Before we tackled the best picture race leading up to Tuesday's nominations, some final key thoughts on Sunday's night's Golden Globes.
The HFPA has a major public relations problem...again.
Over the past decade many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association worked very hard to change the perception of the exclusive and quirky org. Ever since stories of actors such as Sharon Stone sending expensive watches to members to try and land a nomination had became known in the mainstream media, the HFPA had put in strict rules and seemed very intent on lessening the studio's influence on the Golden Globes nominees and winners. Especially during a time when the Globes ratings were going upward and big brother, the Academy Awards, were falling. When the writer's strike occurred in late 2007, awards season came to a grinding halt and the HFPA came up with an embarrassingly lame press conference show to try to salvage their lucrative contract with NBC. The fact they insisted on the presentation should have been the first sign things weren't as kosher as they seemed. Then came new President Philip Berk, a gentleman who doesn't seem to have a sense of humor and appears to want to have a swift temper instead. Berk was largely responsible for the ouster of the Michael Russell Group, a publicity firm that had been the HFPA's biggest ally for two decades. You can learn about the gory details here, but the resulting lawsuit filed over the past week accused the organization of participating in payola (uh oh). Even if it can't be proven in court, it's damning in the court of public opinion, the media and the industry. Worse, those charges came just a month after the HFPA picked some of their most ludicrous and star-[expletive] nominations in years in the comedy or musical categories ("The Tourist," "Red") and has eyebrow raising nods for Scott Caan and Piper Perabo on the television side. And you know things aren't going well when your Cecil B. DeMille winner, Robert De Niro, is ripping your organization in his acceptance speech. The HFPA now have a whole year to try and turn things around. Good luck with that fellas.
Before we tackled the best picture race leading up to Tuesday's nominations, some final key thoughts on Sunday's night's Golden Globes.
Sometimes something pops into your inbox and you just can't resist writing a piece on it. So, here goes...
The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics (no, I have no idea who they are either) announced the winners for the second annual Dorian Awards for Film and Television this afternoon. Notable wins included this pundit's favorite of 2010, "I Am Love" for Film of the Year, "The Good Wife" for TV Drama of the Year (also a favorite), Annette Bening, "I Love You Phillip Morris," Michael C. Hall, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, "Glee" and, um, "Hung." Needless to say, the organization has a sense of humor about itself. Check out the winners as noted in a press release sent to the media.
In the second major pick up of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to Jeff Nichols' dramatic entry "Take Shelter."
The film stars Michael Shannon as a man who becomes obsessed with building a storm shelter in his backyard after he's haunted by a series of terrifying dreams. The resulting behavior scares his wife (Jessica Chastain) and those in their small Ohio town. The cast also includes Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon and Kathy Baker.
This is Nicols second film. He also collaborated with Shannon, best known for his role on "Boardwalk Empire" and his Oscar-nominated turn in "Revolutionary Road," in 2007's "Shotgun Stories."
"Taking Shelter" is up for competition for the Grand Jury Prize and will premiere on Monday, Jan. 24.
Earlier this month, Roadside attractions picked "The Music Never Stopped" which premieres at the festival on Friday.
In other Sundance news…
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominees for the 2011 BAFTA Orange Film Awards today and "The King's Speech" led the way with 14 nominations including best picture. "Black Swan" found 12, "Inception" nine, "True Grit" eight and "127 Hours" seven while "The Social Network" wasn't s liked as much as its award season competitors and landed just six (ouch).
Besides the support for the usual awards players, BAFTA voters snubbed "The Fighter" star Melissa Leo, gave key nominations to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and its star Noomi Rapace, completely ignored Mark Romanek's U.K.-set "Never Let Me Go," told both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore that "The Kids Are All Right" and honored fallen countrymen and "The Town" star Pete Postlethwaite.
All the nominees are as follows along with this writer's commentary on each award.
After the 68th Annual Golden Globes came to a merciful end Sunday night, the party really started with six different events on the Beverly Hilton complex. Every year, the hotel opens up at 9 PM for an influx of new attendees for the bashes including this black-tie wearing pundit. First off? The Weinstein Company/Relativity party which also doubled as a pseudo Paramount Pictures party (the studio is releasing "Fighter" for Relativity).
Yes, it's that time of year again. A moment in Hollywood when the worlds of television and movies collide in a red carpet, booze-filled extravaganza. Ricky Gervais is back, the HFPA are facing a lawsuit and accusations of payola and concerns there will be no surprises. Bite your tongues naysayers! The fun is just beginning.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts - Los Angeles - held their annual BAFTA/LA Tea Party Saturday afternoon in Beverly Hills and it was quite the scene in the packed Four Seasons hotel ballroom.
Partially a fundraiser for some of the organization's charities, the BAFTA Tea Party has become another required stop on the awards circuit. Next to SAG, BAFTA has some of the largest duplicate membership in the Academy and the Brits are a powerful voting bloc to have on your side (especially in close races). So, like a political campaign, events like BAFTA are a necessary stop to help push either your candidacy or your films.
Last night the Broadcast "Critic's" Association showed how pointless the Critic's Choice Awards are by naming "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" best foreign film. Of course, the fact there were only three nominees might have been the biggest red flag in that regard, but picking "Tattoo" over the acclaimed "I Am Love" and at the least daring "Biutiful" was almost comical. You had to feel for "Love" director Luca Guadagnino and producer/star Tilda Swinton who sat in the audience only to watch "Tattoo" win. Thankfully, their chances of recognition are much better Sunday night when "Love" competes for best foreign language film during the 68th Annual Golden Globes.
The American Cinema Editors weighed in on their peers this morning announcing the nominees for the 61st Annual ACE Eddie Awards. Recognizing outstanding editing in nine categories of film, television and documentaries, this year's class featured few surprises beyond the always interesting Comedy or Musical movie category.
The awards will be announced on Feb. 19, 2011 in a black-tie ceremony where Christopher Nolan will receive the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. Two Career Achievement honorees will be announced next week. A complete list of all the nominees are as follows.
Yes, it's that time of year again. A time in Hollywood where the worlds of movies and television become one thanks to the incredible magic of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Whether the HFPA's 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards are really a bellwether for the more prestigious Academy Awards honestly depends on the year. This season? Not so much, but it's an excellent opportunity for stars from the big, small and even smaller screens to celebrate each other's work, drink and be merry.
(Well, at least until a little over two weeks from now when they do it all over again at the SAG Awards.)
As in past years, the battle for best picture has come down to the power and influence of two men: uber producer Scott Rudin and longtime awards maestro Harvey Weinstein. With "True Grit" bizarrely left in the cold having received zero nominations, Rudin is pushing his critics' wonder "The Social Network." On the other side of the battle field, Weinstein is firmly behind this year's audience favorite, "The King's Speech." Occasional collaborators ("never say never" with these two), but usual competitors, the New York based movie men are two of the fiercest awards season campaigners around. And when there are only 80 or so voters for the Globes to influence as opposed to approximately 6,000 for the Oscars? Well, we'd suggest getting out of the way of their crosshairs.
The TV categories are always incredibly difficult for even the most seasoned television experts to pick. That's mostly because a majority of the HFPA voters cover the movies and not TV, but since they can all vote for the winners it leads to some interesting and sometimes perplexing picks. In theory, acclaimed shows such as "Modern Family" and "Mad Men" should dominate the winner's circle. This Sunday evening, however, that might not be the case.
With that in mind, check out this pundit's predictions for the 68th Annual Golden Globes.
Best Picture - Drama
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
Winner: "The Social Network"
Upset Contenders: "The King's Speech"
Lowdown: If you speak to some HFPA watchers they will tell you that "Network" is going to win. If you speak to other HFPA watchers they will tell you that "Speech" will win because Harvey Weinstein knows how to schmooze them better than anyone else in town. It's close for sure, but when it all comes down to it, more than anything, the HFPA do not like to be embarrassed. And considering almost all the other critic's groups in the country have picked "Network" for best picture. They should do the same.
Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
"Alice in Wonderland"
"The Kids are Alright"
Winner: "The Kids Are All Right"
Upset Contenders: "Alice in Wonderland"
Lowdown: A pretty dreadful list of contenders with "Kids" being the only worthy awards picture in the bunch. However, word is the HFPA love "Alice in Wonderland" and there is a very slim chance they go with Disney's $1 billion dollar hit.
Best Actor - Drama
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter"
Winner: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
Upset Contenders: Jesse Eisenberg, "Social Network" or James Franco, "127 Hours"
Lowdown: If you're an HFPA member and voting "Network" for picture you have to make sure to reward "King's Speech" and this is where the organization tries to make everyone happy. The very deserving Firth is pretty much a lock here, but if the "Network" love is legit, Eisenberg could sneak in or their longtime admiration for Franco could find him an unexpected winner as well.
Best Actress - Drama
Halle Berry, "Frankie and Alice"
Nicole Kidman, "The Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
Winner: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Upset Contenders: None
Lowdown: This is pretty much set in stone. The HFPA adore Kidman, but did not like "Rabbit Hole." That pretty much seals the deal for Portman.
Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"
Johnny Depp, "The Tourist"
Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Love and Other Drugs"
Kevin Spacey, "Casino Jack"
Winner: Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"
Upset Contenders: Paul Giamatti, "Barney's Version" or Kevin Spacey, "Casino Jack"
Lowdown: Another miserable category this year, but it does allow the HFPA to reward Johnny Depp one more time (he's got nine nominations and only one win so far). If for some reason Depp doesn't win, it will be because there was more support for Giamatti or Spacey than expected. Like, a lot more.
Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are Alright"
Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"
Angelina Jolie, "The Tourist"
Emma Stone, "Easy A"
Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are Alright"
Winner: Annette, Bening, "The Kids Are Alright"
Upset Contenders: Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right," Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"
Lowdown: Pretty much Bening's to lose. Anne Hathaway is the biggest competition, but the members were not big fans of "Love and Other Drugs" (as evidenced by the dramedy not making the Best Picture - Musical or Comedy category).
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Mila Kunis, "Black Swan"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"
Winner: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Upset Contenders: Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"
Lowdown: Awarding the Globe to Leo allows the HFPA to reward "The Fighter," which they are big fans of. Weaver would be the only nominee who could really surprise here.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Michael Douglas, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"
Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"
Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Winner: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Upset Contenders: Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Lowdown: As much as they'd like to sympathetically bring cancer survivor Douglas to the stage (which would make for great TV by the way), it's going to be hard for them to ignore Bale. Again, they don't like to be embarrassed. 80 people can form one pretty insecure group.
Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
Christopher Nolan, "Inception"
David O. Russell, "The Fighter"
Winner: David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Upset Contenders: Christopher Nolan, "Inception"
Lowdown: Fincher will win, but if there is a prevailing feeling monster hit "Inception" needs more recognition, Nolan could sneak in.
Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, "127 Hours"
Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids are Alright"
Christopher Nolan, "Inception"
David Sieber, "The King's Speech"
Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network"
Winner: Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network"
Upset Contenders: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, "127 Hours"
Lowdown: Pretty much a slam dunk for the former "West Wing" creator, but the HFPA also loved "127 Hours" and Boyle in particular. This may be the only category where they can recognize the picture.
Best Animated Feature
"How to Train Your Dragon"
"Toy Story 3"
Winner: "Toy Story 3"
Upset Contenders: Um, no.
Lowdown: Just book it. Although we wouldn't want to be anywhere near the Disney/Pixar table if DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon" wins instead.
Best Foreign Language Film
"I Am Love"
"In a Better World"
Winner: "I Am Love"
Upset Contenders: "The Concert"
Lowdown: Tougher call than in previous years, but critical acclaim and Tilda Swinton's amazing performance should bring "I Am Love" the statue. However, the Weinstein's "The Concert" could be a possible upset player here too.
Best Original Song
"Bound to You," "Burlesque"
"Coming Home," "Country Song"
"I See the Light," "Tangled"
"There's a Place For Us," "Dawn Treader"
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," "Burlesque"
Winner: "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," "Burlesque"
Upset Contenders: "I See the Light," "Tangled"
Lowdown: "You Haven't" songwriter Diane Warren was repped by longtime publicist Ronni Chasen who was murdered last month in an attack that left most of Hollywood in severe shock. Add in the Cher factor and only "I See the Light" could upset the "Burlesque" ballad.
Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, "The King's Speech"
Danny Elfman, "Alice in Wonderland"
AR Rahman, "127 Hours"
Hans Zimmer, ""Inception"
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, "The Social Network"
Winner: Hans Zimmer, "Inception"
Upset Contenders: Alexandre Desplat, "The King's Speech"
Lowdown: One of the few places they can reward "Inception." It's also quite deserving and Zimmer was also a client of Chasen's (it sounds callous, but sometimes it's just how these things work out).
Best TV Series - Drama
"The Good Wife"
"The Walking Dead"
Winner: "Boardwalk Empire"
Upset Contenders: "Mad Men"
Lowdown: The HFPA love Martin Scorsese. The HFPA love HBO. As good as "Mad Men" was last season, the new kid on the "Boardwalk" should take home the gold Sunday night.
Best Actor in a TV Series - Drama
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
Winner: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Upset Contenders: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Lowdown: Rule #1 when predicting HFPA TV voting: If there's a movie star in the field it's a good bet they're gonna win. Why? Well, most of the membership don't cover television, but just film. So, when they get a chance to vote for all the categories they tend to go with what they know. That usually leads to some classy, if not surprising picks. In this case, Buscemi over previous winners Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall.
Best Actress in a TV Series - Drama
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Piper Perabo, "Covert Affairs"
Katey Sagal, "Sons of Anarchy"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Winner: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Upset Contenders: Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Lowdown: In an even less competitive category than last year Margulies wins again.
Best TV Series - Comedy
"The Big Bang Theory"
"The Big C"
Upset Contenders: "Modern Family," "30 Rock," "The Big Bang Theory"
Lowdown: It's close between "Glee" and "Modern Family," but we just think the HFPA can't get enough of those singing and dancing teenagers.
Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy
Toni Collette, "The United States of Tara"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Lea Michele, "Glee"
Winner: Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Upset Contenders: Toni Collette, "The United States of Tara" or Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Lowdown: If you follow the HFPA's unspoken movie star rule then Linney or Collette should win. We think being the new kid on the Showtime block gives Linney the edge.
Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Thomas Jane, "Hung"
Matthew Morrison, "Glee"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Winner: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Upset Contenders: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Lowdown: Are the HFPA really going to honor Baldwin for the fourth time in five years for this role? It makes more sense that Parsons breaks through and duplicates his Emmy win.
Best Supporting Actor - Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Scott Caan, "Hawaii Five-0"
Chris Colfer, "Glee"
Chris Noth, "The Good Wife"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"
David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin"
Winner: Chris Colfer, "Glee"
Upset Contenders: Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family" or David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin"
Lowdown: Here's the thing, somebody's got to be the first group to recognize Colfer. We say the HFPA are that group. Just a hunch.
Best Supporting Actress - Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Hope Davis, "The Special Relationship"
Jane Lynch, "Gee"
Kelly MacDonald, "Boardwalk Empire"
Julia Stiles, "Dexter"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Winner: Kelly MacDonald, "Boardwalk Empire"
Upset Contenders: Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family" or Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Lowdown: We're taking the "Boardwalk" train and going with Kelly MacDonald. It's a hunch, but we'd also not be surprised if Lynch repeated her Emmy win here.
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
"Pillars of the Earth"
"You Don't Know Jack"
Winner: "The Pacific"
Upset Contenders: "Carlos" or "You Don't Know Jack"
Lowdown: Let's be clear, the HFPA may love "Carlos" and it's a credit to the organization's overall taste that it made the cut, but they do not want to embarrass "Pacific" producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. It's that simple.
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Hayley Atwell, "Pillars of the Earth"
Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"
Judi Dench, "Return to Cranford"
Romola Garai, "Emma"
Jennifer Love Hewitt, "The Client List"
Winner: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"
Upset Contenders: Um, no.
Lowdown: Just book it (and she's winning the SAG Award for this one too).
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Idris Elba, "Luther"
Ian McShane, "Pillars of the Earth"
Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
Dennis Quaid, "The Special Relationship"
Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"
Winner: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
Upset Contenders: Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"
Lowdown: Former Cecil B. DeMille and 14-time nominee and two-time winner Pacino should repeat his Emmy Award win here. However, there is a slight chance Ramirez upsets so the HFPA can claim they were one of the few orgs to actually recognize "Carlos" in some way.
Have you entered HitFix's Golden Globes Awards Pool yet? You have until Sunday, January 15 at 3 PM EST, 12 Noon PST. The winner receives a brand new Flip Ultra HD video camera. You can also download a printable ballot of all the nominees for your own party or work pool here.
Who do you think is going to win at the Golden Globes this year? Share your thoughts below.