An Annotated Look at This Year’s Golden Globe Nominees

If you wanted commentary on this morning’s Golden Globes nominations, here it is:

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
12 Years A Slave– Yes!!!! Best movie of the year (well… tied with The Wolf of Wall Street)
Captain Phillips – Excellent meat & potatoes fare.
Gravity – Just because everyone loves it doesn’t mean it sucks.
Philomena – Meh. A decent TV movie for old ladies with cats.
Rush – Nice. An underrated blast, in need of some retro-active love.
My unwanted opinion: Upstream Color in the Philomena spot. (Dream on… )

BEST MOTION PICTRE – COMEDY/MUSICAL
American Hustle– Fun, enjoyable performances, but lower your expectations. It’s gourmet candy floss.
Her– Haven’t seen it, but dying to. Spike Jonze is awesome.
Inside Llewyn Davis – Great, unique, haunting-funny-sad movie. Coen brothers are genius.
Nebraska– Minor, somewhat bleak Payne, but the ending is so brilliant it makes the whole film better.
The Wolf Of Wall Street– Woohoo!!! A demented masterpiece. Un-debatably one of scorsese’s all-time best.
My unwanted opinion: A good line-up. Can’t argue with anything here. Wait…is Before Midnight a Comedy or a Drama? And either way, where is it?

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity– amazing work.
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips– great work.
Steve McQueen – 12 Years A Slave– Wow. Three movies in and he’s a master.
Alexander Payne – Nebraska – pretty good.
David O Russell – American Hustle– pretty good.
My unwanted opinion: Come on y’all. Scorsese and the Coen brothers are the best US directors still alive, and doing some of their best work this year, so what gives? Still, nothing too egregious here, these are good film-makers all.

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine– Absolutely deserved. Incredible.
Sandra Bullock, Gravity – Pretty good, especially considering it’s a green-screen performance.
Judi Dench, Philomena – Fine. Nothing surprising though.
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks – Haven’t seen it, but she’s always good value.
Kate Winslet, Labor Day – Well…I like her and I sort-of-like the movie, but this is clearly a star-fucking move on the HFPA’s part.
My unwanted opinion: Adele Exarchopolous in Blue is Warmest Color, and Brie Larson in Short Term 12 were ignored. As well as Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color) and Berenice Bejo (The Past). So no, this is not a good selection.

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave – amazing.
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom – Haven’t seen it. Can’t help but wonder if timing has something to do with this. Then again, loooove Stringer Bell.
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips – It’s all about the last 5 minutes. Best breakdown of the year.
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club – Ok. Sure, weight loss is impressive, and he’s pretty good I guess. But movie never comes to life.
Robert Redford, All Is Lost – A damn fine star performance. It’s compelling just to watch him think his way through problems. You think that’s easy?
My unwanted opinion: Pretty good list. I’d throw in Ethan Hawke – but wait… Is Before Midnight a Comedy or a Drama?

BEST ACTRESS – COMEDY
Amy Adams, American Hustle – Fun performance. She really goes for it, and it’s kooky stuff.
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight– Yay! Celine! I guess Before Midnight is a comedy after all.
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha – Yay! Greta! This is the best surprise of the whole nominations.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said– Haven’t seen it. But I’m a big Veep fan.
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County– More ham, Madam? Meryl chews the scenery, the stage, the curtains and every seat in every theatre across the nation.
My unwanted opinion: Great list, bar Meryl. Amy Acker in Much Ado About Nothing is the great unheralded comedy performance of the year.

BEST ACTOR – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Christian Bale, American Hustle – Absolutely. He hasn’t been this funny since American Psycho. (This is not a joke.)
Bruce Dern, Nebraska – Great, embodied, subtle. But not in any way a comedic performance.
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street – Wow. I’m a Leo fan from here on out.
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis – Brilliant. And he can sing, too!
Joaquin Phoenix, Her – Haven’t seen it, but big fan of Joaquin 2.0
My unwanted opinion: Great list. But I would have bumped Dern to Drama and included Simon Pegg for The World’s End, which is definitely a comedy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine – Nice! She’s great in this.
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle – Hmmm. I love J-Law, but I think she’s badly miscast here (too young, too cute), and thus find her OTT performance grating.
Lupita N’yongo, 12 Years A Slave – Incredible.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County – Better than Meryl.
June Squibb, Nebraska – Hmmm. She’s fine, but a bit one note, and doesn’t know what to do with her hands.
My unwanted opinion: Where’s Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall St.)? Lea Seydoux (Blue is Warmest Color)? Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster)? Oh, and Oprah got snubbed too. But I can live with that one.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips – Fantastic. Great to see him honored here.
Daniel Bruhl, Rush – Nice! He’s great in the movie, though really a co-lead.
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle – Really goes for it. I think he’s good, but something about him annoys me.
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave– Holy shit. Best working actor?
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club – He’s pretty great in this, even though I didn’t like the movie much.
My unwanted opinion: Another good selection. But where the hell is Jonah Hill?! Did they not see Wolf of Wall St.?

BEST SCREENPLAY
Spike Jonze – Her – I assume/hope Charlie Kaufman rubbed off on him.
Bob Nelson – Nebraska – Hmmm. It’s okay, but then again… that ending!
Jeff Pope & Steve Coogan – Philomena – Fine. Superior mediocrity I guess.
John Ridley – 12 Years A Slave – Incredible work. Stunning use of language.
Eric Warren Singer & David O Russell – American Hustle – Well, the dialogue is fun, but how much of that was improvised? And story is a bit of a mess.
My unwanted opinion: Pretty shocking. Wolf of Wall St., Inside Llewyn Davis, Before Midnight and Blue Jasmine should have joined 12 Years on this list.

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Blue Is The Warmest Color– Awesome!
The Great Beauty – Desperately need to see it.
The Hunt– Excellent.
The Past – Really good.
The Wind Rises– Loved it.
My unwanted opinion: Fantastic line-up. No complaints at all. My personal list would have included A Touch of Sin, The Grandmaster, and Wadjda, but it’s just a great year for foreign films.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Croods – Whaaaaaat? Even my 10 year old god-daughter said this sucked!
Despicable Me 2– Seriously?
Frozen– Overrated, but the big song on the mountain is undeniably awesome.
My unwanted opinion: What a load of pap. I guess animation sucked this year.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Alex Ebert – All Is Lost – I can’t remember this score at all.
Alex Heffes – Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom – Haven’t seen/heard it. I assume there’s plenty of biopic friendly violins though.
Steven Price – Gravity – Great stuff, if slightly over-bearing at times.
John Williams – The Book Thief – Haven’t seen it. But Williams has been ripping himself off for years, and always goes for the obvious.
Hans Zimmer – 12 Years A Slave – Loved it, though it does admittedly sound EXACTLY like his Thin Red Line score.
My unwanted opinion: Meh. It’s all pretty safe, middle of the road stuff here. The scores for Upstream Color, Nebraska, Rush, and Pacific Rim were far more distinctive and interesting. Oh well.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
“Atlas” – Coldplay – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire– I think I heard this at the end of the movie. It must have been super-memorable.
“Let It Go – Idina Menzel – Frozen– I love this song. It’s super cheesy but goddam does it give me chills.
“Ordinary Love” – U2 – Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom – Huh. I used to like U2. Back in the late 80s before they became unbearably pretentious.
“Please Mr. Kennedy” – Justin Timberlake & co – Inside Llewyn Davis – This is a really funny song in a really funny scene.
“Sweeter Than Fiction” – Taylor Swift – One Chance– What? Oh wait, is this that movie about the car salesman who won American Idol by singing opera? I heard it sucks balls.
My unwanted opinion: This would seem to be a pretty god-awful selection, though I have no idea what I’d replace it with. Maybe all the other songs from Inside Llewyn Davis. Yeah, that would work.

TV NOMINATIONS
Nope. I’m boycotting the Globe TV nominations this year, since they have seen fit to ignore Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men. I have no idea what planet they’re living on or what strange substance lies between their ears.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Well, the film noms aren’t too embarrassing I suppose. And the Globes are so much more fun than the Oscars, because everyone gets drunk, no one gets rushed off the stage mid-speech, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are brilliant hosts, and there’s no god-awful musical numbers. So count me in (on my couch) when they give these out sometime in January.

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