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Golden Globes 2019: Our Thoughts
January 9, 2019
The Golden Globes perhaps no longer wish to be the forbearers of the award season, with this year’s awards seem to have muddled predictions somewhat. A year that in some respects proved problematic from the get-go, with nominations showing the representation of female directors declining to just 8% of films, a three-point reduction from the preceding year. On the flip-side, six out of the seven women Golden Globes winners were over 40.
And in some respects diversity did reign supreme. Presenter Sandra Oh was the first person of Asian descent to host the show. In the Best Motion Picture – Drama category, three out of the five films featured black leads. Bohemian Rhapsody, along with TV shows The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and A Very English Scandal, all LGBTQ+ stories, have received accolades.
Bohemian Rhapsody caused most upset, receiving th Best Motion Picture – Drama gong, over the aniticpated favourite, A Star is Born. The film was tipped to win in multiple categories, but only received one for Best Song for ‘Shallow’ (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson). Possibly a shock to some, since Bohemian Rhapsody received mixed, mostly negative, reviews and was marred by controversy with director Bryan Singer fired mid-way due to rumoured clashes with Malek and as well as being plagued by charges of alleged sexual misconduct. However, Malek’s performance as Freddy Mercury was the film’s highpoint and was rewarded accordingly with Best Actor- Drama.
The award season may not be as potent for Barry Jenkins this year as it was two years ago with Moonlight. His current film If Beale Street Could Talk signalled a much more muted response, if indeed the Golden Globes are an indicator. The film picked up just one gong from its three nominations, for Best Supporting Actress for Regina King.
The winner for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical is Green Book. I feel that perhaps I can’t comment on the film, or on the section properly as I’ve seen three out for the five films, Vice and Green Book have yet to be released in the UK. Also isn’t A Star is Born, supposed to be in this category? Is it not a musical? Or Bohemian Rhapsody for that matter? Sadly, for me that is, Green Book did beat The Favourite, which is, not for a better word, my favourite. A gloriously alternative period comedy-drama about a love triangle between Queen Anne and her two ladies-in waiting. A film I felt is deserved of much distinction and it pains me to see its omission from the Best Director category for Yiorgos Lanthimos. That prize went to Alfonso Cuaron, for his admittedly equally mesmeric limited theatrical release, Netflix streamed drama, Roma. The hype for the section predictably had the Hollywood favourites pitted against each other, Cuaron and Cooper, with Cuaron taking it home.
Due to regulations, Roma being a Spanish speaking film, it couldn’t be included in the Best Motion Picture section and was entered as Foreign language film. An unfortunate turn of events, as it left exceptional indie films such as Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum, Lukas Dhont’s Girl or Hirokazu Koreeda’s wonderful Shoplifters with the impossible task of competing against Cuaron, a Hollywood director with much larger budget. Language restriction is not applicable for the Academy Awards, and Roma will be competing in the Best Picture category. Also again the Globes are not an accurate predictor, if we are to compare with last year the German entry winner In The Fade was nowhere to be seen at the Oscars.
The evening was bittersweet for Lady Gaga with a win for Best Song but lost out to Glen Close for The Wife for Best Actress – Drama. Gaga was naturally the most hyped to win, carving herself a trajectory on par with other stars such as Streisand or Cher managing to bodly and successfully make the crossover into acting. Close gave an impassioned speech followed by standing ovation, sending out a message to all women to make a point of seeking personal fulfilment and to follow their dreams.
The new state of affairs, signals that the Oscars for Best Actress maybe a battle between Olivia Coleman who won Best Actress – Comedy or Musical for her role in The Favourite. Coleman’s exquisite riotously mercurial Queen Anne, a performance that is thankfully duly noted and deserved of all awards in my eyes. However, she is up against Close with her always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride seven times nomination and unsurprisingly the Academy, which has a habit of doing so, will give her the gong for a life time’s worth of work. The Wife is a film that I personally didn’t rate that much a mediocre melodrama at its best but undeniably Close’s performance in it is flawless.
A noteworthy mention is the nomination of 15-year old Elsie Fisher for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical for her mind-blowing enactment of an awakward adolescent in the stellar indie teenage flick Eighth Grade. As mentioned, Regina King took Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk, her role as a dutiful mother was the film’s highlight and is now predicted to see her triumph all the way to the Oscars. She did manage to sadly beat both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz who were both equally jaw-droppingly dazzling in The Favourite.
The male categories proved much less exciting. Cooper missed out to out to Malek in Best Actor- Drama. I personally thought it was a career best for Cooper as the dishevelled alcohol fuelled has-been. Christian Bale won Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for portraying US vice president Dick Chenney Vice. In his acceptance speech Bale bizarrely thanked Satan among other people, possibly referring to Trump? Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting for Green Book and in the same category notable highlights include Timothee Chalamet for Beautiful Boy and Adam Driver for Black Klansman.
For TV, the highlights included The Americans winning Best Television Series – Drama beating British entries Bodyguard and Killing Eve as well Sam Esmail’s outstanding Homecoming and the TV power duo’s Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk vogueing ballroom drama Pose. British actor Richard Madden did win Best Actor in Television Series – Drama for his role in the Bodyguard, further contributing to the significant figure of British talent getting noticed this year.
Sandra Oh proved multi-tasking, along with presenting she also received Best Actress In A Television Series – Drama for her role in Killing Eve, breaking another record for being the first Asian descendant to win multiple Golden Globes, she beat notable performances including Elizabeth Moss who previously reigned supreme at previous Globes for The Handmaid’s Tale and Julia Roberts for her role as psychotherapist in Homecoming.
Elsewhere Murphy further flexed his TV power muscles with The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and its lead Darren Criss both receiving gongs; Best Limited Series and Best Actor In A Limited Series, beating other exceptional entries such as the Amy Adams starring Sharp Objects and A Very English Scandal. The latter did receive a prize for Best Supporting Actor for Ben Whishaw.
Overall there was a usual obviousness to the award ceremony, with the nomination choices and those awarded. I felt there some omissions of films and performances that should have been acknowledged such as Hereditary and its lead Toni Collette, also films like The Rider or Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here failed to get a mention. It should be noted that sometimes judges do nominate but rarely give awards the more leftfield entries, like in the case of Elsie Fischer. This is not surprising or anything new, if one thinks of all the exceptional films and performances that we’ve covered here on Candid Magazine over past year that aren’t even under the radar for these panels and judges.
Considering that the majority of the nominees are major studio productions with big budgets, then it all feels distorted and unreflective of the film industry as a whole. You can analyse and dissect the Golden Globe and other awards ten times over and still not make any sense of it and it is unfortunate that the industry still does pay attention and revere their choices. As an audience you can always take it with a pinch of salt, just some glitzy glamour, feel-good fun.
The Golden Globes took place on the 6thJanuary, 2019.
For full list of winner visit the Golden Globe website.
Word by Daniel Theophanous @danny_theo_.
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