George Clooney in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air
Topping the crowded and highly eclectic Golden Globe field with six nominations, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air was shortlisted as a drama, not a comedy (or musical). James Cameron’s blockbuster-in-the-making Avatar also made the cut in that category, which basically meant that Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones and Clint Eastwood’s Invictus went out the window. And so did my predictions for the Globes’ Best Picture - Drama category. Indeed, the only two movies I got right were Kathryn Bigelow’s war drama The Hurt Locker and Lee Daniels‘ family drama Precious.
I’m outraged. I mean, how could the Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters pick something dark and violent like Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds instead of something sunny and genteel like (my prediction) Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station, which has Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and Leo Tolstoy?
Also, the Globes often have dramas in the more sparsely populated comedy/musical category, but this year they just had to go the other way. Not that Up in the Air is an out-and-out comedy — and there’s certainly nothing funny about the current unemployment figures — but I did believe that the HFPA would classify Reitman’s film as such so as to leave more room in their Best Picture - Drama category for the likes of The Last Station, The Lovely Bones, and the uplifting "We Are the World, We Are the People" Invictus.
Now, at this stage, things don’t look at all lovely for The Lovely Bones, which has received several negative (or quasi-negative) reviews, while being basically ignored by US-based voting groups. At the Globes, this supernatural drama about a murdered girl in heaven and her murderer on Earth received only one nod: best supporting actor for Stanley Tucci’s child-hater.
And here are other possibilities in the Best Picture - Drama category that were left out of the HFPA roster: Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Jim Sheridan’s Brothers, Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Kirk Jones‘ Everybody’s Fine, and John Hillcoat’s The Road. The last three, in fact, were left completely nominationless; An Education managed to get one nod for star Carey Mulligan, while Brothers earned nods for Tobey Maguire and for the U2 song "Winter." (The HFPA likes Bono! They really like him!)
Correction: Earlier this morning, I had erroneously written that Natalie Portman had been nominated for Brothers in the supporting category. I guess I must have read "Precious" as Portman — and Mo’Nique as Natalie?? I need either glasses or more sleep. Or both.