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Join us here for the Golden Globes tomorrow night, January 17, at 8pm ET! We’ll be spicing up the proceedings by liveblogging.

If you’re watching the Golden Globes there’s no reason not to join us because the telecast will be boring. Let us make inappropriate jokes to put a smile on your face!

Well, awards show season is upon us.  Check back Sunday, maybe we’ll liveblog the Golden Globes.  In the meantime, here are some thought on the Critics’ Choice Awards, which, confusingly, comes from the BFCA.

The red carpet wasn’t terribly exciting.  Saorise Ronan’s accent always throws me for a loop.  And it was charming to hear her talk about the newbies, as if this was old hat for her.  Sarah Silverman said her favorite comedy of the year was Zombieland, so she’s awesome.  Paul McCartney sounded terribly bored by the whole process.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I heart Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies 4 life!).  But wow did it feel like her hosting gig did not go well.  Starting from the very opening, it seemed like just about every joke fell flat, leaving the room in silence.  I normally enjoy the bizarreness that is awards show writing, but just about every bit or banter between presenters was terribly unfunny.

Presenter highlights: Tobey Maguire looking like he was coming off a 36-hour bender, the pairing of Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Tracy Morgan, Chenoweth calling the lovely Kristen Bell “my brotha from another mutha”, Samuel L. Jackson’s ridiculously badass suit

I know this is Brian’s category, but I quite liked the John Hughes montage.  Thought it was put together very well.  Wish I could say the same about the Death Cab for Cutie version of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”.

My favorite collection of nominees (and one of the reasons I decided to watch) was the Best Comedy category, which was a mix of some of my favorite movies of the year ((500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, Zombieland), and the most disappointing films of the year (It’s ComplicatedThe Proposal).

I don’t have any particular comments on the winners or losers.  I’d honestly been thinking the whole Kathryn Bigelow female director story was overblown, but I might be forced to reconsider, after the collective appreciative gasp in the room when her name was announced.  And I’m pretty tired of the “Mo’Nique isn’t being gracious” stories, hopefully her classy acceptance speech puts them to bed.

Thought it was a little strange to have a tie for Best Actress.  I felt badly for the nominees because they announced Meryl Streep and let her do her speech before announcing the other winner.  The wait must have been agony.  The category provided some of the best moments of the night, though.  Along with the suspense, there was Meryl Streep talking about how she liked food and sex, Bullock (after her name was announced) pretending to stare down Streep before full-on kissing her, and then managed to somehow strike an effective tone, balancing humor and humility at being up there next to Streep.

I expected from A Single Man an emotional, slow-paced, character-driven drama. This is a type of film that I often like, or at least seem to like more often and more deeply than my esteemed colleagues. A Single Man is an emotional, slow-paced, character-driven drama. I did not like it. And here is my deeply intellectual analysis of the film:


I’ve been trying to figure out why it didn’t connect with me. A lack of plot doesn’t really bother me and in fact the actual quantity of story here doesn’t cause me concern. Colin Firth’s George is a man in grief over the loss of his lover. But in the early 1960s there wasn’t much community support for gay men (the off-handed and cruel way he hears the news is heart-breaking). He goes into the world a man living a lie, hiding his grief and his sexuality. The day the film covers he has interactions with a female friend and brief former lover (Charlotte, played by Julianne Moore), a student, and a man who propositions him at a liquor store.

But none of these interactions particularly interested me. The parts where George is alone interested me a great deal more, but are a minority of the scenes. So whatever emotional weight George’s night with Charlotte is supposed to provide generally went right past me. His actions while alone are part of a plot point that would be too spoilery to reveal here, but suffice it to say it’s the one story I found very fascinating. I also didn’t like the ending. A few spoilery details after the jump at the end of the post.

Director Tom Ford gives the film an intensely artistic style with artsy (fartsy) shots and lots of playing with the film’s colors. This makes the film quite beautiful but I didn’t feel like the style helped the film narratively or thematically; in fact I think it threw the pace off-kilter.

What’s weird about this film is that it seems to be one some people really love but, unlike most films that evoke strong emotions, it is not polarizing. We all were totally underwhelmed but I’m beginning to think we were the only four people on earth who were. I don’t read a ton of movie sites, but you can count on every movie attracting some sort of comment about how stupid or lame or boring it was. But I haven’t seen anything like that for A Single Man.

People also really love Colin Firth and he’ll get an Oscar nomination. He does a fine job, but his performance left me about as uninterested as the film. I don’t mean to disparage his work, but I don’t think this performance, no matter how great, can really get under your skin if the film doesn’t. Julianne Moore may also sneak in for Supporting Actress and that would be too bad. She does a good job being boozy and a bit crazy. Great. Whatever.

Finally, a few spoilery points to make after the jump. You shouldn’t read ahead if you plan on seeing A Single Man, but you shouldn’t see it anyway so feel free to continue. Read the rest of this entry »

January 2010
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