The Golden Globes, a notable contributor to the Oscar race, nominated both Juianne Moore and Annette Benning in the Best Actress category (full list here), also one to the film for Best Screenplay. Julianne Moore has tried to be a versatile actress, for a long time she played depressed, weeping women who often killed themselves or found their husbands gay, but then she ventured into erotic thrillers (Chloe), arthouse fashion indies (A Single Man), sci-fi (Children of Men) and even signing up for a recurring role as Alec Baldwin’s girlfriend in 30 Rock. Despite repeated attempts to Meryl Streep herself, Julianne Moore is a weak actress, she emotes heavily and is often contained in her own character, when it demands she pull on a distinct accent the result is laughable and she fails at being overtly sexy, desperate or homosexual,basically she can't play anyone remotely interesting,but she is terribly gorgeous for her age so she'll definitely stick around for a long time.
Annete Benning on the other hand, has completely transformed herself and there is little that is reminiscent of the actress here, she is dramatic but on some level beautifully humanized, her delivery seems natural next to an always distressed looking Moore and sperm-donor Mark Ruffalo whose fake, husky voice is grating and scruffy beard and motorcycle seem part of a librarian’s disguise to be cool.
The script however, moves the film along this very gentle pace that I haven’t seen in a long time, few side stories are addressed but they pull back to the core, and as a whole it holds an intensity that is spread across the entire running time, the lesbian couple and their sex life aren’t treated as some weird, exotic object (unlike Mark Ruffalo’s sex partner character, an afro-ed black woman who occasionally appears to deliver some variation of the line “I want to jump your dick”) and the film finally ends with a hush,still tone that is warm,sticky and bittersweet.Mmm.
I’ll take this opportunity to segue into the bigger problem, the Golden Globes. Where Johnny Depp has been nominated for two mediocre roles in films that noone (not critics, or people) really loved, and such low-grade crap like Red (Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, I still passed out),Love & Other Drugs and Burlesque creep their way in. Inception, The Fighter, Black Swan and The King’s Speech,The Social Network are all typical,award-baiting films with lovely stars who will get a lot of red carpet coverage for the Globes, many take the Globes as the best predictor for the Oscars, but in recent years this has been proven untrue, the Oscars require much more excess and struggle: they like retards, gays (preferably closeted), prostitutes and musicians, Meryl Streep, problematic black people, losers and addicts.They want bigger stories, while the Globes pander to no clear criteria except some supposed audience favorites and a huge heap of random.
The only category for the 2011 awards that seem worth being excited about is Best Actress, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Halle Berry and Annette Benning all command respect from their peers and the industry, a race with such talent heavyweights makes for a more interesting competition.Besides this, smaller films and dark horses like Blue Valentine, Sofia Coppola's Somewhere (regrettably MIA in the Globes.Whatever, Elle Fanning is much too classy for that shit),Winter's Bone and Rabbit Hole could prove to be next year's big surprises.