Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Golden Globe Predictions

On Sunday, don't forget to drop everything and watch the Golden Globe awards, because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting! Here are my totally 100% accurate predictions about who will win this weekend.


Best Motion Picture — Drama
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

I’ve seen 3 of these 5 (Argo, Django, and Lincoln), and of those 3, I’d say Lincoln is the clear winner. Before today’s Oscar nominations, I would have said that Zero Dark Thirty was building momentum, but now it looks more like Lincoln’s year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Daniel Day-Lewis is the only one I’ve seen, and he’s the only one I feel the need to see. The man is an acting savant.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Jessica Chastain. But I’m totally rooting for Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars.

Best Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

After a very mixed/negative critical reaction to Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook should win this easily. Since it’s my favorite film of the year, I have no problems with this outcome :] It’ll be interesting to see the comedy and drama films in the same category at the Oscars though.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Easiest category by far: J-Law all the way.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy Or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Personally, I’d pick Bradley Cooper, but Hugh Jackman is also very good and had a flashier role. I think Jackman will probably take it, but I’d rather see Cooper win for a more subtle and poignant performance.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Mia Thermopolis Anne Hathaway!

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Huh. This is a tough category; I’ve seen 4 out of 5 nominees, and they were all pretty great. Considering the Globes tend to prefer movie stars, I want to go with Leonardo DiCaprio, but he was snubbed by the Oscars this morning. (Keep in mind, though, that the Globes were voted on before Oscar nominations came out.) Part of me still wants to say DiCaprio, but another part of me wants to pick probable Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones, whose plays a much more likable character. I’ll go out on a limb and stick with DiCaprio though.

Best Director — Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Oooh, this is interesting. I think they might want to give it to Kathryn Bigelow, since she didn’t win here for The Hurt Locker… but I could also see Ben Affleck or Steven Spielberg winning for more mainstream movies. Right now, I’m going to predict Spielberg.

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture
Argo, Chris Terrio
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
Zero Dark Thirty
, Mark Boal

Once again, what a tough category. All 4 of the nominees I’ve seen have boasted incredible screenplays, and I’m willing to bet Zero Dark Thirty’s is pretty great as well. I guess I’ll go with Lincoln here, since its script is probably the most showy.

Best Original Score — Motion Picture
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Cloud Atlas, Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimet & Reinhold Heil
Life of Pi, Michael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams

Beasts of the Southern Wild, but it’s not nominated. That oversight makes me think that the HFPA don’t actually listen to these scores before voting, but I guess I’ll pick Dario Marianelli/Anna Karenina.

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
“For You” from Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore” from Stand Up Guys
“Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games
“Suddenly” from Les Miserables
“Skyfall” from Skyfall

The safe pick would be “Suddenly” from Les Miz, since it’s a musical that actually uses the song in the context of the movie. Taylor Swift is super famous, so maybe “Safe and Sound” has a shot. But I think Adele will win for “Skyfall” because she’s universally respected, and her song is actually pretty good.

Best Animated Film
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

Ugh, probably Brave. That’s the only one I’ve seen, but I’ve heard Wreck-It Ralph is quite good, but then…
Yeah, I honestly don’t care about this category.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Intouchables
A Royal Affair
Rust & Bone

Amour is supposedly brilliant, and the HPFA will want to make sure it appeals to highbrow standards.


Best Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
The Big Bang Theory

Modern Family

Smash! I kid, I kid… Seriously, though, why did Smash get nominated instead of Parks and Rec or New Girl? Shameful. Anyway, Modern Family always wins here anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter that much.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation

I always pick Amy Poehler in this category at the Globes and Emmys, even though she never wins. Team Poehler 4ever!

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series — Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louis
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Weirdly, Matt LeBlanc actually won last year, so this could really go to anyone. Don Cheadle this year?

Best Television Series — Drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Newsroom

Maybe Downton Abbey, but I think the Globes will want to be consistent with the Emmys and go with Homeland.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Damian Lewis anchored season 2 of Homeland, and after being denied last year, I think he’ll win this year.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Claire Danes

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfield & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

Game Change, I guess. But where’s Sherlock?? :(

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn

I’m always Team Benny, but I think Kevin Costner or Woody Harrelson would be more likely to win. I’ll predict Costner... But if Benny shows up and starts talking in his velvet jaguar voice, all bets are off.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Julianne Moore

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

First of all, how bizarre is it that this category compares Schmidt from New Girl to John McCain in Game Change? Anyway, I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Mandy Patinkin.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey 
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

It would be unwise to bet against Maggie Smith.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dactyl's 2012 Movie Roundup

Okay, I know we agreed to just do a Top 10 list, but I couldn’t resist a more thorough write-up. Here are my takes on all of the films I’ve seen this year, with a countdown of the Top 10 at the end. If you’re feeling brave, read on :]

Disclaimer: I’m kind of a movie nut, so I have lots of opinions. However, I’m also kind of an idiot, so keep in mind that these are just personal preferences.

Potentially great movies that I haven’t gotten the chance to see yet:

  • The Hobbit (I really wanted to love this movie as much as I love the Lord of the Rings, but it just wasn’t even close. Okay, the last hour was pretty enjoyable, but not enough to make up for all the tedium leading up to it.)
  • Les Miserables (Yikes. I’m not sure how Tom Hooper managed to de-beautify this music, but it happened, and the movie really suffered. Acting-wise, the performances were quite good, but live singing by non-professionals just doesn’t work.)
  • The Avengers (Meh)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Amazingly meh)
  • Prometheus (Has easily the most disgusting birth scene ever; also kind of boring)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (Terrible)
  • Brave (Omg, that little girl was such a bitch)
  • The Vow (Liking A Walk to Remember is shameful enough, thank you very much)
  • This Means War (Okay, I admit I cracked up a few times when I watched this on the plane. But I blame that on the altitude, because this movie was pretty bad.)
  • The Five-Year Engagement (STAY AWAY)
Pleasant surprises:
Honorable mentions:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
I’ve seen a lot of movies, but this one is something completely unique. It’s not the easiest to watch though – I would describe it as the film equivalent of a free verse poem. Also features some of the coolest original music I’ve ever heard in a movie.
Django Unchained
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve watched a Tarantino movie all the way through, and it was actually pretty good. Sure, there was some distasteful gore, and the movie could have been about half an hour shorter. But there were also some really funny moments, and I thought the overall story was pretty cool.

Top 10 Favorites

I’m going to be totally honest: When I first saw the poster for this movie, I thought it was about Driver’s Ed. But then Saurus assured me that it’s actually really good, and, of course, she was right. Even though the reporters-stalk-time-traveller premise seems strange at the beginning, all of the plot points cleverly tie together by the end. More importantly, though, the movie is populated by interesting characters who quietly evoke a sense of empathy, and it’s through these people that the story manages to stay grounded in all its quirkiness.

Funny and fun and The Breakfast Club and SINGING! It’s so easy to go wrong with a premise that’s basically “Glee: The College Years”, but Pitch Perfect manages to exceed expectations with its endlessly quippy lines and confident attitude. Sure, it’s not quite as sharp as the classics in this genre (i.e. Clueless, Mean Girls), but it definitely hits the spot like a warm cookie from Foco.

8. Looper
At first, this movie seems like it’s just going to mess with your mind like Inception; however, the basic theme – violence and urban poverty create an endlessly vicious cycle – is actually quite simple. Looper weaves its time travel element into an intelligent, well-written action film, cleverly touching upon reality-based social issues along the way.

7. Argo
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Argo so good; it’s just a solid, solid movie. Thrilling and smart and even funny at times, the movie is incredibly enjoyable to watch. Ben Affleck, who knew? And if you didn’t like it, well, then, “Argo f**k yourself”.

Moonrise Kingdom is an indie gem that really stands out, even in a year filled with great studio films. The movie has a light touch, but it doesn’t feel insubstantial, and its deadpan humor is absolutely hilarious. The two 12 year-old leads are incredible; you’re rooting for them the entire time. Plus, even though the movie was clearly made on an indie budget, it looks really good, like some kind of HD video Instagram.

Like watching a brilliantly executed play, with the added bonus of film’s detail and immersion. Everything is really classy and excellent, with Daniel Day-Lewis once again demonstrating his skills as an acting savant. Right now, this would be my prediction for Best Picture at the Oscars in February.

Epic, dude, epic. TDKR is a great ending to a great trilogy, closing the book on Christian Bale’s Batman and cementing his legend in Gotham and in cinematic history. Somehow, despite my sky-high expectations, I was impressed yet again.

I’m still in awe of this novel’s creative, compelling plot. But even moving beyond Suzanne Collins’ original story, The Hunger Games film adaptation nails it, producing a thrilling blockbuster that’s also wonderfully subtle and nuanced. Jennifer Lawrence grounds the film with depth and emotional honesty (sidebar: she is a goddess and I might be in love with her), and it’s telling that I’ve seen this movie 3 times and cried twice each time (reaping scene and Rue’s death, natch).

Subtly funny, heartbreakingly sad, and tremendously poignant, this is the kind of story that feels like it’s changing your life as you watch it unfold. In particular, Logan Lerman’s performance as Charlie really makes this film. (He reminded me of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50, actually, and I mean that as the highest compliment.) I’m not sure how different the experience would have been if I had read the book first; regardless, this movie is absolutely extraordinary.

There are few things I love more than a fresh, meaningful, sweet, genuinely funny romantic comedy, and this is a great one. The story is so compelling and the dialogue feels so natural that it’s not until the end credits that you realize “oh yeah, this boils down to a classic boy-meets-girl plot”. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence make a true power couple – we all know that J-Law is the best actress of her generation, but Cooper really delivers as main character Pat. The movie centers on his mental illness and how it affects various relationships, tracing his heartwarming journey to find the silver linings in life. Go see it!