The Golden Globe Awards have officially been scrapped and replaced by a press conference announcing the winners. Snubbed performers and filmmakers can take comfort in the fact that come Golden Globe night, the nominees will be at home too.
As the obnoxious Michael Scott, Steve Carell is nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series" for "The Office," but it's in film that Carell really shows of his impressive range. He made a horny virgin sweet and innocent in The 40-Year-Old Virgin before tackling a suicidal, gay Proust scholar in Little Miss Sunshine. But it's in "Dan in Real Life" that Carell gives his most nuanced, sincere performance as a widowed father of three girls who finds himself falling for his brother's girlfriend.
His manic comic energy is restrained, but not so much so that you can't feel him going crazy as he struggles with his feelings in secret. Carell is just as adept in the emotional scenes as he is in comedy, but the most impressive thing about his stripped down performance is that it introduces a natural, charming romantic leading man. Some of that has to be attributed to Peter Hedges, who deserves recognition for his assured direction and the heartfelt script about family and age-appropriate significant others who genuinely like each other.
Perhaps between Knocked Up and Juno the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has met its quota of unplanned pregnancy films, so the snub for "Waitress" is excused, but there's no excuse for ignoring Keri Russell's translucent performance. Russell has worked steadily in TV and film, earning praise and a Golden Globe for her role in Felicity and doing supporting parts in films, but it was in "Waitress" that Russell finally emerged as a leading lady. As Jenna, a pregnant waitress in an unhappy marriage who lets out her feeling making pies such as Pregnant Miserable Self-Pitying Loser Pie, she was every bit as sweet, tart and delicious as the pies she made.
The fact that "Once" isn't nominated in "Best Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy" category is a glaring omission. The low-budget indie redefined the musical and showed that great things can be accomplished with very little money and fuss. A strikingly simple story about two musicians who meet and develop a connection, "Once" soared to new heights in its non-intrusive, revealing musical scenes. Real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová give surprisingly natural and charismatic performances for novice actors, but the real delight is the beautiful, haunting soundtrack they produce that is just as powerful when it stands alone.