AND THE WINNER (MOST LIKELY) IS…
JAN 22, 2010 – BEFORE I BEGIN MY SHAKY PREDICTIONS for the Oscars based on the just-awarded Golden Globes, do allow me a rant on the latter. With due respect to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – and with much gratitude for their lenient attitudes about the consumption of alcohol within the premises, which makes for a looser, lighter ceremony than the stuffy Oscars – how can anyone take seriously an awards roster that has two categories (Comedy and Drama) for Picture, Actor and Actress, but only one each for Director and Screenplay?
If anything, shouldn’t the writing and the directing of a dramatic film be a distinctly different task than the corresponding functions in a comedic enterprise? So an actor is recognised, separately, for skills in comedy and drama, while the people who put those comic/dramatic lines in their mouths and devise the comic/dramatic situations around them are lumped together as one miserable bunch? Phew! Now that I feel lighter, let’s get on with the hopefuls in the Big Five categories, shall we?
Best Picture: The Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama) went to (what else?) Avatar, while The Hangover scored an unexpected win for Best Picture (Musical/Comedy). The Oscars have always opted for heavy-duty, world-embracing, eco-message-mongering dramas – I guess it makes the voters feel they’re compensating for the million-dollar homes they lounge in – and they will recognise Avatar, for its visual bravado, for James Cameron’s ballsy risk-taking, and to celebrate a film that single-handedly brought the world back to the theatres in a recession economy.
Best Director: The Globe went to James Cameron, and there’s no reason to bet against the King of the World at the Oscars – especially since Best Director almost always goes hand-in-hand with Best Picture.
Best Actor: The Golden Globe for Best Actor (Musical/Comedy) went to everyone’s favourite, Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), but it doesn’t take the super-sleuth’s powers of deduction to predict that Jeff Bridges (who won Best Actor, Drama) is the Oscar favourite. He’s been around far too long and awarded far too little, and this is his year. Sorry George Clooney!
Best Actress: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) competed against Meryl Streep (It’s Complicated) and won Best Actress (Musical/Comedy). But I have a hunch that the Best Actress (Drama), namely Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), will be reprising her win at the Oscars. Call it the Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich syndrome – an actress that everyone likes and who’s paid her dues, and has contributed enormously to the economy with two big blockbusters (especially relative to cost) is in no way going to be ignored in favour of a grande dame who’s already won two Academy Awards.
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) won the Globe over Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9), Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated) and Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds). My heart goes out to Tarantino, but his film will have to settle for Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) while Reitman and Turner pick up the nominal recognition for Up in the Air in one of the few categories that’ll survive the onslaught of Avatar.
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