News Column

Golden Globes Like 'Lincoln,' Bypass Golden Triangle

Dec. 14, 2012

Barbara Vancheri

Pittsburgh moviegoers have no dog -- or darling -- in the hunt for Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves "Lincoln," which led with seven nominations Thursday, but had no affection for "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Promised Land" or "Won't Back Down," the weakest of the lot.

"Argo" and "Django Unchained" each earned five, with "Les Miserables," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty" picking up four each. "Django" and "Les Miz" open in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day, and "Zero Dark Thirty" is targeted for Jan. 11.

Once again, it was a year so flush with strong male performances that some natural contenders were shut out.

Among them: Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in the movie about the making of "Psycho" opening today (review above), Tom Hanks, who plays a half-dozen roles in "Cloud Atlas," and Jamie Foxx as the slave turned bounty hunter in "Django Unchained." However, Mr. Foxx's two co-stars, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio (often an also-ran at awards time), were nominated in the supporting category.

That was an equally crowded field, which might explain the omission of Ezra Miller from "Perks," Robert De Niro as Bradley Cooper's dad in "Silver Linings Playbook" and young Tom Holland as one of three brothers whose family is torn apart by the tsunami in Thailand in "The Impossible."

Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are like Ohio voters during an election year. They number about 90, according to the group's website, and yet wield an inordinate amount of power.

This year, with Oscar nominations coming earlier than ever, any gracious or goofy behavior at the Globes won't matter. Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 10 and the Globes will be Jan. 13 at the Beverly Hilton with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting.

Other snapshots from the movie side of the Globes ledger:

--No need for a recount when it comes to "Lincoln," which was nominated for best drama, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, supporting actress Sally Field, supporting actor Tommy Lee Jones, director Steven Spielberg, screenwriter Tony Kushner and composer John Williams.

--Robust crowds at the Manor Theater for "Arbitrage" were on to something. Richard Gere was nominated for dramatic actor in the movie that played for weeks.

--Keira Knightley was left in the cold for her title role in "Anna Karenina," which scored a single nod for Dario Marianelli's score.

--If it weren't for Denzel Washington as the flawed, heroic pilot in "Flight," the acting nominees would be a sea of 20 white faces.

--Although a pleasant movie, the inclusion of "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is somewhat puzzling because it's unlikely to turn up on many top 10 lists.

Now on DVD, it stars Ewan McGregor as a fisheries expert based in London who initially has no time or patience for a scheme to introduce salmon fishing in the Yemen. Emily Blunt is the woman tasked with making this happen and sees it as the dream of a visionary sheikh rather than a rich man's folly.

--"Beasts of the Southern Wild" came up empty-handed despite lots of buzz since its release, particularly for its non-professionals who played father and daughter.

Steve Pond, author of "The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards," speculated on that HFPA members "only like their scrappy indies if they've got big stars in them. How else to explain the way the Globes voters ignored 'Beasts' but nominated Nicole Kidman for the laughably trashy 'The Paperboy'?"

He isn't the first and won't be the last to wonder about the desire to lure A-listers to the January bash.

--A couple of months ago, Joaquin Phoenix disparaged Oscar campaigning in a widely publicized interview with Elvis Mitchell. Voters of all stripes seem content to leave him out of the awards season circus or insist he participate, thanks to his intense turn in "The Master."

He, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams all are nominated in leading or supporting categories, accounting for the movie's three chances. In "The Master," Mr. Phoenix is a lost soul, a World War II veteran trying to fill a bottomless, aching hole with homemade hooch, sex, anger, aggression and a need to believe in someone or something.

--"Amour" scored just one nomination, in the foreign language film category, despite kudos for its story of an elderly couple facing disability and death. It has no Pittsburgh release date yet.

--Tom Hooper guided "Les Miz" from a wildly popular stage musical -- and made the bold decision to allow his actors to sing live -- but he wasn't among the directing nominees.

Quentin Tarantino, nominated for "Django Unchained" alongside Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"), Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Ang Lee ("Life of Pi") and Ben Affleck ("Argo"), said it was "very gratifying to get this many nominations from the HFPA for a film I worked so hard on and am so passionate about. I look forward to having fun at the Golden Globes with my cast mates and fellow nominees."

--Alan Arkin is carrying the acting flag for the excellent ensemble in "Argo."

"I am deeply grateful for this honor and particularly moved in being in the company of Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tommy Lee Jones, who I deeply admire," he said in a statement issued Thursday. "I am also thrilled that Ben is getting the attention he so much deserves, as is 'Argo.' "

--"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel's" Judi Dench, one of five nominees for best actress in a comedy or musical, called the recognition lovely news. "Having had such a glorious time in India, I'm so happy for [director] John Madden and Graham Broadbent and delighted to be included in such a wonderful group of fellow actors."

Mr. Broadbent, one of the producers of the movie competing for best comedy or musical, said in a statement, " 'Marigold' seems to be turning into the little film that could. We've had a wonderful ride," and he was particularly thrilled for Ms. Dench and Maggie Smith and the project reminding audiences there's more life to live, whatever your age.

--As always, some terrific work didn't make the cut including clever screenplays for "Looper" and "Seven Psychopaths," Mr. McGregor as the husband and dad in "The Impossible," Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as Los Angeles police partners in "End of Watch," and Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages," which would have seemed like a natural for actor in a comedy or musical. No "Magic Mike," either.

Source: (c)2012 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Distributed by MCT Information Services

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