LION LEADS THE FILM PACK VYING FOR GOLDEN GLOBES GLORY
Calling all film fans! There’s a cracking line-up for this year’s Golden Globes. Here are my personal picks for the most hotly contested categories, as well as a more realistic tip.
MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
Nominees: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight What I want to win: Lion This is the incredible true story of a five-year-old Indian boy, Saroo, who innocently gets on a train that takes him thousands of miles across the country, in the opposite direction to his home. He struggles on his own for some time before he is adopted by an adoring Australian couple and raised in Australia. As a grown man, equipped with shattered memories of his family and Google Maps, he sets out to find home again. This film follows a similar formula to the cinematic genius that was Slumdog Millionaire. It showcases the harshness of India, past and present; it features an ambitious, charismatic though slightly naive main character and this character uses unconventional means to achieve his goals. Like Slumdog, it’s original, stirring and captivating both thematically and visually and deserves recognition. Plus, you’ve got to see Nicole Kidman with a mum ’do. What I think will win: Manchester by the Sea
MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street What I want to win: La La Land Thank you cinema overlords: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are together again! Mia (Stone) is an aspiring actor and Sebastian (Gosling), a jazz musician in modern day LA, waiting for their big break and struggling hard in the meantime. It’s possibly the most cliched storyline to come out of Hollywood – ever – but La La Land is definitely no cliche. It tackles LA cliches and the “Ugh, a musical,” stigma and produces a piece of work audiences are surprised they like, or love. For this, some critics thank writer and director Damien Chazelle’s realist attitude towards musicals, jazz and LA. At one point Stone tells Gosling she doesn’t like jazz and it’s a sigh of relief to modern audiences; at least we don’t have to sit and pretend we care about jazz, we can just enjoy the movie. What I think will win: La La Land
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A DRAMA, MALE
Nominees: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Joel Edgerton, Loving; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic; Denzel Washington, Fences Who I want to win: Casey Affleck Manchester by the Sea tackles a cinematic formula we’ve all seen before: a child is thrust into the care of a childish adult against their will ( Big Daddy, About a Boy, Game Plan). Where it rises above the average is its ability to execute a familiar plot and make it feel utterly original. Casey Affleck is a huge reason why Manchester by the Sea feels, maybe not shiny – it’s not a shiny kind of film – but definitely new. He portrays an emotional numbness, which makes for some dark, awkwardly funny exchanges and curious anticipation for audiences who ache to know what made him that way. Who I think will win: Casey Affleck
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A DRAMA, FEMALE
Nominees: Amy Adams, Arrival; Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane; Isabelle Huppert, Elle; Ruth Negga, Loving; Natalie Portman, Jackie Who I want to win: Jessica Chastain Jessica Chastain is amazing and should win this category for just being her, but there are other reasons. Miss Sloane is a political powerbroker in Washington DC – and she’s the best. She’s ruthless, cunning and does whatever it takes to win. That character must be so much fun to play and Chastain really looks like she’s enjoying herself. Films that are US-centric can sometimes lose their appeal in Australia (think Moneyball, The Big Short, presidential films), because we’re either not as familiar with the subject matter or simply not interested. Chastain keeps the audience’s attention in a tricky category (what even is political powerbroking?) where a less charismatic actor might fail. Who I think will win: Natalie Portman
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY, MALE
Nominees: Colin Farrell, The Lobster; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins; Jonah Hill, War Dogs; Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool Who I want to win: Ryan Gosling Method acting or role immersion isn’t unusual for actors in this league, but Gosling learnt piano and tapdancing so he wouldn’t need a hand or body double – that’s dedication. Either that or he had it on his resume, got picked for the role and panicked Joey Tribbiani style (we’ve all done it). In all seriousness, while it would have been so easy for Gosling to coast through life as a dreamy rom-com regular, he went all out for this one and it shows. Who I think will win: Ryan Gosling – La La Land
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY, FEMALE
Nominees: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women; Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply; Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen; Emma Stone, La La Land; Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins Who I want to win: Annette Bening Set in 1797 Santa Barbara, 20th Century Women is the story of Dorothea Fields, a mum in her mid-50s who enlists the help of two young, rebellious women to help bring up her awkward pubescent son. Bening as Dorothea Fields is cool, free-spirited and prone to whipping out lines of casual wisdom: “Wondering if you’re happy is just a great shortcut to being depressed.” Who I think will win: Emma Stone
The incredible retelling of a true story, Lion is nominated for Motion Picture Drama.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone charmed audiences in La La Land.
Annette Bening and Billy Crudup in 20th Century Women.
Casey Affleck in Manchester By The Sea.
Natalie Portman in Jackie.
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane.