Tag Archives: golden globes

Gone Girl

Gone Girl is director David Fincher’s most successful film to date and most people are familiar with it and, if you’re not, the less you know the better so I will skip the usual plot summary.

Despite Golden Globe nominations for best actress, screenplay, director, and original score, only actress Rosamund Pike walked away with a shot at an Oscar. Her best actress nomination makes sense, especially this year where the pool of strong female lead performances seems more shallow than it was over the last few years. We get to know Amazing Amy mostly through flashbacks and Pike’s eyes and haunting narration suggest she’s got secrets and we really want to find out what happened to her.

gone girl review

The fact that Gone Girl works so well though has a lot to do with Ben Affleck, who plays Amy’s husband. The press has picked on Ben almost as much as they did his Gone Girl character. It’s probably partly because he’s made more than his share of shitty movies. He also has this way about him though. He’s a charming enough guy but often can’t seem to help seeming insincere. Maybe it’s his, as Amy puts it, “villainous chin”. Or maybe it’s just hard to seem sincere under a media microscope, where your every gesture is examined for signs of insincerity. Either way, he knows what it’s like to be bullied by the press and he seems to draw on that experience to deliver probably his best performance so far. Ben’s public life serves Gone Girl just as well as Michael Keaton’s did Birdman. Even that famous smugness of his works. His character’s a nice guy but we’re not always sure we believe him, as much as we’d like to. The way Affleck and Pike play it, we’re never quite sure what the truth is.

For another asshole’s point of view, click here.

Golden Globes Winners – 2015

Golden Globes CocktailBest Motion Picture, Drama: Boyhood

Best Original Song: John Legend & Common for Selma

Cecille B. DeMille award: George Clooney

Best Original Score: Johann Johannson for The Theory of Everything

Best Animated Feature Film: How To Train Your Dragon 2

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Screenplay: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo for Birdman

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Best Foreign Language Film: Leviathan

Best Actor in a Drama: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy: Michael Keaton for Birdman

Best Actress in a Drama: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams for Big Eyes

Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons for Whiplash

Thank you to everyone who followed (and favorited!) our tweets. We celebrated with the Golden Golden Globes PartyGlobes cocktail of choice, the sunset starlet, and plenty of champagne as well as delicious little Thimble Cakes from Cake and Shake. We weren’t always pleased with the results (let us know in the comments what categories surprised\disappointed\delighted you) but it was a great kick-off to awards season and we can’t wait for the Oscars to announce their nominations this Thursday. Stay tuned!

My Incomplete Golden Globes Coverage- Pt 6

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

I have admittedly very little to contribute here. I have not yet been able to see Still Alice or Cake which, as far as I can tell, may be the two front-runners here. Julianne Moore seems to be the favourite though and I will not be disappointed to see her win. She’s been doing good work for a long time and has never won (at least, not for a movie).wild globes

From what I’ve seen, I have to give it to Reese Witherspoon. I thought Wild was very well directed and exceptionally well edited but its really Reese that has to carry the movie. And she does which is saying something given that I’m not usually a fan. I was especially impressed that she didn’t go out of her way to try to make the character more charming or likeable.

Rosamund Pike does a good job in Gone Girl, getting better and better the as it gets clearer that things are not quite as they seem. I notice every timeGone Girl I get the chance to endorse Gone Girl, I can’t seem to bring myself to treat it as a real contender in any of the categories. I remember liking it but my enthusiasm may have faded having seen it so many months ago. And Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything has the same problem Keira Knightley had in The Imitation Game: being over-shadowed by a male co-star with a much better part.

Reese gets my vote for now.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

The toughest pick by far. All five performances here are tough to argue with and- replace Jake Gyllenhaal with Michael Keaton for Birdman- and we might just be looking at the five Best Actor Oscar nominees.

nightcrawlerI’ll start with Jake. His nomination is well deserved but he’s the only one I can comfortably rule out. He plays a superficially charming but completely soulless man in Nightcrawler as he remorselessly searches for shocking footage of violence and auto accidents that he can sell to the nightly news. Maybe its the movie which I highly recommend watching but as a satire it could have benefited from a more subtle approach in its critique of the bloodlust in today’s media. Or maybe its because Gyllenhaal relies just a little on what has served him well in the past. He’d be a major contender in a less competitive year.

The other four- David Oyelowo in Selma, Steve Carell in Foxcatcher, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything- are all incredible for pretty much the same reasons. They all play real people. They all disappear completely into their characters. They all get better and better the more the story unfolds.

I can go on forever with an analysis of these four performances trying to pick a winner and still selmabe back where I started, making a decision that would still be as arbitrary as picking one name out of my hat. I feel like Cumberbatch and Redmayne are the two most likely to win tonight. But, if it were up to me, I would probably have to go with Oyelowo. He channels Dr. King beautifully , playing him as an inspiring figure from history but also as a man, sometimes exhausted and filled with self-doubt.

Best Motion Picture, Drama

The Theory of Everything. Foxcatcher. The Imitation Game. Selma. Boyhood.theory of everything

Its been a good year.

The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything seem to almost cancel each other out. Both very well done British biopics with great performances from their young stars. The Imitation Game’s is very straightforward in its direction but with great dialogue while The Theory of Everything strives for more visual poetry and has a more straightforward script.

Foxcatcher has no real weaknesses. I acknowledge and admire it for being terrificially acted and  flawlessly shot. I just can’t bring myself to be too enthusiastic about it given that the thoughts and feelings of the characters are so far out of reach.

Selma really is something to see. It makes us look back at a time not so long ago with gratitude for the courage of some and horror at the ignorance and cruelty of others. But it goes further. boyhoodWhere last year’s 12 Years a Slave focused unflinchingly on the horrors of the past, Selma challenges us to look to the future with the help of an original song from John Legend and Common.

My favourite is Boyhood, not just for its cinematic achievement but for its overall impact. I don’t know why it is so often the case that the only movie not based on a true story seems to tell the most truth but Boyhood feels alive with every beautiful, painful, sad, and genuinely funny moment. I can honestly say that I literally wanted to rewatch this nearly three-hour movie as soon as it was over.


My Incomplete Golden Globes Coverage- Pt 5

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

I feel more confident than I really deserve to be in judging this category, given that I have not yet seen Annie or Maps to the Stars. I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild for lots of reasons, one important one being for introducing us to Quvenzhané Wallis. I hope we see a lot more of her but if she couldn’t pull off a win for BOTSW I can’t imagine her winning for Annie. I tend to like David Cronenberg and am looking forward to Maps but everything I’ve read has Julianne Moore as the favourite for the Drama category and, wanting to get as many celebrities on their stage as possible, they’re unlikely to honour her twice in one night. So that leaves the three that I’ve actually seen. Well, sort of. I couldn’t finish The Hundred-Foot Journey because my dvd player stopped working at about the half-way point (one of the disadvantages of being one of the few people left that actually watch dvd’s). But, from what I’ve seen, the great helen Mirren seems to have one hand tied behind her back as she tries to act through that silly French accent. Still, she has a couple of moments where her talent shines through, usually when she’s not speaking and we can only read the expression on her face (come to think of it, those are Emma Stone’s best moments in Birdman too).

So that leaves Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. Adams is very well cast as Margaret Keane in Big Eyes and her natural vulnerability serves the film well. Jay was right to point out, however, that director Tim Burton curiously treats her as a bit of an after-thought in her own movie, focusing as much as possible on the more dynamic Christoph Waltz. This miscalculation is one of many in Big Eyes, making for Adams’ nomination tonight a little bit of an after-thought as well. I’m not much more excited about Blunt, who could have just as easily been nominated as a supporting actress in the ensemble musical Into the Woods. She gives one of many very entertaining performances and doesn’t necessarily even stand out in her own movie. Still, she’s full of charm in a movie that was charming pretty much from beginning to end and she manages to stand out in an underwhelming category.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

I’m a little more prepared on this one, only missing the still impossible to find Inherent Vice, which I can’t wait for. I loved the novel and love PT Anderson and the fact that I find the pairing of director and source material hard to picture only makes me more eager to see it. So, who knows? Maybe Joaquin Phoenix will have what it takes to pull ahead in an already strong category.

Well, it would be a lot stronger without Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes. His tendency to go over the top is an asset when he’s working with a director who knows when to rein him in.

Bill Murray can’t help but be awesome and- if he can carry a movie like St. Vincent- he can do anything. I disliked the movie as much as I possibly could given that its lead is so strong. In Vincent, Murray finds a role that both plays to his strenghs while giving us some opportunity to see what else he cacn do.

Ralph Fiennes is a new and welcome addition to Wes Anderson’s universe in The Grand Budapest Hotel. He manages to fit in perfectly as if he’d been working with Anderson for years while still contributing something new. His classical training and and what imdb called his “rich mellifluous voice” served TGBH well.

As good as Murray and Fiennes are, Michael Keaton pretty much has this locked. Best known for playing a superhero, Keaton manages to reinvent himself as an actor best known for playing a superhero trying to reinvent himself. Its one of those rare cases where the baggage an actor brings to a role makes for the perfect casting instead of a distraction.

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

St. Vincent is elevated by a fantastic Bill Murray performance as well as very likeable supporting ones from Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and Jaeden Lieberher but on a whole doesn’t seem to belong in this otherwise stiff competition.

IIt took me a few minutes to get used to Inot the Woods but once it really got going, I was entertained from start to finish. Bonus points for being the only movie in this category that is both a comedy and a musical and I found myself laughing out loud several times. It finds a fresh take on not one but four classic fairy tales and keeps going and only gets better after the happily ever afters.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson at his best. It may not have the emotional impact of some of The Royal Tenenbaums or Moonrise Kingdom but it makes up for it by possibly being his most outrageous and hilarious movie yet.

I love Pride. I just love it. this is one of the few things I appreciate about the globes. this comedy or musical category category gives recognition to this movie that is almost definitely going to be competely ignored when the Oscar nominations are announced on Thursday. Although I hope I’m wrong.

But really the winner has to be Birdman. The dizzying camerawork, the seamless gelling of a great cast, and layered script make this one of this year’s best films.

My Incomplete Golden Globe Coverage- Pt 4

Best Supporting Actress

I haven’t seen A Most Violent Year and I’m really hoping Jessica Chastain is incredible in it because I’m finding it hard to find a front-runner in the supporting actress category. Everyone seems pretty equally good/not great. Meryl Streep is, well, Meryl Streep and can’t being awesome but I can think of many times that she was even more awesome and her nomination seems to be partly out of habit. Her last song was still one of the best parts of Into the Woods though. Joan Clarke brings out the best of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and Keira Knightley brings out the best in Benedict Cumberbatch. Their friendship is one of the best parts of the movie and- with Cumberbatch being so spectacular- it can be easy to underestimate how good Knightley was. But the movie still belongs to Turing. I loved watching the cast of Boyhood play their characters as they grow with them over a period of 12 years but it would seem strange to give Patricia Arquette an acting award for a movie that tries so hard to make you forget that these are actors. Finally, Emma Stone has some very nice moments in Birdman but is mostly over-shadowed by Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.

I’m still waiting for someone to wow me in this categoryand its all up to Chastain now. But in the meantime, Arquette came the closest.

Best Supporting Actor

I’m really falling behind here. I have not seen either The Judge or Whiplash. I hear great things about both Whiplash and J. K. Simmons’ performance and I can’t wait to see it. I have heard not so great things about The Judge but I normally like Robert Duvall so I’ll keep an open mind.

Of what I’ve seen, I’m on Team Edward Norton for now. Birdman apparently had a strenuous shooting schedule with actors having to film up to 15 pages of dialogue at a time and Ed rises to the ocassion, not having been this good in a long time. Ethan Hawke is one of those actors I almost never like but I thought he seemed uncharacteristically sincere in Boyhood and his performance matures as his character does. As for Foxcatcher, everyone I talk to has a different idea of who was the best in Foxcatcher but Mark Ruffalo being nominated over Channing Tatum is baffling to me.

I’m voting Ed Norton but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Simmons changes my mind once I finally see Whiplash.

My Incomplete Golden Globe Coverage- Pt 3

Best Screenplay

Its a tough category. Gone Girl gets eliminated first. Gillian Flynn’s script is well strucutured and witty but may be too modest and doesn’t aim as high as the other nominated screenplays. The Imitation Game is very well written and manages to find hmour and suspense in a story that could have easily been dull and hard to follow. More importantly, it rises to the challenge of telling a compelling and ultimately heart-breaking with a main character who can at first be so hard for us to relate to. As I’ve said before though, screenwriter Graham Moore takes a couple of lazy and cliched shortcuts too many. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Wes Anderson’s screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel, another hilarious and bittersweet Anderson film. Anderson’s movies seem to exist in a world of their own and comparing TGBH with the other nominees seems strange, as if it should only be compared with other Anderson movies. That leaves Boyhood and Birdman- two of this year’s best movies. Boyhood is the more profound of the two experiences but the Birdman was so well written it was one of those few scripts that I could just sit and read. I’d almost have to flip a coin to decide but I’m voting Birdman.

Best Director

Wes Anderson and David Fincher are two directors whose next projects I am always anxiously awaiting and I don’t think either one of them has ever directed a film that I haven’t seen several times. But, just as I elimated Gone Girl’s and Budapest’s screenplays from consideration, Fincher and Anderson may not be able to compete with the other three very strong nominees. Selma, Boyhood, and Birdman may be my three favourite English-language movies of 2014. Selma is both inspiring and horrifying, with director Ava DuVemay depicting human capacity compassion just as effectively as for cruelty and handles Dr. King’s private life (almost) as effectively as his public life. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu gives long stretches of Birdman the appearance of one continuous take, which is especially ambitious given how much is going on both between all the different characters and inside Riggan’s imagination. It’s the kind of movie that makes someone think “wow, that was really well directed”. But Boyhood was too ambitious, too real, and too beautiful for me to vote for anyone but Richard Linklater. I doubt he’ll win- it’ll go to DuVemay or ñárritu- but I would love it if he did.

My Incomplete Golden Globes Coverage- Pt 2

Best Original Score

Three of the five nominees can be easily ruled out. Jay and I have both commented on Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar, which I found so over-bearing that it even drowned out some of the dialogue. Trent Reznor has already been sufficiently honoured for his collaborations with Gone Girl director David Fincher, which worked even better in the Social Network. Alexandre Desplat is nominated for his forgettable score for The Imitation Game when he should have been nominated for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel, which set the mood perfectly for Wes Anderson’s unique vision. That leaves Birdman and The Theory of Everything. Antonio Sanchez’s out of control percussion-heavy score was one of many elements of Birdman that kept me off balance. Sanchez deserves high praise for thinking outside the box and contributing to the uneasiness I felt watching the film. Jóhann Jóhannsson’s much more conventional music in The Theory of Everything moved me so much that it gets my vote though, inspiring me to ponder the endless possibilities in an infinite universe.

Best Original Song

I try and judge these songs on how well they fit with the movie that they’re written for and how well they add to the experience of watching it. So I won’t comment on the song if I haven’t seen the movie. Sounds fair, right? Unfortunately, that rules out three of this year’s nominated songs. I haven’t yet seen Annie, Noah, or Mockinjay, having prioritized seeing movies with more than one or two nominations. Lucky for me, narrowing it down to my remaining two choices makes it easy. Lana del Rey’s mysterious sound is wasted in the otherwise ordinary Big Eyes. Selma, on the other hand, ends on a high note that is so empowering, they could have played Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It through the closing credits and I still would have been choked up as I left the theater but, luckily, they played an original song from John Legend and Common instead. The movie isn’t over until the song has finished playing, with lyrics that bring us back to present struggles, challenging us to look to the future. I can’t imagine anything else winning.

My Incomplete Golden Globes Coverage- Pt 1

Why are the Globes so early? I hit the Bytowne, Elgin Video, Redbox, and Google Play pretty hard over the last few weeks but still haven’t been able to see all the nominated films, with some still impossible to see in Ottawa without resorting to piracy. But here’s the best that I could do.

Best Animated Feature Film

I revisited a lot of what I’ve already said on this category in my reviews for the individual movies but we lost power in the office and I lost everything. So I’ll just say that I thought The Book of Life was loud, tedious, and had an amateurish sense of comic timing. And I still haven’t seen the Boxtrolls which, for all I know, could be the best of the bunch. But the other three nominees (How to Train Your Dragon 2, Big Hero 6, The Lego Movie) are all worthy. The Lego Movie is a clear stand-out though as one of the most inventive and funniest movies of 2014. The Assholes are pretty unanimous on this and I think the Hollywood Foreign Press- not to mention Oscar- will agree.

Best Foreign Language Film

These are always the hardest to track down. I sheepishly have very little to contribute here except that I loved Force Majeure. I relished debating and discussing it and couldn’t help but try to imagine myself in each of the character’s shoes. So far, it’s my favourite movie of 2014 and, although I hear great things about Leviathan and Ida in particular, I can’t help but hope Force Majeure wins.

Golden Globes – Best Director, Motion Picture

The Nominees

Ava DuVernay, Selma

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

David Fincher, Gone Girl

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

David Fincher is the easiest one to strike off the list. I’m not even sure how he got on it in the first place, except that he’s the kind of director people feel confident in nominating. He’s David Fincher! He does arty, interesting things! Just not this time.

It paints me to say this, but I think Wes Anderson’s my next victim. Love the movie, but it’s not terribly important and it’s always been easy for voters to ignore him no matter how good his stuff is.

The last three are the problem. I feel like I keep saying that. I mean, if it was up to me, I’d let Linklater go. I feel guilty saying that because he made this “achievement” in cinema, but I felt like it was more of an achievement and less something I actually would choose to rewatch.

Inarritu’s Birdman was undoubtedly one of my favourite movies this year and I think he really shook things up and reminded us all of what is possible. I don’t think his chances of winning are overly good, deserving as he may be.

Ava DuVernay has made a masterpiece that will still be watched and loved and appreciated 20 years from now. She made it lovingly, truthfully, and skillfully. And I think they’re going to give it Linklater anyway.