Golden Globes: Politics and “La La Land”

By: Carter Caldwell

On 8 January 2017, the 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held to honor those films and television shows of 2016 that proved to please viewers and critics.  Works among those honored include LaLa Land (seven nominations, seven wins), Moonlight (six nominations, one win), The Night Manager (four nominations, three wins), and The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (five nominations, two wins).  

The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Fallon (who received mixed reviews for his performance), opened with a drawn-out, satirical rendition of “Another Day of Sun,” the opening song of LaLa Land.  Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the musical film grabbed the hearts of critics and viewers alike, as demonstrated by its seven-for-seven record-setting performance.   Among those awards it won were Best Motion Picture -Musical or Comedy, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.  In lieu of the ceremony, some felt that the film’s success may have obscured other films of equal or greater value, especially dramas such as Moonlight.  

Conversely, the television awards were distributed much more evenly, with no series winning more than 3 awards.  That miniseries, BBC One’s The Night Manager got Tom Hiddleston his first Golden Globe, although he later admitted his speech, which some criticized as “a compliment to himself,” was “inelegantly expressed,” reportedly as a result of nerves.  Hiddleston’s costar, Olivia Colman, won the award for Best Supporting Actress, but was unfortunately not able to attend the ceremony.  Later, Colman said she was “gutted” to have missed out on the honor.

Just when you thought you were done hearing about politics, prominent actress Meryl Streep criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s mockery of a disabled reporter during her acceptance speech (Streep was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”).  However, as The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah was quick to point out, Streep did at one point state that if the media people were kicked out of Hollywood, the American people would “have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts.”  In response to this, UFC President Dana White stated he did not expect Streep to understand the arts of MMA, while promoter Scott Coker invited her to attend an event.  Despite this, the ceremony garnered 20.02 million viewers, an 8% increase from the previous ceremony.

The award show marks the first of many in 2017, with five more to follow this month, 13 in February, and three more throughout the rest of the year.  Notably, February will bring the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted Academy Awards whose nominations will be announced on 24 January, the Annie Awards which honor animation, and the satirical Golden Raspberry Awards, which will “honor” he worst films of 2016.

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