The Nominations for Best Actress in a Lead Role are:
1. Katie Jarvis - Fish Tank
2. Carey Mulligan - An Education
3. Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
4. Charlotte Gainsbourg - Antichrist
The Golden Schmoo goes to - Melanie Laurent.
Ms. Laurent's performance as Shosanna in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS was really unappreciated. From the trailers and ads, you'd expect this film to prominently feature Brad Pitt, but Laurent was the true star, taking up a bulk of the screen time and having a majority of the plot focused on her. After my first viewing of the film, her performance was the thing I found most memorable. Her scene at the restaurant seated with her family's killer, Hans Landa, is a fantastic example of why she is receiving this award. Throughout their conversation she shows strained poise and when he leaves, it all comes crumbling down. Laurent is a lovely alternative to perennial nominees Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton. I hope to see more quality work from her in the future.
The Nominations for Best Actor in a Lead Role are:
1. Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
2. Sam Rockwell - Moon
3. Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
4. Colin Firth - A Single Man
5. Nic Cage - Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
And the award goes to - Colin Firth, A SINGLE MAN. This was a very strong year for this category. Rightfully, I could have included Brad Pitt (BASTERDS) and Sharlto Copley (DISTRICT 9), but there just isn't enough room. Honorable mention also goes to Tom Hardy's amazing performance in BRONSON as the title character. I would have included him as a nomination and originally had intended to, but BRONSON was actually a 2008 film and he was eligible for nominations in that year (He won a British Independent Film Award). Moving on - This category was a no-brainer for a lot of people this year who felt that Jeff Bridges was due for a little recognition. His performance was great, certainly the best part of CRAZY HEART, but that doesn't mean he was the best of the year. I love Bridges and wanted him to be the best, but after seeing A SINGLE MAN, I knew he was not. Firth's performance is the best of his career and one of the best I've ever seen. The film doesn't offer a whole lot of exposition on his character's feelings or history, but his performance makes you feel like you know him. You can feel his pain even if he isn't showing it outright. There were numerous scenes where I was nearly brought to tear and, looking back, I realize that it's all because of his powerful acting. There's a particular scene where he's petting a dog that just broke my heart. Bravo, Mr. Firth, you deserve this and so many other accolades.
The Nominations for Best Ensemble Cast are:
1. Fish Tank
2. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. Inglourious Basterds
4. Star Trek
5. The Hangover
And the winner is - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.
There is some good competition in this category, but was little doubt who deserves this award. Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Mike Myers, Eli Roth, Jacky Ido, and BJ Novak are all fantastic in their own way. Maybe Tarantino's best ensemble yet.
The Nominations for Best Achievement in Directing are:
1. Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
2. Michael Haneke - The White Ribbon
3. Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
4. Duncan Jones - Moon
5. Jacques Audiard - A Prophet
The Golden Schmoo goes to - Duncan Jones for MOON. This is Duncan's first attempt at a feature length film. He only had a few million dollars to work with and he created something truly special. He gave life to a robot and created a cast of characters out of just one man. Sam Rockwell is the only actor starring in this film and throughout much he needs to act with himself, but it does not seem cheap or gimmicky. There is such a sadness in this film's shocking reveal, but Jones makes us feel it slowly, so we have to think about it and so it has an even greater effect. The film's aesthetic recalls the cerebral sci-fi classic 2001 and SOLARIS, but it is distinctly its own film. Duncan Jones has created a classic.
Next Up: The Award for Best Picture of 2009