Skip to main content

Hollwood Surprises No One at Most Self-Congratulatory Award Show of Year: Golden Globes Review



Golden Globes 2017: Review


Image result for jimmy fallon golden globes

The Golden Globes are the most pointless award show all season. They are not given by critics or people working in the industry, but rather the HFPA, a group of 89 foreign journalists who are notoriously susceptible to bribes. They nominate sometimes awful films and performances in hopes big stars will show up to their party. It is necessary when selecting a host to find someone who wouldn't feed into the HFPA's already inflated sense of self-importance. Why Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were the ideal hosts for this show is because their jokes, while very funny, were also pointed attacks at the HFPA, the individual stars in attendance, and the celebrity complex as a whole. Ricky Gervais had the same basic idea, except less mean and thus less funny. I was nervous when in August when they announced Jimmy Fallon, the talk show host with a reputation for being nice, as the host of this year's Globes. Turns out I was right to be nervous that Fallon wouldn't bring the needed meanness of Fey, Poehler, or even Gervais. His opening monologue wasn't at all mean, and worse, wasn't really funny either. But Fallon isn't entirely to blame for the off tone of the evening, several of the recipients also decided to pat the industry on the back, but we'll get to them.


Despite the superfluous existence of the award, the Golden Globes are usually among the best actual shows of awards season because the ceremony is quick and relatively painless. There's no In Memoriam tribute, there are none really technical categories that nobody cares about. Before 2009, the Golden Globes never even had a host. This year in particular it held like the Globes were trying to match the grandeur of the Oscars by unnecessarily prolonging the ceremony. There was an opening taped sketch that payed tribute to La La Land, which would go on to break the record for most awarded film at the Globes ever. It was well done, but, again, seemed pointless. I'm sure most of the people watching hadn't even seen La La Land yet. Also extending the evening were the Best Picture nominees being introduced by an actor in the movie before a trailer plays. It's an annoying trend that has now befallen every major award show.

There were a couple of big shocks in terms of winners (Aaron Taylor Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Isabelle Huppert), but mostly things went as expected. Tom Hiddleston's attempt to highlight a serious issue in Sudan during his acceptance speech backfired and came across as congratulating Hollywood, specifically his own show. Then came time for Meryl Streep's headline-making speech after she was awarded the "prestigious" Cecil B. DeMille award. Streep, undeniably one of the greatest screen actresses alive today, chose to politicize her speech. Although she never said the words "Donald Trump", she made several jabs at the President elect, as did a couple others throughout the night. I absolutely agree with the content of her speech: support the arts, protect journalists, and don't mock disabled people. However, I must take issue with the context of her speech. A rich person telling a room full of rich people to be nice to less privileged people. It was self-congratulatory, patting Hollywood on the back for having the "responsibility of empathy". If it did anything, it furthered the political gap in this country. 

Image result for emma stone golden globe winAs far as acceptance speeches I did enjoy, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both did a nice job. Looking forward to the Oscars, La La Land probably got the biggest boost. I would say it's now the frontrunner to win Best Picture. It's closest competitors, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea, both took a hit, winning only one prize each. But the HFPA and the Academy don't always align with their picks, like last years when the HFPA chose The Revenant instead of eventual Oscar champ Spotlight. Emma Stone's biggest competition, Natalie Portman, surprisingly lost in her category (to Huppert) and thus lost the chance to make a highly publicized speech, a boon for Ms. Stone.

I don't mean to be too harsh, it wasn't an unenjoyable night of television. Probably the biggest laugh came from Kristen Wiig and Steve Carrell's hilarious introduction of the Best Animated Film category. I usually like Fallon, I think his Tonight Show is the perfect iteration of a late night talk show in the 21st century, but the Golden Globes was not the right fit for him. 

What did you think of this year's Golden Globes? Did you agree with winners? What did you make of Meryl's speech? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments

Post a Comment

Leave a comment!

Popular posts from this blog

"Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" is a Fun Musical and Showcase for the Wonderful Lily James: Review

Film Review: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia , which was based on the stage musical of the same name, which itself was based on the songs of ABBA. If it seems like some of the fun would be lost with each additional iteration,   Here We Go Again proves otherwise. As unnecessary as it may be, the sequel is an exceptionally fun time at the movies. Following the Godfather Part II template, Here We Go Again is actually half-sequel, half-prequel, with a continuation of the first movie's plot interwoven with flashbacks depicting how Donna met each of her daughter's potential fathers and how she came to inexplicably live on a gorgeous Greek island, which was set up in the first film. Being the second musical to exclusively feature the music of ABBA, Here We Go Again  faces the inevitable challenge of the first movie having done nearly all of the Swedish group's best and most well-known songs. A number of th

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

Film Review: "Hail, Caesar!"

Film Review: "Hail, Caesar!" "Hail, Caesar!", the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, is set in Hollywood in the early 1950s, the final years before the collapse of the studio system. Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a studio exec whose job entails putting out all the fires started by the stars of the various films in production at the studio. These stars include George Clooney as an actor in a Ben Hur -like epic who gets kidnapped, Scarlett Johansson as the star of an 'aquamusical', similar to the ones starring Esther Williams, and Channing Tatum, who plays a Gene Kelly-like dancer starring in a sailor musical. The amount of time and detail given to these movies-within-the-movie is evidence of the brothers' love and appreciation for moviemaking, without which the movie would be in danger of feeling hollow and disingenuous.