Monday, January 18, 2010
Golden Globes wrap-up
I am mostly baffled by the movie awards. Not only were many of those I didn't think should even be nominated winners, but the Hollywood Foreign Press seem to be pandering to mainstream, mall-shopping, corporate movieplex-going America. They have enough power with what movies are made; let us keep our quality films, please. There is nothing wrong with mainstream hits. Avatar is an important movie for it's technical advances for the genre, but it is not a good movie (my review will post tomorrow). I often find myself more in line with screenplay winners than best film winners, but I'm appalled two films not even nominated in the screenplay category can win Best Picture (Avatar for Drama and The Hangover for Musical or Comedy.)
It's okay for there to be a disconnect between the movies people see and the movies that win awards. The same is true for books. I'm a book blogger, and I made it my 2010 goal to read more award books. There are two main reasons for this difference: release dates and independent theaters. I'm very, very fortunate to live in a city with a vibrant independent movie theater. It has eight screens, and seven of those usually go to award-caliber movies. I realize how fortunate I am, and I see at least one movie a week there not only because I enjoy it, but also because I support local business and quality film making. I set a goal to see all ten Best Picture nominees before the Globes, and it was hard.
Is The Hangover funnier than It's Complicated and Julie & Julia? No. Is it a better movie? No. Is it better than the criminally underappreciated Nine? No. Is it better than (500) Days of Summer? Yes, so at least it beat one movie in its category. The Hangover is a fine movie; it's not Best Picture, even best comedy, material.
I lost track of the number of times I rolled my eyes in Avatar. I'm okay with James Cameron winning Best Director. Avatar was visually majestic, and I was captivated for the first seventy minutes. Then it became clear the movie had no heart, a ridiculously weak script and was laughably predictable and "emotionally unengaging" (to quote the Vatican. Yes, I'm actually agreeing with and quoting the Vatican). As many others have said, the unnecessary voice overs to tell the audience what characters were thinking or feeling, things that were already obvious to anyone paying attention, were insulting. Best picture? It had no depth, no layers, and it didn't challenge the audience. It challenged the technology of filmmakers, but it was not a good movie.
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side? I will see the film, but I can't imagine she can hang with the other four. The only people I heard claiming she should win hadn't even heard of An Education and The Last Station, and they hadn't seen Precious or Young Victoria.
While, there were fewer surprises here, I'm beyond thrilled Julianna Marguiles won for The Good Wife, which I adore. She is wonderful in the show, and the show is one of the best on broadcast television. Marguiles was the only television winner from a broadcast show. (Memo to NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC: give us more good shows, good roles and new premises). Otherwise, I don't think Glee should have won, but I expected it to. I was hoping for Modern Family, the funniest show since 30 Rock. I know the Hollywood Foreign Press love to award new shows, and as someone who often loves the ratings-challenged quality new shows, I'm grateful.
I'm so glad for Twitter-venting during the ceremony. Knowing I was not alone made the show even more fun to watch. I'm angry at the Hollywood Foreign Press, but I expected to be. On the horizon, we have the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which I often agree with (they honored the criminally-underappreciated Bobby), the BAFTAs, which nominated An Education for almost every award. The Academy Award nominees will be announced February 2, and I'll start another round of disappointment. I do love the conversation, if not the winners. I know there will likely never be an award show I will totally agree with, and it's part of the fun despite the frustrations of discord.