In Brief: 2019: I won’t watch again this year but here’s my take on the 77th Annual Golden Globes
This Sunday on NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press will present the Golden Globe Awards to the best of the best in movies and TV. I won’t watch. Several years ago I got tired of the presenter and award-winner political rants and now boycott this, and all other, award programs.
However, I am interested in who gets nominated and who’ll win the awards.
By the way, this year two of my all-time favorite human beings will get special awards. Tom Hanks will receive the Cecil B. deMille Award for his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry. Ellen DeGeneres gets the second Carol Burnett Award for contributions made to television and the impact her career on the industry.
Last year Burnett picked up the first award and it has been named after her.
Best Picture — Drama
The Two Popes
Three of the nominated films — The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes — were really made for Netflix. They had brief theater runs. All are great movies but The Irishman just has no competition.
The Award goes to: The Irishman
My pick: The Irishman
Best Picture — Comedy or Musical
Dolomite is My Name
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A much tougher category than drama. Any of the five could pick up the award. To decide I’d have to put names in a hat and draw one out and I’d be happy with whichever one got picked. However, I have to pick one.
In that case it’s a toss-up between Jojo Rabbit and Knives Out but neither really has a chance.
The award goes to: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The name picked from my hat: Jojo Rabbit
Bong Joon Ho: Parasite
Sam Mendes: 1917
Todd Phillips: Joker
Martin Scorsese: The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Surprise! The most ambitious directing didn’t come from Martin Scorsese who packed the story of the assassination of Jimmy Hoffa into a 3 1/2 hour movie. That belongs to Sam Mendes whose cinematography in 1917 is indescribably complex and like nothing I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Neither will win, however. The accolades are being given to Bong Joon Ho whose Parasite is the most original movie of the year and maybe the most original in many years.
The award goes to: Bong Joon Ho
My pick: Martin Scorsese
Best Performance by an Actress — Drama
Cynthia Erivo: Harriet
Scarlett Johansson: Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan: Little Women
Charlize Theron: Bombshell
Renee Zellweger: Judy
The best work is Erivo. Her real competition is the excellent performance of Zellweger as Judy Garland. It’s hard to care about the life of an aging alcoholic who we would rather remember as the darling Dororthy.
It’s great acting and Zellweger is convincing. However, Erivo’s performance as Harriet Tubman is powerful and multi-dimensional. It’s the best acting in the category but doesn’t stand a chance.
The award goes to: Renee Zellweger for Judy
My pick: Cynthia Erivo
Best Performance by an Actress — Comedy or Musical
Ana De Armas: Knives Out
Awkwafina: The Farewell
Cate Blanchett: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beanie Feldstein: Booksmart
Emma Thompson: Late Night
Like the drama category, this one is deep with really good performances from some very talented actresses. Awkwafina is the favorite. In my book she gave the weakest performance of the group.
I’d pick Emma Thompson. Her work in Late Night is narcissism on steroids and makes a fairly lame, predictable comedy a lot of fun.
The award goes to: Awkwafina
My pick: Emma Thompson
Best Performance by an Actor — Drama
Christian Bale: Ford v Ferarri
Antonio Banderas: Pain and Glory
Adam Driver: Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix: Joker
Jonathan Pryce: The Two Popes
I won’t go too deep into this one. All five are very good performances but nothing tops Joaquin Phoenix who did some of the best acting ever!
The award goes to: Joaquin Phoenix
My pick: Joaquin Phoenix
Best Performance by an Actor — Comedy or Musical
Daniel Craig: Knives out
Roman Griffin Davis: Jojo Rabbit
Leonardo DiCaprio: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton: Rocketman
Eddie Murphy: Dolemite is My Name
This is a tough one, too. The favorite is Eddie Murphy who had a blast in what is essentially a comeback film. Comeback is a word I’d use for my favorite performance in this category. Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John made an old rocker and his old worn out music relevant again. That’s a comeback of sorts.
The award goes to: Eddie Murphy
My pick: Taron Egerton
Best Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates: Richard Jewell
Annette Bening: The Report
Laura Dern: Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez: Hustlers
Margot Robbie: Bombshell
I liked Laura Dern’s upbeat, new agey divorce attorney in Marriage Story the best but Hustlers is a part made for Jennifer Lopez and is the role and the performance we’ve been looking for from her since she burst onto the movie scene a couple of decades ago.
The award goes to: Jennifer Lopez
My pick: Laura Dern
Best Supporting Actor
Tom Hanks: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins: The Two Popes
Al Pacino: The Irishman
Joe Pesci: The Irishman
Brad Pitt: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Joe Pesci and Al Pacino both rocked in The Irishman. For once Pacino didn’t overact and Pesci didn’t come off looking like an angry chipmunk. I’d pick one of them for the award. However, Brad Pitt’s best friend handyman in Quentin Tarantino’s history-altering movie is maybe the best he’s ever been and he’s always pretty good.
The award goes to: Brad Pitt
My pick: Joe Pesci
Best Animated Film
2019 was the worst year for animated movies since I’ve started doing movie criticism in 1990. They all pretty much sucked. And the one animated movie that actually was good — Abominable — didn’t get nominated.
Give this one to Frozen 2
Hand’s down, Steven Zaillian for The Irishman. It’s ambitious, highly entertaining and a riveting story that got anchored by equally riveting acting.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.