The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards: Honoring Excellence in Television and Film
For 70 years now, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has chosen to honor what they feel is the best in television and film with the Golden Globe Awards. Known as one of the biggest parties in all of Hollywood, this pre-Oscar event is also usually a good predictor of who will win big at both the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards.
This year’s hosts were Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and they were such a wonderful change from the disaster that was Ricky Gervais the last few years. While Gervais generally went way too far with his insulting “jokes,” Fey and Poehler perfectly skirted the line, mixing sharp biting remarks with their wonderful comedic timing. Their genuine appreciation for the HFPA and the stars was evident. Their monologue was one of the highlights of the evening, and throughout the event they kept things funny and fresh.
One of the nice things that the Golden Globes does is to give each of the films nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical a short intro and show a few clips. The presenters for each film usually have a personal connection with the film, such as being one of the stars or producers. So, who better to introduce “Lincoln” than a former President of the United States? President Bill Clinton did a nice job introducing the film, and even managed to make a joke.
John Goodman, one of the stars of the film “Argo,” was joined for that film’s introduction by Tony Mendez, the real-life CIA agent who was the inspiration for the movie. Despite the difficulties hearing Mendez (someone on the crew dropped the ball by not coaching him to stand closer to the microphone), it was a nice decision to include Mendez, so that tribute could be paid to him for his heroic efforts during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis.
This year’s Cecil B. Demille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” went to actress and director Jodie Foster. At the age of 50, she has been in the entertainment industry since she was 3, and has had a wonderful career. Robert Downey, Jr. did a great job presenting her award, giving her an appropriate roasting while allowing his admiration and friendship for Foster to shine. I have to say one of the best moments of the night was when he had a waiter bring her a special plate with an interesting stuffed hamster.
Similar to the Critic’s Choice Awards last week, the winners were spread between a number of films. The big winner of the night was “Les Miserablés,” with the film taking the top honor for Comedy or Musical, and Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway taking their acting categories. “Argo” and “Django Unchained” each took two awards. Several other films took home one award.
With “Argo” taking Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Ben Affleck, some say that “Argo” has a slight lead in the Oscar race, especially with the fact that “Lincoln” has failed to take a number of the awards for which it was nominated. Daniel Day-Lewis did take the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his portrayal of Lincoln, and he will likely get the Academy Award in that category, even if the film does not do as well as originally expected overall.
Another likely winner will be a nice 50th anniversary present for James Bond fans. “Skyfall” is definitely the favorite to win the Best Original Song at the Oscars, given that it has already taken the Critic’s Choice and Golden Globe Awards. Adele was a joy to watch as she accepted her Golden Globe, and you can tell she is genuinely honored and thankful.
I do have one more prediction for the Oscars, and that is “Amour” as Best Foreign Language Film. So far, it is two-for-two, and when a film from that category is also nominated in Best Picture categories, that is indeed an accomplishment.
The big winners in the television categories were “Game Change” and “Homeland,” each taking home three awards, and “Girls” winning two. Once again, cable/pay television is showing dominance over network fare, with HBO and Showtime leading the way.
For a full list of the winners (and nominees), please visit the Golden Globes website. You will also find pictures and video of the event, as well as information on the HFPA and the history of the Golden Globes.
Now, my 4-star rating is based on the telecast itself, which I definitely enjoyed. However, if I had to rate the HFPA, they would not do so well. My issue is not really with the winners, as I don’t truly believe that there were any wrong choices, even if my favorites did not win. No, my issue is with the categories themselves. Some of the choices made by the HFPA I simply do not understand.
The general choice to have separate categories for drama and comedy/musical is a good idea, one that allows for more wonderful performances and works to be honored, as well as being a way to have a separate identity from some other awards. It follows that you would have separate categories for the Best Actor/Actress, thus allowing for both Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence to win major awards. What does not make sense to me is to combine the drama, comedy, and musical films then when awarding the supporting actor/actress awards. I’m not sure what the difference is here … it is as if the HFPA is saying that you cannot compare drama performances to comedy/musical performances, but only for leading roles. If the challenges facing Chastain and Lawrence are sufficiently different to allow them to both be honored, then why not be able to honor Sally Field for her performance in “Lincoln” alongside Hathaway?
Likewise, I question the television categories. There are differences between making a regular television series and a miniseries or made-for-TV movie, as evidenced in the two Best Television Series categories and the main actor/actress categories. However, when we get to the supporting actor/actress, they are all thrown together? How is it fair to compare the two? Generally, actors work longer on a full season of a regular series than they do on a miniseries or TV movie, and it just seems wrong to judge them against each other.
There are a couple of awards left before the Oscars at the end of February. The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented on January 27th, and will be simulcast live on both TNT and TBS. The Director’s Guild of America will honor outstanding directing in film, television, and commercials at a dinner on February 2nd. How will those match up to the Critic’s Choice and Golden Globes? Will any of these awards turn out to be an accurate prediction of the Academy Awards? No one really knows, but I do know one thing. All of these awards are important, as all are given by different bodies, and all of the nominees and winners are worthy of these honors. Check back here often for more on awards season!