The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg and David Rooney have posted a “should win” / “will win” piece about the Golden Globe awards, which will happen on Sunday, 2.28. Rooney offers the shoulds; Feinberg projects the wills.
Herewith are HE’s reactions with a particular focus on two questions in the matter of Best Picture, Drama. One, does the viewer want to “live” in the world of a given film or performance? (A major consideration that journos almost never ponder.) And two, what does the film in question say about life on the planet earth right now that strikes a resonant chord?
Best Picture, Drama
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says Nomadland
WILL WIN: Feinberg says either The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Nomadland.
HE SEZ: Nomadland is a sad, sporadically spirited mood poem about “houseless”-ness — about good people who’ve suffered blows and lost the battle but continue to push on like the Joad family. The cultural/political winds obviously point to a Nomadland win. We all feel the heart current, but who wants to “live” in this world of roaming 60-plus vagabonds who exchange stories, sit around campfires and take care of business in buckets? Answer: Nobody. Which is why The Trial of the Chicago 7 might win because hanging, strategizing and arguing with the likes of Hoffman, Kuntsler, Hayden, Rubin, et. al. is a more vital way to be.
What does Nomadland say about our current communal state that’s real and truthful? Thank God for strength, reaching out and resourcefulness in this most
brutal difficult soul-draining of realms, but who rejects a good deal (safety, security, better hygiene, a bathroom) when it’s offered? What does Chicago 7 say? We may have our strategic differences and combative personalities, but there’s the spit and spunk of it all. Fight on!
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says Hamilton (“In a weak category this year, it has to be Thomas Kail‘s performance-capture recording of the Broadway juggernaut that bottles the thrill of live theater with rare skill,” he says.)
WILL WIN: Feinberg says Borat 2.
HE SEZ: Hamilton is a play that was captured by cameras…period. Borat 2, a film that ridicules red-hat bumblefucks and Rudy Giuliani, will win. What does Borat 2 say about our current communal state that’s real and truthful? Answer: There are assholes aplenty out there (including the medieval sexists of Eastern Europe), and it’s fun to laugh at them. No harm, no foul.
Who wants to “live” in the world of Borat 2? Answer: No choice — we are living in that world.
Best Actress, Drama
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says Carey Mulligan.
WILL WIN: Feinberg says Mulligan. “Frances McDormand and Viola Davis won recently,” Scott reasons, “whereas Mulligan never has.”
HE SEZ: Mulligan. She’s good in Promising Young Woman in a dry, brittle, controlled fury way. She was at least five if not ten times more affecting in Sarah Gavron‘s Suffragette, Thomas Vinterberg‘s Far From The Madding Crowd, Lone Scherfig‘s An Education, in 2015’s Skylight on Broadway, in BBC/Netflix’s Collateral, etc. And she’s very good in The Dig. But sometimes you win for the performance that you win for — just happens that way. Mulligan won’t thank Variety‘s Dennis Harvey, of course, but that whole kerfuffle probably did a lot to cement her winer’s circle status.
Who wants to “live” in the world of Promising Young Woman? Answer: Not this horse. Young men are pigs, but I’d prefer to live in a realm in which guys who resemble Bo Burnham‘s pediatrician stay the way they were written for the first seven-eights of the film, and don’t pull a last-minute switcheroo to satisfying some arbitrary “we need a twist” requirement.
Best Actor, Drama
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says Ma Rainey‘s Chadwick Boseman.
WILL WIN: Feinberg says Anthony Hopkins (“Only Hopkins’ The Father is up for best pic, plus the HFPA adores him…eight noms going back 42 years!.
HE SEZ: Boseman might win, but a Best Actor trophy should be about more than expressing a great collective sadness about a young actor’s untimely death. The finest performance of Boseman’s career was James Brown in Get On Up. Plus “everyone knows that Boseman’s ‘Levee’ doesn’t blow the doors off the hinges — not really. It’s a poignant performance (especially during the scene in which Levee recalls a sad episode involving his mother). I understand the sentiment behind giving Boseman a special tribute, of course, but giving him a posthumous GG award for a performance that is no more than approvable feels like a disproportionate thing to do.” — posted on 2.10.21. The GG trophy should go to either Hopkins or Sound of Metal‘s Riz Ahmed.
Who wants to “live” in the world of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Father and Sound of Metal? Answer: Ixnay on the first two, but the world of Sound of Metal is vast and cosmic and full of wonder.
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says French Exit‘s Michelle Pfeiffer (“Her withering hauteur and spent surrender elevate every moment”).
WILL WIN: Feinberg says Borat 2‘s Maria Bakalova.
HE SEZ: Rooney is right — the award should go to Pfeiffer. Critics have been hailing Bakalova’s praises all along, and she’s totally fine in the film but the fact that she’s won 19 Best Supporting Actress prizes around the country is, like…what? Strictly a falling-dominoes dynamic.
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
SHOULD WIN: Rooney says Borat 2‘s Sacha Baron Cohen. (“Andy Samberg‘s role in Palm Springs doesn’t extend his range, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t Hamilton‘s strongest player, and James Corden is abrasive in The Prom.”)
WILL WIN: Feinberg says Cohen
HE SEZ: Cohen.