Sunday, January 10, 2016

Image = Awards Season 2016

Tonight’s Golden Globes marks the official start of Awards Season and I’d like to talk a little about that.  I am not going to discuss every single nomination so far, but just some that I feel require discussion…

The nominations for the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Independent Spirits are ALL over the place and this is VERY unusual.  It’s crazy and disconcerting but it’s also exciting.  There is no one big favorite movie this year and so… anything can happen.  As I said in my last blogpost, I am championing Spotlight for many reasons.  I have to have a favorite and there it is.  Room and The Big Short are my silver and bronze winners, and actually I would be happy if any of them won Best Picture because they are all so damn good.  

Even though the Academy Award nominations have not been announced yet, I am going to make some very early Oscar predictions.
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Because it is such a wide open field this year and he already has noms for every award… I am predicting that Eddie Redmayne may very well win back to back Oscars.  The movie The Danish Girl is flawed but his performance (and how AMAZING he looks in drag) is NOT!

I had to literally watch it through my fingers because it is riddled with graphic violence but I think Johnny Depp deserves a nom for Black Mass and Will Smith is back to his serious acting roots in Concussion and merits major consideration.  Bryan Cranston is also spot-on in Trumbo and has been on a roll of late winning Emmys and a Tony and everyone in the industry loves him, so he could steal the Oscar this year.  I am not going to see The Revenant and as much as I think he is way overdue, I would hate to see Leo win his Oscar for it because he almost died in the treacherous terrain and sub zero temps where they were shooting.  I also hate when the Academy gives people owed awards.  Matt Damon does not exactly re-invent the art of acting in The Martian but he expertly displays his mastery at being a charismatic movie star, reminiscent of Cary Grant and Clark Gable.

The real truth is that the finest performance of the year came from young Jacob Tremblay in Room and if he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, there is no justice in the world.  I don’t understand both why The Globes overlooked him completely and why The SAGs think he is a supporting actor.  He is in every shot of Room and utterly captivating in every moment.

One side note about Best Supporting Actor – since the world is enamored with Amy Schumer and Trainwreck has garnered many noms so far, let’s also recognize Colin Quinn.  It’s a GREAT performance.   
Lily Tomlin
I think Grandma is a perfect film and that Lily Tomlin was pitch perfect helming it.  It’s great that she got a Globe nom but I am totally shocked that she is not nominated for an Indie Spirit.  I thought that was a lock – and not even a nomination!  This makes no sense to me at all.  At 75 and having one of the greatest years of her career, I think it’s time Lily became an EGOT.

I’ve already said that I was underwhelmed by Carol and that I think Cate Blanchett should be nominated for Truth instead. 

There was a ton of Oscar buzz for Blythe Danner early in the year for her first starring role of her career for I’ll See you in My Dreams and so far – nothing.

Saoirse Ronan, Charlotte Rampling and Alicia Vikander all deserve recognition but I don’t agree with all the praise for Brie Larson.  She is a very natural actress and Room is a sensational film, but her performance was a bit one-note to be THE best of the year.

Since The Globes honor both film and television, let’s talk about TV.  An unfortunate side-effect of what critics have dubbed “too much television” is that many actors get snubbed.  Here are a few actors who are doing amazing work but never get acknowledged: 
Danielle Brooks
Hayden Panettiere on Nashville
Wendy McLendon-Covey on The Goldbergs
Danielle Brooks and Kate Mulgrew from Orange is the New Black
Anna Faris on Mom 
Tim Robbins on The Brink 
Will Chase on Nashville

There is also a big problem tonight with categorizing many shows that are quite un-categorizable.  Is Orange is the New Black a comedy or drama?  What about Transparent?  And - The Martian – about an astronaut left on Mars is not exactly a laugh riot but it’s in the Musical/Comedy category.  I think that we need a Dramedy category.  We can name it The Wonder Years Award.

Maybe since there is “too much TV” we need more nominations.  Or, split the nominations between network and cable & streaming.  I’m not sure what the answer is, but in the words of the legendary Nancy Meyers - something’s gotta give.