Posted by: greercn | January 19, 2010

The Golden Globe Awards

I have an email from an old friend who wants to know: “If I can only see three of the Golden Globe movies – either nominees or winners – what do you recommend”?

To answer, I still haven’t seen three of them, including the much-lauded “Precious”. In addition, I can’t begin to comment on the television movies or awards, because I see so little television. But, since you asked, and despite my reservations around the meaning of awards, I will answer.

“The Hurt Locker” lost out to the undoubted technical achievements of “Avatar”, but is still just about the best war movie of recent years, not counting “Letters from Iwo Jima”. If you can stomach a very graphic war movie, see this. It’s extraordinary.

My second pick would be “Broken Embraces”, particularly if you speak fluent Spanish, as my friend does. It lost out to “The White Ribbon” in the foreign movie category. While “Ribbon” is a great movie, “Broken Embraces” is better, for me. But I really like Almodovar, so skip it if you don’t.

Sandra Bullock won for “The Blind Side”, which I haven’t seen and she was also nominated for “The Proposal”, which I did see. “The Proposal” is a very light and frothy and obvious romcom, but the Alaskan settings lift it visually and Bullock is great fun in a bitchy bossy role. This won’t cure any diseases or solve any intellectual debates – few movies could do that – but it will pass the time very pleasantly and it’s all good to look at.

Then  I think, why restrict myself to three? Jeff Bridges won for “Crazy Heart” and he is really good as a typical movie anti-hero giving it one more weary try to get somewhere in life. This has the Golden Globe winning best song as well. For me,  Bridges was just as good as an unreconstructed hippie in “The Men Who Stare At Goats”, which didn’t get nominated for anything at all.

Julia Roberts in “Duplicity” lost out to Meryl Streep in “Julie and Julia” but “Duplicity” has Roberts and Clive Owen in fine form, in a slick action movie with two leads who have undoubted chemistry between them. “Duplicity” is one of my favourite movies of last year.

The achievements of Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in “Invictus” are very compelling. Freeman is a superb Nelson Mandela and Damon brings great depth to his white South African rugby player character, in a plot set around the rugby World Cup. I am not qualified to comment on the quality of the South African accents, but it all sounded very real to me.  I am biased here as making this movie was a labour of love for Clint Eastwood.

Speaking of whom, I am annoyed about movies I loved that were completely overlooked. There’s a long list of those, but “State of Play” and “Gran Torino” lead it. I know why George Clooney can do nothing wrong and Clint Eastwood can do nothing right, as far as awards are concerned. But it’s still wrong to overlook Eastwood’s continuing achievements. “Sherlock Holmes” is good fun, but is Robert Downey better in that than Russell Crowe is in “State of Play”? It seems that actors, directors and movies have times of being in fashion, just like colours and hemlines.

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