2012 Golden Globes Nominations

With awards season truly hotting up we are treated with the nominations for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. They’re an interesting bunch, a lot of the more challenging and/or smaller films have been passed by. The Los Angles Times has it spot on when they say that the nominations seem to recognise those works featuring the A-list actors, more accessible films and less dark dramas. No Tyrannosaur or Like Crazy to be found below.

What you will find is my gut reaction and my opinions for each category (apart from Best Original Song and Best Original Score as that is not my strong suit) whether you want it or not.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees:
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
War Horse

Having only seen The Descendants I’m hardly the right person to say, but for me that particular film isn’t the best of this group. The Help will benefit from dealing with social issues in an entertaining way and War Horse is so award friendly as to be rendered dull. I could easily see Moneyball winning but probably not Hugo or The Ides of March. Don’t ask me to explain, I really can’t.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
The Artist
Bridesmaids
50/50
Midnight in Paris
My Week with Marilyn

I have much more experience with this group, only having missed Midnight in Paris. Bridesmaids is not strong enough to deserve a win and I hope voters see past the British charm and to realise that Marilyn is wholly hollow. I did love 50/50 but the winner positively has to be the joyous The Artist, no other film makes so strong a statement.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees:
George Clooney for The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender for Shame
Ryan Gosling for The Ides of March
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Again going mostly on rumour here. Pitt, Gosling and Clooney all strong in their roles, but none a career best, while J. Edgar is not getting much positive buzz. My (theoretical) money is on Fassbender in Shame where he gives a brave (Hollywood for naked) performance.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees:
Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis for The Help
Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin

What a strong category this is; for many of these actresses the roles listed above mark the highlight of their careers. The male actors could learn something here. With Felicity Jones nowhere to be seen I’ll back Streep because just what I’ve seen in trailers has blown me away.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Brendan Gleeson for The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt for 50/50
Ryan Gosling for Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson for Midnight in Paris

First of all let’s take a moment to admire Ryan Gosling and his multi-genre acting nods, then let’s realise that he wasn’t the funniest actor in CSL. Much as I enjoyed Gordon-Levitt and Dujardin, I’d give it to Gleeson just to give The Guard a bit of much-needed love.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
Jodie Foster for Carnage
Charlize Theron for Young Adult
Kristen Wiig for Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn
Kate Winslet for Carnage

I am a big Wiig fan but am going to pass her by, and the completely unfunny performance from Williams in favour of supporting Kate Winslet, a woman who made a gross-out gag work in Carnage that so often failed in Little Britain.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:
Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn
Albert Brooks for Drive
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen for A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer for Beginners

I’ll let Branagh have this, he was by far the best thing about Marilyn and the sole source of comedy, however slight. Plummer is also worthy for Beginners, a film which won’t get many other nominations.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Jessica Chastain for The Help
Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer for The Help
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants

Bejo deserves this award for The Artist if only for humbly taking a Supporting Role nomination when she was clearly the second lead. In black and white she was absolutely mesmerising, imagine what she could do with dialogue and colour. Woodley should be awarded for having the best career move of the year, going from atrocious and preachy TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager to a film receiving lots of awards buzz.

Best Director – Motion Picture
Nominees:
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
George Clooney for The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Not to sound too much like a broken record but this award should go to the sole nominee to have been universally praised for their work. With The Artist Hazanavicius wrote a love letter to early Hollywood using Hollywood’s own stationary. Swoon.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Nominees:
The Artist: Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
The Ides of March: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen
Moneyball: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin

While the obvious choice would be the nomination with the word Sorkin included, I’d like Woody Allen to win. Rather than everyone constantly just talking about this legendary writer/director’s return to form, it would be nice for the chatter to be backed up with a trophy.

Best Animated Film
Nominees:
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Rango: beautiful, funny and unmatched by the competition. For Tintin to win would be a complicated issue. We’re told motion capture is “proper” acting, encapsulating the full performance, so can it be animated too?

Best Foreign Language Film
Nominees:
The Flowers of War (China)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (USA)
The Kid with a Bike (Belgium)
A Separation (Iran)
The Skin I Live In (Spain)

I am proud to have actually seen two of these, and the two I saw were very different indeed. A Separation is a slow, realistic drama about a family torn apart by an accusation from some hired help. The Skin I Live In is an off-kilter drama filled with endlessly traumatic and beautiful scenes. I could not begin to compare them.

Best Television Series – Drama
Nominees:
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Boss
Game of Thrones
Homeland

Nothing can touch Homeland, coming to Channel 4 in the new year. It is everything TV should be; taut, funny, gripping, brilliantly acted, written and directed and with the ever popular combination of swearing, violence and nudity. If you don’t watch this when it comes on UK TV, you have no right to complain about how bad TV is these days.

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
Enlightened
Episodes
Glee
Modern Family
New Girl

Let’s see, Glee is insufferable, Enlightened is underwhelming, Episodes is a touching and funny UK/US meld that almost worked, and Modern Family is consistently funny and family friendly. But at the end of the day New Girl stars Zooey Deschanel. I am not a complicated man.

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

Of the three I’ve seen I’m torn between The Hour and Downton Abbey. Mildred Pierce was clearly quality TV but I could never get past the fact that I was being acted at, whereas Downton is a guilty pleasure and The Hour was really good once it got over its fumbling start.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Nominees:
Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammer for Boss
Jeremy Irons for The Borgias
Damian Lewis for Homeland

First of all let’s accept that Bryan Cranston is one of the best actors working on TV right now, not what I expected from the dad in Malcolm in the Middle but this year Damien Lewis has him beat. Lewis plays a war veteran recently returned home after being kidnapped in Iraq, and at no point could I decide whether he was a returning hero or a terrorist in disguise. That takes some acting chops.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Nominees:
Claire Danes for Homeland
Mireille Enos for The Killing
Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe for Revenge
Callie Thorne for Necessary Roughness

After all that gushing above, surely it’s no surprise that Claire Danes is my top choice as the obsessive agent who can’t drop her suspicions of the returning war hero. Danes was great on TV at 15 in My So Called Life and she has only improved with age.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock
David Duchovny for Californication
Johnny Galecki for The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane for Hung
Matt LeBlanc for Episodes

Anyone but someone from The Big Bang Theory, please. Maybe give the award to Thomas Jane, but secretly give it to him for his high-fiving cameo in Scott Pilgrim, rather than for Hung (which is actually quite good).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Nominees:
Laura Dern for Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel for New Girl
Tina Fey for 30 Rock
Laura Linney for The Big C
Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla vitae tortor lectus, in scelerisque arcu. Ut dignissim tempor justo non dapibus. Nullam dui lacus, imperdiet ac tristique ac, imperdiet in elit. Proin eu erat erat. Mauris id mauris eget tortor aliquet hendrerit sit amet ut lacus. ZOOEY DESCHANEL!!!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:
Hugh Bonneville for Downton Abbey
Idris Elba for Luther
William Hurt for Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy for Page Eight
Dominic West for The Hour

West and Bonneville certainly put up a good fight but no one can beat Bill Nighy as the MI-5 officer getting involved in things too complicated for me to remember. Think of a TV version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and you will have underestimated Page Eight.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:
Romola Garai for The Hour
Diane Lane for Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern for Downton Abbey
Emily Watson for Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet for Mildred Pierce

How fantastic was Emily Watson in Appropriate Adult? Very. Seeing her portray a woman burdened with the affection of a brutal man and forced to listen to descriptions of horrific acts, showed how good TV could be and showed that dramas about serial killers need not focus on the violence itself.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:
Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti for Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce for Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins for Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family

This category is too complicated to think about, all different genres and formats pitted against each other. No comment.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:
Jessica Lange for American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald for Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey
Sofía Vergara for Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood for Mildred Pierce

This category is too complicated to think about, all different genres and formats pitted against each other. No comment. Maggie Smith.