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The Globes and the Gays

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Foster sister: actor/director Jodie Foster relinquishes the layered herringbone look she wore so well in her award-winning portrayal of Clarice Sterling in The Silence of the Lambs, in favor of a softer look at 2007’s Academy Awards ceremony.

LGBT artists continue to dominate awards season.
by Donalevan Maines

Three little words—“my beautiful Cydney”—stirred speculation about Jodie Foster’s love life when she thanked her longtime partner Cydney Bernard in a speech in 2007. Five years passed; then last spring came word that the couple had split. So what, if anything, might we learn when Foster accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards?

The Golden Globes are often good for clearing up the Oscar picture, so honors handed out on January 13 might pre-sage who goes home with the Hollywood hardware that counts when comedian Seth McFarlane hosts the 85th Academy Awards on February 24. However, by the time of this year’s Globes show, the Oscar nominations will have been announced on January 10.

Gal-pals Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-hosting the Golden Globes, which honor both movie and TV achievements.

The ceremony often spends a big chunk of time rehashing the career of its Cecil B. DeMille honoree. In 1962, at only 39, Judy Garland was the first woman to be feted with the honor. Barbra Streisand won in 2000.

Even if you don’t care who wins—in categories split between drama and comedy/musical material—the Globes are fun to watch for the fashions and how stars act when they’re gulping free booze. Often, it seems, actors are nominated for their fashion sense and tabloid nonsense.

Best supporting roles in movies are usually the first awards announced, before the show skids into TV categories. I was hoping to see Matthew McConaughey take Best Supporting Actor for Magic Mike. (I’m equally chunked that NBC’s The New Normal didn’t get any love from the Globe voters, and mildly surprised they ignored The Mindy Project.) The New York Film Critics Circle launched the awards season by honoring McConaughey for both Magic Mike and Bernie. The Independent Spirit Awards also nominated him, along with a nod in the leading actor category for Killer Joe. However, McConaughey got blanked at both the Globes and the Screen Actors Guild announcement of finalists. The Globe nominees for Best Supporting Actor are Alan Arkin (Argo), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio (both for Django Unchained), and Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln).

The SAG Awards, which airs live January 27 on TBS and TNT, ditched the Django Unchained actors in favor of Javier Bardem (Skyfall) and Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook).

It’s some consolation that McConaughey is in the running for Best Supporting Actor at the 18th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on the CW on January 10. Its voters include more than 250 TV, radio, and online “journalists,” who nominate six finalists in each category and even honor acting in action films.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, the Globes snubbed longshot Ann Dowd for Compliance, but included Nicole Kidman’s sultry, white-trash turn in The Paperboy (another McConaughey project). Her competition includes Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Amy Adams (The Master), and Sally Field (Lincoln).

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, with a screenplay by openly gay Tony Kushner, leads the field with seven nominations, including Best Drama, where it faces off with Ben Affleck’s Argo, Quentin Trantino’s Django Unchained, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which is about the search for Osama bin Laden. All five helmers are nominated for Best Director. Among screenplays, Life of Pi got bumped for David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook.

As Honest Abe, Daniel Day-Lewis appears to be the frontrunner for best drama actor, along with strong contenders Richard Gere (Arbitrage), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), and Denzel Washington (Flight).

Jessica Chastain is the drama actress favorite for Zero Dark Thirty, in a group that includes Naomi Watts in The Impossible and Oscar winners Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), and Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea).

Les Misérables seems the certain winner in the category of Best Comedy/Musical Picture, although wouldn’t it be something if Silver Linings Playbook pulls off an upset? The field also includes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which won Best Feature at the 22nd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Golden Globe nominees for Best Comedy/Musical Actress are Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Judi Dench (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Maggie Smith (Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman), and Meryl Streep (Hope Springs).

Hugh Jackman as Valjean in Les Misérables is nominated with National Board of Review winner Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook for Best Comedy/Musical Actor. That category, which includes Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Bill Murray as FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson, is the only shot for Bernie, with Jack Black nominated in the title role of real-life gay Texas murderer Bernie Tiede in the tragicomedy.

Bernie fares better at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, where it’s in the running for best comedy, comedy actor (Jack Black), and comedy actress (Shirley MacLaine). Owen Glieberman of Entertainment Weekly named Bernie one the year’s ten best films, commenting, “In Richard Linklater’s deviously droll light-comic tabloid docudrama, Jack Black infectiously plays a sweet-natured small-town Texas undertaker who turns out to be the most cunning of sociopaths, in part because the people he’s conning include himself.”

EW’s other film critic, Lisa Schwarzbaum, called the documentary How to Survive a Plague a “rigorous, impassioned, and powerful-as-hell report on heroism and bravery during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic.” The film also won Best First Feature from the New York Film Critics Circle and should be a player at the Oscars.

Among TV nominees at the SAG, Golden Globe, and NAACP Image Awards ceremonies are gay or gay-friendly entries Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), 30 Rock, Desperate Housewives, Downton Abbey, Glee, The Good Wife, Happy Endings, House of Lies, Modern Family, Smash, Steel Magnolias, and True Blood.

The Golden Globe Awards air Sunday, January 13, at 7 p.m. on NBC; the Screen Actors Guild Awards air Sunday, January 27, at 7 p.m. on TNT and TBS; the NAACP Image Awards air Friday, February 1, at 7 p.m. on NBC; the Independent Spirit Awards air Saturday, February 23, at 9 p.m. on IFC; and the Oscars air Sunday, February 24, at 6 p.m. on ABC. All times CST.

Donalevan Maines also writes about Tye Blue in this issue of OutSmart.

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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