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Golden Globes comedy/musical film races: Who's ahead?

December 27, 2007 | 11:59 pm

In the spirit of the holidays, I promise to give members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association a break and not snoop among them until after New Year's Day. Till then, though, let me offer some general prognostication about the comedy/musical film races like I recently did with the drama film slots.

Johnny_depp_2_2BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
"Across the Universe"
"Charlie Wilson's War"
"Hairspray"
"Juno"
"Sweeney Todd"

The foreign press really dig that unique Yankee movie experience, the musical. If a successful one is nominated here, even amongst blockbuster comedies, it usually wins ("Dreamgirls," "Moulin Rouge!" "Chicago," "Evita"). Much has been made this year about HFPA members' peculiar love of "Across the Universe," but let's recall that they also adored that low-energy, s-l-o-w-e-d-down screen adaptation of "Phantom of the Opera" a few years back, which flopped at the b.o. and lost at the Globes (to songless "Sideways," no less). So forget "Universe." This year they're also ga-ga over "Hairspray," which was hugely and surprisingly successful and could win, but it's old (came out last summer) and silly, not having "Sweeney's" gravitas and artistic cred. Besides, "Sweeney" is the only rival whose director is also nominated. That doesn't always equal victory. "Babe" won without helmer Chris Noonan being nommed, beating "The American President," whose Rob Reiner made the directors' list. But that overlap between categories usually fingers the winner ahead.

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
Tom Hanks, "Charlie Wilson's War"
Ryan Gosling, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Savages"
John C. Reilly, "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"

When I attend the Golden Globes, I prefer to hang out back in the general press room where you can dish with winners and swap snarky comments with your journo pals. But I'm awfully glad I made an exception in 2004 (for the 2003 awards year) and agreed to sit out in the audience at a banquet table among the nominees. What a shock! Throughout the night I witnessed the sore losers — of which there are legions — get up and leave during the telecast's commercial breaks. That year I sat next to the "Six Feet Under" table. Soon after they lost best drama series to "24," all of the cast members save one scooted, leaving behind Frances Conroy, who had to wait around for the best-actress category. She won. Later that night I spied the poor dear sitting alone at the HBO party downstairs, her Golden Globe in her lap, a forlorn look on her face and not a fellow cast member nearby to help her to celebrate. Jerks!

But the biggest shockeroo of all occurred when the winner of best comedy/musical actor in a film was announced. "Pirates" nominee Johnny Depp didn't even bother to wait until a TV commercial break. After losing to Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation"), the big baby ran out so fast that I thought the Beverly Hilton was ablaze.

Well, I guess losing can get kind of rough on an ego-pampered star after a while. It was Johnny's fourth Globes defeat. He's lost three more since then ("Finding Neverland," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"). Last year he didn't throw another tantrum exit because he didn't attend.

This year I think it's obvious that he'll be heading in the other direction at last, up to the podium to accept his first Globe in eight nominations, then heading to the press room to join us. No other actor in this race has a prayer, so I was told by several HFPA members when I snooped before the holidays.

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BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Amy Adams, "Enchanted"
Nikki Blonsky, "Hairspray"
Helena Bonham Carter, "Sweeney Todd"
Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
Ellen Page, "Juno"

Wow, this race is a real head-scratcher. Any one of these gals can win, even Nikki, if Globers choose "Sweeney" over "Hairspray" in the best-pic race and want to give the latter a consolation prize here. (Voters love to spread the love around among movies.) Considering how much they swoon over musicals and their stars ("Evita's" Madonna and "Moulin Rouge's" Nicole Kidman in this category; "Dreamgirls'" Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson in other races just last year), that bodes well for Amy Adams (whose "Enchanted" got gypped out of a best-pic bid), Helena Bonham Carter (the "Sweeney Todd" has never won a Globe) and Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"). When I chatted with foreign press members right after noms came out, they all said that they assume Frenchie Cotillard will win, but let's see what they say next week once "Sweeney" momentum plays out nationally.

The big spoiler here can be Ellen Page if votes split among all the musical contenders in this category. Remember, HFPA members are foreign journalists whose job it is to track Hollywood's hottest new stars for their newspapers back in Sweden and Brazil. Therefore, they spotlight hot new ingenues all the time, which is one of the reasons we kudos nuts love the Globes.

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Comments

I loved Sweeney Todd. It was very entertaining and fun. I wouldnt call it oscar worthy, but I would pay to see it again. Johnny is so fabulous. Helen is divine.

Because they are such star whores, I don't think Cotillard will win her category. And personally, I don't want to see her win. She shouldn't have been in this category, and perhaps if she wasn't Linney could have snuck in.

I'm crossing my fingers for Amy. She needs a boost. But I'm predicting Ellen Page will win it.

To describe "Sweeney" as not having any memorable music beyond "Worst Pies in London" is an erroneous statement. "Pretty Women" and "Not While I'm Around" are modern standards, as Streisand recognized, and either version of "Johanna" is set to a rapturous melody. After each of the screenings I've attended one heard people on the way out humming "A Little Priest", and one guy was whistling the "Swing your razor wide! Sweeney" part of the Ballad, which is only underscoring in the film.

Here's hoping that "Sweeney" proves Tom correct and cleans up at the Golden Globes and at that other, um, film society.

"Sweeney's music is not very memorable"

You have got to be kidding me.

Tom's orgasms over Sweeney Todd is starting to sound like a rehash of Dreamgirls last year...Sweeney Todd will get a Best Pic nom come Oscar time but will not win...why? for starters the opening first half of the film kinda lumbers like a Lloyd Webber musical...which is why Phantom of the Opera suffered come awards time...the music just lumbered along to sheer boredom. 2 - Sweeney's music is not very memorable or uplifting...the only memorable number is H.B. Carter's singing The Worst Pies in London...The reason why musicals such as Gigi, West Side Story, Chicago, My Fair Lady, Sound of Music won Best Pic was partially due to the memorable music and songs as well as the dance numbers...Sweeney suffers from anything musically memorable. The only thing anyone will remember from the movie is the gory-throat slashing of his victims. Don't get me wrong...I like Sweeney Todd...overall it's a good production all around...but it will not win Best Pic and Johnny Depp made wind up empty-handed as well...the Best Actor race will look pretty tight this time around...So Tom you keep gushing over ST and jinx its chances...like Dreamgirls..which was a good movie musical with some memorable songs, a strong cast, but suffered from a weak script...

Amy Adams sucks! Big Time! Period! Enough of perky-perky-miss-Blonde-goodie-goodie- oh-so-pretty in Hollywood. This one belongs to Marion Cotillard or Ellen Page hands down!

Amy Adams should win. She gave the best comedic performance of the year, her movie is a big box office hit and she was snubbed two years ago by HFPA. But I know that Cotillard will win and Ellen Page is her only competition. It'll be between those two.

Everyone knows that Johnny will win this year, but will he be able to attend due to the strike. But he might not care since this could be the only award he will get this year (Unfortunately for him, the WGA gave a waiver to SAG, but Depp was snubbed so he won't be attending, and Day-Lewis has the SAG wrapped up since he has no competition and the SAG snub might hurt Johnny's chances of Oscar Gold, but he will be nominated...) And if he goes, he won't get @#$% for going to the Globes becuase he's Johnny Depp and people will forgive him in 2 seconds. And I don't blame him. As much as I support the strike, I think that they should give waivers to award shows and wouldn't mind if Johnny goes becuase Depp might not get the chance ever again. Same with probably every other nominated actor who might think their careers will be tarnished if going. Which is why I think that Blonsky, Adams, Cotillard, Page, Ronan and young others or other not big celebrities will not be going to the Globes. And its a shame becuase they might not get a chance like this in their lifetimes ever again.

Good catch, Andrew, and you're right, of course. So I switched the example to "Babe" -- TX!

How wrong of you, Mr. O'Neil, to write such drivel about Johnny. He has never covetted any awards and, more importantly, has never been anything but gracious toward his peers, win or lose. Whatever his reason for exiting so hurriedly, you can bet it had nothing to do with the awards outcome!

Actually, Baz Luhrmann was nommed Best Director at the Globes that year but lost to Robert Altman.

And thats what happens when you don't read the whole article. I thought you were referring to last years defeat in the C/M Actor race, which apparently you forgot about.

Johnny wasn't even at the globes last year...


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