Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Here we Globe again...


The Golden Globes are just about the most useless of all Award shows. The organization that gives them out, the Hollywood Foreign Press, are a loosely organized group that seemingly exists only to put on this show. There's really no reason to take this prize seriously at all, save that it's frequently watched and thus stars feel obliged to show up to look grateful to their TV viewing fans. For awhile it was seen as an Oscar handicapper tool, but that has severely faded as of recent.

But it's that time of year, the prizes have been handed out, and here we go again...

BEST ACTOR DRAMA: Russell Crowe, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Terrence Howard, Heath Ledger, David Straitharn.

Hoffman wins. Not too big a shock, he's due. I'd lean more toward Straitharn, but as you'll see this is a notable deviation in that the fantastically overrated "Brokeback Mountain" actually LOST something...

BEST ACTRESS DRAMA: Felicity Huffman, Maria Bello, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Zhang Ziyi.

Huffman wins for playing the transexual in "Transamerica." Haven't seen yet, but I really doubt she was better than Maria Bello in "History of Violence." Still, gender-bender roles are the kind of showy material the Globes voters get into, and at least it's not a "given."

"Walk the Line" dominated the Best Musical/Comedy category, winning the picture prize plus Pheonix and Witherspoon both getting respective actor wins. The film is NOT a musical OR a comedy... but whatever, a good win is a good win.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Kung Fu Hustle, Master of the Crimson Armor (The Promise,) Merry Christmas, Paradise Now, Tsotsi.

"Paradise Now" wins. The foriegn category is always tough because 90% of the time it's entrants will not be screened in any meaningful way stateside until AFTER the awards are given. That being said, sources I trust tell me the Palestinian-made "Paradise Now" is an average appologia for suicide bombers and overall inferior to "Munich." I can't say, but what I can say is I doubt it has a chance in HELL of being better than "Kung Fu Hustle," one of the best films in any language this year.

BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Fernando Meirelles.

Ang Lee wins for "Brokeback Mountain." Whoop-a-dee-do. How many more ways can I say this, folks? I know we're glad that a gay-themed movie is getting a big notice because it helps out a good cause and whatnot, but enough is enough. Taken on it's own merits, the film isn't all that good. Of the nominated parties, Spielberg deserved the win.

BEST SCREENPLAY: Crash, Goodnight & Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain, Munich, Match Point.

"Brokeback" again, which is just silly. No movie with a 2nd act that meandering, repetetive and slow should even be nominated for screenplay. The other four are all worthy nods, with "Crash" being a more respectable choice of winner in a better world.

BEST PICTURE: The Constant Gardner, Brokeback Mountain, Goodnight & Good Luck, History of Violence, Match Point.

"Brokeback Mountain" wins, not a surprise at this point but still a dissapointment. I'm sorry, I know I'm supposed to pretend I think it's great because of all the good it portends, but no. Good intentions, having your heart in the right place, etc., do NOT make a mostly-average movie worthy of major awards, dammit.

As for the rest of the list, "Goodnight" is still probably the best film of the year imo, the 2nd best being "Munich" which the HFPA has all but ignored. "History of Violence" would be a worthy winner as well. "Constant Gardner," though? Give me a break, it's a well-acted and filmed but horribly preachy and transparent lecture; inferior in every respect to the similarly-themed but infinitely smarter "Lord of War."

It's shaping up to be another "English Patient"/"Shakespeare in Love" year for the awards shows, and well... whatever. Now lets see where the Oscar nominations go when they come out.