Thursday, December 11, 2008

Golden Globe Nominees 2009

*It's the hap-happiest season of all...*

Ah, 'tis the season of giving: Awards Season!

A handful of movie awards have already been handed out, but the nominees for the 2009 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning. Before I discuss the nominees, let me first take a moment to reflect on last year's Golden Globes. Hmm, that's strange, I don't remember them at all. Oh, that's right--last year's Golden Globe ceremony was canceled and replaced with what was essentially a press conference announcing the winners, thanks to the WGA strike. No one really cared about whether the writers were going to be at the ceremony anyway, but since the stars whom people actually do care about weren't interested in crossing picket lines, the Golden Globe extravaganza was tragically called off. And where are we this year? SAG is now on the verge of a strike vote, with ballots to authorize a strike going out to members on January 2. Luckily for the Golden Globes (and broadcaster NBC), the ballots will not be counted until January 23, meaning that the January 11 ceremony is safe. Phew! The Oscars, of course, are not so fortunately free of worries in that regard.

Now as for this year's nominees. (They are listed in their entirety a number of places, such as IMDb, so I won't list them all but merely discuss whatever interests me.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon lead the pack with five nominations including Best Picture - Drama; Doubt also received five nominations, including four acting nods, but no nod for best picture. The five best picture nominees, which in addition to Frost/Nixon and Button were Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, and Revolutionary Road, got the five nominations for their directors; all but Revolutionary Road also got nominations for their screenwriters (Doubt got the fifth Screenplay nod). Meryl Streep got nominations for both Mamma Mia! and Doubt, and Kate Winslet also got two with Revolutionary Road and The Reader.

Milk, which seemed to be among the front-runners for best picture, surprisingly only received a nod for Sean Penn as best actor in a drama. The Dark Knight only got a nomination for Heath Ledger as best supporting actor. James Franco got a surprise nod for his role in Pineapple Express, though no recognition for his praised role in Milk. Robert Downey Jr. got a deserved supporting actor nomination for his role in Tropic Thunder, but perhaps the funniest surprise of the morning was that Tom Cruise was nominated in the same category for his Tropic Thunder performance. I will be watching the results of that category with great interest.

The list of nominees, though, has made me realize just how little I have seen this year. The only nominees I have actually seen are

Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
WALL-E, Best Animated Film
House M.D., Best Television Series - Drama
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D.", Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother", Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

That's it. House and HIMYM aren't even really "My Shows". I have been watching House this season because it stands between Jeopardy and Fringe on Tuesday nights and one of my housemates is a fan; I enjoy it well enough, but it is mildly annoying, and it never did let me in on the secret that it's actually that good. I have only seen this season and half of Season 1 of HIMYM, though I love what I've seen, especially Neil Patrick Harris' Barney, and if I had the time and DVDs I would happily make it one of "My Shows". Still, since I haven't seen even half of the episodes, I hardly count myself a true follower.

In regards to the TV nominees, I can somewhat fairly grumble about the lack of Pushing Daisies, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Battlestar Galactica, or other possible nominees, though not having cable means that I haven't been able to watch many of the actual nominees and thus can't refute their merit. But in the movie categories, I just haven't been to the theater enough. Beyond WALL-E and Dark Knight, I haven't seen anything that would really deserve a nomination.

Frost/Nixon is probably at the top of my list of movies I'd like to see. Milk and Benjamin Button are also high on the list, and I'd see Doubt if it were at a local theater. I would have seen Rachel Getting Married if it had come to a local theater. But it didn't. And there lies one of the problems. Our local four-screen theater only gets the most mainstream (and usually boring and bad) movies. Current offerings: Bolt, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Twilight, Quantum of Solace, Four Christmases. Those choices aren't really that bad, considering the dismal offerings throughout the fall. The next closest theater, 25 minutes away, has screens the size of some people's home theaters, and the only additional film it offers is Role Models. I have to drive nearly an hour to get to a theater that has any chance of showing Frost/Nixon. And my chances of finding a friend who wants to drive an hour to see something bleak like Doubt are, well, doubtful. All right, I'll stop complaining. I'll see some of these movies eventually, somehow, I hope.

Well, we'll see how this awards season plays out. Will I make it to the theater to see any of the nominees? Will a strike disrupt the Academy Awards? Will there be any viewers around to notice? Time (and I) will tell.

*It's the most wonderful time of the year!*

No comments: