Golden Globes Race

Any number of 2011 dramedies could validly compete in either of the Globes’ top categories. Pix producers make those determinations, and when the dust settles the top contenders for best motion picture comedy or musical are the following.

The Artist
Classic precursor: Splashy, Gallic show biz nostalgia a la Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!”
Chances for a nom: Embodying the very Globes themselves (international flavor + Hollywood glamour), pic looks tres bien for Jan. 15.
If not the big one: Silent star Jean Dujardin should make big noise.

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Beginners
Classic precursor: Intergenerational poignancy in a vein similar to 2007’s “The Savages.”
Chances for a nom: Perhaps too far outside the mainstream for HFPA tastes.
If not the big one: Two-time nominee Christopher Plummer has garnered buzz all year — third time’s the charm?

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Bridesmaids
Classic precursor: Like 2009’s winner “The Hangover,” laffer boasts heart and point beyond its ewwww-inducing bits.
Chances for a nom: Mighty good, though could just get edged out by the classier entries.
If not the big one: Melissa McCarthy’s comedy styling made for one of the year’s most memorable supporting turns.

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Carnage
Classic precursor: Two married couples clash in all conceivable pairings, just as in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Chances for a nom: Doesn’t inspire the same laughs as did the play.
If not the big one: Likeable, schlubby John C. Reilly may be due for nod number four.

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Crazy Stupid Love
Classic precursor: A younger player helps his older friend make sense of the dating scene, reminiscent of 2004 winner “Sideways.”
Chances for a nom: Foreign press has a thing for romantic comedies, and this was one of 2011’s classiest.
If not the big one: Nominated last year for “Easy A,” Emma Stone could repeat for either this or “The Help.”

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Footloose
Classic precursor: The original didn’t make the cut in 1984, but a year earlier another Paramount hit involving young people who’d give anything to dance did: “Flashdance.”
Chances for a nom: The HFPA likes to sneak a tuner into the mix whenever it can, even underperforming ones like “Nine” or “Burlesque.”
If not the big one: One of eight new songs might be singled out, maybe “Fake I.D.” or “Where the River Goes.”

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Midnight in Paris
Classic precursor: Echoes Allen’s previous, nominated Paris love letter, “Everyone Says I Love You,” with the time-travel conceit replacing the musical numbers.
Chances for a nom: They love Woody when he takes his wry camera overseas, cf. 2008’s winner “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
If not the big one: Kathy Bates makes an indelible impression as Gertrude Stein.

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My Week With Marilyn
Classic precursor: A young showbiz aspirant learns stardom’s heartaches up close and personal; shades of 1982’s “My Favorite Year.”
Chances for a nom: Insider peek at bygone filmmaking is right up the HFPA’s alley.
If not the big one: Kenneth Branagh’s spot-on supporting turn as Olivier is both wicked and poignant.

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Young Adult
Classic precursor: Relentless romantic obsession on the order of Truffaut’s “The Story of Adele H.,” transposed to our shores.
Chances for a nom: A cynic might predict Mavis Gary’s materialism and self-absorption will play into the foreign press’s favored American stereotypes.
If not the big one: Could Charlize Theron find a role more unpleasant than GG-winning “Monster,” Aileen Wuornos? Watch and marvel.

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GOLDEN GLOBES RACE
Tops in tubthumps?
Best Picture: Drama | Best Picture: Comedy or Musical | Television | Animation

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