Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

Culture

'Benjamin Button' an early favourite for 66th Golden Globe awards

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-14

Among the film favourites for the 66th Golden Globes awards ceremony in January are 'The Dark Knight' and 'Benjamin Button', directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt.

AFP - Brad Pitt and Batman are expected to be among the front-runners here Thursday as the race for Oscars glory swings into top gear with the announcement of nominees for the 66th Golden Globes.

Hollywood heart-throb Pitt is vying for honors for his performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1922 short story about a man who ages in reverse.

Director David Fincher's movie, which sees Pitt star opposite Australian icon Cate Blanchett, does not open in the United States until December 25 but has already wowed critics and audiences at sneak previews.

"I think the presumption among pundits right now is that 'Benjamin Button' is the front-runner," Tom O'Neil, an awards-season expert with the Los Angeles Times' theenvelope.com, told AFP.

Long-regarded as an indicator of films likely to challenge for top honors at the Oscars, which take place on February 22 next year, the Globes have thrown up a series of red herrings in recent years.

The last movie to achieve the Golden Globes best drama and Oscars best picture double was 2003's fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

However the Globes, which are chosen by around 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and handed out on January 11, can help to shape the overall field and give valuable momentum to front-runners.

While "Benjamin Button" has emerged as the early favorite -- receiving another boost on Tuesday with eight nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association's annual awards -- it faces stiff competition from a glut of other films including blockbuster "The Dark Knight."

As well as raking in nearly 1 billion dollars worldwide since its July release, director Christopher Nolan's sequel was widely hailed as a masterpiece of movie-making that transcended its superhero genre.

The film was also notable for an extraordinary performance from late Australian actor Heath Ledger, who is being strongly tipped to win a posthumous Oscar at next year's Academy Awards for his cackling portrayal of the Joker.

"Whether 'The Dark Knight' was the best movie of the year is a subject of debate, but it was certainly the movie of the year," O'Neil said. "It was the most talked about, the one that mattered most, the one that made the most.

"And the Globes have an obvious appreciation for blockbusters, the big crowed pleasers."

O'Neil cautioned however that studio films such as Paramount's "Benjamin Button" and Warner Bros' "The Dark Knight" could yet be upset by a crop of smaller budget movies.

These include "Milk," Gus Van Sant's biopic starring Sean Penn as trailblazing gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, and "Slumdog Millionaire," British film-maker Danny Boyle's soaring love story about a boy seeking to escape poverty in Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of television gameshow "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

"These uplifting movies like 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Milk' are likely to play a big role," O'Neil said. I think both of those films are pretty sure bets for best picture nominations at the Oscars and the Globes."

A slew of other acclaimed films are also tipped to be in contention, including Sam Mendes drama "Revolutionary Road," which sees "Titanic" co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet playing frustrated 1950s suburbanites; "Frost/Nixon," Ron Howard's adaptation of the successful stage play about disgraced former US President Richard Nixon's series of interviews with British journalist Sir David Frost; and "Doubt," starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as a Catholic nun locked in a duel with a priest played by Philip Seymour-Hoffman.

Lew Harris, a consulting editor with the Hollywood.com website, said awards season could be "pretty chopped up" with prizes being evenly spread across several films.

"You've got 'Benjamin Button,' 'Doubt'. I just don't see one big movie emerging," Harris told AFP.

"'The Dark Knight' has the most possibility of doing well across the board. But it's hard to ignore some of the performances in films like 'Frost/Nixon' and 'Milk.' I think it's going to be pretty chopped up."

Date created : 2008-12-10

COMMENT(S)