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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globes movie nominees: Who will win vs. who should

By Jennifer Vineyard, Special to CNN

(CNN) -- Now that the Oscar nominations are in, it's time to think about what will happen at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
To make your Globes viewing (or betting?) more manageable, here are some of CNN's most educated guesses on who will win and who should win, with input from some of the nominees.
Nominees for the 70th annual Golden Globes

Best motion picture -- drama
The five contenders are "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty."
"Lincoln" is the favorite. But the drama that should win is "Zero Dark Thirty," which had to be revised when real life intervened with the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.
History's never harder to write than when it hasn't been fully written yet -- or when it has only recently been declassified. "It's about the unsung heroes of the intelligence community," director Kathryn Bigelow said at the National Board of Review Awards this week. "This is about the people who work in the shadows, and will continue to work in the shadows."

Best motion picture -- comedy or musical
The contenders are "Les Miserables," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" and "Silver Linings Playbook."
It's a little unfair that a great musical has to go up against a great dramedy. At least "Silver Linings Playbook" (which should win) will be trounced by "Les Miserables" (which will win) instead of "Lincoln," which likely will best both come Oscar time.

Best director
Oscar nominees Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln") and Ang Lee ("Life of Pi") are up against three directors the Academy Awards snubbed Thursday -- Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained") and Ben Affleck ("Argo").
Spielberg likely will win -- although, really, it should be Bigelow. "I find her to be an incredibly modern storyteller who takes on weighty subjects and makes profound films," her leading lady, Jessica Chastain, said at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards this week. "Being on set with Kathryn is a master class."

Best screenplay
The Globes distinguish between dramas and comedies/musicals in the best picture and leading acting categories, but not between original and adapted screenplay. It's a fierce competition and perhaps slightly unfair to those who didn't have a book, article or other movie as a springboard for their work.
The team of rivals here include Tony Kushner for "Lincoln" (based upon Doris Kearns Goodwin's book), David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook" (based upon Matthew Quick's novel), Chris Terrio for "Argo" (based upon Joshuah Bearman's article in Wired), Tarantino for "Django Unchained" (inspired by the 1966 spaghetti Western "Django") and Mark Boal for "Zero Dark Thirty" (based upon his own reporting).
Kushner will win, but Boal should. "Mark Boal researched this film from the ground up, with a diligence and a meticulous fervor that certainly was inspiring on the page," Bigelow said.

Best performance by an actor -- drama
The leading men in the drama category are Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Denzel Washington ("Flight"), Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master") and two who were snubbed by Oscar -- Richard Gere ("Arbitrage") and John Hawkes ("The Sessions").
Day-Lewis is the clear favorite, and even money says the notoriously method actor will win. "On the last shot of the last day, minutes after the film was completely done, Daniel embraced me and spoke to me for the first time in four months with his English accent," Spielberg said. "That made me cry even harder."
But what about someone who has been less talked about winning, another method actor like Phoenix?
"He is a wonderful actor," said his "Master" co-star Amy Adams. "He was so invested and entrenched in being this unhinged person. His performance in this is beyond anything I've ever seen before."

Best performance by an actress -- drama
The competitors are Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone"), Helen Mirren ("Hitchcock"), Naomi Watts ("The Impossible") and Rachel Weisz ("The Deep Blue Sea").
Of these, only Chastain and Watts have Oscar nods, but Chastain has the edge. "Zero Dark Thirty" is a procedural, however, and despite Chastain being a great actress, it's not the best showcase of her work.
But Cotillard has never given a finer performance as a woman who loses her legs in a tragic accident. "It's really about her relationship to her body," Cotillard told CNN. "Before, she was empty, because she didn't enjoy her life. And after, she had to learn to live again. She has a fuller life without legs. It's an unconventional love story."

Best performance by an actor -- comedy or musical
If only the great comedians didn't have to go up against the great musical performers, because there's only one leading man in this category who's both funny and sings: Jack Black for "Bernie."
Black's competition includes Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables"), Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Ewan McGregor ("Salmon Fishing in the Yemen") and Bill Murray ("Hyde Park on Hudson").
Jackman will win for his portrayal of Jean Valjean, but the most truly insane performance of the year belongs to Cooper. DiCaprio called it "unbelievable." Josh Brolin called Cooper "amazing." We call him another should-be winner.

Best performance by an actress -- comedy or musical
Jennifer Lawrence, Cooper's "Silver Linings" co-star, has some stiff competition in this category -- Meryl Streep ("Hope Springs"), Maggie Smith ("Quartet"), Judi Dench ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") and Emily Blunt ("Salmon Fishing in the Yemen").
Despite facing off against such heavyweights, Lawrence should win for her portrayal of a promiscuous widow with a depressive disorder who ropes Cooper into a dance competition. "When she came over the transom with her Skype audition, I was like, 'Oh my God, who is this?' " director David O. Russell said. "Even though I had seen her on the Oscar circuit (for 'Winter's Bone'), I never understood who she was, and she showed up on Skype dressed as the character and knocked me out. She's a weapon waiting to be fired."

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