Thursday, December 15, 2011

Screen Actors Guild

So the truth of the matter is that I've been terribly, terribly lazy since fall television started.  The darkness comes on earlier in this hemisphere and new episodes start and all of a sudden I find myself using my free time, whatever of that there is, to roll through the DVR like the television-consumption equivalent of Cookie Monster.  I have to say, television in 2011 has been something of a surprising bright spot.  On the other hand films, which used to constitute the bulk of most of my blog postings, has been, by and large, disappointing.
Perhaps it goes all the way back to last year's Oscars where The King's Speech won, defeating The Social Network in what can only be described as a baffling resistance to modernity, at least from this girl's perspective.  It brought to light, once again, my always-conflicted issues with the Oscar-bait situation.  There were several good movies early on, a summer season that roughly broke even, and a bunch of fall movies that I was excited about, but many just fell flat.  I will admit to not having seen the same number of movies that I have in the past, but that wasn't necessarily all as a result from my own scheduling issues.  Most of the time the weekly offerings were somewhat slim pickins.  More than any year I can remember in recent history, this year has heard me repeating the phrase "well it was better than I thought it would be but...." and the generally jaded feeling has carried through to the now last-ditch Oscar effort of the winter season  For those of us with nothing more pressing to worry about, we all know what this means.  A new awards show every week until one movie rises to the surface, allowing its momentum to carry it through to the end where it's crowned The Chosen One.  A few years ago, it was a long shot that Slumdog Millionaire would be at the front of the pack, and the same thing can be said a couple of years later with The Hurt Locker, but much like all political nominations, there comes a point where the pack separates and it becomes clear that someone will be the clear and obvious choice.  What I will say is that, no matter how much I may complain about the lackluster output of the year, I always enjoy watching the race take shape, even if it is maddeningly prodded on by men behind the scenes (and by men I really just mean whichever Weinstein has gotten up first that day, but again, I love those guys for producing Good Will Hunting and the early Tarantino movies...so what can you do?!).

So here it all goes again.  The SAGs (Screen Actor's Guild) NOMINATIONS came out yesterday.  This show usually resembles the last day of the senior year of high school.  Everyone forgets that they once dunked someone's head in a toilet or backed in to someone in the parking lot or stole their friend's date to prom out of desperation and all competition-fueled conflicts are forgotten.  Since it's only voted on by actors, they're all in this together, one, very pretty, family, just hoping to be employed next year, and so what results are nominations that look a lot like the back of a yearbook.  There's a couple of "Most Likely To Succeed" nominations, where people clearly voted for what they THOUGHT other people would want to win and then there's the "Most Popular" nominations, ones who people genuinely like and want to see good things happen to.  The result is a somewhat cloudy take on the year in review.  If you'd like to see the full list, hopefully you've clicked on the link above.  If you want to just know my takes on the biggest surprises and disappointments, follow me, won't you:

Biggest Surprises (the good kind):

Demian Bichir- A Better Life (Best Actor)
Nick Nolte- Warrior (Best Supporting Actor)
Melissa McCarthy- Bridesmaids (Best Supporting Actress)
Midnight in Paris- Best Cast

Biggest Dissapointments:
No Ryan Gosling for Drive
Meryl Streep and Glenn Close both get Best Actress nominations


It's always good when a smaller movies like A Better Life can grab some attention, and hopefully I'll get a chance to see it before the end of the year.  On the downside, despite many people being rankled at the fact that there was a movie called DRIVE and it didn't star Paul Walker or a professional wrestler, it was a movie that contained a fantastic performance by Ryan Gosling.  What does this guy have to do to be taken seriously?!  Well, maybe he should just follow Leo's path and take a generic historical-figure biopic directed by a Hollywood darling.  As far as Meryl and Glenn go, listen, I'm all about females getting great roles in films, and to be fair, I haven't seen either of these films, but also, I don't really want to.  They look predictable and a bit like shameless self-promotion to me.  Sure, they've both reached the point in their career when they can do these pet project type things, but there doesn't really seem to be a single "YES! I need to see this" moment in either of the trailers for The Iron Lady or Albert Nobbs.  Also, the whole "oh my goodness, it's a woman playing a man" or "wow! She DOES look like Thatcher" shouldn't get you a nomination for acting, it should get your makeup artists recognized. But judge for yourself.  Here are the respective trailers for The Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs

The SAGs are also for Television and Game of Thrones received an Ensemble nomination, which is about all you could ask for during your Freshman year.  Maybe next year some individual awards will trickle through and just because I want to hype up for the second season as much as possible, here you go guys:





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