Our first big award show of the season has been run and won.  The Golden Globes do not always line up with the eventual Oscar winners but let’s just say, winning a Globe can’t hurt your chances.  They are the second most important lead up award (behind the Guilds).


Before I get to that, a quick farewell to my good friend Sam Dagan who made a big career move on Saturday.  He jetted off to London and will be working there for a few years.  If there are any London readers out there, make sure you hire him!  Sam’s been my movie buddy since 2001 and he’s even tougher to please than me.  I’ve learned that one of the best ways to review a film is to “talk it out” afterwards.  Having a healthy debate about it for 5-10 minutes usually gives me plenty of ammo to write an insightful review.  Anyway, best of luck to Sam in London and I’ll hopefully get his exclusive reviews on all those films which sneak a release in the UK before they do here.


Money Down The Drain… Glug, Glug, Glug


With my Golden Globe bets, I went 0 for 3 and lost $250.  That’s just how it goes.  I am a little irritated at myself for not weighing into consideration the “star power” factor which seems to woo the Hollywood Foreign Press (who pick the winners).  If it comes down to two films or two actors, they will usually pick the person or film with the higher profile.  It doesn’t always work this way though (e.g. Sally Hawkins winning last year for Happy-Go-Lucky).


All my 3 bets were on the lesser name – Carey Mulligan (An Education) to beat Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side).  500 Days Of Summer to beat The Hangover.  The Hurt Locker to beat Avatar.  All went the other way.  Lesson learned.


The good news is that I have wagered $500 on Avatar to win the best picture Oscar at $3.00 odds to return $1,500.  Hopefully I’ll recover my Globe losses then.  I’m feeling even more confident following James Cameron’s surprise win for best director (over Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker) and the fact that Avatar won best picture – drama.  We’ll see.


Globe Winners


Here’s a quick look at the winners and my analysis of the awards race going forward…


Best Picture (Drama) – Avatar

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) – The Hangover

Best Actor (Drama) – Jeff Brides (Crazy Heart)

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy) – Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes)

Best Actress (Drama) – Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy) – Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

Best Supporting Actor – Christolph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Best Supporting Actress – Mo’nique (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire)

Best Director – James Cameron (Avatar)

Best Screenplay – Up In The Air


Avatar now leads the race for the best picture Oscar.  Up In The Air picked up the best screenplay award but has lost momentum after being favoured to win best picture at the Globes.  The Hurt Locker won nothing and whilst its still the critics’ darling, it’s going to need to work hard to defeat Avatar from here.  I’ve been declaring Avatar as the winner for a while and I’m sticking with it.


Best actor is now a coin flip between Jeff Bridges and George Clooney.  Perhaps Bridges has the edge but be careful, this race is eerily similar to last year.  Sean Penn was a previous winner and starred in a best picture nominee (Milk).  Mickey Rourke was the sentimental favourite but was in a much smaller film with fewer nominations (The Wrestler).  Penn took the prize and I lost some money.  It’s the same here.  George Clooney will be the previous winner and will feature in a best picture nominee (Up In The Air).  Jeff Bridges (aka The Dude) will be the sentimental favourite in a film which will probably only receive one nomination (Crazy Heart).


Best actress is shaping up as Meryl Streep vs. Sandra Bullock.  Meryl is overdue for a win and I think she’s the frontrunner here.  I’m yet to see Bullock’s performance but I couldn’t think of anyone less deserving after some of the films she’s churned out in the past decade.  I’d like to think Carey Mulligan still has a shot but I’m doubtful.  She’s my personal pick but I think the Oscar is going Meryl’s way.


Best supporting actor is Christolph Waltz.  Best supporting actress is Mo’nique.  No further discussion necessary.


I’m happy with my Avatar bet but I think I might sneak a few dollars on the great Meryl Streep in the next week.  Maybe Jeff Bridges too.  Will keep you posted.


As for the ceremony itself, I’ve just finished watching a replay and I think Ricky Gervais did a nice job as host.  Not brilliant but still good.  Best speech belonged to Meryl Streep (would you expect anything less).


Golden Globes Competition


Thanks to everyone for entering my Pick The Golden Globes competition.


I deliberately went with some tricky categories and the results reflect that.  We had 5 people finish on top with a score of 3 out of 6.


They were Paul Nelson, Leon Barry, Peter Johns, Dan Barrett and Angela McCabe.


It came down to the tie-breaker question which was the age of the last presenter.  Julia Roberts did the honours and she’s currently 42.


So, we ended with a tie.  Both Leon Barry and Dan Barrett were closest to the mark with a prediction of 43.  I’ll be in touch with them both to sort out prizes.


Thanks to everyone who entered!


Box-Office News


I didn’t think much of the film but given its cast and a strong marketing campaign, Bran Nue Dae opened with a juicy $1.6m at the Australian box-office.  It’s a great result – the second biggest opening for a local film in Australian film in the past 12 months (behind Mao’s Last Dancer).  There’ll be more good news ahead with Daybreakers released in 2 weeks (which I spoke about in last week’s blog).


Avatar is still going ridiculously strong.  It made another $7m over the past week in Australia and now has a total of $75m to its name.  In the United States, Avatar is number 1 for the fifth week in a row.  It made $41.3m (that’s just crazy for a film’s 5th week) and now has a total of $491m.  Titanic’s record will probably only last a few more weeks.




Something light to finish on this week.


Here’s a funny story where director Oliver Hirschbiegel is asked about all the spoofs which have been made of his famous bunker scene in the 2004 film Downfall (which was terrific I might add).


I’ve seen plenty of these but that’s the first time I’ve seen the Billy Elliot ticket spoof.  Loved it!  It’s also great to see the director’s got a good sense of humour about the whole thing.