Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Extensive Golden Globes Preview

By Alex "The Savant" Heisman
Meryl Streep seems as confident as we are for her win at the Globes this Sunday 
©, via
Thrilling! My very first awards prediction piece for our site. In having the nickname “The Savant”, I am often tested and challenged by my peers to not only recite this or that statistic about the Academy Awards, but to also prove that I am an adept selector of winners in that particular group and all other groups leading up to the holy night. Though the Golden Globes, which air this Sunday night, tend to nominate a few major stars that don’t really have a shot at winning just to boost ratings and viewership, they are still generally a fabulous indicator of how things may play out for the rest of the season. I’m confident enough in my skills in this department that I am cementing my final predictions right now with this post. Barring any major upset, I believe the Golden Globes will look something like this (nominees are in alphabetical order while the numbers refer to the order of likelihood in winning):

Drama- Picture
The Descendants 1
The Help 3
Hugo 2
The Ides of March 5
Moneyball 6
War Horse 4

Analysis: Look for the big player The Descendants to take this prize, thus setting itself up for a final duel in the long run with the probable winner on the Comedy/Musical side: The Artist. Hugo remains a looming threat due to the prominent inclusion of the movie in most guild awards leading up to this point. The Help, while a strong nominee, fares better in the acting categories than here. When in doubt, the members of this organization tend to vote for the biggest, flashiest pieces, so War Horse has no trouble cementing its’ place in the middle of the pack. Surprise nominee The Ides of March takes the lead over Moneyball as less and less people extol the virtues of the latter film, particularly the fact that it's a highly "American" film amongst a group of nominees being voted upon by the Hollywood FOREIGN Press Association.

Comedy/Musical- Picture
50/50 5
The Artist 1
Bridesmaids 3
Midnight in Paris 2
My Week with Marilyn 4

Analysis: Well-beloved juggernaut The Artist takes this prize in a walk. No real competition from any other competitor as Bridesmaids, which admittedly has been growing in strength recently, and Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s highest-grossing film, battle it out for runner-up honors. My Week with Marilyn (not even a comedy folks!) is in fourth place due to support from Michelle Williams’ probable Globe win in acting. One of the worst inclusions this year, 50/50, thankfully sits in a completely deserving last place.

Woody Allen- Midnight in Paris 4
George Clooney- The Ides of March 5
Michel Hazanavicius- The Artist 2
Alexander Payne- The Descendants 3
Martin Scorsese- Hugo 1

Analysis: Ah, alas! I can only truly speculate as to the winner in this category. It has come down to a heated race between two men, Hazanavicius and Scorsese, with either of the two being able to realistically take the prize. The case for Hazanavicius being that he directed the critic’s darling of the year, while, conversely, the HFPA (the organization behind the Globes) are absolutely gaga over Scorsese. Look for Scorsese to win simply due to the sheer artistry behind the last third of his movie…that’s as comfortable as I can be declaring a winner here. Payne rests a secure third with a strong movie and a cult following for his other projects. Woody Allen’s surprise inclusion in the Directors Guild nominations recently signal support for the beloved auteur, placing him above a huge star (Clooney) that they nominated for ratings and viewership.

Woody Allen- Midnight in Paris 4
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon- The Ides of March 5
Michel Hazanavicius- The Artist 2
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash- The Descendants 1
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin- Moneyball 3

Analysis: The Descendants owes all its strength to the screenplay. Most especially out of the nominated trio, Alexander Payne consistently delivers immensely fleshed out scenes and characters. I hate to think Hazanavicius will go home empty handed this year, but his chances are greater in directing than writing. There is an extremely unusual level of support across the board for Moneyball’s script (by far the weakest part in an already severely flawed film), Woody’s in fourth cause they love him, and Clooney and Co. will just have to settle for being shown on camera.

UPDATE: Perhaps this is worth putting on record at the last minute: while The Descendants is best served by its' script, there have been mumblings of a last minute surge in this category on behalf of  Allen for Midnight in Paris. I don't personally necessary buy it, but if it were to happen, it would truly be a shocker. Either way, I sometimes wish such things would happen and for none of my predictions to come true as major upsets surely shake up predictable award seasons!

Drama- Actor
George Clooney- The Descendants 1
Leonardo DiCaprio- J. Edgar 3
Michael Fassbender- Shame 4
Ryan Gosling- The Ides of March 5
Brad Pitt- Moneyball 2

Analysis: The most charming guy knows how to work the room. Clooney picks up another Globe for acting the anchor between all the unstable characters in his film. Brad Pitt does pose a serious threat, however, for Moneyball. (Diatribe- not that Pitt is a tremendous actor anyway, but if he even comes close to winning this or the Oscar for the putrid job he does in Moneyball, I’m gonna be pissed. No one deserves an award for playing a bland, talentless version of themselves). In a poorly reviewed film, Leo, arguably the best part, secures third place standing because of his star appeal, while the brave, open portrayal of Michael Fassbender as a sex addict in Shame will go unnoticed because he is not a big enough star. Hollywood politics, folks…nothing we can do about them. Gosling, a dual nominee this year, rides the nonexistent The Ides of March train to lastplaceville.

Drama- Actress
Glenn Close- Albert Nobbs 3
Viola Davis- The Help 2
Rooney Mara- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 4
Meryl Streep- The Iron Lady 1
Tilda Swinton- We Need to Talk About Kevin 5

Analysis: I haven’t written about this for our site yet as I was waiting until I saw The Iron Lady (TOMORROW!), but I have a severe addiction to Meryl Streep. The next piece I’m doing is a complete overview of some of her most crucial performances, and I fully warn you in advance, I’m obsessed. I know every detail, every film, every quote, be afraid. No typed words can prepare you for my level of Meryl worship unless we were to talk in person. When she wins the Globe this year on her way to her blessed third Oscar, I will literally cry and scream and praise the heavens. If her neck and neck, and equally deserving (mumble mumble), competitor Viola Davis wins, however, I will cry and scream…although for other reasons. In a return to the screen after a four year absence, Close does an apt job of playing a man in a passion project she has been trying to get to the screen for 29 years. I only wish she was more lauded for her efforts. Due to the somewhat surprising all-around love for Dragon Tattoo, Mara theoretically could upset if enough voters saw her film. Also equally deserving, but ultimately not in a film seen by too many, Tilda Swinton must unfortunately settle for last place.

UPDATE: I frankly may have to eat my words. I wrote this post before the Critics Choice announced their winners. Meryl was predicted to win there as well, but when Viola Davis's named was announced and she delivered one HELL of an acceptance speech, well, let's just say she'll probably take the Globe on Sunday and the Oscar a month and a half from now. To quote Bette Davis: "Hang on to your seats, it's going to be a bumpy night!"

Comedy/Musical- Actor
Jean Dujardin- The Artist 1
Brendan Gleeson- The Guard 5
Joseph Gordon-Levitt- 50/50 4
Ryan Gosling- Crazy, Stupid, Love. 2
Owen Wilson- Midnight in Paris 3

Analysis: Jean Dujardin, the expressive faced actor at the core of The Artist, deservedly takes this easy peasy lemon squeezie. The rest of the situation is merely a crapshoot as the most deserving, yet least known nominee, Brendan Gleeson, must settle for last place (damn those Hollywood politics!) Beloved Ryan Gosling has a better chance of cashing in his two nominations over here, while Owen Wilson also turns in a respectable performance. Without turning this post into a biased piece, why anyone would nominate Joseph Gordon-Levitt or his film for ANYTHING is beyond me. Oh well.

Comedy/Musical- Actress
Jodie Foster- Carnage 5
Charlize Theron- Young Adult 2
Kristen Wiig- Bridesmaids 3
Michelle Williams- My Week with Marilyn 1
Kate Winslet- Carnage 4

Analysis: Even though the quartet of actors in Roman Polanski’s Carnage are campaigning as Supporting at the Oscars, the female half has been nominated for lead here at the Globes. In a paltry film that does a massive disservice to the original stage play, God of Carnage, both Foster and Winslet bring up the rear. Look for Williams to take this award as her showy portrayal of Marilyn Monroe has earned respect and adulation from her peers and the critics. Charlize Theron also poses a threat as the best part of her particular film, while Wiig’s chances have been increasing as of late due to her film’s presence in unexpected guild areas.

Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh- My Week with Marilyn 3
Albert Brooks- Drive 2
Jonah Hill- Moneyball 4
Viggo Mortensen- A Dangerous Method 5
Christopher Plummer- Beginners 1

Analysis: Even though Brooks has become the critic’s darling of the season in reaping the lion’s share of awards, expect Canadian octogenarian Plummer to take this one. If Brooks actually does win, however, the ripples will be so prominent that he would also end up eventually taking the Oscar too. Kenneth Branagh, the only other nominee who can be said actually “acts” in this category, remains a deserved third. How Viggo Mortensen randomly slipped in here is a mystery and don’t even expect him to follow it up with an Oscar nomination. There’s no need to mention the other guy as I’ll close my eyes and pretend someone else more deserving is listed instead.

Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo- The Artist
Jessica Chastain- The Help
Janet McTeer- Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer- The Help
Shailene Woodley- The Descendants

Analysis: No numbers for this last one, guys, as it truly is a wide-open category. Reminiscent of last year’s open Supporting Actress field, the case could be argued for any one of these five deserving ladies to take the prize. Consensus appears to favor Octavia Spencer, although I have never bought this particular buzz. While doing a very great job as the comic relief in The Help, she never takes her character to heights unforeseen by many other comparable roles of this nature. I feel valid in saying one can’t even argue with this assessment as Spencer has won, I believe, only two small critics prizes so far, while the other nominees have stacked up many more wins. I’m a much bigger fan of her costar, Chastain, as a more fully fleshed out character in the film. Underrated thespian McTeer, also playing a man opposite costar Glenn Close, steals her film with a great performance. Berenice Bejo, the other half of The Artist duo, could also very well ride the coattails of her film to a sneaky win for her charming performance. My personal favorite, and the performance I am championing this season along with Streep, Brooks, and Fassbender, is the tremendously talented and young Shailene Woodley. Woodley completely steals thunder in The Descendants from Clooney and has one of the most heartbreakingly poignant scenes involving a bit of bad news and a swimming pool. To reveal anymore would be to erase the tears that are sure to flow during this scene from the audience members. Akin to Jennifer Lawrence’s moving performance in last year’s Winter’s Bone, Woodley has a depth and maturity well beyond her years that only serves to further emphasize the rough and awkward transition into adulthood her character faces as her mother lays comatose in a hospital bed. Of course, the award will probably just go to Spencer anyway.

Sorry for such a long post! Ten categories is a lot to cover, yet, in writing this piece I gained further clarity in a few undecided races and I hope you can find my predictions useful in any fashion. Feel free to enter your own predictions in the comments section and then we can all compare results later. Watch the sure to be edgy Ricky Gervais host the 69th Annual Golden Globe awards at 8.00 pm EST on this Sunday, January 15th on NBC. After a while, I’ll do another post recapping the present state of the season and where it might be headed. Tune in!



  1. I'm anxiously awaiting to see how accurate your predictions are. Who else makes these predictions? It would be interesting to compare.

  2. Awesome predictions! Congratulations on your insightful picks!

  3. @ Anonymous:

    Thanks so much! It's nice to know all my hard work and time devoted to award season has not gone unnoticed :)

    -The Savant