Due to the unprecedented popularity of my post concerning the Golden Globe nominations of a number of films I did not see (i.e. a comment), I am already making the bold decision to repeat myself in a diminished version of something that was at most mildly successful the first time. I am so Hollywood, you're going to want to condescend to me at Fairgrounds. And now, the lucky ladies and gentlemen the Globe voters, all fourteen of them, have recognized as the best non-stars of the year:
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - Doubt
I Doubt anything could ever get in the way of this Enchanted actor's red-hot, red-haired charisma. You would have to dress her up as a nun to keep her from lighting up the screen! Junebug.
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Christy Barcelona
I'm glad Hollywood is finally figuring out how to use one of the most beautiful, talented actors of her generation...that is playing fiery Spaniards. I think Vicky Christy Barcelona could have been immeasurably improved if Cruz pulled a double roll and Scarlett Johansen was entirely gotten rid of, leaving an opportunity for Cruz to have a scene making out with Javier Bardem and Herself, which is sexy cubed (incidentally the title of a screenplay I'm working on, Sexy Cubed, in which the delicate atmosphere of a mathematics laboratory run by Johnny Depp and Rosie Perez is literally turned upside-down by the disruptive presence of Manic Pixie Dream Girl Parker Posey, who turns out to have quirky superpowers). Really, I would probably be okay with cinema if something happened making Penelope Cruz play everybody in everything and it was all directed by Pedro Almovodar.
Viola Davis - Doubt
I Doubt it would be prudent to make an idiotic joke about this woman. Her name is a musical instrument. The title of the film is a monosyllabic noun and verb. I'm sure you can throw something dumb together yourself.
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
Remember how until I see it I'm going to assume The Wrestler is like, totally the best movie ever? It only helps my case that MARISA TOMEI plays a STRIPPER with a heart of some precious metal, but not a robot or anything, unless that is a Halloween 3-style twist they throw in at the end. Tomei started out as a Best Supporting Actor, but somehow as she's aged she's only improved and gotten more ravishing. Remember when everybody would lie and say Sophia Loren was one of the most beautiful women in the world when she was in her late eighties? Tomei might actually do it. Darren Aronofsky! Mickey Rourke! Marisa Tomei! Wrestling picture! What do you need, a road map?
Kate Winslet - The Reader
They say the studio system in Golden Age Hollywood was a massive, well-oiled machine of several departments honed and perfected their crafts to a point of sublime invisibility and combined like Voltron to construct the classics that still linger prominently in our collective cinematic sub-conscious. Well they sure were stupid, because they never figured out that you just have to have Kate Winslet fuck a protagonist that males cannot relate to. Really, that's all.
Best Supporting Actor
Tom Cruise - Tropic Thunder
Dammit, Tom! I go to comedies to get away from you! You know what's funny? Of all the negative social effects of repressing one's homosexuality, Scientology is both the deadliest and most moronic.
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
That's more like it. Everybody loves Downey this year, and I am no exception, and when I can afford it, I am going to dive headfirst into a decade of drug abuse and depravity, not just for fun but in the mild hope that I might be something like him when I grow up. Dude, did you know he used to date Marisa Tomei? I'm a bit miffed at not seeing much awards buzz for Iron Man, but I suppose that is, once again, part of the flawed system that does not have any prominent awards for being Wicked Awesome. I guess all that money will have to compensate somehow for this egregious lack of recognition.
Ralph Fiennes - The Duchess
So its a period picture with Ralph Fiennes in a supporting role? Yeah I would probably nominate him on g.p. without going through the trouble of watching The Duchess. I have seen Strange Days and Spider enough to feel pretty good about nominating Ralph Fiennes for awards sight unseen. Give him an ESPY, I don't care.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
I Doubt any movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman hasn't spawned several conversations with some variation on the passage "...and the cast is really great, did you see Phillip Seymour Hoffman..." in it. But here's my problem: where is the awards buzz for the best movie I saw this year, Synechdoche, New York, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Is Hollywood trying to get Charlie Kaufman to kill himself? He should write and direct a movie about that. Or get Michel Gondry to make it.
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
A lesson to douchebag homophobes-next time you dismiss one of the best movies by one of our best directors (Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain) that you're afraid to see anyway because you might get gay cooties or something from it so you make unimaginative non-jokes whose premise is actually the premise of the movie (that, you know, these fags are gay, heh heh, isn't that crazy, they're like, in love, heh heh, but the judgemental limitations of society and their own fear tragically prevents them from finding real happiness, oh that's fucking hilarious, and their miserable lack of fulfillment goes on to hurt the people closest to them, heh heh this movie is so ludicrous it made me cry, but I was joking really I promise), you're going to karmicly curse the star to die tragically right before he pops up giving the best performance ever as an iconic character in your favorite goddamn movie of the year. And that was the longest sentence I've ever composed, because passion prevents periods. You did this, asshole, you and Michelle Tanner. I'll miss you Heath, you came a long way from 10 Things I Hate About You and I bet you could have gone even further.
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Boyle is always interesting and sometimes great. I need to see this new film of his, that despite its strange premise and non-caucazoid setting is getting the most mainstream award notice of his career. One thing, though- what is up with that odd duck of a title from the guy who made some of the best-titled movies of modern times? However good Slumdog Millionaire is, it is a pretty poor follow-up to Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary, 28 Days Later, Millions, and Sunshine in the title department.
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Speaking of names, this guy has one almost as boring as the title to his award-baiting film.
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Strange that Fincher doesn't seem to be labelled as a genre director when his revelatory best efforts like Zodiac and Se7en and The Game and Fight Club have boasted their fair share of exploitation gimmicks and genre elements. Plus, his big screen debut was an Alien sequel. Maybe it is because his films possess an epic scope and vision that makes snootier admirers forget he's doing sordid crime procedurals and Twilight Zone retreads and cult novels. Maybe its because his most straightforward thriller, Panic Room, kind of sucked despite an expensive cast and technical virtuosity. Maybe people still think of him as a music video director and that has been the main slur against him despite the fact that we all know his promo for Madonna's Vogue was pretty great. I'm just vaguely suspicious when he finally does something as middlebrow as adapting an F. Scott Fitzgerald story and suddenly he's getting award nominations. On the bright side, this story does sound like one The Twilight Zone would have been happy to adapt with appearances by Burgess Meredith and Bill Mumy.
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Dammit, Hollywood, don't you know if you keep nominating Ron Howard for awards he's going to think he's, like, a real director and stuff. I know, Andy Griffith, a man who has quietly conducted more years of drug abuse and depravity than Robert Downey Jr. has lived, still feels rather protective of Howard and you all fear the murderous wrath of his drug and dementia addled vengeance. I can understand that. But when Andy finally spins off this mortal coil, can we all agree to stop encouraging Howard? Its getting real awkward pretending his movies don't suck.
Sam Mendes - Revolutionary Road
I can think of no pleasure greater than having Sam Mendes explore the relevant-to-everybody and entirely novel theme of the malaise and misery that lurks beneath the surface of caucasian suburban America for fucking ever. Again.
Feature: Quick Takes (March 2017)
4 days ago