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The 2015 Golden Globes: The Highs, The Lows, The WTF

As an awards season cynic, it is my civic duty to preface this piece with a stark rejoinder to the “what do these Golden Globe wins mean for the Oscar race?” overcast-y forecasts: they mean very little. If someone were to construct a Venn Diagram to highlight the possible relation between the finite sets of Academy voters (roughly 6,000) and Hollywood Foreign Press members (just shy of 100), there would be a lot of whitespace in those concentric circles.

Buzz and momentum are paramount in any political campaign -and that’s all awards season really is- but wins, losses and snubs at the Globes, in the grand scheme of Oscar things, are two tears in a bucket. Word to Amy Adams and Eddie Redmayne winning the acting categories for BIG EYES and THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, respectively (biggest head-scratching moments of the evening).

But who cares. That isn’t why we tune into the Globes. We watch for the silliness, the eye-rolling, and for the chance to see our celebrity deities have profoundly human moments (either genuinely or gin-fueled. Shout out to the open bar!). It’s like the VMAs for the high art crowd. And last night’s ceremony didn’t disappoint.


Girl Power:
It was badass to see so many women vocalize their disdain for gendered double standards in an industry that pats itself on the back for progressive ideals. Maggie Gyllenhaal took home the trophy for Best Actress in a Miniseries for her performance in THE HONORABLE WOMAN and dedicated her speech to the breath of fresh air that was a wealth of complicated, three dimensional roles for women this year.

Legends Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda came out on stage to not only remind us how under appreciated they are as comedic actresses (rewatch NINE TO FIVE for your own health) but to also invert the vacuous “can women be funny?” conversation while presenting the Best Actor in a Comedy Series award. Be sure to tune in for their upcoming Netflix show, GRACE AND FRANKIE.

To sum up the solidarity of women’s attitude towards Hollywood sexism and ageism, I’ll let co-host and Tina Fey-superior Amy Poehler take us home: “BOYHOOD proves there are still roles for women over 40, as long as you get hired when you are under 40.”

Better roles for women with melanin should be this year’s goal as well.

TV’s Inclusivity:
While cinema seemed to tow the quotidian line for Hollywood’s lack of diversity in 2014, television proved to do quite the opposite, and being rewarded for it felt like a cultural watershed. Amazon’s TRANSPARENT secured the win for Best TV Musical or Comedy with its star Jeffrey Tambor nabbing Best Actor, and rightfully so. TRANSPARENT‘s creator Jill Soloway delivered a poignant speech in support of the trans community (of which her own mother is a part) and also honored Leelah Alcorn, a transgendered teen who committed suicide this year who, in her note, blamed her own family’s Christian bullying for making her feel hopeless.


The star of CW’s JANE THE VIRGIN Gina Rodriguez won the network it’s first Globe with her Best Actress in TV Musical or Comedy victory. Her speech reflected the desire for more cultural representation in the arts. Like her role in VIRGIN, roles for actors of color should be viewed through a universal lens, not as some “other” relegated to offsetting the white default. As Ms. Rodriguez so eloquently put it: her win was for “a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.”



The Imitation Lame:
Alan Turing biopic THE IMITATION GAME got no love last night, and it was was a sobering reminder to filmmakers that you can’t continually produced regurgitated, watered-down Oscar bait and expect to coast through the awards circuit. The movie is too safe and, while Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a respectable performance as Turing, it’s all fluff.

I’m pretty sure Amy Adams winning Best Actress for BIG EYES was to placate drill sergeant Harvey Weinstein, who distributed both films and has no problem trading blood for awards.


The March Continues:
was the movie to beat last night…and unfortunately that’s exactly what went down. The Ava DuVernay-helmed masterpiece centered around the voting rights march in Alabama was neglected in every category save for its win for Best Original Song (“Glory”, written by Common and John Legend).

During a ceremony where George Clooney received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime (53 years old is a lifetime?) Achievement Award for his humanitarian work, it seemed out of touch that a film about MLK’s and young activists’ sacrifices for humanity – and the film most relevant to America’s current political climate – went completely ignored.



Kim Jong Ew:
The Globes had many peaks last night, but the most cringe-worthy valley came in the form of North-Koreans-as-punchline. During a tone deaf bit that should’ve been abandoned at dress rehearsal, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler brought out a North Korean film critic (Margaret Cho fully committed to racist caricature in pale makeup and “me love you longtime” vocal cadence) to take a few jabs at THE INTERVIEW and free speech. Ironically, Seth Rogen’s flick was far more sensitive to the North Korean people, and Randall Park’s portrayal of Kim Jong-un had a vulnerability to it and actually humanized the despot. This was just lazy.

Not surprised that Tina Fey would endorse this bit, but Cho, who broke ground as an Asian-American comic and actress (ALL-AMERICAN GIRL was the first sitcom vehicle to prominently feature an Asian family), deserves better.


See you at the Oscars (when it actually matters)!

*correct spelling brought to you in part by the NSA*

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!