Are you ready for the annual orgy of movie world prize-giving? This year’s awards season kicks off on Sunday 11th January with the Golden Globes – the baubles bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that often predict the way the Oscars will go.
Last year’s Golden Globes ceremony was scuppered by the writer’s strike, but Sunday’s event promises to be a return to glitz and glamour. After that, the likes of Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Penélope Cruz and Anne Hathaway (all Globe acting nominees) will probably get a chance to don their frocks again at the Baftas on Sunday 8th February (nominations announced on 15th January) and at the Oscars themselves on Sunday 22nd February (nominations on January 22nd).
Movie Talk will be following the fortunes of Kate, Angelina, Penélope & co over the coming weeks, but in the meantime here is a selection of alternative awards. As yet unfairly excluded from the consideration of the Oscar and Bafta voters, these are the prizes that we’d like to see.
Best recipe: Bittersweet joy, laughter and tears in Lebanese writer-director-star Nadine Labaki’s Beirut-set chick flick Caramel.
Best magic trick: Heath Ledger’s Joker making a pencil vanish in The Dark Knight was the year’s neatest spot of prestidigitation; a gangster’s henchman was the hapless stooge who got the point but didn’t see the joke.
Best hair: Keira Knightley’s towering topiary of a hairpiece in The Duchess.
Best avoided: M Night Shyamalan tried to make us afraid of the grass in The Happening, but the latest movie from the would-be master of suspense turned out to be a non-event.
Best cover version: A lovesick Hellboy and Abe’s drunken singlaong was one of the highlights of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. What song did they pick for their maudlin duet? Er, Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You”.
Best swearing: Colin Farrell turned the air blue in a wintry Belgium as a scurrilous hitman turned reluctant tourist in Martin McDonogh’s pitch-black comedy thriller In Bruges.
Best oldie: A surprisingly spry Harrison Ford “nuked the fridge” and duked it out with hulking Russkies in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but he couldn’t prevent Spielberg and Lucas’s creaking franchise from showing its age.
Best left undisturbed: Brendan Fraser & co dug up yet another crabby corpse with violent proclivities and megalomaniac ambitions in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Best car chase: The scorching pursuit of James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12 along a twisting corniche road was a high spot of Quantum of Solace; shame the rest of the movie soon ran out of gas…
Best dance routine: a heavily disguised star’s gob-smacking bump and grind moves as Tropic Thunder’s fat, balding, hairy movie mogul was bizarre, creepy and a comic scream.