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Tall Writer’s 2009 Golden Globe Film Picks

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The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards will be televised on Sunday, January 17, 2010 on NBC at 8 p.m. EST with Ricky Gervais hosting. Up in the Air has the most nominations with six, while Nine gets five, and Avatar and Inglorious Basterds getting four each. This year's double nominees are Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, and Meryl Streep. Here are my winning picks in the film categories (in bold), though they didn't always match with my personal preferences.

DRAMA

  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
  • Up in the Air

MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hangover
  • It's Complicated
  • Julie & Julia
  • Nine

The Academy Awards best picture category has been doubled from five nominees to 10 for the first time in 66 years, so these two Golden Globe categories have more importance than ever, though not all musical or comedy nominees will carry on to the Oscars. The contemporary-themed Up in the Air should win with Avatar a close second, then Julie & Julia wins and gains a likely Oscar slot. Up in the Air has good, all-around filmmaking strengths anchored by the adapted screenplay. Clooney really knows how to maximize his leading roles and Reitman has been on a roll since Thank You For Smoking. Julie & Julia had such strong art direction, costume design, and cinematography, and the stellar cast  takes it to another delectable level.

ANIMATED FILM

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Up

Disney/Pixar’s Up rises with a big win within a strong category containing appealing 3D elements in Coraline and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The Princess and the Frog was a quality effort in traditional animation while Fantastic Mr. Fox offered unique animation fun from director Wes Anderson. Up wins among strong competition and should be among the 10 nominees for a Best Picture Oscar.

DIRECTOR

  • Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
  • James Cameron – Avatar
  • Clint Eastwood – Invictus
  • Jason Reitman – Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds

Reitman’s win may be a surprise as Up in the Air wins for best drama as well. Cameron will just have to settle for his piles and piles of money and expect another likely pairing with his ex-wife and filmmaking collaborator Bigelow at the Oscars. Eastwood and Tarantino are always contenders for every film they make, but this year belongs to Reitman.

ACTOR (DRAMA)

  • Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney – Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth – A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman – Invictus
  • Tobey Maguire – Brothers

Viggo Mortensen (The Road) and Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) missed the list. Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker) is unfortunately also missing from this category. Bridges wins. People can call it "overdue" for his fourth Golden Globe nomination, but his performance would rank high in any year. Clooney already won for Actor in the Comedy category in 2000 for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

ACTRESS (DRAMA)

  • Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
  • Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren – The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan – An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

The hardest category to pick. Michelle Pfieffer (Cheri) and Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) should have been in here, but newcomers overtake the category. Mirren recently won for The Queen while Mulligan and Sidibe have their first Golden Globe nominations in this category. Blunt already has a  supporting actress win for The Devil Wears Prada and a supporting actress win for TV’s Gideon’s Daughter. Bullock wins. Her past nominations in comedy/musical will help here and could make Oscar scenarios interesting in the Best Actress category.

ACTOR (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)

  • Matt Damon – The Informant!
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine
  • Robert Downey Jr. - Sherlock Holmes
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – (500) Days of Summer
  • Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

Day-Lewis and Downey Jr. are always contenders for awards, but it’s between Damon, Gordon-Levitt, and Stuhlbarg. Double nominee Damon has the award here with support from his Invictus supporting role.

ACTRESS (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)

  • Sandra Bullock – The Proposal
  • Marion Cotillard – Nine
  • Julia Roberts – Duplicity
  • Meryl Streep – It's Complicated
  • Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Zooey Deschanel was missed for (500) Days of Summer while Roberts’ nom gets her deserved accolades for a great film gem. Bullock is my personal favorite for her best forte, comedy, but the award goes to Julie & Julia’s Streep who gets a nod over her co-star Amy Adams. Streep again becomes the consumate chameleon as the vibrant Julia Child. Stanley Tucci deserves a lot of praise for making her look good in his supporting role.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Matt Damon – Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds

Harrelson’s amazing performance plays against his celebrity persona while Tucci amazes again in a villainous role. Plummer continues great work, including Up, but Waltz’s breakthrough performance can’t be denied. As Nazi Col. Hans Landa, Waltz continues the "good to be bad" streak culminated by Heath Ledger's win for The Dark Knight last year.  Waltz's intelligence and unpredictable nuances match the dialogue-heavy screenplay perfectly. The beginning scene at the Frenchman's house alone merits his nomination.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Penelope Cruz – Nine
  • Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
  • Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
  • Mo'Nique – Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
  • Julianne Moore – A Single Man

Cruz and Moore will continue getting nominations (Moore technically has one for the special cast award for Short Cuts). Farmiga is my top pick, but first time nominees Kendrick or Mo’Nique look likely to take this one. Go with Mo’Nique. Her performance grounds the film in emotional realism amid noticeable cultural subtexts similar to Denzel Washington's Training Day performance without falling into stereotypes.

SCREENPLAY

  • Neill Blomkamp – District 9
  • Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
  • Nancy Meyers – It's Complicated
  • Jason Reitman – Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds

Another tough category to pick. Reitman adapts the Walter Kirn book well, but Tarantino and Blomkamp must fight this one out with Tarantino winning his second Golden Globe for screenplay (Pulp Fiction was the first). Tarantino developed this project over a long peroid of time, which definitely shows in the quality end work.

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Michael Giacchino – Up
  • Marvin Hamlisch – The Informant!
  • James Horner - Avatar
  • Abel Korzeniowski – A Single Man
  • Karen O. and Carter Burwell - Where the Wild Things Are

Horner’s score is powerful, but has already won for Titanic. Up's high exposure certainly helps, Giacchino’s memorable arrangements match the action, story and characters so well. 

ORIGINAL SONG

  • "Cinema Italiano" (written by Maury Yeston) – Nine
  • "I Want to Come Home" (written by Paul McCartney) – Everybody's Fine
  • "I Will See You" (written by James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell) – Avatar
  • "The Weary Kind" (Theme from 'Crazy Heart') (written by Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett) – Crazy Heart
  • "Winter" (written by U2) – Brothers

Recently these songs do not receive much airplay. "Cinema Italiano" is the most memorable, yet "The Weary Kind" wins for strong musicianship and extra plot connection with the film.

Be sure to watch Sunday. Martin Scorsese will receive this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.

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About Tall Writer

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  • Dan T

    Good picks. Some very interesting categories this year. Can’t wait until next Sunday!

  • Lisa L

    Awesome picks! Your 4 for 4 so far at 8:50 EST – animated film (Up), supporting actress (Mo’Nique), song (Crazy Heart) and score (Up). :-)

  • Lisa L

    Oops – your first miss. Tarantino lost for best screenplay. :-)

  • Lisa L

    Ooo. Getting some misses now. Julie & Julia didn’t beat Hangover…

  • Lisa L

    Ah. Recovery. Good call on the Sandra Bullock surprise for Blind Side!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/tall-writer/ Tall Writer

    I should have known better than to pick against Avatar (would’ve only missed three then). I didn’t include foreign language film so 14 nominations total people.

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