Warren Beatty will receive the Art Directors Guild's Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award, “given to an individual whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience,” at the ADG Awards ceremony on Feb. 13 at the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Nine other ADG awards will also be presented, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award for production designer Terence Marsh (Mary Queen of Scots, A Touch of Class, Clear and Present Danger, The Green Mile). Additionally, three production designers will be inducted into the ADG's Hall of Fame: Malcolm F. Brown, Bob Keene, and Ferdinando Scarfiotti.
Among the 72-year-old Beatty's behind-the-cameras credits are Bonnie and Clyde (above, with Faye Dunaway), Heaven Can Wait, Reds, and Bulworth. He also starred in the four aforementioned films, in addition to Splendor in the Grass, All Fall Down, McCabe & Mrs. Miller,Dick Tracy, and Bugsy. In-between critical and box office hits, Beatty appeared in misguided vehicles like Mickey One, Kaleidoscope, The Only Game in Town, The Fortune, Ishtar, Love Affair, and Town & Country, his last film.
Among his directors are Arthur Penn, Elia Kazan, John Frankenheimer, Barry Levinson, and Robert Altman. His leading ladies include Natalie Wood, Eva Marie Saint, Leslie Caron, Susannah York, Jean Seberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Isabelle Adjani, Madonna, Halle Berry, and Annette Bening, who became his wife in 1992. Additionally, Beatty has played opposite Jack Nicholson, Elliott Gould, Charles Grodin, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman.
Warren Beatty's previous honorary awards include the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Board of Governors Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2000, the Distinguished Director Award from the Costume Designers Guild in 2001, the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild in 2004, the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2007, and the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
Beatty's non-movie-related honors include the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Americans for Democratic Action, the Brennan Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, and the Phillip Burton Public Service Award from The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. Also, along with Annette Bening, he was given the Caritas Award from Saint John's Health Center and the Stem Cell Champions Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Previous recipients of the ADG's Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award are Allen Daviau, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Robert Wise, and Zhang Yimou.
The Art Directors Guild nominations will be announced on January 8. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on February 13.
For more information, visit the ADG's website.
Golden Globes: Martin Scorsese to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Award
Martin Scorsese will be the next recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Scorsese will be handed out his Cecil B. at the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony on January 17 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the show will be broadcast live coast to coast Sunday, Jan. 17 on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, 8 to 11 pm ET).
The Cecil B. DeMille Award, voted by the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was announced by Vera Farmiga.
Scorsese has already taken home two Golden Globe Awards for Best Director of a Motion Picture: for Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006). He has also received six additional Golden Globe nominations: five as Best Director (The Aviator, Casino, The Age of Innocence, Goodfellas, and Raging Bull) and one for Best Screenplay (Goodfellas, with Nicolas Pileggi).
Among Scorsese's others awards and honors are the best director Academy Award for The Departed, the Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival (1995), the AFI Life Achievement Award (1997), and the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award (2003).
Previous Cecil B. DeMille Award winners include Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Anthony Hopkins, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Joan Crawford, and Cecil B. DeMille himself back in 1952.
Scorsese is currently in post production on Shutter Island, due for release in the spring of 2010.
Nominations for 2010 Golden Globe Awards will be announced at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Oscar: Animated Feature Semifinalists
Twenty features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 2010 Academy Awards. They are:
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Battle for Terra
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Disney's A Christmas Carol
The Dolphin - Story of a Dreamer
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Mary and Max
The Missing Lynx
Monsters vs. Aliens
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
A Town Called Panic
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, The Dolphin - Story of a Dreamer, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Planet 51, The Princess and the Frog, The Secret of Kells (which is also up for an European Film Award) and A Town Called Panic have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run. As per the Academy's press release, “submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and meet all of the category's other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process.”
Under the rules for this category, a maximum of five features can be nominated in a year in which there are at least 16 eligible entries. Since the Animated Feature Film category was instituted in 2001, only once – in 2002 – were there five nominated films. The other years had three films in the running.
Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.
The 2010 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the US, it'll be televised live by ABC.
Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin to Host Oscar Telecast
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will act as co-hosts at the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony, Oscar telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman have announced.
Steve Martin hosted the 73rd and 75th Academy Awards shows, earning an Emmy nomination for the first stint. He has also served as a presenter several times, most recently at the 2009 Oscar ceremony in February, when he shared the stage with Tina Fey. (Theirs was a very clever bit. Tina Fey, in fact, would have been an ideal Oscar co-hostess.)
Alec Baldwin was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for his supporting role in The Cooler.
The 2010 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the US, it'll be televised live by ABC.
Team Qatar by Liz Mermin (top); Hiam Abbass in Najwa Najjar's Pomegranates and Myrrh (bottom)
Doha Tribeca Film Festival Awards
Doha Tribeca Film Festival Executive Director Amanda Palmer and Robert De Niro handed out two audience awards, worth US$50,000 each, at the festival's closing night gala on Nov. 1. Coincidentally, both winning films were directed by women.
British filmmaker Liz Mermin's documentary Team Qatar, which chronicles the creation of that country's first debate team, was awarded Best Festival Film, while Palestinian Najwa Najjar's debut feature, Pomegranates and Myrrh (talk about a poetic title), was chosen the Best Arab Film.
Starring Hiam Abbass (who deserves a best actress Oscar nod for Lemon Tree), Pomegranates and Myrrh revolves around a Palestinian woman torn between being faithful to her husband (Ashraf Farah), a prisoner of Israel's occupying forces, and her attraction to her folk dance trainer (Ali Suliman of both Paradise Now and Lemon Tree).
Another female filmmaker, Sophia Al Maria, received the prize for Best 1 Minute Film: The Racer.
“There is a potential market for Arabic films and this award motivates filmmakers to make films in Arabic or with Arabic subject matter, with a universal appeal,” remarked DTTF Community Outreach Programmer Scandar Copti, whose Ajami, which he co-directed with Yaron Shani, recently won the Israeli Academy's best feature film Ophir Award and is Israel's submission for the 2010 best foreign language film Academy Award.
The first Doha Tribeca Film Festival ran Oct 29-Nov. 1. Thirty-one films were in competition for the top prizes.
Photos: Shourq Harb (Pomegranates and Myrrh), Adrian Haddad (Team Qatar). Courtesy of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
Golden Globe Predictions: Best Picture - Drama
The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow; scr: Mark Boal
A US Army elite unit disarms bombs in Iraq.
Invictus, d: Clint Eastwood; scr: Anthony Peckham
Newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela campaigns to stage the Rugby World Cup in South Africa so as to unite blacks and whites.
The Last Station, d & scr: Michael Hoffman
Leo Tolstoy's family life is upended by the writer's radical politics.
The Lovely Bones, Peter Jackson; scr: Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
A murdered girl sees the world, chiefly her small Pennsylvania town, from up above.
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, d: Lee Daniels; scr: Geoffrey Fletcher
A pregnant, abused, illiterate teen is helped by a kind teacher.
The chief characteristic of the Golden Globes is that their nominees and winners tend to either be or feature stars. Not that the Academy Awards or US critics' groups are all that different, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a televised party – with food, drinks, crass jokes – to worry about. If HFPA members can nominate songs composed by Clint Eastwood, songs sung by Miley Cyrus, supporting performances by the likes of Tom Cruise, or Sharon Stone in some capacity or other, they'll do it.
The Best Picture - Drama predictions are based on that premise. Looking at the Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture - Drama of the last ten years, the only three films that didn't feature at least one major name at the time of their nominations were Billy Elliot in 2000, Mulholland Dr. in 2001, and last year's unavoidable Slumdog Millionaire.
This year, there are two unavoidable starless nominees: The Hurt Locker and Precious. Both An Education and Bright Star are possibilities as well, but I'd say that between having to pick two more small films featuring relatively little-known performers (Carey Mulligan in the former; Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish in the latter) and two major “prestige” productions – one featuring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, and Mark Wahlberg (The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson to boot); the other starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon (Invictus, directed by another star, Clint Eastwood) – I believe the HFPA will choose the latter two entries.
The Last Station, for its part, offers not only Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, and Paul Giamatti, but also Tolstoy, lofty ideas, and elaborate costumes.
The Road (above), though featuring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, is likely too downbeat for HFPA voters, who usually prefer more uplifting fare even when the films themselves aren't all that well received upon their release (e.g., The Great Debaters, Sunshine).
Addendum (Nov. 20): James Cameron's Avatar is also a possibility, though the fantasy epic remains a wild card.
Addendum (Nov. 22): Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is another strong possibility that should have been included in this piece, especially since it's been both a box office hit and it stars 2009 Golden Globe fave Brad Pitt.
The Informant! (above, with Matt Damon), d: Steven Soderbergh; scr: Scott Z. Burns
A pathological liar helps the US government nab a nefarious agribusiness conglomerate.
Julia Child starts cooking decades ago, while in the early 21st-century blogger Julie Powell decides to boil and broil every single recipe found in Child's first book.
The Men Who Stare at Goats (above, with Kevin Spacey), d: Grant Heslov; scr: Peter Straughan
US military “intelligence” and its use of paranormal activities.
Nine (above, with Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Stacy Ferguson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson), d: Rob Marshall; scr: Michael Tolkin, Anthony Minghella
A musicalized remake of Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, about a film director and the many women in his life.
Up in the Air (above, with George Clooney, Vera Farmiga), d: Jason Reitman; scr: Reitman, Sheldon Turner
A frequent-flying professional downsizer discovers his ideal frequent-flying match – just when he's about to get grounded.
As usual, the “prestige” comedy/musical field is more sparse than the drama one, which explains why members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association must at times bend over backwards and sideways in order to include five nominees each year. Even if that means stretching their Best Picture - Comedy or Musical category to include dramas with musical numbers (e.g., Ray, Walk the Line) or dramas with humorous sequences (e.g., Pride & Prejudice).
This year, there are quite a few items for them to choose from. All of the aforementioned movies have enough pedigree to satisfy even the snottiest HFPA members, in addition to star-wattage that would have made even the likes of Louis B. Mayer turn green with envy.
Two other strong possibilities for the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical are Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated (above), starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin in the sort of prestige, big-name production that HFPA voters love, and the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds box office hit The Proposal. Though somewhat lacking in prestige, The Proposal has both stars and name recognition.
HFPA members have shown Joel and Ethan Coen some love in the past, with Best Picture - Comedy or Musical nods for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Burn After Reading. However, there's no George Clooney or Brad Pitt to be found in A Serious Man. I mean, Michael Stuhlbarg? Remember, there's that big televised bash for HFPA folks to worry about. So, my guess is that the Coens will have to wait for their next Clooney collaboration to get some more GG love.
Other (lesser) possibilities – none of which feature big-name stars – are the box office hit The Hangover, Marc Webb's (500) Days of Summer, and Armando Iannucci's political comedy In the Loop.
Since 2007, animated features have been ineligible in the best picture categories. That takes care of both Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Though not animated, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Madea Goes to Jail have absolutely no chance. Perhaps if they'd starred Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts…
Golden Globe Predictions: Best Actress - Drama
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side (replacing original choice Michelle Pfeiffer in Chéri)
The matriarch of a well-to-do white family “adopts” a teenage inner-city black teenager
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Radical ideologue Leo Tolstoy's wife Sofya has to put up with him
Carey Mulligan, An Education
In 1960s London, a teenager falls for a man in his 30s
Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones (replacing Annette Bening, whose Mother and Child will have a 2010 release)
A murdered girl sees the world from up above
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
An abused pregnant teen tries to take control of her life
Not that long ago, there was a time – a very long time, stretching from the early '70s to the dawn of the 21st century – when it was nearly impossible to come up with five award-worthy female contenders in English-language films. In the last few years, that has radically changed. In fact, I'd say that the award races in the actress/supporting actress categories have of late been much fiercer than those among their male counterparts. I'm not sure why this has happened – but it has happened.
This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has about 15 or so strong possibilities to choose from for their Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Award. Of those, I'd say that about 10 are strong Golden Globe contenders – which means that, if votes get spread around, there's the possibility of a tie (and therefore six nominees). I picked the five actresses listed at the top of this article because either they're stars or they're stars-in-the-making in films and/or performances that have been getting/did get some good buzz. Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe may not be household names at the moment, but there's no escaping them.
Other strong possibilities are: Michelle Pfeiffer (above) as an experienced courtesan in Chéri, Hilary Swank as doomed aviatrix Amelia Earhart in Amelia, Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria in Young Victoria, Rachel Weisz as the dead girl's mother in The Lovely Bones, Abbie Cornish as poet John Keats' lover in Bright Star, Natalie Portman as the woman torn between two siblings in Brothers, Charlotte Gainsbourg as a guilt-ridden mother in Antichrist, and Julianne Moore as a doctor who hires a woman to seduce her professor husband in Chloe.
Penélope Cruz also has a good chance, even though her movie, Broken Embraces, isn't in English. HFPA voters like non-American performers, but almost invariably when they are cast in English-speaking roles. In the last two decades, for instance, only three actresses have been nominated in the Best Actress - Drama category for performances in non-English-language films. That said, Cruz did get a nomination for the Spanish-language Volver back in 2006 and she is one of the biggest movie names around, so… (For the record, the other two non-English speakers who became Best Actress - Drama Golden Globe nominees were Juliette Binoche for Three Colors: Blue in 1993 and Fernanda Montenegro for Central Station in 1998.)
Speaking of non-English-speaking roles, Audrey Tautou is another Best Actress - Drama possibility for her performance as Coco Chanel in the French production Coco Before Chanel.
Early Golden Globe Predictions: Best Actor - Drama Nominations
Colin Firth, A Single Man
In 1960s Los Angeles, a gay college professor wants to end his life after learning that his lover has died in an accident.
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
By staging the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, Nelson Mandela attempts to unite black and white South Africans.
James McAvoy (above, with Paul Giamatti), The Last Station
Leo Tolstoy's secretary and follower tries to reconcile reality with his idol's radical ideology.
Viggo Mortensen, The Road
A man and his son struggle to survive in a cold, brutal post-apocalyptic world.
Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds
A ruthless Jewish-American guerrilla leader wants to kill as many Nazi officers as possible.
Stars are what matter. For every Golden Globe-nominated Djimon Hounsou there are – quite literally – eight Johnny Depps and George Clooneys (the latter in various capacities); for every David Straithairn there are seven Leonardo DiCaprios and four Brad Pitts; for every Richard Farnsworth (2 nods) there are 3 1/2 Tom Cruises (7 nods) and 2 1/2 Russell Crowes (5 nods).
Stars are what matter – even if they aren't exactly as bright as supernovas. Colin Firth, for instance, may lack the superstar status of a Leonardo DiCaprio or a Johnny Depp, but he's hardly an unknown, and the same goes for James McAvoy.
Other Golden Globe possibilities are Robert De Niro's widower in Everybody's Fine; Hal Holbrook's farmer in That Evening Sun (I'd say that Holbrook has a better chance at the Oscars than at the Golden Globes); Mark Wahlberg's bereaved father in The Lovely Bones; and Ben Whishaw's doomed poet in Bright Star.
Ah, and Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.
Here are a couple of belated additions: Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes and Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart.
Golden Globe Predictions: Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
A bossy Canadian businesswoman forces her American assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can stay in the US.
Marion Cotillard, Nine
The wife of an Italian filmmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis, above) must cope with both his infidelities and his artistic temper.
Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer
A young woman meets a young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, above) who falls madly in love with her. Too bad she doesn't feel the same.
Meryl Streep It's Complicated
A divorced woman begins an affair with her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin, above), while becoming the object of another man's desire (that's Steve Martin).
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Julia Child and the art of cooking.
The Golden Globe field here is considerably less crowded than in the 2010 Best Actress - Drama category.
Marion Cotillard may have what amounts to a supporting role in Nine, but she'll probably get in as a lead. Meryl Streep will quite likely be competing against herself, unless some Hollywood Foreign Press Association members decide that they want one more nominated star at their party; that'll probably mean either Streep's Julie & Julia co-star Amy Adams, playing a blogger out to make every recipe found in Julia Child's first cooking book, or Katherine Heigl, who plays a morning-television show producer at odds with Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth.
Renée Zellweger's star turn in Richard Loncraine's My One and Only is another possibility.
Less likely possibilities are either Kate Hudson or Anne Hathaway for the comedy Bride Wars, Jennifer Garner for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and Isla Fischer for Confessions of a Shopaholic.
As much as the HFPA members would love to have Miley Cyrus at their party, I don't believe that Cyrus' performance in Hannah Montana The Movie stands a chance. But then again, HFPA members can always vote for one of the film's songs or have Cyrus show up as a presenter.
Golden Globe Predictions: Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
George Clooney, Up in the Air
A professional downsizer finds his ideal frequent-flying partner right when he's about to get grounded.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Brüno
An Austrian fashionista wants to become the next red-white-and-blue sensation.
Matt Damon, The Informant!
A pathological liar helps the FBI nab a law-breaking agribusiness conglomerate.
In this musicalized remake of Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, Daniel Day-Lewis plays the old Marcello Mastroianni role of an Italian film director at odds with the women in his life.
Ryan Reynolds, The Proposal
A Canadian businesswoman's assistant is coerced into marrying her lest she be deported from the US.
Ryan Reynolds? Sacha Baron Cohen? Well, they're both names (and Baron Cohen, at least, got some excellent reviews), so I'd place them ahead of, say, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the sleeper hit (500) Days of Summer, Tom Hollander in In the Loop, or Michael Stuhlbarg in A Serious Man.
A couple of other possible nominees for the Best Actor - Comedy or Musical Golden Globe are Clive Owen in The Boys Are Back and Christopher Plummer in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (not exactly a comedy, but…).
Alec Baldwin (above, with Meryl Streep) and Steve Martin also have a chance, depending on how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sees their status in It's Complicated. In other words, either one of them (or both) may end up in the best supporting actor category, where they'd have a better chance of landing a nomination considering the relative paucity of acclaimed supporting male performances so far this year.
And finally, I don't believe that Steve Martin (for The Pink Panther 2), Michael Moore (Capitalism: A Love Story), Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover & All About Steve), Tyler Perry (Madea Goes to Jail), Matthew McConaughey (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), Vince Vaughn (Couples Retreat), and – most hilarious of all – John Cusack (2012) have much of a chance. But don't lose heart: they may all show up as presenters.
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones
Rob Marshall, Nine
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
What a difference a few weeks make. I didn't think that Lee Daniels or Clint Eastwood had that much of a chance to land a Best Director Oscar nod, but now, considering all the hoopla surrounding their films and the unexpected box office success of Precious, they've become likely candidates. Daniels, in fact, is sure to get a nomination. And unless Nine turns out to be a (surprising) box office disappointment, Rob Marshall will be in as well.
True, Eastwood's Oscar chances aren't exactly 100 percent, but when it comes to the Golden Globes I'd be very surprised if he isn't shortlisted. He's a star filmmaker, his movie has an uplifting message about fostering tribalism so as to destroy tribalism (say what?), it features Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman (as Nelson Mandela, no less), etc. etc. And there may go Kathryn Bigelow's chances to get a nod for The Hurt Locker.
In addition to Bigelow, other Golden Globe possibilities in the best director category are: Jane Campion for Bright Star, Michael Hoffman for The Last Station, Nora Ephron for Julie & Julia, Lone Scherfig for An Education, Nancy Meyers for It's Complicated, Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, and James Cameron for Avatar.
Less likely, but not impossible, are Joel and Ethan Coen for A Serious Man, Steven Soderbergh for The Informant!, John Hillcoat for The Road, Neill Blomkamp for District 9, Guy Ritchie for Sherlock Holmes, J.J. Abrams for Star Trek, Grant Heslov for The Men Who Stare at Goats, and Spike Jonze for Where the Wild Things Are.
Michael Haneke has a good chance to land an Oscar nod for The White Ribbon, but I believe his Golden Globe chances are pretty slim if not nil. In the last 20 years, only four (not two as I'd previously reported) directors have been nominated for movies made (at least partly) in a language other than English: Taiwanese Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000), American Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), American Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and Englishman Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Both Lee and Boyle came out victorious.
One curious thing about the directors listed above is that five of them are women. Now, that should no longer be a “curiosity” in 2009; the fact that it remains so says quite a bit about our culture.
Golden Globe Predictions: Best Supporting Actress
Mariah Carey, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (with Gabourey Sidibe)
An unglamorous social worker
Penélope Cruz, Nine
A film director's seductive mistress
Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (with Gabourey Sidibe)
A Mom from Hell
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
A married alcoholic in love with a distraught gay professor
Emma Thompson, An Education (with Ellie Kendrick, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Carey Mulligan)
A school headmistress coping with unruly girls in 1960s London
Like the Golden Globe Best Actress Drama race, the Best Supporting Actress category will be hotly contested this year, especially considering the number of big names in small(er) roles. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters will have trouble selecting only five nominees; in fact, it shouldn't be at all surprising if six or even seven actresses (as a result of ties) get shortlisted.
The five performers listed above all have a following – HFPA members appreciate that – which is why newcomer Anna Kendrick, who'll likely get a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod, has not been included. But don't be surprised if she does end up in the Golden Globe list.
Other strong possibilities are Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, Susan Sarandon in The Lovely Bones; Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Judi Dench, and Sophia Loren in Nine; Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies; and Kathy Bates in Cheri.
Ah, and Betty White (above, with Sandra Bullock) in The Proposal.
Less likely but not impossible: Helen Mirren in State of Play; Kerry Fox in Bright Star; Stacy Ferguson in Nine; Paula Patton in Precious; Sigourney Weaver in Avatar; Mélanie Laurent and Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds;Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Melissa Leo in Everybody's Fine.
Now, some reports have claimed that Mo'Nique hasn't been all that cooperative with the media, but I don't believe the HFPA members will be able to ignore her.
Addendum (Nov. 25): Initially, I had Naomi Watts, Cherry Jones, and Kerry Washington as possibilities for Mother and Child, but that family drama will be released in 2010.
Golden Globe Predictions - Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney, The Men Who Stare at Goats (with Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges)
A man with a (goat-)killer stare
Matt Damon, Invictus
A rugby player attempts to Save His Nation
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Leo Tolstoy, wine-drinking radical ideologue
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
A man with some serious issues
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
A Nazi colonel fluent in four languages
Considering the lack of stand-out supporting male performances – in terms of buzz, that is – the Golden Globe field in the Best Supporting Actor category remains wide open.
Apart from Christoph Waltz, winner of the best actor award at Cannes and probably the most widely praised supporting male performance of the year to date, the actors listed above are all stars.
Alfred Molina's concerned dad in An Education has a better chance at landing an Oscar nod, though like Anna Kendrick among the potential best supporting actress nominees he shouldn't be dismissed here just because your average moviegoer is unfamiliar with him.
Like Meryl Streep, who may be in the running for both Julie & Julia (above) and It's Complicated in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical category, Stanley Tucci may end up with two Golden Globe nods as well – the other one for Julie & Julia. Yet, I'd say he'll probably be mentioned only for The Lovely Bones so Hollywood Foreign Press Association members can squeeze in one more nominated star.
Both Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin stand a good chance of being shortlisted in case they're classified as “supporting” actors. If one of them gets in, my guess is that Christopher Waltz, Cannes award or no, will be the one left out.
Other possibilities are: Peter Sarsgaard in An Education, Paul Schneider in Bright Star, and Lenny Kravitz in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. And don't be too surprised if Heath Ledger gets another posthumous nomination, this time for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
Less likely candidates: Richard Kind in A Serious Man; Liev Schreiber in Taking Woodstock; Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker;Nicholas Hoult in A Single Man; Robert Duvall and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road; Richard Gere in Amelia; and Woody Harrelson in The Messenger.
Golden Globes Predictions - Best Screenplay
Jane Campion, Bright Star (above, Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw)
A poet's brief and tragic love affair
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (above, Paula Patton)
An illiterate pregnant teen, her teacher, her social worker & her mother
Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, The Lovely Bones (above, Saoirse Ronan)
A murdered girl among angels and her murderer among us
Anthony Peckham, Invictus (above, Morgan Freeman)
One Nation Under Rugby
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air (above, Anna Kendrick, George Clooney)
A professional downsizer is grounded, but love is up in the clouds
Oftentimes, a film that doesn't make it into the Golden Globes' Best Picture - Drama or Best Picture - Comedy or Musical shortlist, ends up nominated in the Best Screenplay (original or adapted) category, e.g., You Can Count on Me, Memento, Far from Heaven, Crash, Notes on a Scandal, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Those are almost invariably smaller films, and that's why I believe that Jane Campion's Bright Star – romantic, tragic, gorgeous – will make the cut this year. That is, unless Hollywood Foreign Press Association members decide to pick a writer-director star: in that case, Quentin Tarantino would be in for Inglourious Basterds.
True, the Lovely Bones screenwriters – whom I have listed above – have been criticized by some for diluting the original novel, but there seems to be enough appreciation for the film to guarantee them at least a nomination. In fact, there's no rule, written or otherwise, that stipulates that only films with 100 percent approval ratings can get nominated for the year's top awards. I mean, look at the Oscars: Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Crash, etc. etc. were greeted by – at best – mixed reviews.
Other strong best screenplay possibilities are: Nick Hornby, An Education (above, with Carey Mulligan, Dominic Cooper); Michael Tolkin, Anthony Minghella, Nine; Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker; and Nora Ephron, Julie & Julia.
And here are some more: Scott Z. Burns, The Informant!; Peter Straughan, The Men Who Stare at Goats; Michael Hoffman, The Last Station; Joe Penhall, The Road; and Nancy Meyers, It's Complicated.
Less likely but not impossible: Woody Allen, Whatever Works; John Lee Hancock, The Blind Side.
I should add that it's been reported that Rob Marshall's Nine is not another Chicago. I'd have thought that would be a good thing, but apparently the comparison isn't supposed to be taken as a compliment.