73rd Golden Globes Wrap Up
Gradually, the Golden Globes have been pulling farther and farther away from the rest of the awards season ceremonies when it comes to being able to predict winners based on their results. This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press has proven just how unpredictable this awards season could be with quite a few surprises across the very spread field of winners.
Though the television categories don’t hold much weight leading into the upcoming BAFTA’s and Academy Awards, they were the categories filled with the most surprises, while films’ predictability suffered only a few. But, it is the separation between Drama and Comedy that brings the biggest level of uncertainty to predicting the film winners at the awards ceremonies to come.
Unfortunately for the Globes and NBC, their host looked and acted bored. Regardless of the fact that it was an act and, in general, his normal performance demeanor, Ricky Gervais was unimpressive, his overly snarky attitude overriding even his funniest jibes. At least his audience was a bit more receptive than his last time on the golden stage of the Beverly Hills Hotel, and thankfully he had some good material from the last year to work with. At times his brand of humor hit exactly the right tone, especially since we now know what level to expect from him, however, some of the most memorable moments in a relatively dull show were not provided by Gervais.
Overall, in both television and film, the accolades were spread evenly, with no one film or show running away with a handful of globes. One of the biggest personalities of the night for TV was Rachel Bloom as she accepted the Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy award for her role as Rebecca Bunch in the new series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. Her enthusiasm and surprise at coming out on top over her fellow nominees Gina Rodriguez and Julia Louis-Dreyfus was clear in her amazing, Hamilton-esque speech where, in the span of almost less than 30 seconds, she rattled through seemingly everyone she worked with and knew before the music started playing. Maura Tierney took home the only award for The Affair Season 2, Oscar Isaac stunned with his win for Show Me a Hero, while Taraji P. Henson got her long-awaited (“20 years”) and rightfully deserved recognition for her stunningly powerful portrayal of Cookie Lyon in Empire.
Unsurprisingly, John Hamm won his second globe for Mad Men, never mind the possible reasoning being that the show had its final season this year, and never mind the incredible performances by both Rami Malek and Bob Odenkirk. Completely deserved, however, as Lady Gaga’s win for her work as The Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel, and her acceptance speech proves that even the queen of the outrageous and unexpected can be surprised, humbled, and incredibly endearing.
The surprising big awards of the night for TV left Jeffrey Tambour and Transparent globeless as the newcomer Mozart in the Jungle and its star Gael García Bernal were handed the top awards for TV Comedy. Meanwhile, Wolf Hall won for Best TV Limited Series, but both its actors – Damien Lewis and Mark Rylance – had to sit back as their categories went elsewhere. Christian Slater was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his work in the brilliant, and ultimate Best TV Series Drama, Mr. Robot, with Mozart in the Jungle and Mr. Robot topping out as the awards leaders for television with two wins each.
This year’s Cecil B. DeMille lifetime award was given from Tom Hanks to the legendary Denzel Washington. Hanks’ introduction focused on the finite nature of the list of actors and actresses so revered and respected that to conjure up the very nature of their talent, only one name was necessary, and Denzel certainly fits that profile. Upon receiving his award for his incredible body of work that defines the very meaning of the word legend, Denzel was completely speechless, almost literally. He very generously, though somewhat awkwardly, brought his entire family with him onto the stage to share in his moment, an act that only endears him to us more, especially as his interactions with his wife about his glasses remind us of very familiar moments with our own significant others. He was the personification of humility, and it was brilliant to see him receive the honor.
With jokes flying abundantly about HFPA’s categorization of The Martian as a Musical or Comedy, Ridley Scott’s incredibly harrowing, nail-biting, emotional “comedy” was twice honored, once for its leading man, Matt Damon, and again as the Best Film in its unlikely category. Let us also add to the list of strangely categorized films David O. Russell’s Joy, which, upon watching it, was about as much of a comedy as Silver Linings Playbook was before it. Sure, the film had comedic moments and could be quite lighthearted, but at its core, Joy is a personal drama beefed with comedy from all sides. Out of this mediocre film came another brilliantly charged performance from Jennifer Lawrence, who was awarded her third globe for her work.
There were no surprises when Inside Out was awarded the year’s Best Animated Film, or even when Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs) shoved aside script king, Quentin Tarantino for the Best Screenplay globe, but Sam Smith and his hardly Bond ballad “Writing’s on the Wall” shocked with their win over favorite “See You Again” from Furious 7. While one of the biggest upsets of the night came from a musical category, one of the best moments came from the other, with Jamie Foxx channeling unfortunate Miss Universe host Steve Harvey as he presented the Best Original Score category. Announcing the winner as the not even nominated Straight Outta Compton, realizing his mistake, apologizing profusely, and then finally presenting the award to legendary composer Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight, Foxx gave the show a much needed humorous boost and set the room alight with laughter. However, the bright moment was dulled somewhat when Tarantino took to the stage to accept the award for the absent Morricone, and proceeded to praise himself for being the director of the film that garnered the legendary composer his first individual American award. The meaning behind his speech was felt, but the words were self-aggrandizing.
The big film awards of the night are where the Globes became incredibly predictable almost to the letter. Even against some sturdy competition in their respective Supporting Role categories, Kate Winslet took home Golden Globe number 4 for her role as Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs, earning the film its second and final award of the night, while HFPA went down the sentimental road and awarded Sylvester Stallone his very first globe for his return as Rocky Balboa in Creed. Even if it is rather unsurprising, it was wonderful to see Brie Larson topple her seriously venerated competition for her performance in Room, and it will be interesting to see how this first award for her this season affects her chances of Oscar gold going forward.
From here is where we finally began to see one film running away with the remaining awards, and once again, that film belongs to Alejandro G. Iñárritu. He received his first Directing globe for The Revenant, pulling ahead of Ridley Scott and George Miller for their respective films (The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road), and The Revenant’s ride showed no sign of stopping. Leonardo DiCaprio is now one step closer to that long-awaited and coveted Oscar, winning for his performance as explorer and frontiersman Hugh Glass, and the film took the highest honor of the night as Best Film Drama ahead of the incredibly powerful Spotlight. Overall, The Revenant was the big winner for film of the night, leading the pack with three globe wins, with Steve Jobs and The Martian hot on its heels with two each.
Though it’s always a bit of fun to sit up late and watch our favorite celebrities award each other with heavy pieces of marble and metal, this year’s Golden Globes wasn’t as exciting or enjoyable as in previous years, and much of this can be put down to Gervais’ incredibly dry, bored approach to the hosting duties (yes, that’s his shtick, but after a while it becomes annoying) as well as the rushed production values of the whole night. Even if what we are really looking for is some indication of who could win big in upcoming ceremonies, we still want to be entertained, and NBC didn’t deliver this year.
With the winnings being spread as much as they were between the nominees, it was not only the split between Drama and Comedy that defined this year’s Golden Globes’ selections as a bit unpredictable – at least in the television section of the awards – which tells us one thing: 2015 was a great year for film. With both the SAG’s and the BAFTA’s already knocking out a few of the performances and films nominated at the Globes with their respective nominations, it’s almost a surety that they will be the ceremonies that will give a better indication of who to watch out for come the end of February, which begs the question of how much the Globes actually matter in the grand scheme of things. As far as indicating possible Oscar winners, the Globes can still sometimes strike it correctly, but their separation between the genres is ultimately where predicting based on their results becomes difficult. However, with such a spread field and somewhat differing lists of nominees from all of the upcoming ceremonies, this awards season could still be up for grabs for anyone and any film.
Looking ahead to ceremonies where such a genre split doesn’t happen in the same way, it will be interesting to see which nominees and eventual winners from both sides of the genre aisle will be nominated for a chance to win at the Academy Awards.
(Photos copyright: NBC)