Christmas has come and gone, and the new year is almost upon us, but it is still the most wonderful time of the year: awards show season! The Oscars are a few months away, but the mini-Oscars (a.k.a. the Golden Globes) are coming up fast, on January 12. So it's time to start your prognosticating, and place your bets for who's going to be walking away with fancy statues this year.
I'm going to break this down into multiple posts for you, starting with predictions for which film will take the Best Motion Picture - Drama (NB: I have seen only one of the nominated movies, which I reviewed here). And the nominees are...
12 Years a Slave - the adaptation of Solomon Northrup's 1853 autobiography, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup, a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery. It's received very positively and landed at the #1 spot on 21 critics' lists of the best films of 2013, and 47 Top 10 lists (per Wikipedia, so, you know...grain of salt).
Captain Phillips - Tom Hanks battles pirates! The real-life story of Richard Phillips, taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009.
Gravity - Oh! The one I've seen, how nice. An impressive feat of film-making, perhaps a bit light on story but extremely accomplished, anchored by a solid performance from Sandra Bullock. Loses points for the unnecessary backstory about her daughter.
Philomena - Judi Dench stars as a woman looking for the son she gave birth to 50 years ago, and her performance is impressive enough to make a (hypothetical, purely imaginary) person almost cry just from the two-and-a-half-minute trailer. It's worth noting that the movie is distributed by the Weinstein Company, perennial juggernaut of awards season.
Rush - A Ron Howard film starring Chris Hemsworth as a race car driver, and I couldn't be less interested. I think I confused it at some point with "Turbo," that one with Ryan Reynolds as a talking snail.
Who will win? "Gravity" has a chance, but my money is firmly on "12 Years a Slave." A big movie with acclaimed performances and the gravitas of its subject matter, the HFPA will feel really good about itself for awarding it (no bitterness intended; despite the Globes' notorious tackiness, the film, by all accounts, is tasteful and honest in its approach to slavery).