Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gearing Up for the Globes

Tonight, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors the best achievements in film and television at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards. Broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the upcoming ceremony will be a return to traditional festivities after last year's writers strike led to the 65th Awards being relegated to a half-hour press conference. The atmosphere is pure excitement, as nominees have already begun to appear on the red carpet.

A simple glance at this year's list of nominees proves that 2008 was a stellar year for cinema. Though Hollywood will never duplicate, much less surpass, 1939 in terms of sheer greatness, last year brought some of the most compelling, humorous, and inspiring films of the decade.

Among those nominated in the Best Dramatic Film category are: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted from an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story about a man who ages in reverse; Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard's gripping recreation of David Frost's televised 1977 interviews with the titular former president; The Reader, an adaptation of Bernard Schlink's novel; Revolutionary Road, which chronicles the troubled marriage of Frank and April Wheeler (played Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, in their first on-screen pairing since Titanic) in 1950s Connecticut; and Slumdog Millionaire, the acclaimed story of a Mumbai man who wins the Hindi edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, only to be accused of cheating thereafter. Button, Frost/Nixon, and Doubt share a three-way tie for the most nominations at five apiece.

Though Slumdog Millionaire is only nominated in four categories, it could very well pull a clean sweep tonight. Since I blogged about the film winning the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, Slumdog Millionaire has steadily gathered awards season momentum, with its most recent set of accolades coming last Thursday at the 14th Annual Critics Choice Awards. Last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai also brought the film recognition, albeit unforeseen. If Slumdog Millionaire is selected for the top award tonight, the win will thrust the film into the front runner position for Best Picture at the 81st Academy Awards. (East Indian culture may very well see a surge in popularity in America.)

As for my predictions in each category, here they are:

Best Picture - Drama: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actress - Drama: Meryl Streep, Doubt
Best Actor - Drama: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Picture - Comedy/Musical: In Bruges
Best Actress - Comedy/Musical: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Best Actor - Comedy/Musical: Colin Farrell, In Bruges
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Animated Feature Film: Wall-E
Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song: "Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Wall-E
Best Television Series - Drama: Mad Men
Best Actress, TV Series - Drama: January Jones, Mad Men
Best Actor, TV Series - Drama: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Best Television Series - Comedy/Musical: 30 Rock
Best Actress, TV Series - Comedy/Musical: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Best Actor, TV Series - Comedy/Musical: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: John Adams
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TVM: Laura Linney, John Adams
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TVM: Paul Giamatti, John Adams
Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or TVM: Laura Dern, Recount
Best Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series or TVM: Tom Wilkinson, John Adams

Who do you think take home a Golden Globe tonight? Leave your predictions in a comment below. Look sharp for a recap post tomorrow.

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