The Golden Globes are typically known as the most-laid back award shows out of all the television/movie recognition ceremonies. Actors and actresses are drinking and dining while watching the awards, which leads to funny camera shot expressions and sometimes hilarious moments when they are presenting. This year’s ceremony, however, had a more subdued tone and wasn’t as light and fun as previous years. That’s okay though and was completely in line with what I would have expected after a very stressful 2016. Beyond just the chaotic election, Hollywood lost a great deal of talented people who made a huge impact on music, tv, and movies, and many actors’ careers. It was hard not to remember these losses in the first awards ceremony after these events.
Despite this more serious tone, the show was overall enjoyable. While I don’t think Jimmy Fallon should be the host again, his opening number was fantastic way to begin the ceremony. This year’s big film was La La Land, a modern day musical. As music is part of what makes Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show a success, it was only fitting he would replicate the La La Land’s opening scene for his opening scene. It was funny and catchy and kept in line with the Golden Globes’s normally light tone.
La La Land ( starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) was the biggest win of the night, with the movie getting the acting, best picture, music, and director awards. This movie has a strong chance of winning the Oscar Awards too given how closely Golden Globe wins predict the Oscar wins. Ryan Gosling’s acceptance speech was incredibly honorable. He made it a point to acknowledge the role his partner, Eva Mendes, played in his success with this movie; she raised their daughter, was pregnant, and dealt with her brother’s cancer. Often times women are not acknowledged for how their maintaining the family life allows the man to advance his career, so it was nice for Ryan to bring that to the forefront. This speech gave me a newfound appreciation for him as a person.
One of my favorite moments of the show came early on in the Awards Ceremony when Tracee Ellis Ross won for her role in blackish. I’ve appreciated Tracee Ellis Ross from her role on Girlfriends (an underrated show about black single women), but appreciated her more after she addressed Hollywood’s diversity issues head-on and told people of color (whose stories are underepresented at times) she hears them. I particularly liked her joy at her life and embracing her age: “It’s nice at 44.” Hollywood in particular is not nice to women over 4o, relegating them to less substantial roles or forgetting them entirely. It’s nice to see Ross is getting her success at a later age and enjoying her age despite Hollywood’s views and pressure.
After Tracee Ellis Ross won, I was also ecstatic than Donald Glover had a win right after that for Atlanta. It was refreshing to see two black actors win back to back, something we don’t see at all during award shows.
I was a little disappointed that Fences didn’t get as many awards as it could have (Denzel Washington deserved best actor and I’m surprised he wasn’t nominated for Best Director) , but am glad that at least Viola Davis won. My respect for her grows as I get more exposure to her. I loved her acting in Fences but am particularly in awe of her grace in her speeches tonight -both for her acceptance speech and her introducing Meryl Streep. She is my new role model for speech delivery. If I could have even half the poise she does when I am speaking publicly, I would be lucky.
The most talked about speech was Meryl Streep. While she was accepting the Cecil B Demille award, she spoke on the importance of diversity, empathy, and respect. The speech was extremely powerful and summed up the grievances many currently feel with the current political climate seeming to have lost decency. While people are upset Streep used her speech to discuss politics, I am scratching my head wondering why given that art (which includes movies and tv shows, not just plays, books, and paintings) is exactly the platform to discuss social issues and make a statement. This has been the underlying role of art since it’s earliest forms.
Meryl Streep ended her speech in tribute to her late friend Carrie Fisher, who has said “Take your broken heart and turn into art.” This was a lovely way to honor her friend, along with the sweet montage that for her and her late mother. It was a beautiful compilation of their past works and used Debbie’s singing in the background. A wonderful tribute.
In addition to the strong speeches, I am particularly glad the awkward banter between the presenters was eliminated (see Jon Hamm’s weird transition between natural speaking to canned lines as a reason why the banter is horrible). The only exception was when Amy Schumer came on to present Goldie Hawn. I had no opinion either way on Amy Schumer until last year’s ceremony, when she and her friend Jennifer Lawrence hammed it up and overacted in an attempt to get laughs. It wasn’t funny and it was obvious they were trying too hard. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing her present again after that. She seemed to be a person that just tries too hard sometimes. She did a similar thing in this year’s presentation with Goldie Hawn. I hope the Golden Globes do not invite her back to present again. She just makes the presentation process even worse than it already is with the canned banter. If the award shows really wants funny, natural banter, they should stick with Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell, who killed it with their banter. Or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Overall, while the show was more somber, I thought it flowed well and didn’t feel long at all. The Golden Globes was a great reminder of all the quality work out there, particular with the movies. I haven’t been impressed by the movies since 2012, when films such as Life of Pi, Lincoln, Argo, graced our screens. This year feels like it is return to that quality.