Monday, January 9, 2006

Golden Globes, SAG and more

The Golden Globes, the awards doled out by the Hollywood Foreign Press, has two listings for its nominees in film: Drama and Musical/Comedy. On the Drama side: A History of Violence; Brokeback Mountain; The Constant Gardener; Good Night, and Good Luck; and Match Point. On the Musical/Comedy side: Mrs. Henderson Presents; Pride & Prejudice; The Producers; The Squid and the Whale; and Walk the Line. Winners will be announced on Monday, January 16. While once viewed as little more than an excuse for movie stars to have some good wine and a nice dinner, the Globes have increased in prestige and Oscar-predictability.

The Screen Actors Guild has given its list of nominees for 2005. The films fighting for the top honor (Outstanding Performance by a Cast) are the following: Brokeback Mountain; Capote; Crash; Good Night, and Good Luck; and Hustle & Flow. Winners will be announced on Sunday, January 29.

The Directors Guild has given its list of nominees for 2005. In the running for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film are the following: George Clooney for Good Night, and Good Luck; Paul Haggis for Crash; Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain; Bennett Miller for Capote; and Steven Spielberg for Munich. Winners will be announced on Saturday, January 28. More often than not, the winner of the Directors Guild goes on to win Best Director for the Oscars.

The Writers Guild gives out its 2005 awards for both original screenplays and screenplays adapted from other works (e.g., novels, plays). On the Original side is Cinderella Man; Crash; The 40 Year-old Virgin; Good Night, and Good Luck; and The Squid and the Whale. On the Adapted side is Brokeback Mountain; Capote; The Constant Gardener; A History of Violence; and Syriana. Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 4.

Several films with a political edge (including the two that feature George Clooney) have received nominations. It's also been a good year for films that focus on various aspects of sexuality, with characters seeking their first sexual encounter, wrestling with their sexual identity, committing adultery while trying to be seen as a tragic figure, and attempting to leave sex-based professions. Several films focus on "famous" people, whether they be singers, writers, newscasters or terrorists.

All of the above awards are nice, but they pale in comparison to the biggest prize: going to the Academy Awards and having Oscar come home with you to stay. From the looks of things, three movies will be nominated for sure: Brokeback Mountain; Crash; and Good Night, and Good Luck. It's hard to speculate on the last two, but I'll guess Capote and Munich.

Of all the movies listed, the only one I've seen is Crash. The movie clobbers you over the head with the whole racism-is-really-bad sermon, but it makes many important points about the dangers of looking with blinders on. Characters behave in a dispicable manner in one scene, then act with compassion in the next. I was delighted to see Tony Danza, Loretta Devine, and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi on "ST:TNG") in the film. My favorite character would have to be Terrence Howard's TV director - I loved watching him every second he was on screen. If you've seen the movie, did you guess about the kind of bullets that the store owner's daughter obtained for the gun?

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