Mo'Nique was there to pick up her statue. James Cameron was a far more gracious "king of the world" this time around. There were as many predictable turns as there were outright stunners. And Ricky Gervais was generally funny. All in all, the Hollywood Foreign Press and their annual Golden Globes argued for their continued obsolescence and/or cutting edge insight into the current state of cinema, rewarding some clear consensus picks while pulling a few jaw-droppers out of their swanky continental collective. For those who missed the ceremony, here is a recap of the major movie awards:
Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Up in the Air
Perhaps the only real surprise here is that a film that's made over $1 billion dollars internationally would NOT win the best picture award. Cameron's epic has clearly touched a nerve overseas, and with this win (beating presumptive favorite Hurt Locker and Up in the Air) definitely positions itself as the new Oscar frontrunner…for now…until the inevitable backlash begins (if it hasn't already).
Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
(500) Days of Summer
Julie & Julia
Considering its gross out, over the top, toilet bowl buffoonery, a Hangover win definitely stands as almost unbelievable. It would be easier to see any of the other films nominated picking up the little gold orb over this massive mainstream hit. While (500) Days of Summer would be preferable, it's amazing that the Hollywood Foreign Press have decided to reward Todd Phillips film over what many might see as more "traditional" fare.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
George Clooney for Up in the Air
Colin Firth for A Single Man
Morgan Freeman for Invictus
Tobey Maguire for Brothers
Give the DVD and marketers behind the late in the season Bridges vehicle credit - few knew of this film or performance prior to the last few weeks in December, and clearly the wily old Hollywood vet (and a plethora of screeners) left an impact. While not necessarily a lock come Oscar time, he will definitely be in the "career overview lifetime achievement acknowledgment" running. Don't count out some spillover from the comedy category, either.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)
Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)
Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)
Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by
To quote our handicapping of the category - "Bullock…(has) no chance". It's stunning how wrong we were. Wrapping up a year which saw two box office hits and a single cinematic flop, Bullock can now add Golden Globe winner to her career resume. Whether this will mean anything come late February is another issue all together. Sometimes, the Hollywood Foreign Press picks popular over proficient. We may have a 'won/one and done' situation for Ms. Bullock this time around.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Matt Damon for The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis for Nine
Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt for (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man
In discussing this category a month ago, we suggested that Downey Jr. was only part of this list because of all the blackmail fodder he possessed. Apparently, said evidence is more than racy. The beloved actor scored a stunner, winning a race that many thought he wasn't even supposed to be in. Going out on a limb once more, we'll wager that this is the one and only time Guy Ritchie's take on the iconic detective sees award season acceptance.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Sandra Bullock for The Proposal
Marion Cotillard for Nine
Julia Roberts for Duplicity
Meryl Streep for It's Complicated
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia
Bullock had already won for the superior Blind Side. Coitllard and Roberts really had no chance. So it's no big revelation that Streep picked up her seventh Golden Globe statue. It will be interesting to see if she can sustain this well-earned recognition for another few weeks, or if the Dramatic Actress category will dominate.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
…since any other decision would have been a sin.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Penélope Cruz for Nine
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Julianne Moore for A Single Man
Best Director - Motion Picture
Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
James Cameron for Avatar
Clint Eastwood for Invictus
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds
That's gotta hurt! Bigelow has been riding the frontrunner rails all season long, secure in the knowledge that she would easily become the first female director ever to win an Oscar…and now her ex-husband humbly swipes the first major Academy indicator away from her. While her chances remain solid, this has to send some shockwaves through the Hurt Locker faithful.
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
District 9: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
The Hurt Locker: Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds : Quentin Tarantino
It's Complicated: Nancy Meyers
Up in the Air: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner
For the last few months, Paramount has been pushing Up in the Air as their cinematic savior, the film that would bring about a bevy of awards season accolades come the end of 2009. It was the main reason The Lovely Bones was held until this month. Indeed, many critics groups have picked Reitman's film in several major categories. Clearly, the Golden Globes community felt this was the only area is deserved to be recognized. May be indicative of the movie's future come February.
Best Animated Film
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
While we will continue to celebrate the inclusion of the indeed Fantastic Mr. Fox and the sublime Coraline, chalk up another Pixar win. No real bombshell here…sadly.
Best Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces/Los abrazos rotos
The White Ribbon/Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
The Maid/La nana
A Prophet/Un prophète
Cannes clearly has its finger on the pulse of the international film community. Haneke's harrowing tale of rural Germany between the wars is the kind of dark, sinister commentary that the Globes love to champion. As the presumptive Oscar favorite/winner, look for another Waltz with Bashir/Pan's Labyrinth situation in which an otherwise unknown movie steps in come the Academy Awards and dims this film's limelight.