Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
December 13, 2012
I told myself I wouldn’t get worked up over the Golden Globe nominations this morning, but here we go again.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association—an anonymous group of freelancers much, much smaller than the Academy—really booted it this morning. Nothing for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” or “This is 40”? Three nominations for “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”? Ahhhhhhhh!!!!
Sorry. Deep breaths. Let’s break down a few positives and a whole lot of negatives.
“The Master” deservedly earns nods for all its stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. The movie’s a puzzle that will frustrate some and wow others, but you can’t deny the performances are remarkable.
Yet “The Master” is left out of the Best Motion Picture race in favor of choices like “Life of Pi,” which features a breathtaking second act but laughably bad storytelling, and “Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino’s latest entertaining revenge tale that’s also way too long.
Speaking of “Django,” Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t quite deserve his Supporting Actor nod, but Christoph Waltz absolutely does. Thanks for noticing, HFPA.
As mentioned above: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was entirely shut out. I’m not necessarily surprised not to see the film up for Picture, Director or Supporting Actor (Dwight Henry), but there is no excuse not to include Quvenzhane Wallis in the Best Actress, Drama category. Yes, she was six when the movie was filmed. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t acting, and acting her heart out in the most natural way imaginable.
That’s right, another negative: Leslie Mann is phenomenal in “This is 40,” and since the Academy rarely recognizes comedy, the Globes were the likely place for Mann’s work to stand out. Instead, only one nomination in that category is justified (Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”) while the other four were wasted on good-but-not-great work in 2-star movies, the most egregious choice being Emily Blunt in “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” I sure don’t remember that movie being funny (or even trying to be), though to be honest I don’t remember that movie at all …
Which is why it’s absurd that “Yemen” also earned nods for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy (a spot that should have gone to “This is 40”), and Best Actor, Musical or Comedy for Ewan McGregor. Again, he’s fine in the movie, but the movie’s not much and there are so many more worthy choices. Really. Almost anyone from anything else. Not including “That’s My Boy” or “Rock of Ages.”
"ParaNorman" is great. "Rise of the Guardians" is atrocious. Enough said.
See “The Paperboy.” Then see “Les Miserables” and “Compliance.” You cannot tell me Nicole Kidman’s better in the first than Samantha Barks or Ann Dowd in the other films, respectively. Well, you could, but I wouldn’t believe you.
I agree that Alan Arkin is funny in “Argo,” but he doesn’t contribute nearly as much to the film as Matthew McConaughey does to “Magic Mike.” Consider me worried that this choice will also appear at the Oscars.
Until then, fingers, toes, and anything else crossable will be in knots, hoping for major changes. Uh, not that it’s a big deal or anything.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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