Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
December 12, 2013
Let’s take a collective deep breath and begin with the good news from this morning’s sufficiently ridiculous Golden Globes nominations.
-- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Enough Said”) and Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”) deservedly appear in the Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) category. See those movies, people; they’re really good.
-- To no one’s surprise, “12 Years a Slave” justly earns nominations in almost every category it could. Hoping Michael Fassbender wins Best Supporting Actor.
-- Great performances in unusual movies weren’t ignored, meaning noms for Joaquin Phoenix (“Her”) and Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”). And Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) nods for both!
-- Despite being NC-17 and sexually explicit (which is appropriate for the story), France’s brilliant “Blue is the Warmest Color” still earns a Best Foreign Language Film nomination. Relieved.
-- Paul Greengrass scores a Best Director nod for “Captain Phillips,” a movie whose unbelievable suspense and crisp, nominated performances from Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi are a credit to its director.
-- No nominations for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which is what’s supposed to happen when a movie’s lousy.
Now for the bad news. Hey, Hollywood Foreign Press: Can you please define the difference between comedy and drama for me? So “Philomena” and “Saving Mr. Banks” are dramas but “Before Midnight” and “Her” are comedies? Just because a movie’s funny doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a comedy, and just because a film has an emotional component doesn’t mean it’s a drama. Granted, those films are a tough call, but the placement of the heated “Midnight” (for which Julie Delpy was nominated for Best Actress) and light “Banks” (featuring Best Actress nom Emma Thompson) are particularly confusing. Also:
-- The inclusion of critically dismissed box office flop “Rush” in the Best Picture (Drama) category and Daniel Bruhl for Best Supporting Actor must be a prank. That’s the only rational explanation.
-- The voiceover-heavy, thematically simple “American Hustle” should not be nominated for Best Screenplay. Really.
-- Also: It’s ironic for David O. Russell (“American Hustle”) to earn a Best Director nod for a movie that apes Martin Scorsese, but Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) doesn’t get one for actually being Scorsese and delivering a film that’s more entertaining.
-- No one has seen “Labor Day” yet. (The Chicago Film Critics Association did not receive screeners of the movie, opening in 2014, BTW.) Was Kate Winslet just nominated because she’s Kate Winslet?
-- On that note: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts get in for “August: Osage County,” but no screenplay nod for Chicagoan Tracy Letts, whose play won him a Pulitzer. Interesting.
-- When Best Animated Feature includes “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2” and “Frozen,” the category should be canceled.
The awards take place Sunday, Jan. 12. Hold your breath.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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