Brief Golden Globes Recap
There were a few surprises, as well as a few head scratchers, at last night’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony, telecast live from the Beverly Hills Hotel Ball.
The Golden Globes used to be a zippy, fun affair, but after watching last night, I wonder if they are taking a page (the wrong page) from the Oscar telecast; maybe two pages: tedium and over length. Entertainment was scarce even though GG has a reputation for half the room being drunk during the telecast. The opening routine by Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh was painfully unfunny. It was good to see an Asian actress host, but Sandra isn’t known for her comedy chops, and she didn’t have a lot of chemistry with Andy. Even though Samberg has more experienced in comedy, than Oh, she was actually better than him. The Golden Globes do their own thing and it isn’t unusual for them to vote for a winner who doesn’t win the Oscar. Even rarer is the occasional win where an actor or actress wins a GG and isn’t even nominated for an Oscar. This happened a few years ago when Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the Golden Globe for “Nocturnal Animals” and he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for Moonlight that year. Last night Mahershala won the Golden Globe award for Green Book.
Green Book as won for best film musical or comedy, (it's more like a dramedy) and for best screenplay. Watertown native Viggo Mortensen was nominated for best actor in a comedy/musical for Green Book but lost to Christian Bale who played former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice. Mortensen has been nominated for a SAG award for the same role, won the National Board of Review award and is expected to be nominated for the Oscar.
Both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga were shut out of the best acting categories for drama, even if A Star is born felt like a musical. But then again, if you consider A Star is Born in the “musical category” you would have to then consider Bohemian Rhapsody in that same category. Rami Malek beat Bradly Cooper for best actor in the drama category for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury. But the bigger upset seems to have been when Lady Gaga, considered the favorite, for best actress in a drama lost. Glenn Close unexpectedly won for the small independent film The Wife. (which I loved by the way, check out my review here.) Gaga was expected to win, and Close looked flabbergasted when her name was called. She most likely had nothing prepared, that makes it even more impressive that she pulled out one of the most memorable and inspirational speeches of the night. Speaking of speeches: Jeff Bridges, what the hell happened when you picked up the Cecil B. DeMille award? You knew you were going to win and you had plenty of time to write something, even if it was just notes. What a rambling mess that speech was, ending with a bizarre reference to trim tabs. He seemed high, disjointed and as always, was a challenge to understand. I have nothing against Jeff Bridges as an actor, but poor preparation made him look like an amateur, or worse ungrateful.
Compare this with the fantastic speech Carol Burnett delivered. Carol Burnett became the recipient of the first award named after her. The Carol Burnett award, is to television what the Cecil B. DeMille award is to film. Burnett (five time Golden Globe winner) who was a trailblazer in television with her variety show that ran eleven seasons and won an astonishing 23 Emmys. Burnett who had an almost Dickensian childhood, growing up in a seedy neighborhood in Hollywood, was gracious, wise, composed and poised, and funny. At 85 years old she is a revered, lovable legend that had a great shining moment.
The biggest head-scratcher was the win for Bohemian Rhapsody, not only because it should have been in the musical or comedy category, but because the film didn’t receive nominations for director, or writer, and it has received mostly negative reviews from critics. Insiders say the Hollywood Foreign Press, even though they gave A Star is Born five nominations wasn’t as wowed by the Bradley Cooper opus as professionals who actually work in the film industry. So perhaps they wanted to teach the film or the hype a lesson. A Star is Born, in my opinion, isn’t a great film, but it is a good film, and certainly more cohesive and emotionally involving than Bohemian Rhapsody.
My other favorite win of the evening, after Glenn Close, was the win for The Americans for best television drama-HUGE FAN.
Oscar voting begins today, and is open for one week. The Oscar nominations will then be revealed on January 22.