Have you seen Don McKellar?

7 Things We Learned From the 71st Golden Globes

With a another calendar year worth of new films and shows under our belt, we the fans get to gather around the TV (and Twitter) to watch our favorite stars duke it out over golden statues for their work on the films and television series we connected with, all  while wearing immaculate suits and elegant dresses. Last night was the 71st Golden Globes, and while the night was full of familiar faces and predictable winners, it was the looming possibility of upset underdog victories, awkward/drunken speeches and rowdy behavior that keeps the audience from switching the channel. And boy did last night’s broadcast deliver. The Golden Globes have always been the barometer for what to expect at the Oscars, and the tone has definitely been set: Expect the unexpected.

There is no season like Award Season!

1.  Maybe an open bar starting at 3:30pm isn’t such a great idea.
While it may make for great (in the “train wreck” sense of the word) television, a bunch of drunk celebrities slurring through what could have been eloquent speeches is not the best look…especially for the older, more distinguished thespians in the room.  There was Jaqueline Bisset (accepting for Best Supporting Actress in the BBC/Starz television series Dancing on the Edge) awkwardly rambling through the play-off music about her haters and holistic beauty tips; Diane Keaton’s cringe-worthy rendition of a Girl Scout anthem to honor Woody Allen (even creepier considering Woody’s pedophilia accusations); as well Emma Thompson’s high-heels-in-one-hand-and-a-martini-glass-in-the-other presentation, we learned that when some actors booze, they lose… a lot of their prestige.


2.  This Award Season is Comeback Season.
Two of the night’s highest honors went to actors in the midst of their own personal career comebacks: Jared Leto and Mathew McConaughey (coincidentally for their work in the same film: the powerful Dallas Buyers Club). Dallas Buyers Club marks Leto’s return to film after a six year hiatus that included a monumentally successful foray into music with his 30 Seconds to Mars rock outfit. McConaughey’s renaissance is defined on different terms; while he has continued to make films consistently throughout the years, his career had taken a creative nosedive, pigeonholing himself as a rom-com typecast. His decision to spurn these unchallenging characters for more complex, artistically exacting roles (he lost damn near 50 pounds to portray an AIDS patient in DBC) has proven to be all the more triumphant. Comeback Kids.


3. Jennifer Lawrence is Queen.
The Youngest-in-Charge is not only charming, self-deprecating, and sharp-witted in promotional interviews and press junkets; her award ceremonies candor is also a breath of fresh air in an industry full of self-importance and feigned humility. J. Law started off the night with a hilarious photo bombing of Taylor Swift (no one knows why she was even there) on the Red Carpet. More importantly, her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech for her role in American Hustle felt completely genuine, plus it illustrated her child-like appreciation of film and two-time collaborator David O. Russell’s canon (she shouted out his cult classics I Heart Huckabees and Spanking the Monkey). Finally an actress talented and likeable enough to get Julia Roberts all the way outta here.


Hollywood is still embarrassingly Black and White.
For all its progressive posturing, Hollywood still has an ugly race problem. There is an entire thesis worth of talking points regarding media’s culpability in the perpetuation of stereotypes and the shameful glass ceiling for actors/actresses/writers/directors of color, and this year’s Golden Globe was just another revealing microcosm of that. There were more black nominees this year than ever before, yet not one person of color was able to grace the stage to accept a statue for an individual category. 12 Years A Slave is the only exception, with director Steve McQueen sharing the Best Picture of the Year award with his cast, crew and producers (one of those producers being Brad Pitt, who, whether he meant to or not, McQueen damningly admitted no one in the industry had any interest in making this film until he was attached to the project). Then there was Tina Fey’s lazy, un-landable joke that sexualized the few black actors in the room (a riff on The Black List television show) that highlighted just how out of touch the people of Hollywood are and how detrimental white privilege remains. Here’s to hoping the Oscars are brave enough to tip the scale.


Andy Samberg is King.
Allow me to take a brief departure from film with this one. Say what you want about the SNL-alum’s particular comedic bent, but Andy Samberg is having one hell of a victory lap. His smart, original lampooning of cop shows Brooklyn-99 not only took home the Golden Globe for Best TV Series (Comedy) while still only half-way through its 1st season, but Samberg himself shocked the world with his win for Best Actor in a TV Series over seasoned veterans such as Don Cheadle, Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman and Jim Parsons. His acceptance speech was even more poignant, abstaining from his improvisational humor to offer the sincerest of appreciation. With Brooklyn-99 receiving a full season order from Fox as well as the imminent massive ratings boost it will witness from landing the highly coveted post-Super Bowl time slot, King Samberg will be a television mainstay for the foreseeable future. If this means no more That’s My Boycaliber films, then it’s a win-win!

Andy Samberg is King

6. There is a new Spike in town.

In my humble opinion, Her was the greatest film of 2013. But while the Hollywood Foreign Press didn’t share that same sentiment, the fact that Spike Jonze was awarded the Best Screenplay for that film is validating enough. The writer-director has been delivering intricate, humanistic, creatively meta films since his Hollywood debut in 1999 with Being John Malkovich  (as well as his iconic music videos for the likes of Kanye West and The Beastie Boys), but it seems like now the award academies are finally paying attention. Spike’s originality and brilliance is irreproachable, and his dichotomy as an artist further proves his ability to reflect both ends of the emotional spectrum (The guy wrote Her and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa simultaneously). Spike Jonze has solidified himself amongst the greats, and at age 44, has the potential to surpass them.


7.  Diddy needs to host an award show already.
This isn’t even up for debate. The man is a natural entertainer and he loves the spotlight. Not only his spotlight, but other people’s spotlight as well. In true Puffy fashion, he walked out onto the stage during what was supposed to be Usher’s presenter spot. Then he briefly stole the mic from Best Original Score winner Alex Ebert to let the world know that Ebert was partying on Puff’s boat in St. Barth’s (which Ebert quickly countered with an awkwardly funny anecdote about Puff  grabbing him from behind, unbuttoning his coat jacket and encouraging him to “let it flow!”). Whether it was Ciroc-induced or not, Diddy kept the energy levels high every second he was on stage. I like hosts who keep the viewers, the award recipients, and the censors on their toes. Consider this my vote for Diddy (and if a co-host is needed, Robert Downey Jr.) to host the 2015 Oscars. Take that.


Erik Abriss

Erik Abriss is a writer living in Los Angeles. He knew when he was voted "Adam Sandler Look-Alike" for his 7th grade yearbook superlatives his movie nerd personality was solidified. Follow him on twitter (@Jew_Chainz) for more incendiary views on all things film. Goonies never say die!