Can you smell it? Awards season is once again upon us. The Golden Globes hit this Sunday and it looks like a wide variety of flicks will be honored this year. So, I thought in honor of the Globes, I would do a little pre-Golden Globe prediction column and show my cards before the big night.
Let's tackle the biggest honor first, Best Picture -- Drama. I know we also have Best Picture -- Comedy, but I have a big issue with this year's nominees, but we'll get to that later.
Two heavyweight directors and two of Hollywood's biggest leading men lead the nominees in this category. Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" and Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" are two of the films vying for the top honor. "Moneyball" starring Brad Pitt and "The Descendants" and "The Ides of March", both starring George Clooney are also looking to take home the hardware. Rounding out the nominees is the ensemble drama "The Help".
All the films have their own good things to offer, but the top three for me are "Moneyball", The Descendants" and "The Ides of March". Clooney puts together two wonderful performances in "Descendants" and "March", but it's Pitt's "Moneyball" that gets my pick. It's a movie that has sports as its core, but speaks to people from all walks of life.
Sticking with the "Moneyball" train, I'm pulling for Pitt to take home the Globe for Best Actor -- Drama. Pitt is an underrated actor who's choices in roles hasn't helped his cause at times, but with "The Tree of Life" and "Moneyball", Pitt proves his got the goods to deliver.
He'll have some competition from Clooney (The Descendants), Leonardo Dicaprio (J. Edgar), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March). Pitt's biggest challenge should come from Gosling in "The Ides of March", but don't be surprised to see Fassbender sneak in for an upset.
Winner: Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"
This might be the toughest category for me. I thought Meryl Streep "The Iron Lady" and Viola Davis "The Help", who should actually be nominated for Supporting Actress instead, gave solid performances, but one actress really disturbed me.
Tilda Swinton "We Need to Talk About Kevin" gives a performance that's confusing and haunting as a mother dealing with a son whose actions result in a tragedy at his school. Swinton is also good for an offbeat performance, but with "Kevin" she takes it to another level.
Winner: Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Now we come to my biggest complaint of this year's nominees. I hate when a movie is placed in a category in which it doesn't belong. The nominees this year are "50/50", "The Artist", "Bridesmaids", "Midnight in Paris" and "My Week with Marilyn". Just writing the list makes the song "One of these things is not like the other" come to mind.
"My Week with Marilyn" is not a comedy nor a musical, so it is eliminated right off the bat. It really doesn't matter, because this year's hands down winner is "The Artist." The film is a silent movie that speaks volumes and connects with the audience more than any other film out there this year.
Winner: "The Artist"
This was another tough one for me. Of the actresses nominated, I really liked Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn", but again, it doesn't fit in the category. So my pick is going to be for Charlize Theron in Jason Reitman's "Young Adult." For me, it's a weak category this year, so nothing really blew me away.
Winner: Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"
Again, I think, "The Artist" will rule this category. Lead actor Jean Dujardin gives one of the best overall performances this year. The actor carries a movie with zero dialogue and has all the charm to pull it off. I loved Ryan Goslin in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "50/50", but I don't think either will be able to take down Dujardin.
Winner: Jean Dujardin
This category has talking cars, a suave cat and a comic-based 3D adventure, but it will be a tiny chameleon that will walk away with the Globe. "Rango", utilizing the voice talents of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina and Bill Nighy far surpassed my expectations. The film is funny, smart, witty and has a computer generated cameo by Hunter S. Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke, so what's not to love? This is as close to a sure thing as you can get, unless people fall in love with the 3D look of "The Adventures of Tin Tin", but I don't see that happening.
This category is filled with awesome performances. Jessica Chastain "The Help", Berenice Bejo "The Artist" and Octavia Spencer "The Help" give great performances, but for me, the best of the bunch was Shailene Woodley in "The Descendants". The young actresses more than holds her own against Clooney and actually goes a better job of conveying the emotion inner turmoil her character is feeling. A surprisingly good performance.
Winner: Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"
Albert Brooks "Drive", Kenneth Branagh "My Week With Marilyn" and Christopher Plummer "Beginners" are the trio at the top in this category for me. Plummer's turn as an aged widower who reveals to his son he's gay after his wife's death is superb. While some may disagree with the subject manner, there's no arguing Plummer's superior performance. I actually would have liked to see Ewan McGregor get some love for his role in the film as well.
Winner: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
With Scorsese and Allen in the mix for Best Director, I'm a little nervous. Neither movie is the director's best work nor would it be a shame to honor them for something not worthy of the award.
That being said, I'm hitching my wagon once again to "The Artist" and going with Michel Hazanavicius. In an age when movies are dominated by loud explosions, crazy computer graphics and in your face soundtracks, Hazanavicius gives us a move rich in character, utilizing the nuances of performances and music to create a world both foreign and comforting.
Winner: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Sunday will be here before you know it, so get your snacks ready and sit back and enjoy the show. The Golden Globes are always good for unpredictable moments and with the collection of people that will be in the room this year, anything is bound to happen.
Oh yeah, did I mention Ricky Gervais is returning as host. That alone should be enough to have you tuning in.