Ahhh, awards season: my favourite extended guessing game of the year. Let the fun begin!
First up? The Golden Globes nominations are in, and there's plenty of lovey-dovey, chick flick-esque stuff to discuss.
Of course, the Globes are always a better option than Oscar for chick flick lovers, thanks to the division between comedies (and musicals) and dramas, which lets some worthy fun-loving material sneak in alongside all the oh-so-serious heavy-hitters.
But this year, even the drama category has some romance to it -- in stark contrast to, say, last year's roster of man-heavy, bloody flicks.
In Best Picture - Drama, The Reader, Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire all got the nod; between them, the trio also landed 3 acting nominations, 3 shots at Best Director, and a couple of screenplay nominations.
Meanwhile, in Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, Happy-Go-Lucky, Mamma Mia! and Vicky Cristina Barcelona are all vying for the top prize. Between them, they've also got 5 acting nominations.
And there's more beyond the Best Picture nods: Anne Hatheway's nominated (for Rachel Getting Married) as Best Actress in a Drama, as is Kristin Scott-Thomas (for I've Loved You So Long - also a Best Foreign Language Film nominee). Classifying Doubt and Changeling as chick flicks might be a stretch, but if you want to count them, Meryl Streep (surprise!) and Angelina Jolie round out the nominees.
Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson both took Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy or Musical nominations for Last Chance Harvey, and Ralph Fiennes landed a Best Supporting Actor nod for The Duchess.
Quite the field, by chick flick standards! And yes, I realize I've used "chick flick" pretty broadly here -- but considering the dearth of romantic or even remotely "feminine" plots we've seen at awards shows in the past few years (see: There Will Be Blood, both Cronenberg/Mortensen flicks, No Country For Old Men, Half Nelson, etc, etc) I think that's fair.
So, I have to confess: I have yet to see any of these. (I know, not even Mamma Mia!) I plan on remedying that asap, but in the meantime, here are some uninformed predictions:
Slumdog Millionaire is getting an awful lot of the buzz so far, so don't be surprised to see it go big. As far as guaranteed also-rans, I'd say it's highly unlikely that Mamma Mia! will win in its Best Picture category.
Meryl Streep should never be counted out, but this year she's got two nominations for Best Actress, one in each category. Kate Winslet's also got a pair, in Best Actress and Best Supporting, so keep an eye on both of them. In fact, the whole Actress field is much, much deeper than usual, this year!
That's something to celebrate -- but, taken in conjunction with the greater range of "romantic" storylines up for awards this year, it begs the question: Is Hollywood incapable of creating serious, meaty, well-written roles for women outside of the chick flick rubric? Why don't any of those bleak, bloody movies we were discussing earlier feature any strong, hard-ass women?
Hmm. More to come, as Awards Season 08-09 gets under way!