Even with all the blogging, prognosticating and analyzing, the Golden Globes continue to throw a handful of thesps into the mix, surprising and shaking up awards season.
This year in the drama actor category, Tobey Maguire’s perf in Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers” impressed enough Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voters to earn him a spot alongside George Clooney (“Up in the Air”), Colin Firth (“A Single Man”), Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”) and Jeff Bridges, the latter receiving huzzahs for his turn as a down-and-out country-western singer in “Crazy Heart.”
Maguire’s inclusion signals that he may be the actor to break out from “Brothers” if the pic starts to create some awards heat.
Those who missed the cut in the category include Jeremy Renner, whose pic “The Hurt Locker” continues its kudos roll. Film was voted best of the year by several groups, including the Los Angeles and Boston film critics, and director Kathryn Bigelow has been tabbed as well. Renner was acknowledged by the Screen Actors Guild, however, so it seems his awards chances are still very much alive.
Also, the post-apocalyptic “The Road” might have proved too dark for the HFPA, leaving Viggo Mortensen off the shortlist.
As for lead drama actress, Emily Blunt proves that wearing a corset — and of course delivering the thesping goods — can translate into kudos gold. Blunt, who became a worldwide name with her role in “The Devil Wears Prada,” was also tapped by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. for her turn in “The Young Victoria,” and the film’s late release could prove to her benefit as more voters are now recently aware of her performance.
Bob Berney, the topper at Apparition — the studio behind “The Young Victoria” — says Blunt’s youth makes the period piece more accessible for moviegoers who might not want to delve into England’s sometimes dense history.
“She’s a young and familiar face, and that sort of loosens up people’s perceptions of the film,” says Berney, who also witnessed the resignation of having one of his films’ other thesps — “Bright Star” actress Abbie Cornish — not register with the HFPA.
He adds that Blunt’s nod can also give the film some box office momentum: “The nomination gives the audience some focus and gets them in the theaters the first weekend. It gets the process started.”
In addition to Blunt, vet Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”) and newcomers Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”), nominee Sandra Bullock has the benefit of being both in the awards conversation and in a current box office hit.
“The Blind Side” continues to accumulate coin for Warner Bros., and Bullock — also nominated for her turn in “The Proposal” — now has four career Globe noms (“While You Were Sleeping” and “Miss Congeniality” are the others) but nothing from Oscar yet. “The Blind Side” momentum may help end that situation.
On the comedy-musical side for leading ladies, Meryl Streep matched Bullock with a pair of noms, but this time in the same category. Streep’s 15 Oscar nominations is a record, but with these two latest nods she now has a staggering 25 Globe nominations (including TV) and has won three times in the last decade (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Angels in America” and “Adaptation”).
Between Streep, Bullock and a nomination for Julia Roberts in “Duplicity,” it’s hard to argue that this category doesn’t have the most star wattage of all.
In the supporting categories, “Up in the Air” has two women — Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga — that might be in danger of splitting the vote against Penelope Cruz (“Nine”), Julianne Moore (“A Single Man”) and a powerful performance Mo’Nique. Actress comes from a comedy background but is anything but funny in Lee Daniels’ disturbing look at a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship in “Precious.”
Supporting actors include a Canadian, vet Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”); a European, Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”), a new face to U.S. audiences; two previous Golden Globe winners, Matt Damon (“Invictus”) and Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”); and former nominee Woody Harrelson (“The Messenger”).
What: Golden Globes Awards
When: Jan. 17
Where: Beverly Hilton
Lead Actor, Drama
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Tobey Maguire, “Brothers”
Lead Actress, Drama
Emily Blunt, “The Young Victoria”
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Lead Actor, Comedy-Musical
Matt Damon, “The Informant”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Nine”
Robert Downey Jr., “Sherlock Holmes”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “500 Days of Summer”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man”
Lead Actress, Comedy-Musical
Sandra Bullock, “The Proposal”
Marion Cotillard, “Nine”
Julia Roberts, “Duplicity”
Meryl Streep, “It’s Complicated”
Meryl Streep, “Julie and Julia”
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Julianne Moore, “A Single Man”