2015 Golden Globes Nominations Reviews & Predictions


Sam Rosenberg, Jordan Brenner, Sawyer Kroll, & Justin Leff

Sports Editor & Staff Writers

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards will be held this Sunday and we can’t wait to see which movies will win the most accolades. Although 2014 wasn’t the best year for the box office, it did manifest a plethora of thought-provoking, emotionally cathartic, and intellectually stimulating films. From the epic scope of Boyhood to the unconventional aesthetic of Birdman, film in 2014 has reached incredible artistic heights. Below are our reviews of some of the films nominated for Golden Globes:

Boyhood (Sam):

boyhood-still2Director Richard Linklater has spawned a few cult classics over his two-decade career, but nothing is quite like his most recent film, Boyhood. A visual masterpiece and tour de force, Boyhood transcends the coming-of-age genre by incorporating impeccable acting, gorgeous cinematography, and rich dialogue. Some people might find its straying plot to be irritating. But aside from its minimal flaws, Boyhood tells the masterful story of a Texan boy named Mason, who (literally) grows up before our eyes from a curious, quiet child to a lanky, perceptive adolescent. We also get to see the fascinating development of Mason’s father (played by a charming Ethan Hawke), his mother (played by a captivating Patricia Arquette) and his older sister (played by Linklater’s daughter Lorelai). Despite the movie’s lengthy running time, it’s engrossing enough that you’ll forget how much time has passed. The concept of capturing someone’s life on-screen over a 12-year-period is simply mesmerizing and it’s no doubt that Boyhood will win most, if not all, of its nominations, which include Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Screenplay.

Grade: 9.5/10

Foxcatcher (Sawyer):

foxcatcherFoxcatcher is a gripping psychological drama following the story of Mark Schultz, a professional wrestler, and his encounters with billionaire John du Pont. Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) directs the suspenseful crime film, but Foxcatcher’s greatest strength come in its excellent acting. Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, both previously starring in mostly comedies, turn to dramatic acting and both thrive, immersing themselves in their characters completely. Also offering a performance to remember is Mark Ruffalo. Foxcatcher’s major downfall and greatest accomplishment is its intentional glacial pace and general coldness that beautifully sets up the climax, as the film just becomes too long and boring. Foxcatcher was nominated for three Golden Globes this year, however, its best chance in winning lie in Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, who are both nominated for Best Actor (Drama) and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Grade: 6.5/10

The Imitation Game (Jordan):

The Imitation Game Movie New Pic (2)This dramatic World War II thriller taken place in England, is the story of a group of the world’s most decorate mathematicians in a race with time to crack the code of Enigma and ultimately win the war. In addition to the film’s unbelievable story, Benedict Cumberbatch also produced a gem of a performance worthy of Best Actor consideration. Although The Imitation Game is nominated for Best Picture, the chances of its triumph are very slim.

Grade: 9.5/10

Birdman (Sawyer):

birdman-image-4-6-20Every year, there is a film that breaks rules and changes how we think about movies. This year, that film is the very ambitious Birdman directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Birdman appears to be one continuous shot, and it succeeds with seamless beauty with the help of acclaimed cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. However, visuals and originality is not all the film has to offer. The multi-layered story encaptures the viewers and makes a very relevant commentary on mainstream media. Birdman has an all-star cast that includes Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone, who all offer outstanding performances. The film is nominated for several Golden Globes, and especially because of its musical/comedy status, is anticipated to win many awards. Birdman is a lock for Best Musical/Comedy and Best Actor – Musical/Comedy, even though the film is very much a drama. Birdman is nominated for several other Golden Globes, including Emma Stone and Edward Norton who both have a shot at winning in the supporting actor category.

Grade: 9/10

Selma (Sawyer):

selma002-679x350Selma is a biopic based on Martin Luther King’s three-month efforts in Selma to secure equal voting rights. The film directed by newcomer Ava DuVernay is rooted with effective visuals, an outstanding performance from David Oyelowo, and a socially relevant story. However, Selma throws away all of this with a mediocre screenplay that underachieves dramatically because of some of the incredibly ineffective scenes, boring monologues, and historical inaccuracies. On the bright side, writer Paul Webb does create a very realistic biopic, as if allowing audiences to go experience the events of Selma along with Dr. King. Historical films often do well throughout award season, and Selma looks to continue this trend. Selma is nominated for several awards, however, its best chances lie in the Best Song, Best Actor (Drama), and Best Director categories. But, if Selma wins the Golden Globe for Best Director, prepare to lose all faith in humanity as Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and Alejandro Innaritu (Birdman) deserve the award far more than DuVernay for their originality and technical accomplishments.

Grade: 6.5/10

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Sam):


A highly regarded American contemporary filmmaker, Austin native Wes Anderson is known for making visually enthralling films filled with idiosyncratic characters, picturesque production designs, and incisive dialogue. Although Anderson’s work is often pigeonholed as “quirky,” his eighth film The Grand Budapest Hotel pushes against that stereotype, as it is one of his most emotionally mature films to date. Packed with intriguing performances and a punchy, multi-layered plot, The Grand Budapest Hotel conveys the journey of renowned European concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) and his obedient protege Zero Mustafa (newcomer Tony Revolori). Though the film explores familiar themes of friendship and loyalty and the screenplay is somewhat bombastic, Anderson manages to create a world unlike any other. The film may not persuade viewers who dislike Anderson’s typically ornate aesthetic, but it is a visual treat for those who do enjoy his work. The Grand Budapest Hotel faces some competition at the Golden Globes, with each of its nominations (Best Comedy, Best Comedy Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) up against much more esteemed films. However, it is bound to be nominated and win at the Oscars in February.

Grade: 8.8/10

Whiplash (Sam):


Even watching the trailer for Whiplash gives me goosebumps. Directed by little-known Damien Chazelle, Whiplash is a breathtaking, riveting, and agonizing tale of achieving success and self-satisfaction. The story takes place at the fictional prestigious Shaffer Music Conservatory in NYC, where young Andrew Neiman (played by a dazzling Miles Teller) attends. Neiman is undoubtedly talented but his lofty ambition of becoming the next greatest jazz drummer is tested when he faces an unruly, malevolent teacher (played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons). Fueled with passion, Whiplash will make your stomach churn but keep your eyes glued, thanks to the bravura performances of Teller and Simmons. The film is a nonstop thrill ride that will keep your fingers entrenched into your seat until its eye-popping finale. Whiplash brings about an important message of the value of success and how it can either shape or destroy a person. It’s a shame that Whiplash was snuffed for several Golden Globes and that it is only nominated for Best Supporting Actor, which it will most likely win anyway. Nevertheless, Whiplash should and definitely will be nominated for several Oscars.

Grade: 9.2/10

Interstellar (Jordan):


As Matthew Mcconaughey says, “Alright, alright, alright.” This quote does not accurately describe his own performance and the movie, as Interstellar was excellent. However, like most movies, it had noticeable blemishes. Interstellar had scientific flaws in regard to space travel. Despite this, this movie was entertaining and I was on the edge of my seat throughout. Interstellar was the snub of the Golden Globes and absolutely deserved to be nominated for best picture. However, it is possible that Interstellar should and will most likely win its only nomination, Best Original Score.

Grade: 9/10

Nightcrawler (Justin):


Jake Gyllenhaal paraded his incredible acting abilities in his new film, Nightcrawler, where he transforms into Lou Bloom, a determined crime videographer. Gyllenhaal’s character discovers the monetary opportunities from capturing crimes on his camcorder and then trying to sell the videos to local news stations. The new job is controversial in many ways, as Bloom is put in situations in which he has to decide whether to help the victim, or get the footage. Gyllenhaal will stop at nothing to achieve success. A cult favorite line has already emerged from the movie, when Gyllenhaal asks, “ Who am I? I’m a hard worker. I set high goals and I’ve been told that I’m persistent. I can start tomorrow. Or why not tonight?” Jake definitely worked hard himself when filming Nightcrawler, having to be aware of his Lou Bloom signature eyes the entire movie, (really wide open, not normal for Jake). Nightcrawler was one of the most exciting, thrilling, and blood-chilling movies of the year, and definitely has some Golden Globe potential, not for Best Picture (should be), but for Best Actor. In fact, Gyllenhaal lost 20 to 30 pounds for the role of Lou Bloom, as he saw his character always literally and figuratively hungry for his next meal. When he read the script, he thought of Lou as someone who was always hungry, practically starving, and behaved “like a coyote that comes down from the hills at night.” Nightcrawler was an addicting movie to watch; helped by the Gyllenhaal who succeeded at building a likable relationship with the audience, but at the same time filling them with fear.

Grade: 9/10

Tune in for the 72nd annual Golden Globes tonight on NBC!