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Golden Globes Winners! “The Artist”! Jean Dujardin! Michelle Williams!

The Golden Globes SUDDENLY came alive in the last half hour when the big awards were given out, and “The Artist” won Best Comedy/Musical and Best Actor Jean Dujardin! Michelle Williams also won Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for her beautiful performance as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn.”

Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Co. had a very big night because all these films were his! And Meryl Streep won for Best Actress for “The Iron Lady.” Which was also a TWC movie!

I was DEEEE-lighted with Jean Dujardin’s win and his absolutely disarming,charming, funny acceptance speech in his heavily French-accented English. He had a written speech on a small piece of paper that he referred to so that he didn’t say something in French that the public might not understand, then he ended with saying he was going to quote Douglas Fairbanks and then did it IN SILENCE! Mouthing the words, then winking at the audience and flexing his muscle as Fairbanks certainly would’ve! He brought down the house! Some people thought he, too, was being bleeped, but NO, he was MIMING! HI-larious!

Ludovic Bource who won for Best Score for “The Artist” began his acceptance speech with “I’m French” then also read from a small white piece of paper.

Thomas Langham, the producer of “The Artist”, who accepted the Best Musical/Comedy, referenced his late father, French cinema great Claude Berri.

“Midnight in Paris” won Best Screenplay and of course Woody Allen was not there to accept. So that’s all it got…

So all in all, it was a very French night at the Golden Globes, or l’Orbs d’Or.I think.

And I was actually glad that Meryl Streep won for Best Actress in a Drama. If only for her breaking that AwardsQuartetLockstep that has made the Oscars, etc. SO DULL and PREDICTABLE the past two years.  IOW, after this you can’t say that the same FOUR people keep winning over and over and over. And it renders that infamously EARLY EW cover INACCURATE! How embarrassing!

At least Meryl’s win was a surprise, especially to her. She forgot her glasses! We also saw some one, her husband, I guess, finding the glasses, and was trying to hand them to one celebrity after another as everyone tried to pass them to Meryl on the stage,and I guess said something unprintable, because a large portion of her speech, got bleeped! One would only expect that to happen to Ricky Gervais. For the record, I think Meryl’s glasses only made it up to David Fincher’s table.

Ricky, bless his heart, was back. But in a much milder form than last year. These awards shows can get so DULL that one really does welcome his irreverence. The most shocking thing he did was mentioning Melissa McCarthy’s “defecating in a sink” in “Bridesmaids” and then she had to come out immediately after to present an award, and she looked like she was in tears!

That pretty much kills her Oscar chances except for the fact that the Academy’s Voting Members had to have their nominations ballots in by Friday at 5pm. So IOW whatever happens on the Globes is sort of irrelevant as far as influencing the Oscar nominations are concerned. These awards could influence the AWARDS themselves which are more than a month and a half away! Oy vay!

The Globes also help to remind Oscarologists of just who got nominated for what in the Supporting categories, which are more confusing than ever this year. But the winners were the same. Christopher Plummer for “Beginners”, which happened right at the beginning of the show. And Octavia Spencer for “The Help” which also happened at the BFCA. Best Actress winner of that night Viola Davis did not repeat.

And I guess the Hollywood Foreign Press didn’t like “The Help” as much as the American critics group did. Since Spencer’s win was the only award “The Help” got.

Meryl really did give a glorious acceptance speech, however, and utterly charmed me into her corner.

And Harvey W. having both Michelle AND Meryl!! He looked VERY happy!But not as happy as Jean Dujardin looked!

Michelle was very demure and not Marilyn-esque at all, starting with
“I’m a Mom” and going on and on for most of her speech about her daughter (by the late Heath Ledger.) She didn’t mention Matilda by name, but it was moving nonetheless.

Williams only referenced Marilyn once, and of course, that is the clip all the news shows are using, saying that it was “a great honor to accept this award that Marilyn Monroe won sixty years ago.” Wow!

Martin Scorsese won Best Director something I don’t think he expected for “Hugo.” He also seemed unprepared and was just rattling off an INCREDIBLY long laundry list of names, but I’m glad he did get Thelma Schoonmaker, his legendary editor, in there at the end.

“The Descendants” got two awards George Clooney for Best Actor Drama, who seemed tired. And hence boring. And it also got “Best Picture” Drama. Clooney looked defeated as he had witnessed Jean Dujardin wowing the crowd only moments earlier.

Jean Dujardin looked soooo genuinely happy, it was infectious! It was genuine delight, like the movie “The Artist” is…

And it reminded the audience that if they loved the movie it was mainly Dujardin’s great performance that made it so funny and memorable and yes, moving. He made you CARE about George Valentine, and then when it won Best Picture he brought Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier that all but steals the movie out from under everyone, and Uggie upstaged EVERYone AGAIN, by jumping up and down and the audience let out a collective “Awwww!” and laughed and applauded.

Just as I think they will on Oscar night!

“Oscar Race” EW Cover w/Clooney & Viola Davis. Controversial? Accurate? Embarrassing?

I really wonder if the venerable Entertainment Weekly has jumped the shark this week with its’ “Inside the Oscar Race” cover prematurely, I think, showing George Clooney in a tux (nothing new), but at his side,, resplendent in a white ball gown, is Viola Davis! THIS is new! And the cover states “Front-runners George Clooney (The Descendants) and Viola Davis (The Help).” WHAT???

I thought Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams were the two heavyweights for Best Actress! But the usually reliable Oscar God David Karger is plunking his two cents down (and EW is presumably totally backing these choices), and inside we see V.D. depicted holding what looks like an award, or a Golden Globe, or SOMEthing, when on closer look it is seen to be a hand mirror. A bejeweled one, but a HAND MIRROR!

This is the kind of thing that INFURIATES Academy Voters, who are voting or rather nominating, right now as you read this. Many of them perhaps have not even sent their ballots in yet or filled them out, and here is EW acting like IT’S ALL OVER! BAD MOVE, EW!

I would be OK with this if it was a year where this was TRUE, but George is fighting for his life in Best Actor, (He’s got one already and “The Descendants” is depressing.) against his BFF Brad Pitt, who, BTW, just won Best Actor from the prestigious National Society of Film Critics. Take THAT, EW! They seem to be saying. And the Best Actress race is all over the place, between those three ladies. Williams, Streep & Davis.

And Viola Davis, as talented as she is, has not yet won ONE major award yet for “The Help”! A cover like this and a lay-out and an interview like that, may infuriate Academy types into NOT voting for her, when the time comes. And it IS a Supporting Performance in most peoples’ books…including mine.

But to photograph her looking so RADIANT and BEAUTIFUL and AIR-BRUSHED to death, well, we’ve never seen her like this before. And acting like she’s already won! But she hasn’t!

I fear this cover is going to make AMPAS voters feel like “Wait a minute! Don’t tell US who’s won!” or who to vote for. MISTAKE! This is what the Board of Governors was actually warning people about this year.  See Scott Feinberg’s excellent analysis of this at www.hollywoodreporter.com where Scott now is writing “The Race.”

And Jean Dujardin of “The Artist” is the one who most Oscar experts are picking for Best Actor. But not to EW.

I totally agree with Dave Karger with his choice that “The Artist” has already won Best Picture and is waaay out in front in that category. He’s right about that. But I would not be a very good Oscarologist myself, if I didn’t feel it incumbent on me to say “WAIT A MINUTE! Hold your (War) horses, EW!”

What they are doing is championing or campaigning for Clooney/Davis with this glossy cover and the even glossier interview inside. Acting like it’s a done deal. That is SOOOO BAD in Oscar campaigning terms.

And I know Dave Karger is familiar with Oscar 101.

I’ve NEVER seen EW so blatantly Up a Duo from two different films, yet, who may not be pictured together ever again this awards season. How embarrassing! But EW is nothing if not BOLD.

However, their first Oscar cover of the season isn’t a NEWS issue. It never is.

Didn’t they depict “Finding Neverland” once upon a time? Oy vay.

And there was once an Oscar issue like this with three actresses shown. I think it was Jennifer Connelly and Nicole Kidman and somebody else. And that third lady did not get nominated. I can’t even remember who she was. How embarrassing was that for her? And presumably for the magazine. But guess not, cuz they’re doing it again!

But some of you will remind me who that third gal was, who didn’t get nominated.

And even though Michelle Williams is splattered all over the INSIDE of the magazine in their for real predictions section on who’s going to be nominated…that story/interview on George ‘n’ Viola’s friendship was a little grating and self-serving. And yes, both of them are acting like they’ve ALREADY WON! NO! They haven’t!

THIS IS A HUGE OSCAR “No!NO!”

George has picked up a couple of critics awards, but Viola has gotten none, separately, herself, for Best Actress. Though “The Help” has gotten kudo-ed for Ensemble in several places.

This is the kind of cover that could de-rail a campaign. SERIOUSLY. Dave, what were you thinking? Well, obviously, he thinks he’s right.

I beg to differ.

And inside, though, his predictions themselves, were pretty spot-on for who was going to be nominated for Best Picture, Actor and Actress, though he’s got Michael Fassbender in there, and I think it’s Demian Bichir. Although Demian DOES receive a cute consolation prize, a “For Your Consideration” box.

But his supporting picks were all over the place, especially in Supporting Actress.

I was shocked at how wobbly his Supporting predictions were and yes, the Supp. Actress category is historically the hardest to predict. He’s got Berenice  Bejo (yes, she’s nominated for a BFCA, Golden Globe and a SAG) Ditto Octavia Spenser. He’s got Janet McTeer pictured, and I think that’s right. And Jessica Chastain for “The Help” which seems to be what she’s inevitably nominated for, though, it’s the least of her EIGHT performances this season! And then he has Melissa McCarthy, who EW just had on another of their covers recently as “The Queen of Comedy”. This would be for the gross-out “Bridesmaids.”

He doesn’t mention Vanessa Redgrave AT ALL. NOWHERE. And I think she WILL TURN UP here. Especially after being snubbed by BAFTA!!! Can you believe it?

I’m sure it’s the ghost of her earlier-in-life, extreme left-wing policies from the ’60s still haunting her. But if the Academy, Anglophile Lefties all, (well, the majority anyway) will over look Redgrave’s policy and put her in where she belongs and she could win this for her ASTOUNDING performance in “Coriolanus.”

Karger also gives Carey Mulligan from “Shame” a “For Your Consideration” box. And that is valid. She was great, if not greater, than Michael Fassbender in “Shame.”

We all know Christopher Plummer is going to win his career award in Supp. for “Beginners” and Dave Karger duly notes this. The other nominees, in this category, though, except for Kenneth Branagh are all up in the air. ESPECIALLY, his pick of Max Von Sydow for “Extremely Late and Incredibly Distasteful”! I don’t think so.

He’s got Jonah Hill and Albert Brooks in there but they were overlooked by SAG, and Nick Nolte and Armie Hammer WERE SAG-nominated, which he notes, but doesn’t see them getting in.

Who could pop up here, unexpectedly, is Corey Stoll for his finely etched portrait of Ernest Hemingway in “Midnight in Paris.”

And Kathy Bates and/or Marion Cotillard could be two last-minute  pop-ups from “Midnight in Paris.” They both just were named on the BAFTA long list…So they’ve been noted there.

Oh, and that BAFTA long list!…well, let’s just say it’s TOO LONG to even bother with at this point. But as always you can check out www.awardsdaily.com for a much closer look at that ENDLESS list, on which nearly everybody who made a film this year, is on. Wait for the BAFTA nominations themselves. But Beth Stevens, at Awardsdaily does a really good job at parsing them, especially in the comment section.

SAG Nominations Out! No “War Horse”, Oldman, Brooks, Woodley or REDGRAVE!

Well, dear readers, dear cineastes, I’m back. Having major Internet issues…but I just HAVE to respond to the all-important SAG nominations which are just out this AM! For a complete list, see www.awardsdaily.com

Mainly I’m SHOCKED that “War Horse” is completely left out! This is for the SAG Ensemble Award, which is their corresponding award to “Best Picture.” Having just seen it last night at a (mainly) AMPAS screening, the audience, and myself, too, reacted VERY favorably. But the horse is the star. And the actors performances are all strangely flat. Though great actors and actresses abound. Like Emily Watson, Eddie Marsden, Peter Mullan, etc. etc.

Left IN however, is “Midnight in Paris”!!! For Best Ensemble. But also left OUT are the two main contenders from “Shame” Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan(for Supporting Actress). I think it’s because of their nudity. Period. Well, and the over abundant sex scenes.

The Actors don’t want to be turned into cartoons or stop motion characters, nor do they want to be seen naked and having sex on the screen. It’s retro thinking all around. I’m just responding to the way it is.

And no love whatsoever for “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”! AND “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” !!! Both those films with the latest possible release dates. And the strict embargoes, and I’m guessing just too late for most of the SAG nominators to see them. Too bad. I’m still waiting on MY invites to them. BTW!!!

However, the SAG nominators DID get Damien Bechir’s film EARLY. And they saw it and liked it and nominated the Mexican actor in the Best Actor category. Effectively knocking out Michael Fassbender and Gary Oldman.

Oldman, with the large British voting block in AMPAS, may get back in when the Oscar nominations are FINALLY announced next month! Yes, we’ve still got a month to wait!

But what they did get right was the Best Actress category with Meryl Streep, Glenn Glose, Michelle Williams, Viola Davis and TILDA SWINTON! Well…great for TILDA! With the help of master Oscar strategist, Cynthia Swartz, behind “We’ve Got to Talk About Kevin” Tilda, I think is very secure in reaching their mutual goal of snagging an Oscar nomination for this dark, difficult, challenging film, too. But I want to go on record as saying I THINK SAG Has now nailed the five Best Actress candidates down. I think all five of these ladies will duplicate their SAG noms on Oscar Nomination Morning. And Glenn Close breaks her losing streak with inclusion here by the Actors.

But Cynthia Swartz also is famously backing “Tattoo” and Rooney Mara and got NO-Thing…

“The Help” got the most noms with Best Ensemble and Best Actress(Davis) and TWO Best Supporting Actresses in Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain. So this effectively keeps “The Help” in the race and also FINALLY narrows it down to which of Chastain’s 6 or 7 or 8 performances that the Academy will also probably nominate. So it’s Chastain for “The Help” is she’s in it at all.

The Big Winner of course is Harvey Weinstein. With his nominations for Best Ensemble for “The Artist”, Best Actor, Jean Dujardin, Best Supporting Actress, Berenice Bejo, Best Actresses Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams for “The Iron Lady” and “My Week with Marilyn” and Best Supporting Actor Kenneth Branagh also for “My Week with Marilyn.”

Both Supporting categories are the ones that are going to change the  most when Oscar is announced.  They are kind of all over the place. With wildcards Melissa McCarthy “Bridesmaids” and Armie Hammer “J. Edgar” getting in. I don’t think McCarthy is going to get in for this category with Oscar. She’s a TV actress and the “Bridesmaids” as successful as it was, is still A COMEDY.

Shailene Woodley not getting in for “The Descendants” was a shocker. Another fore-gone conclusion, well, gone. And ditto Albert Brooks in “Drive.” He could replace the execrable Jonah Hill for “Moneyball.” And if Woodley doesn’t score here, who is the BABE in this category? Well, Berenice Bejo!

Yes, my friends “The Artist” continues to sweep as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” seem not to be registering at all.

Somewhere Harvey Weinstein is laughing.

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