Housing crisis movies nab Golden Globe nominations
Plus some year-end residential tax tips for real, not cinematic, homeowners
I'm a big movie fan. I also am a personal finance/tax nut. So it's a big day for me as those two worlds converge.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association today announced its nominees for its annual Golden Globe awards. Two financially-themed movies, "99 Homes" and "The Big Short," were tabbed.
Christian Bale, nominated for a Golden Globe as best lead actor, rocking out in a scene from "The Big Short."
Both films are based on the housing industry collapse that followed the reckless subprime mortgages banks handed out right and left during the 2000s. That led to the disastrous (and continuing) housing industry fallout in the wake of the "banks too big to fail" economic crisis of 2007-2008.
Its serious subject matter and the seriously tragic aftermath notwithstanding, "The Big Short" was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical. That probably explains why the movie was near the top in total Golden Globe nominations.
In addition, "The Big Short" screenwriters Charles Randolph and Adam McKay earned a best screenplay nomination. Christian Bale and Steve Carell are up against each other in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, category.
The Foreign Press Association no doubt hopes other "The Big Short" big stars like Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt also show up at the televised drunken party awards ceremony on Jan. 10.
"99 Homes," on the other hand looks at a consequence of the housing crisis that's impossible to frame in a comedic light: foreclosure and the subsequent eviction of the homeowners who no longer can afford their house payments.
Michael Shannon, facing/talking to Andrew Garfield (of Spider-Man fame), was nominated for a supporting actor Golden Globe for his performance in "99 Homes."
In this indie film, Michael Shannon plays a ruthless Florida real estate broker who hires one of the people he evicted, a desperate construction worker played by Andrew Garfield, to help do the same to others.
Yeah, "99 Homes" is not exactly the usual Saturday night dinner and a movie date fare, but the flick got good reviews. And Shannon got a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture category.
I'll be watching the broadcast next month, not only to ogle the stars, hear host Ricky Gervais' insults and find out who imbibes too much (and thus makes a really embarrassing acceptance speech), but also to see if one of these financially-themed films takes home some statuettes.
Residential tax break review time: If you've found homeownership more rewarding, or at least more acceptable than it's portrayed in these award-nominated movies, then you likely know all about the many tax breaks your residence offers.
The latest Weekly Tax Tip, however, looks at a couple of ways you can tweak those tax advantages here at the end of the tax year.
You can make your January mortgage payment by Dec. 31 and pull that associated tax deductible loan interest into 2015.
Similarly, if you're in charge of directly paying your own annual real estate taxes rather than having that amount be part of your monthly mortgage payment, you can pay your property tax bill this month, too. That will allow you to claim it on your 2015 Schedule A .
Of course, if you make either of these year-end tax moves, it will affect your 2016 tax bill, unless you do the same this time next year.
So take a few minutes to look at your upcoming 2015 tax situation, what you think 2016 might look like and make the tax adjustments as appropriate.
And after your home-related year-end tax moves review, why not head to your local Cineplex to take in a housing-related movie.
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