is a shame.


Into the Woods
The Grand Budapest Hotel
St. Vincent

Reaction: Love seeing a Wes Anderson film get recognition, as The Grand Budapest Hotel seems to be this award season. The only real surprise here for me was St. Vincent and even that isn't all that shocking, seeing as how I listed it as my top "Most likely if I'm wrong" option when I did my predictions.

It seems like yet another work by Paul Thomas Anderson will be ignored by the award voters, as I included Inherent Vice into the picture but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. I haven't seen the film so perhaps it simply isn't worthy, but I have read the source material it was adapted from by author Thomas Pynchon and I have a gut feeling I am going to absolutely love the film.


Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
David Oyelowo, Selma
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler 

Reaction: Rejoice! The only one I got wrong was the one I listed as my "Personal wish that won't come true" and it came true! Jake Gyllenhaal gets the nomination for what is probably my favorite single performance of the year thus far, a close call with the inspired work by Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. 

I doubt JG gets the win here, but I love the recognition. Perhaps more people will check out Nightcrawler, a film that just oozes cool.


Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Reaction: While I didn't include Aniston in my nominations, she was one of two I included in the "Most likely if I'm wrong" choices, so not too shocked here. I really did think Marion Cotillard would get some recognition after the incredible year she has had with her work in both The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night, the latter of which I have not seen but I have heard nothing but praise.

While it was expected, still excited to see Rosamund Pike listed. God what a captivating, nuanced performance in Gone Girl.


Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Bill Murray, St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Reaction: Wow. Waltz wasn't even on my radar for Big Eyes to be honest. I guess I associated his only recognition to be when he is involved in a Tarantino film.


Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis, Annie

Reaction: Despite getting two wrong, none of these are really totally shocking. I picked Moore as a "Most likely if I'm wrong" option, and Wallis was my "Surprise wildcard", which while it involves the word surprise it at least means she was in my mind as a possibility, unlike Waltz in the actor category.

Was hoping to be really surprised by the personal wish pick, Jenny Slate for Obvious Child, but I never really expected it to happen. Oh well.


J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Edward Norton, Birdman
Robert Duvall, The Judge

Reaction: Duvall was not one I realistically considered, but I also always know its possible that a legendary screen presence like him would get recognition so I'm not all that surprised. I can't believe I am saying this, and I didn't have high hopes for it, but I am bummed to not see the name Tyler Perry on a list of awards nominations, a shockingly great performance in Gone Girl that really added some necessary comic relief from a typically dark and ominous Fincher film.


Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Jessica Chastain,  A Most Violent Year
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Reaction: While I picked her to be just barely on the outside looking in by including her in my "Most likely if I'm wrong", I still can't seem to learn the valuable lesson of never going against the power of Streep. She just finds her way into the top five at award shows no matter what, so to say I am not surprised is an understatement. In fact, a part of me would have been surprised if I was correct and she was left out, as strange as that sounds.

Thrilled to see Arquette and Hawke get noms in the supporting categories for Boyhood. While the world of the film revolves around the character of Mason as he ages in front of our eyes from the age of 6 to 18, the roles of the parents are just as vital to the power of the film. As a parent myself, the reason I formed such a deep connection with the picture was the idea of watching years fly by and the beauty and pain of such things in life. Time is relentless, and nothing we can do can slow it down.


Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Reaction: Totally surprised by the inclusion of Wes Anderson, but I'm not complaining. I was hoping for some Nolan recognition for Interstellar but I am aware that my love for that film is not the universal feeling as it managed to be quite polarizing. Also, while I was hoping for some Gone Girl recognition in the Best Picture category, glad to see the name Fincher here. He certainly deserves it.

One more thing: at first glance you may not realize it, but the list above actually made some pretty important history. Ava Duvernay, director of Selma, is the first black female director to ever be nominated in the category. I haven't seen the film so I can't say for sure if I agree with the selection (although I clearly anticipated it since it was a prediction), but congratulations to her regardless.


Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Reaction: The four I got correct just felt like locks to me. I haven't seen Birdman but I know the screenplay has gotten raves, and I have seen the other three and they are a testament to how vital brilliant writing is to make a great film. What Linklater did with Boyhood was remarkable, making the entire experience feel so authentic and real. Gillian Flynn did something that I would imagine is terribly difficult, to take your own novel and be willing to cut it up and figure out which aspects of your own work were not worthy of making it to the big screen, as she penned the adapted screenplay of Gone Girl. Wes Anderson is simply a genius when it comes to dialogue, which along with the art direction and performances carried The Grand Budapest Hotel for me, still among my top ten films of the year. Excited to see I am on the same page as the Hollywood Foreign Press here.


The LEGO Movie
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
The Book of Life

Reaction: This is going to sound silly, but I am really bummed that a film I haven't even seen yet isn't listed above. Everything I have heard about The Tale of Princess Kaguya is that it is a masterful effort from Studio Ghibli, quite possibly the finest studio for animation in cinema history (no, I am not forgetting Disney), and it feels like a shame that it isn't among the nominees. Perhaps the Academy will give it the recognition I safely can assume it deserves.

The LEGO Movie and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are not only the two best animated films I have seen thus far in 2014, they are among the best films period.


Fource Majeure
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Reaction: Honestly, until this morning I had never even heard of the bottom two listed. I am astonished that Two Days, One Night and Mommy did not make the cut, and I haven't even seen either of them. Mommy is the work of the wunderkind Xavier Dolan and I know people personally who were floored by the film, and Two Days, One Night was a shoe in but, well, obviously not. Welcome to my radar, two films that are totally unknown to me. I will have to find a way to check them out at some point.


Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Reaction: This is where a little bit more research on my part would have paid off. I had no idea until now that the score of The Imitation Game was done by Alexandre Desplat, one of the more brilliant and accomplished composers working today. Would have absolutely considering including it had I known.

Hans Zimmer crafted a rather breathtaking score for Interstellar, it was honestly one of my favorite aspects of the film because it brought an eerie, old school vibe to the massive budget and modern picture, and much like their previous collaborations with David Fincher doing the scores of The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross yet again put together a total winner. I'm torn whether to root for them or Zimmer.


Lana Del Ray, Big Eyes
John Legend and Common, Selma
Patty Smith and Lenny Kaye, Noah
Sia, Annie
Lorde, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Reaction: When I did my predictions, I had no idea what songs were even being considered so I randomly named the fact that Coldplay is doing a song for the film Unbroken. That was the only one I named, and it wasn't even nominated. Go figure.

Now that I see the list though, Lorde did do some fantastic stuff for Mockingjay. Should have thought of that.

There we have it, the film nominations for the 2015 Golden Globes. I will be making my predictions on who I think will win and lose much closer to the date of the ceremony, and yet again I am sure to be wrong!

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