Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 Golden Globe Awards

I used to like the Golden Globes more than even the Academy Awards (the so-called "Super Bowl for gay men"). Back in the '80s it was shown late at night (on the east coast), and 70 percent of the show was cutaway shots of nominees getting shitfaced and otherwise misbehaving at the tables. A delight! But lately my interest in awards shows has lost its pulse. The only thing that makes me wish I had a television connection for this evening is the host, Ricky Gervais, and my fingers are crossed that he will be twice as scaldingly honest as he was last year and somebody posts it all on YouTube immediately. The only improvement I can think of there would be to have Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin, and Sacha Baron Cohen working red-carpet duty. Still, I am a movie lover.  Less and less lately, but still ... and, besides, I might very well have to stop saying I'm gay unless I post my picks (not necessarily predictions) for the best in all the nominated categories.

Best Motion Picture--Drama
Anything but the three I saw this year: The Descendants, Hugo, and Moneyball--and probably none of the ones I haven't seen, since lack of interest was crucial to my decision not to even bother trying to see those. If I could order off the menu, I'd choose Beginners of the films I saw in 2011--and, of the ones I missed, I would probably favor Shame, Melancholia, and We Need to Talk about Kevin. Or if I wanted to go for the longshot, I'd name the very admirable Gun Hill Road.

Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
Of the two I saw, I'd pick Midnight in Paris, because I think Woody Allen is (still) a genius, though his most brilliant work was over thirty years ago. Of the other three, the only one I have a real interest in seeing is My Week with Marilyn.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Drama
Michael Fassbender for Shame, because I'd like to see him naked again. I haven't seen the movie, but it's a point in his favor that he is not playing a historical figure or a man with a disability or homosexual tendencies. I say that with full knowledge that he plays a sex addict, but really I have not yet been fully convinced there is such a disability as sexual addiction apart from a culture that finds sex in general ridiculous, aberrant, and uniquely iniquitous. (For the record, George Clooney, whom I usually like, was just George Clooney in The Descendants, a movie I disliked for its self-pitying sympathy for wealthy males, exasperated by its thorough bashing of a woman who is comatose and unable to defend herself and whose perspective we get in only one dazzling sign of life in the opening shot.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Drama
I haven't seen any of these performances, but I will say this: I love Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and Tilda Swinton, but I'd give the prize to Swinton in We Need to Talk about Kevin because (see above) I have a general prejudice against awarding acting honors based on a movie's educational value ("this is history") or sympathy for an underprivileged group ("this is tolerance"). Art is not about didacticism or niceness. That's my position anyway.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
I'd give this one to Joseph Gordon-Levitt for yet another movie I didn't see, 50/50. But at this point in his 24-year career (and he is not 30 till next month), he has transitioned from child star to leading man and from television to big screen very well--and his accomplishment in 2004's Mysterious Skin and 2009's (500) Days of Summer was remarkable. I like Ryan Gosling, too, just not so much in Crazy Stupid Love, a decent movie that could have been a lot better than it was (no fault, though, to the acting).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy
I have seen Bridesmaids and liked it and admired Kristen Wiig's performance. I have not seen the three films featuring the other four nominees--but this may be the only category in which I am really very interested in seeing all the nominated films. Based on the fact that I like acerbic comedy (and love director Roman Polanski), I think I would favor Kate Winslet in the all-but-Albee Carnage--or her costar Jodie Foster (the film's trailer makes it look like she actually acts in this one).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Easy one. Christopher Plummer in Beginners.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
I strongly suspect my vote would go to Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs, had I only seen the movie. (I know it's irritating to hear I saw next to nothing this past year. Blame work. Blame Netflix. Blame blogging. Blame books.)

Best Director--Motion Picture
Woody Allen. For pretty much everything.

Best Screenplay--Motion Picture
Woody Allen. See above.

Best Song--Motion Picture
I have not seen (or heard) any of these movies (what's new?), but I would lean towards a Madonna and Mary J. Blige tie for oh so many reasons.

Best Original Score--Motion Picture
Frankly, I would like the Hollywood Foreign Press to vote for "none." Movie music has been incredibly overbearing these last four decades--and that does not even extend back far enough to cover Bette Davis's quip, "Do I walk up the stairs or does Max Steiner?" Minimalist use of music in The Birds and any number of Robert Bresson movies has convinced me that powerful emotion can be conveyed without a music soundtrack and the audiences filmmakers should be making award-nominated movies for should be fully capable of coming up with an appropriate response to narrative events without a musical cue--or, on TV, a laugh track.

Best Animated Film
Oh fuck.

Best Foreign Language Film
I'll go with the hype and say Iran's A Separation. I still love Almodovar, but I liked him a lot better before he started taking the Douglas Sirk comparisons literally.

Best Television Series--Drama
I saw two episodes of American Horror Story online and was mesmerized, even though my low-cost WiFi froze my laptop screen every six or seven minutes. That I made it entirely through two whole episodes before deciding, "Hell, I'll just wait for the DVD," is a testament to how good I thought it was.

Best Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Hands down, Modern Family.

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Downton Abbey. Probably.  Though I am very much looking forward to seeing Cinema Verite and Mildred Pierce.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Drama
A tie among all the performers except Kelsey Grammer.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series--Drama
Probably Juliana Margulies. I'm shooting blind now. I haven't seen any of the nominees, and The Good Wife is the only one I recognized as the title of a TV show.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Please, don't insult me. Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock. The only right choice.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series--Musical or Comedy
Tina Fey in 30 Rock, if by musical we still mean singing and dancing and by comedy we still mean funny. Otherwise, I quite liked Laura Linney in The Big C--though, really, I'd still probably go with Fey.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Idris Elba for Luther--and, crossing categories (and years), The Wire and The Big C.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
From everything I've heard but not yet seen, Kate Winslet for Mildred Pierce.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones. I want him to thank all the little people who made the award possible. Am I awful? Am I going to hell? But, yes, he does need to say that.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Lange for American Horror Story. Oh my god, yes! 

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