Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
January 8, 2013
No matter who wins or loses Sunday, the 2013 Golden Globes ceremony obviously will be awesome because Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting. Really: That should be enough to make even the most awards show-averse movie/TV fans tune in.
Yes, there will probably be plenty of frustrating developments once the winners are announced but I’m trying to stay positive here, people. In 11 categories of the movie department, here’s who I want to win, who will actually win and who really, really needs to not win.
Best Picture, Drama. (Nominees: Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty
My vote: “Zero Dark Thirty.” Easily the best movie on this list.
Who will actually win: “Zero Dark Thirty.” It’s got momentum and controversy and, as mentioned, quality.
Who better not win: “Life of Pi.” The film deserves “best depiction of a shipwreck” and “best performance by a tiger with a person’s name” but not anything that implies it’s a great film with a well-told, non-superficial story.
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. (Nominees: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Silver Linings Playbook)
My vote: “Moonrise Kingdom.” Wes Anderson’s latest returns to the usual Anderson well but does so without feeling like a retread. Funny, lovely, wonderful.
Who will actually win: “Les Miserables.” The very well-done musical is the most “award-worthy” movie in this bunch, and even recent backlash and the unanimous disapproval of Russell Crowe won’t be enough to sink it. Otherwise, expect “Silver Linings Playbook” to win.
Who better not win: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” These nominations are perfect examples of why this category is an annual joke. And not a funny one.
Best Actress, Drama. (Nominees: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty; Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone; Helen Mirren, Hitchcock; Naomi Watts, The Impossible; Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea)
My vote: Watts. The movie errs in not paying more attention to people who actually live in Thailand, but regardless “The Impossible” is often terrifying and powerful, and Watts’ performance makes you believe she’s really living through the horror on screen.
Who will actually win: Chastain. It’s a subtle part that requires incredibly minute adjustments throughout, but the push for “Zero Dark Thirty” will be enough to grant Chastain the big-time attention.
Who better not win: NA. All of the nominees in this category are very good, though it’s still awful that Quvenzhane Wallis of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” isn’t among them.
Best Actor, Drama. (Nominees: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln; Richard Gere, Arbitrage; John Hawkes, The Sessions; Joaquin Phoenix, The Master; Denzel Washington, Flight)
My vote: Phoenix. The movie’s complicated and mysterious, as is Phoenix’s itchy turn as Freddie Quell, the man searching for guidance and yet unable to be tamed.
Who will actually win: Day-Lewis. The guy freaking looked just like Abraham Lincoln and behaved as it’s easy to imagine Honest Abe did as well. Likewise, it’s an easy performance to reward.
Who better not win: Washington. Yes, he’s good in “Flight.” The character and his continual relapses are written in such an uninteresting way, however, that the film should not be in any major awards discussions.
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy. (Nominees: Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook; Maggie Smith, Quartet; Meryl Streep, Hope Springs)
My vote: Lawrence. She’s extraordinary in “Silver Linings Playbook”—wounded, exciting, gorgeous and raw.
Who will actually win: Lawrence. It’s a no-brainer.
Who better not win: Anyone else. Really. The other good actresses’ performances in completely average movies don’t even come close.
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy. (Nominees: Jack Black, Bernie; Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook; Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables; Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson)
My vote: Cooper. More than anyone else in this category, he gets inside his character’s difficult experience and makes us feel like we understand where he’s been and why he goes where he goes.
Who will actually win: Jackman. He makes a solid Jean Valjean, and voters will want to reward the only musical nominated.
Who better not win: McGregor. To repeat: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” has no business at the Golden Globes or on your TV. It’s the epitome of forgettable.
Best supporting actress. (Nominees: Amy Adams, The Master; Sally Field, Lincoln; Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables; Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy)
My vote: Adams. In each scene her contributions are major even when her participation is minor. “The Master” leaves many questions to ponder, and that’s very much the case with Adams’ unsettling turn as Peggy, the wife of religious leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Who will actually win: Hathaway. This award was won months ago, despite Hathaway’s combination of impressive, highly emotive singing and over-acting.
Who better not win: Hathaway, Field, Kidman. It would just be excellent and deserved if Adams won. Won’t happen.
Best supporting actor. (Nominees: Alan Arkin, Argo; Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained; Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master; Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln; Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
My vote: Hoffman or Waltz (even though the latter’s a lead performance). Every performance in “The Master” is spectacular, and Waltz is the best thing about the overlong but entertaining “Django.”
Who will actually win: DiCaprio. Sometimes buzz equals victory, and all the pre-release chatter may be enough. Not a guarantee though.
Who better not win: Arkin. Yeah, he’s funny in the movie. So what? Is that surprising or especially important to the story? No.
Best director. (Nominees: Ben Affleck, Argo; Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty; Ang Lee, Life of Pi; Steven Spielberg, Lincoln; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained)
My vote: Bigelow. When “Zero Dark Thirty” is over, you won’t believe two-and-a-half hours have gone by. She deserves tons of credit for the film’s urgency and unrelenting tension.
Who will actually win: Bigelow. See the movie and you’ll understand why the Oscar-winning “Hurt Locker” director’s recent work is so widely regarded already.
Who better not win: Lee. See above for the failings of “Life of Pi.”
Best screenplay. (Nominees: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty; Tony Kushner, Lincoln; David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook; Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained; Chris Terrio, Argo)
My vote: Boal. Regardless of what’s real and what’s speculated, a very high percentage of “Zero Dark Thirty” feels real, and Boal’s script keeps the movie cranking at a gripping, instructive clip.
Who will actually win: Kushner. Many people love “Lincoln,” though I am not one of them. Parts of the film are great; not every character is given room to breathe, and the president himself never comes through in a portrait that feels fully connected to reality.
Who better not win: Tarantino. He’s virtually unparalleled when it comes to dialogue, but “Django” is indulgent and too much of a (not always) good thing.
Best animated feature. (Nomineees: Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians, Wreck-It Ralph)
My vote: “ParaNorman.” What? It wasn’t nominated. Fine, “Wreck-It Ralph,” the next-best animated movie of 2012.
Who will actually win: “Frankenweenie.” Just a hunch, not really sure why. Because Tim Burton hadn’t made a good movie in a while?
Who better not win: “Brave,” “Hotel Transylvania” or “Rise of the Guardians.” Bad, worse and worse.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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