Hello From Hollywood
LAST WEEK was quite frenetic time for the awards season in Hollywood. It was either a huge relief coupled with excitement for many or a big disappointment for others as the Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for its top prize for film followed by the Oscar nominations on Thursday. For a handful, it was also a mix of both emotions as one group honored and another snubbed. Then off to the 70th Annual Golden Globes for the first big event of the season, displaying predictability and some surprises, keeping things even more topsy-turvy as awards were finally handed out.
Beginning with directors, the DGA selected Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) as its five favorites. In the past five years, 21 of the 25 DGA nominees have gone on to receive Oscar nominations, thanks to the significant overlap between the guild and the Academy’s membership. However, dreams of Oscar gold for three were quickly squashed when the Oscars chose instead Michael Haneke (Amour), David O’ Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), a huge shocker from the indie film world. Affleck’s first directing nom will have to wait, while Bigelow and Hooper, who previously won for The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech respectively, were “snubbed” as many feel. At the Globes 3 days later, Affleck took home the helmer prize, besting a front-runner, Spielberg. Historically, the DGA choice usually goes on to take the Oscar, but with 3 of 5 DGA noms MIA at the Oscars, it could make the Oscars even more unpredictable if one of missing gets the DGA trophy on February 2nd. For the past 9 consecutive years, the DGA winner has taken the Oscar too, and all but 6 times since 1948.
For Best Picture, the Academy chose 9 films from a cap of 10 to compete at the ceremony on February 24th. They include: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. The PGA, which tends to match the Oscars finalists in this category, presented its list of 10, adding Moonrise Kingdom and Skyfall, but not Amour. The PGA winner has a solid record for picking what film gets the top Oscar at its producers’ bash on January 26th. The Globes, with 2 Best Picture categories – drama and comedy/musical – honored Argo over favored Lincoln (drama) in an upset and Les Miserables (comedy/musical) over Silver Linings Playbook.
In the Oscar acting categories, the selections were fairly predictable with a few omissions. John Hawkes’ physically demanding role as a quadriplegic in The Sessions was overlooked in the Best Actor category that now includes Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings), Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Denzel Washington (Flight). Lewis and Jackman won at the Globes, and seem to be the ones to beat, with the edge to Lewis (for now). For Best Actress, there are 2 remarkable record breakers this year: the oldest actress and the youngest nominees in the category: 85-year old Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and 9-year old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of Southern Wild). Neither picked up a nom at the Globes which crowned Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark), both in fierce competition for Oscar Gold.
In the supporting categories, the actors are all past winners: Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained). For the ladies, Oscars chose Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Jacki Weaver (Silving Linings). 8 out of the 10 competed at the Globes, with wins for Waltz and Hathaway.
The Screen Actors Guild will honor its nominated members on January 27th for its 19th kudos-fest, with the Best Ensemble award the one to watch as an indicator for Best Picture. The films whose ensembles were chosen are: Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Les Miserables, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook.