Monday, January 18, 2010

The Globes Gone Blue: "Avatar" Takes The Top

Ricky Gervais did a fine job of hosting the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, a return to hosting the event which always turns into a big, classy excuse for celebrities to get together and drink. I swear, they're all just waiting for the after parties. In any case, it was a night full of the expected outcomes and a few surprises and an embracing of big, Hollywood blockbusters, something I'm not quite sure the Academy will be replicating in their final decisions come March. The HFPA expressed their love for keeping with what's popular and awarded "Avatar" and James Cameron for Best Picture and Best Director, respectively.

The biggest surprise was that Kathryn Bigelow got snubbed out of her award for her direction in "The Hurt Locker." Standing on-stage to accept, even James Cameron was taken aback by the outcome. Once that came into fruition, there was no way "The Hurt Locker" was going to come out on top. It truly is a shame that this highly-accomplished film was forced to leave the night empty-handed. I do believe "Avatar" is worthy, but I just don't see it taking the top prize at the Oscars. It's nice to know that the Academy Awards sets aside technical categories which "Avatar" can fill while leaving open room for other possibilities in categories like, well, Best Picture. I also just don't see the Academy passing up Bigelow.

"Up in the Air" walked away rather empty-handed, as well, only nabbing an award for the writing of Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Best Screenplay.

Aside from disappointments, the night was dedicated to celebrities proudly displaying their red- and yellow-colored pins in support for Haiti and many, many allusions and references to the earthquake tragedy. I think Mo'Nique said it best in her eloquently spoken speech at the start of the night. Nobody could top that as she accepted for her early predicted win for "Precious" in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

Following suit, Christoph Waltz went home with his win for "Inglourious Basterds" in the category of Best Supporting Actor. He and Mo'Nique just paved their way to Oscar gold with their wins last night.

Sandra Bullock continued her hype-filled hot streak with her performance in "The Blind Side" as she ended up indeed garnering herself the award for Best Actress. It really is amazing, too, considering who she was up against. This time Meryl Streep wasn't nominated in the same category to tie with her. I honestly think the HFPA just figured Bullock wouldn't churn out a better performance in her career, so they just figured they'd honor her now. I pray that the Academy has its head on straight and brings Carey Mulligan for "An Education" back to the forefront.

Meryl Streep defeated herself in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her performance in "Julie & Julia" which beat her performance in "It's Complicated."

The joke of a category that was Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical this year was awarded to Robert Downey, Jr. for his turn in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes." I mean, I guess he really just has that much charisma to win over voters. At least Daniel Day-Lewis didn't win for "Nine." That really would've been a travesty.

Continuing the trend of awarding what's popular, "The Hangover" won for Best Comedy or Musical over the assumed front-runner, "(500) Days of Summer." I was completely fine with this win, however, because "The Hangover" truly, truly was the funniest movie of the year.

Jeff Bridges received a standing ovation for his apparently well-deserved Best Actor win for "Crazy Heart," a film which I unfortunately will probably not get around to seeing. He will easily go on to win the gold at the Oscars over some tough competition like George Clooney of "Up in the Air" and Colin Firth of "A Single Man."

"Up" won for Best Animated Film, which really puts "Fantastic Mr. Fox" out of the running. Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" won for Best Foreign Language Film.

"Up" also won for Best Score from Michael Giacchino, while "Crazy Heart" won for Best Song.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro fittingly introduced Martin Scorsese for his acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille award, and the night continued on its merry way making it just in time for its 3-hour limit.

The big question remains about whether or not "Avatar" is going to continue its hot streak onward to the Oscars. My guess? I think the highest honors will be distributed elsewhere. The next big step is waiting for the reveal of the Oscar nominations, which will be released on February 22, 2010.

For an entire list of the nominees and winners of the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, go here.

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