This year’s awards season arrived with the often silly and sometimes sensational Golden Globes. But, the show was neither silly nor sensational. Don’t get me wrong. It had its moments but nothing over the top. Not like Jack Nicholson’s speech in 2003 while on valium, although Joaquin Phoenix came close with his rambling acceptance speech for Best Actor for his role as the Joker. The show didn’t have much social commentary, either. Nothing like the #MeToo movement in 2018. What it did have was Gervais — again.
As expected, Gervais insulted and offended his way through his fifth appearance as host of the Golden Globes, but he didn’t care. Did he ever? In fact, Gervais made it clear he didn’t care. He never cared. And, no one should care if he insulted them because everyone was going to die anyway. At times, Gervais’ monolog did feel like a living hell.
Gervais did promise that this was his last time hosting the awards. We can only hope that he puts it in writing as Lorenzo Soria, President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asked. If Gervais’ performance wasn’t a surprise, what was?
Sam Mendes’ film 1917 about World War I was based on a story told to him by his grandfather. When Mendes won for Best Director eclipsing the likes of Martin Scorsese, some might have been prepared for it to win Best Drama. But for the majority, it was as much of a surprise as Mendes’ win for Best Director. Given the amount of hype for Parasite, The Irishman, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Mendes’ two wins were a definite, but award-worthy, surprise.
As Ramy Youssef joked in his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Comedy, “Look, I know you guys haven’t seen my show.” Ramy received the award for his performance in the Hulu series Ramy. The series, which was renewed for a second season, revolves around an Arab Muslim who is trying to balance his spiritual life as a Muslim with a Millennial perspective on life. His journey takes place in a politically divided neighborhood in New Jersey. Here’s hoping the award brings the series a wider audience.
The Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy went to Awkwafina. Amid a pretty white night, she became the first Asian-American lead actress to win a Globe for her role in The Farewell. The film is about a Chinese-American immigrant trying to shield her grandmother from a grim diagnosis. In her speech, Awkwafina thanked Lulu Wang, the movie’s female filmmaker, “You gave me this chance, the chance of a lifetime, and you taught me so much.”
Maybe the biggest surprise of the night was what didn’t happen. Netflix’s streaming service received a total of 17 nominations. It only won two awards. Olivia Coleman for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown and Laura Dern for her role in Marriage Story.
Despite its four best picture nominations, only Marriage Story left with a Globe. The Two Popes, The Irishman, and Dolemite is my Name did not win a single award.
Unbelievable, a Netflix TV production, was nominated for four Globes, but did not win in any category. Three-time nominees Barry, Big Little Lies, The Kominsky Method, and The Morning Show also left empty-handed.
Other films with multiple nominations that didn’t win an award included Frozen 2, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Harriet, Knives Out, Little Women, The Lion King, and Pain and Glory. Two-time TV nominees that left without a Globe were Killing Eve, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Catch-22, and The Politician.
Ellen DeGeneres may have received the Carol Burnett Award, but Kate McKinnon’s introductory speech had people fighting back tears. McKinnon started her speech by listing what Ellen had given her. First on her list were two pairs of “Stan Smith” sneakers, but the last item on her list made for the most moving moment of the night.
Fighting back tears, McKinnon said:
If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought, ‘I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBTQ people on TV.’ More than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here. So thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot. A shot at a good life.Kate McKinnon
As Tom Hanks started his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award, you might have wondered where the unflappable Hanks went. He apologized for his cold and blamed it for his emotional state as he thanked his wife and kids for their years of support. He swore he wasn’t emotional at home!
In his advice-filled speech, Tom focused on how actors learn from actors or others in the industry. He then shared some advice he received during his early days at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. It was 1977, and his first professional job as an intern. The cast and crew had partied a little too much the night before and were struggling. Dan Sullivan, the director, yelled at them. “You guys, you actors, you know what your job is? You have to show up on time, know the text, and have a head full of ideas. Otherwise, I can’t do my job.”
For Hanks, that was the best advice he ever received as an actor. Be on time, so people don’t have to come looking for you, which received resounding applause from the audience. Must be a pet peeve of actors? Understand the entire script, not just your lines. Have ideas, whether they are used or not. Then, you’ve done your job.
Thank you, Tom, for doing your job well.
Michelle Williams has delivered impressive acceptance speeches not once but twice. Her Emmys speech on equal pay received an immediate reaction on social media. Her Golden Globe speech on women’s rights had social media chanting Williams for President. As she accepted her award for Best Actress in a limited series or made-for-TV film, Williams said that she wouldn’t be where she is without a woman’s right to choose. She encouraged women to vote in their own self-interest because men have been doing it for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. She ended with the reminder that women “are the largest voting body in the country. Let’s make it look more like us.”
As with much of this year’s Golden Globes, the biggest surprise was what didn’t happen. There were a few statements about Australia’s fires, but no resounding applause when the fires were mentioned.No pledges of monetary support, although several individuals did tell people to donate.
After announcing Russell Crowe’s win for Best Actor in a limited series, Jenifer Aniston read a statement from Russell Crowe, who remained in Australia: “Make no mistake the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is.” His statement was the most concise regarding the Australian fires. His fellow Australian Cate Blanchett acknowledged the fires as she presented an award.
Several presenters and winners gave a nod to current events. But, Patricia Arquette and Michelle Williams were the only two to comment directly on current events. Arquette used her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in a limited series or made-for-TV movie to express concern over the heightened U.S. and Iranian tensions and to ask people to vote in 2020.
Surprisingly, the attendees left the outside world at the door this year, choosing to ignore all controversy and current events. Instead, they used the time to celebrate what makes Hollywood unique. Who can blame them? Don’t we all need to escape from the world once and awhile?