This morning’s Golden Globe nominations have at least righted the Robert Redford boat — the All Is Lost star was snubbed yesterday morning by the lightweight SAGgies but nominated by the HFPA for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama. Salutes also in this category for Mandela‘s Idris Elba, 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Captain Phillips‘ Tom Hanks and Dallas Buyer’s Club‘s Matthew McConaughey.
But the HFPA blew it big-time by not nominating The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Jonah Hill for Best Supporting Actor. How could they not? Seems inconceivable. The specific cause was apparently…what, Bradley Cooper‘s supporting nomination for his American Hustle performance, which is totally juiced and on-target? That or the steady persistence of Rush‘s Daniel Bruhl, who was also nominated yesterday morning by SAG? No HE beef with Captain Phillips‘ Barkhad Abdi, 12 years A Slave‘s Michael Fassbender or the well-positioned Jared Leto of Dallas Buyer’s Club.
And at least they nominated Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, in…okay, the Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy category. For once I’m half-agreeing with an HFPA/Golden Globe classification in this realm. The other Musical/Comedy nominees are American Hustle (okay…well, kinda), Her (ridiculous — almost nothing comedic about this essentially sad tale of longing and vulnerability), Inside Llewyn Davis (agreed) and Nebraska (stupid call — this is a film that generally puts out ennui, zombie TV-watching, old-guy snarl, economic gloom and — yes! — beer-slurping in taverns).
The HFPA decided to nominate Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern as Best Actor, Comedy of Musical. My respect for Dern’s performance is based on it being all of a piece, and while there are two or three moments of deadpan Woody humor this is overwhelmingly a performance about being stubborn and unrepentant and old and pissed off. Not a single Dernsy snarl or beer-slurp feels the least bit “funny.” (Dern’s performance is so removed from the chuckle realm that I initially presumed that he’d been snubbed when I didn’t see his name under the Dramatic Best Actor nominees.)
Cheers for the seven nominations won by David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, a film that I was continually surprised and amused and intrigued by, but which I’m not just not feeling love for through and through. But my respect is complete and unqualified — Russell pushed for unusual elements, gave his actors free license and never made any rote decisions. Almost the entire American Hustle got nominated except for Jeremy Renner, who plays the least scheming and most sympathetic character. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and the afore-mentioned Cooper were all nominated in their respective categories.
Between Amy Nicholson‘s L.A. Weekly slam piece, yesterday morning’s SAG snub and no Golden Globes nominations this morning, Saving Mr. Banks is looking bruised and unsteady. It’s a bit queer that the HFPA nominated Emma Thompson for Best Actress, Drama, when the tone of Saving Mr. Banks (certainly the Disney lot and Disneyland scenes) flirts with slapstick. It’s certainly not sold in the manner of naturalistic drama.
The Best Director nominations don’t exactly align with those for Best Motion Picture, Drama. The champs in the latter category are 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Philomena and Rush. But Rush helmer Ron Howard and Philomena‘s Stephen Frears were elbowed aside by Best Director nominees Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Alexander Payne (Nebraska) and David O. Russell (American Hustle).
It’s heartening to see France Ha‘s Greta Gerwig, Before Midnight‘s Julie Delpy and Enough Said‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus land nominations in the comedy/musical categories. It makes no sense at all that Her‘s Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for being funny or “musical” or anything remotely in this vein, but that’s the sometimes wacky Golden Globes for you.