2012 Oscar Analysis Post Golden Globes Nominations

So I kind of forgot the Golden Globes were a thing this year.

Each year the Globes and a few bloggers at Entertainment Weekly pretend it’s the only other awards ceremony after the Oscars that means something, and yet every year the nominations come out and thoroughly embarrass themselves with their shameless glorification of A-list driven pictures (I’m looking at you “The Tourist”) and moneymakers.

Instead, I’ve been greatly invested in the 2012 Oscar race but have not yet gotten an opportunity to write about them. Simply put, in a year that has been mediocre to weak to plain bad for movies, it has surprisingly led to the most interesting Oscar race in years in which no front runners, or even clear nominees for each category have truly presented themselves. And with the rule change in the Best Picture category from 10 nominees to God-knows-how-many, anything can happen.

And in looking at this year’s Golden Globes nominations that were announced Thursday morning, a few unexpected wrenches have been thrown into the race that have made everything that much more intriguing.

The real reason for this is that the Globes did not completely vomit in their own faces with their nominations this year. They awarded “The Artist,” a modern silent movie, with six nominations, the most of any film in the race. People assumed that even the Oscars might not get behind such a movie, and this says a lot.

In fact, “The Artist’s” nomination, amongst other nods, illustrates what sort of indicator the Golden Globes are for the Oscar nominees. Movies expected to be nominated for GGs that do doesn’t mean a thing in the Oscar race, and it only sometimes matters when movies expected to be nominated for GGs don’t. But Golden Globe surprises revitalize an Oscar campaign. It says, if this group of geniuses in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association look like they know what they’re talking about, what’s the Academy missing?

Best PictureRight now in the Oscar race there are only about 11 films that stand a real shot of a nomination, and of those, only a handful are completely certain.

“The Artist” was already a lock for the Oscars in the Best Picture, Actor, Director, Supporting Actress, and likely a number of other categories. These nominations merely confirm that. What boggles me is that for the Globes “The Artist” got so many nods because it was considered a comedy and “The Descendants” was considered a drama.

Despite Best Comedy/Musical nods for “50/50,” “Bridesmaids” and “My Week With Marilyn,” only “The Artist” and “Midnight in Paris” have much of a chance of winning the Globe and being nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

The drama nominees more or less reflect the BP category with the exception of one slightly odd inclusion and two stranger snubs.

The nominee is “The Ides of March,” long considered dead in the Oscar race because just about no critic or advocator of the film would claim it to be their runaway favorite of the year. A Globe nod might remind voters of the film, and in fact “The Ides of March” did quite well with four nominations total. It’s chances for just about any category are slim, but it’s best bet is either in this category or in the screenplay department.

The two snubs are “The Tree of Life” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” “The Tree of Life” is not precisely Globe bait, and it doesn’t mean it’s Oscar chances are dead. But a nomination from a place that isn’t a critic’s award would’ve been a big sign of just how loved this film is amongst its cult following of fans. And because it currently sits anywhere between the 9-11 positions on the Best Picture line-up, its bubble may soon burst.

And “Extremely Loud:” talk about Oscar bait. Anything this golden for the Academy should be GG catnip, but here we see no nominations for it. In fairness, Paramount put an embargo on “Extremely Loud,” preventing it from being seen early by critic groups looking to vote on year end lists and awards early. My bet is it cost them a Golden Globe campaign as well, and Oscar buzz is still strong, at least for Picture, but this is a scary omen.

Best Actor

George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Jean Dujardin have all been Oscar locks from the beginning. The Globes has them well represented here. The fourth spot has been generally held by Leonardo DiCaprio, and he’s here as well, but the poor critical and box office performance of “J. Edgar” has diverted a lot of Leo’s Oscar buzz elsewhere.

Two names have been claiming that attention: Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and now Golden Globe nominee Michael Fassbender for the NC-17 art house sex addict movie “Shame.” I have yet to see “Shame.” Fassbender’s supposed to be absolutely raw. For GG to honor that means something, more so than being snubbed by the SAG awards for Demian Bichir of “A Better Life” does.

You’ll also notice Ryan Gosling was nominated twice this year. As much as I love Gosling, he was nominated for the two wrong movies of the three he starred in, “Crazy, Stupid Love” and “The Ides of March.” He is stoically perfect in “Drive,” and he has been nearly erased by the Oscars for all three films. It’s sad really, and if there was some surprise nod for “Drive,” it might have made a difference.

Best Actress

The Best Actress category is even larger than the pool of eligible men, despite the fact that nearly all the best performances come from weak films. The 10 nominees for Drama and Comedy/Musical only show how broad the field is, but it also shows once again whose in and out.

Viola Davis, Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are all definitely in. Glenn Close for the period piece drama “Albert Nobbs,” has been hanging in strongly at the number four spot, but has started to see some attacks from other parties, similarly to Dicaprio’s situation. Her big competition has been Charlize Theron for “Young Adult,” Rooney Mara for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and Tilda Swinton for the Cannes buzzer “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” All three are represented by the Globes.

And there was even a fourth horse in this dark horse race, “Martha Marcy May Marlene’s” break-out star Elizabeth Olson. Granted, the Golden Globes are not known for honoring indies, but to provide perspective, Tilda Swinton’s performance is not exactly buzzing at the box office.

Kristen Wiig was lucky enough to receive a nomination for the Golden Globe, and I wouldn’t doubt she would stand an outside chance of winning, partly because there is a very outside chance she would be nominated for an Oscar. Again, this is one of those nods that doesn’t mean much in terms of the Academy, but she’s someone to keep an eye on, as is “Bridesmaids” in general.

And Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet both received nominations for “Carnage,” a movie I feel should be getting more buzz than it is. If there’s no Oscar buzz for either woman, it might now be because they’ve simply split the vote in their movie. Even more looking forward to seeing “Carnage” now.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress

The supporting categories in the Globes are not split up into two categories, so the five we see is what we get.

And looking at them says something about two categories that are almost still complete toss-ups.

For the men, Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn,” Albert Brooks for “Drive” and Christopher Plummer for “Beginners” all seem like reasonable bets, each one beginning to clean up critic awards as well. The other two nominees are Jonah Hill for “Moneyball” and Viggo Mortensen for “A Dangerous Method.”

I wasn’t even aware Viggo was in the conversation for this category. I assumed he was the lead in “A Dangerous Method,” especially considering that Michael Fassbender is in that movie too (he is literally in everything this year), and he’s obviously not making a lead actor campaign for this film.

Moving on is the most oddball pick I’ve ever seen, Jonah Hill. Hill legitimately is a contender for an Oscar, which just sounds odd to me. I think Patton Oswalt is a more likely nominee for “Young Adult,” but this doesn’t mean either is out, it just means Hill now has a real leg to stand on.

Contenders from movies we’ve already mentioned were snubbed include Brad Pitt for “The Tree of Life” and Max von Sydow for “Extremely Loud.” But the most notable exclusion is Ben Kingsley for “Hugo.” “Hugo” was a multiple Globe nominee, and I can’t even begin to say what that means for his chances. With a category like this, it could mean everything or nothing.

As for the women, the Globe/Oscar match-ups are Octavia Spencer for “The Help,” Shailene Woodley for “The Descendants” and Berenice Bejo for “The Artist.” Janet McTeer for “Albert Nobbs” is the surprise nominee getting Oscar buzz I can’t even begin to speak to because I know very little about the film or the actress. And Jessica Chastain, the other actor literally whose filmography would be quicker summed up in listing what they were not in this year, picked up a nomination for “The Help.” This comes as a surprise as she may be more likely to deserve one for “The Tree of Life” or “Take Shelter.” Vanessa Redgrave is one of the Oscar frontrunners for the modern Shakespearean adaptation “Coriolanus,” and that too may have fallen victim to a bad release schedule.

But I’m sure the biggest snub of the entire Globes race has to be Melissa McCarthy. If “Bridesmaids” were to make any headway at the Globes, it would’ve been here, and fans of the film have been making a dire push to see her get an Oscar nomination. Maybe they haven’t been pushing hard enough and what we see today will be the Oscar nominations in January.

Best Director

Quickly, the nominees for the Globes in the director category are Woody Allen, George Clooney, Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese. Clooney is the shocker, edging out Steven Spielberg and Bennett Miller at the very least. Stephen Daldry is the non-starter, a good possibility for a repeat nominee this year for “Extremely Loud” but obviously not represented here.

I still feel Terrence Malick has a good shot at a directing nod, especially if “Tree of Life” doesn’t get the Best Picture nod it was hoping for. He’s obviously a compelling example of having made one of the most personal and intimate directorial films of the year, so I think this Globe snub is nothing to be concerned about.

Go Woody and Marty!

Stray Thoughts

Globes, where’s the love for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II?” Or “Super 8?” Or even “The Muppets?” Sadly, this above all else is where they needed to shine, and it didn’t happen.

Good looking Foreign Language Film category, even with Angelina Jolie’s yet unseen “In the Land of Blood and Honey” on the list. Decent looking Best Screenplay category. Very bland looking Animated Feature category and even more miserable looking Best Original Song category.

I am glad to see Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are being recognized again for their “Dragon Tattoo” soundtrack. That “Immigrant Song” cover with Karen O rocks.

Full list of Golden Globe nominees, including TV

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
War Horse

BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
My Week with Marilyn

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy Stupid Love
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain , The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

BEST SCREENPLAY
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
The Ides of March, George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Moneyball, Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Flowers of War
In The Land of Blood and Honey
The Kid WIth The Bike
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
W.E., Abel Korzeniowski
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo, Howard Shore
War Horse, John Williams

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs
“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo and Juliet
“The Living Proof,” The Help
“The Keeper,” Machine Gun Preacher
“Masterpiece,” W.E.

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Boss Starz
Game of Thrones
Homeland

BEST TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY
Enlightened
Episodes
Glee
Modern Family
New Girl

BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Romola Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downtown Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big To Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

Nominees courtesy of The Wrap

The Golden Globes will be held on Sunday, January 15 as hosted by Ricky Gervais

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2 Comments

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  1. I can’t believe you didn’t mention the omissions of Michael Shannon for “Take Shelter” in the Best Actor category, a vivid and powerful performance, and that of Armie Hammer in “J.Edgar.” His performance, as a man both devoted and in love, is moving and the best part of that film.

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    • I haven’t seen Take Shelter but am dying to. He’s certainly an outside contender for Best Actor, although Take Shelter was never a movie the Globes would even think of getting behind, so I didn’t mention it. Armie Hammer is an interesting case. I’m not the biggest fan of the film or him in that movie, but after scoring a SAG award nomination he could be back in the conversation again.

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