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Julia Roberts' Golden Globes + Gabourey Sidibe Best Actress Controversy & Best Movies of the Decade

Duplicity Julia Roberts: Golden Globe winner in all 3 categories available for actressesDuplicity with Julia Roberts. Three-time Golden Globe winner Julia Roberts not only is a (somewhat, considering the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) surprising nominee in the Best Actress - Comedy or Musical category, but she'll also be a presenter at the 2010 ceremony to be held in Beverly Hills. Roberts' three Golden Globes were for performances shortlisted in each of the categories available for actresses: Best Supporting Actress (Steel Magnolias, 1989), Best Actress - Comedy or Musical (Pretty Woman, 1990), and Best Actress - Drama (Erin Brockovich, 2000).

Golden Globe nominations '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 our predictions for the Golden Globes' Best Picture - Drama category. Indeed, the only two movies we got right were Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker and Lee Daniels' dysfunctional family drama Precious.

It's an outrage. Really, 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 (our prediction) Michael Hoffman's The Last Station, which has Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and Leo Tolstoy?

'Best Picture - Comedy or Drama' category

Besides, the Golden Globes often have dramas in the more sparsely populated comedy or 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 in the U.S. – but we felt 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 U.S.-based voting groups. At the Golden 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 psycho child-hater.

Would-be Best Picture - Drama nominees

And here are other possibilities in the Best Picture - Drama category that were left off of the HFPA roster, thus somewhat diminishing their awards season publicity and, potentially, Oscar chances:

  • Lone Scherfig's An Education.
  • Jim Sheridan's Brothers.
  • Jane Campion's Bright Star.
  • Kirk Jones' Everybody's Fine.
  • John Hillcoat's The Road.

The last three, in fact, were left completely Golden Globe nominationless. An Education, for its part, managed to get one nod for star Carey Mulligan, while Brothers earned nods for Tobey Maguire and for the U2 song “Winter.” And that means … Bono at the party?

Update: Check out the full list of the 2009 Golden Globes' winners & nominees.

Golden Globe presenters: Julia Roberts & Jennifer Aniston

Update: Golden Globe winners Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Mickey Rourke have been set as presenters at the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony, to be held on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Hosted by Ricky Gervais, in the U.S. the show will be broadcast live coast to coast on NBC (5–8 p.m. PT/8–11 p.m. ET) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Aniston, Roberts, and Rourke join the previously announced Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, who will present the Cecil B. DeMille Award to their, respectively, Taxi Driver and The Aviator director, Martin Scorsese.

Current Golden Globe nominee & three-time winner Julia Roberts

This year, Julia Roberts is a surprise nominee in the Best Actress - Comedy or Musical category for the box office disappointment Duplicity. Directed by Tony Gilroy and featuring Roberts' Closer co-star Clive Owen, Duplicity follows a pair of corporate spies attempting to con their own bosses.

To date, Roberts has seven Golden Globe nominations; she won three times:

  • Best Supporting Actress for Steel Magnolias (1989).
  • Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for Pretty Woman (1990).
  • Best Actress - Drama for Erin Brockovich (2000), which also earned her a Best Actress Oscar.

Back in 2003, Jennifer Aniston won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical for her work in the hit series Friends.

Mickey Rourke isn't up for any Golden Globes this year, but he did win in the Best Actor - Drama category last year for Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler. The Best Actor Oscar, however, went to Sean Penn for Gus Van Sant's Milk.

Gabourey Sidibe in Precious. African-American Critics' actual Best Actress winner?Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: The African-American Film Critics Association's actual Best Actress winner? Nicole Beharie was the announced Best Actress for her performance in Tim Disney's little-seen and, this awards season, wholly ignored American Violet. But there have been questions about the veracity of the announcement, as Gabourey Sidibe seems to have been the one with the most votes for her widely acclaimed work in Lee Daniels' family drama that will likely earn her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Gabourey Sidibe the actual African-American Film Critics' Best Actress winner?

In other awards season news, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Roger Friedman, Precious' Gabourey Sidibe may have been cheated out of a Best Actress award.

This past Dec. 14, the African-American Film Critics Association gave Precious awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique) and Best Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher).

Their Best Actress, however, was Nicole Beharie for American Violet, a little-seen socially conscious drama directed by Tim Disney (great-nephew of Walt Disney) and written by Bill Haney, who also produced it. Some within the AAFCA now assert that Sidibe was the actual winner.

“According to the final ballot, which this reporter has seen,” writes Friedman, “Sidibe received eight first-place votes from the 16 critics who participated. Beharie got four first-place finishes, and the rest went to Anika Noni Rose (two votes) and one each for Helen Mirren and Zooey Deschanel. Among second-place finishers, Sidibe got five votes; Beharie got one.”

Pleasing 'American Violet' producers

AAFCA co-founder Gil Robertson IV has been accused of manipulating the final tally “to please the producers of American Violet.” Robertson has defended himself by claiming that Friedman had seen an incomplete tally, as the AAFCA has a total of 22 members. Yet not every member sees things Robertson's way.

“As you know your recent actions have been called into question because of a series of choices you made without the approval of the founding members of the group, including myself,” AAFCA President Wilson Morales wrote in an email to Robertson.

“Our collective view is that an organization that gives out awards should be ethical and not subjected to bias based on donations from outside sources,” Morales added.

The Hurt Locker Best Film: Explosive Iraq War drama is critics' top pickThe Hurt Locker. The – literally – explosive Iraq War drama is this awards season's top Best Film choice. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and toplining Jeremy Renner, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, Brian Geraghty, and Anthony Mackie, the war thriller was the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle's top pick, along with director Bigelow.

Explosive Iraq War drama + Meryl Streep & George Clooney top Oklahoma

More awards season news: The Hurt Locker has won another critics' award for Best Picture, this time from the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. The explosive Iraq War drama's director, Kathryn Bigelow, received top honors as well, though screenwriter Mark Boal was once again bypassed by somebody else(s): Scott Neustadtler and Michael H. Weber's (500) Days of Summer was the Best Original Screenplay, while Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won for their Up in the Air adaptation. (See full list of Oklahoma Film Critics winners further below.)

There were few surprises among the other winners, unless you count another win for Mo'Nique (for Precious), Christoph Waltz (for Inglourious Basterds), George Clooney (for Up in the Air), or (to a lesser extent) Meryl Streep (for Julie & Julia) as a surprise.

Chanel surprise

Now, one real surprise was the choice of Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel / Coco avant Chanel, starring Audrey Tautou, as the year's Best Foreign Language Film. So far, the Coco Chanel biopic has been all but ignored by U.S.-based critics' groups – at least when it comes to their awards lists. It earned a nomination from the St. Louis and Broadcast Film Critics, but that's about it.

OFCC members are Oklahoma-based movie critics who write for print and online outlets that publish or post reviews of current film releases. Among the media outlets represented are The Oklahoman, The Tulsa World, The Oklahoma Gazette, Edmond Life & Leisure, 411mania.com and others.

Oklahoma Film Critics winners

Best Film of 2009: The Hurt Locker.

Up in the Air.
Inglourious Basterds.
(500) Days of Summer.
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
A Serious Man.
District 9.
Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Best Foreign Language Film: Coco Before Chanel.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.

Best Actor: George Clooney, Up in the Air.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds.

Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious.

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker.

Best Screenplay (Original): Scott Neustadtler & Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer.

Best Screenplay (Adaptation): Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air.

Best Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil, dir.: Sacha Gervasi.

Best Animated Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox, dir.: Wes Anderson.

Best First Feature (tie): Neill Blomkamp, District 9 & Marc Webb, (500) Days of Summer.

Obviously Worst Film: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, dir.: Michael Bay.

Not-So-Obviously Worst Film: Amelia, dir.: Mira Nair.

Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia. Best Actress favorite while costar Amy Adams totally ignoredMeryl Streep in Julie & Julia. In Nora Ephron's two-pronged comedy-drama, Meryl Streep plays chef Julia Child while Amy Adams is her modern-day would-be counterpart, cook/blogger/author Julie Powell. A solid domestic box office hit, Julie & Julia has earned Streep several Best Actress awards this season; curiously, Amy Adams has been totally bypassed. In this post, Streep was the Best Actress choice of both the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and the Phoenix Film Critics Society. Also in the Julie & Julia cast: Meryl Streep's The Devil Wears Prada fellow player Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Jane Lynch, Frances Sternhagen, and the voice of Mary Kay Place (who can be both heard and seen in another 2009 Meryl Streep star vehicle, Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated.)

Meryl Streep & George Clooney also top Phoenix

Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino's violent World War II revenge fantasy, was the Phoenix Film Critics Society's Best Picture of 2009. Tarantino was chosen Best Director, while the film's cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, and Eli Roth, was cited as the year's Best Ensemble Cast. (See the full list of Phoenix Film Critics winners further below.)

Although Inglourious Basterds has previously been named the year's Best Picture – e.g., in Toronto, tied with Steve McQueen's Hunger – that particular category has been dominated by Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker and Jason Reitman's socially conscious dramatic comedy Up in the Air.

More predictable Phoenix Film Critics winners were those in the acting categories: George Clooney for Up in the Air, Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia, Mo'Nique for Precious, and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds.

Michael Moore & Pedro Almodóvar: Minor & major upsets

Michael Moore's Best Documentary win for Capitalism: A Love Story was a minor upset, as Moore's film has also been mentioned elsewhere, but the Phoenix Film Critics' Best Foreign Language Film came as a major surprise: Pedro Almodóvar's film noir homage Broken Embraces, starring Penélope Cruz and Lluís Homar. All but ignored by U.S. critics this awards season, Broken Embraces / Los Abrazos rotos is up for a Golden Globe.

Duncan Jones' Moon, winner of the 2009 British Independent Film Award, was chosen Overlooked Film of the year. Sam Rockwell stars as a man who discovers he may not be alone on the titular satellite.

Phoenix Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Inglourious Basterds.

Runners-up (in alphabetical order):
District 9.
(500) Days of Summer.
The Hurt Locker.
Sherlock Holmes.
Star Trek.
Up in the Air.

Best Foreign Language Film: Broken Embraces.

Best Documentary: Capitalism: A Love Story.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.

Best Actor: George Clooney, Up in the Air.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds.

Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious.

Best Acting Ensemble: Inglourious Basterds.

Best Director: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds.

Best Original Screenplay: Up.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air.

Best Cinematography: Avatar.

Best Film Editing: Avatar.

Best Original Score: Up.

Best Original Song: “Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart.

Best Animated Film: Up.

Best Production Design: Avatar.

Best Costume Design: The Young Victoria.

Best Visual Effects: Avatar.

Best Stunts: Star Trek.

Overlooked Film: Moon.

Breakout on Camera: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious.

Breakout Behind the Camera: Neill Blomkamp, District 9.

Best Performance by a Youth - Male: Jae Head, The Blind Side.

Best Performance by a Youth - Female: Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones.

Best Live Action Family Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Summer Hours with Juliette Binoche Charles Berling Jérémie Renier: Olivier Assayas drama is Best MovieSummer Hours with Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, and Jérémie Renier. Olivier Assayas' French-made family drama was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Boston Society of Film Critics' Best Foreign Language Film of 2009. Summer Hours was also the Best Film of the year according to the latest indieWIRE Critics' Poll. Coincidentally, the top movie of last year's poll was also a French production starring Juliette Binoche: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon.

'Summer Hours' & Tilda Swinton top indieWIRE Critics' Poll

Olivier Assayas' family drama Summer Hours / L'heure d'été has been named the Best Film of 2009 in indieWIRE's annual poll of 114 film critics and bloggers, Eugene Hernandez reports. Also, David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. was chosen the Best Film of the Decade.

Starring Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, and Jérémie Renier, Summer Hours tells the story of three siblings fighting for the possessions left behind by their deceased mother (Edith Scob) at the family's summer house. Earlier this month, Summer Hours was voted the Best Foreign Language Film of 2009 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Runners-up 'A Serious Man' & 'The Hurt Locker' + 'Halloween 2'

Following in second place in the indieWIRE poll was Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man, about the travails of a suburban Jewish man (Michael Stuhlbarg), and Kathryn Bigelow's widely acclaimed Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, featuring a cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Ralph Fiennes, Brian Geraghty, Anthony Mackie, and Guy Pearce.

Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, which has been winning lots of awards from U.S. critics groups, was no. 11 in the list. Michael Haneke's European Film Award winner The White Ribbon was no. 14 (perhaps because not enough indieWIRE interviewees have seen it), Precious was no. 20, Avatar no. 26, Star Trek no. 46, and both Capitalism: A Love Story and The Lovely Bones no. 67.

Even Michael Jackson's This Is It and Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno made the cut at, respectively, no. 57 and no. 63, while Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y., a 2005 release, was no. 61.

And let's not forget critics' pick Halloween II at no. 59, along with Laurent Cantet's 2008 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner The Class.

Christoph Waltz & rockumentary

Other top choices in the indieWIRE Critics' Poll include the following:

  • Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director.
  • Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man as Best Screenplay.
  • Tilda Swinton as Best Performer in a Leading Role for Erick Zonca's Julia.
  • Unsurprisingly, Christoph Waltz as Best Performer in a Supporting Role for his evil Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Mo'Nique was a distant second for her mean mom in Precious.

Sacha Gervasi's rockumentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, about a Canadian heavy metal band that doesn't quite make it to the top, was voted the Best Documentary of 2009. Agnès Varda's autobiographical The Beaches of Agnès was a close second.

Steve McQueen's Hunger, which recently shared the Toronto Film Critics' Best Picture award (with Inglourious Basterds), was the Best First Feature, while Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers was the Best Undistributed Film of the year.

Potential Oscar contenders + Michael Jackson & Anna Karina

In the Best Director category, Lucrecia Martel was a surprising no. 2 for the little-seen The Headless Woman. Olivier Assayas was no. 3 for Summer Hours, while tied in the no. 5 spot were Joel and Ethan Coen for A Serious Man and Michael Haneke for The White Ribbon.

In the Best Lead Performance category, the runners-up were Charlotte Gainsbourg for Antichrist and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker.

Potential Oscar contenders were all over the place:

  • Colin Firth (for a Single Man) at no. 6.
  • Meryl Streep (for Julie & Julia) and Jeff Bridges (for Crazy Heart) at no. 8.
  • Carey Mulligan (for An Education) and Gabourey Sidibe (for Precious) at no. 9.
  • Sandra Bullock (for The Blind Side) at no. 32.
  • Saoirse Ronan (for The Lovely Bones) at no. 33 – and that's where the list ends, with lots of ties.

Both Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz were also included on the Best Lead Performance list, and so were:

  • Agnès Varda for the documentary The Beaches of Agnès (no. 25).
  • Adam Sandler for Funny People (no. 26).
  • Sasha Grey for The Girlfriend Experience (no. 28).
  • Michael Jackson for This Is It (no. 29).
  • Paul Rudd for I Love You Man & Julia Roberts for Duplicity (no. 31).
  • And, also ahead of Oscar shoo-in Sandra Bullock, Anna Karina (no. 31) for Jean-Luc Godard's 1966 effort Made in U.S.A., which has been recently released on DVD in the U.S.

Strangely missing in action

Considering some of those that managed to sneak in the indieWIRE Critics' Poll, strangely missing from the list are:

Mulholland Dr. with Naomi Watts. Best Movies of Decade topped by David Lynch 2000s Sunset BlvdMulholland Dr. with Naomi Watts. A sort of early 21st century Sunset Blvd., David Lynch's 2001 drama about failed dreams, psychosis, and murder, was named the Best Movie of the Decade by those who took part in the latest indieWIRE Critics' Poll. Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours, the year's Best Film also according to indieWIRE Critics' Poll, is no. 43 on the Best of the Decade list. Besides Naomi Watts as the wannabe version of Gloria Swanson's has-been, Mulholland Dr. also features Laura Elena Harring (a.k.a. Laura Harring), Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Robert Forster, Mark Pellegrino, and veteran Ann Miller (You Can't Take It with You, Eve Knew Her Apples).

Should we trust those critics' polls? Just ask A.I.

Here's why we shouldn't believe in Best of lists all that much – even if they're fun to read:

Among the top films of the decade according to indieWIRE's polled critics, this year's winner, Summer Hours, can be found way down at no. 43. Last year's winner, Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon – which, coincidentally or not, also stars Juliette Binoche – is no. 32.

Perhaps that means 2008 and 2009 were really bad years, or perhaps critics merely change their minds when they go from one list to the other. Or perhaps indieWIRE polled a whole array of totally different critics.

Or perhaps not.

Oscar mismatch

Something else worth noting, only one of the Top Ten Films of the Decade received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination: Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood (2007). Anderson was also shortlisted for Best Director and so was David Lynch for Mulholland Dr. (2001).

There are no Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees to be found on that particular Top Ten list.

And let's not ignore the fact that the A Serious Man-The Hurt Locker Top Ten Films of 2009 runner-up tie came unraveled on the Best of the Decade list: The Hurt Locker is no. 46 and A Serious Man is no. 57.

Now, take this very, very seriously: Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence is one of the Top Ten Movies of the Decade.

indieWIRE Critics' Poll: Top Ten Films of 2009

1 Summer Hours.
2 A Serious Man & The Hurt Locker.
3 Inglourious Basterds.
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox.
5 35 Shots of Rum.
6 The Headless Woman.
7 Two Lovers.
8 Up.
9 Police, Adjective.
10 In the Loop.

indieWIRE Critics' Poll: Top Ten Films of the Decade

1 Mulholland Dr. (2001).
2 In the Mood for Love (2000).
3 Yi Yi (2000).
4 There Will Be Blood (2007).
5 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).
6 The New World (2005).
7 Before Sunset (2004).
8 Zodiac (2007).
9 Platform (2000).
10 A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001).


Golden Globes website.

Oklahoma Film Critics Circle website.

Julia Roberts Duplicity image: Relativity Media / Universal Pictures.

Gabourey Sidibe Precious image: Anne Marie Fox / Lionsgate Pictures.

The Hurt Locker explosion image: Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment.

Meryl Streep Julie & Julia image: Columbia Pictures.

Jérémie Renier, Charles Berling, and Juliette Binoche Summer Hours image: Jeannick Gravelines / MK2 Productions.

Naomi Watts Mulholland Dr. image: Universal Pictures.

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1 Comment to Julia Roberts' Golden Globes + Gabourey Sidibe Best Actress Controversy & Best Movies of the Decade

  1. Chimar Lopez

    What a joke picking Anvil for top documentary…the so-called documentary was edited to show events out of order…the director has a scene at a radio studio which happened in 2006 followed by a meeting which happened in 2007 followed by the band receiving their CDs in August 2007 and culminating in a concert which happened in October 2006…events appeared to be shown in linear fashion…totally manipulative and a lie…if you didn't know that then you were had…Anvil is nothing but a reality TV show like Survivor…but it certainly isn't a documentary