Ah, the Golden Globes: always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. It’s the awards show that consistently impresses with its spectacular musical numbers and self-aware comedy – just take a gander at this year’s epic parody of La La Land – but sadly, no amount of glitz or glamour has ever been adequate for it to step out of the shadow of the Academy Awards…
And why is that? After 74 years, the Globes are still considered to be a peg below the Oscars when it comes to prestige. In the past, you probably could’ve put this down to its dual recognition of film and television, but the line between these two has never been more blurred.
Cinema no longer rests upon a high pedestal from which it can stare down its nose at the small screen. Sure, the rise of online streaming has played a major part in this, but the content quality gap began to close long before the existence of Netflix. Over the years we’ve seen an ever-increasing number of shows employ higher calibre writing and directing than the average film. Actors are no longer branded by one platform or the other – often flitting between long and short form projects.
Just take a look at this year’s nominees for Best Drama Series: Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and category winner The Crown all possess a strong audience following and a high production value that can compete with almost any film equivalent. But having said that, how can you possibly compare the greatness of Stranger Things to that of Moonlight (Winner: Best Motion Picture – Drama), for example? It’s an utterly ridiculous proposition. These are two entirely different beasts. So is this where the Globes lose credibility – in trying to cast an even spotlight on such vastly different productions?
For instance, how is it possible that the harrowing portrayal of a rape survivor (Isabelle Huppert, Elle. Winner: Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama) can be considered worthy of equal praise to a nostalgia-addled waitress with questionable singing and dancing skills (Emma Stone, La La Land. Winner: Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy)?
I’m not completely dismissing the concept of splitting the awards categories according to genre, because it does have some merit. When Marisa Tomei took home the 1993 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in My Cousin Vinny, it was believed to be a mistake, but who’s to say a comedic performance requires any less skill than a dramatic one? That’s not the issue at hand. It’s the fact that we generally see a far greater number of outstanding films within the realm of drama than that of comedies or musicals.
But one week after this year’s Globes, is anyone discussing this imbalance? Not at all. What everyone remembers from that night is Meryl Streep and that sobering, emotional gut-punch of a speech. And isn’t what she had to say far more significant than who wore what or who got what trophy?
At the end of the day, that’s what the best films manage to do: cut through all the superficial bullshit to drive home a powerful message. So perhaps perception is wrong. Maybe the Globes have actually transcended the Oscars without us even realising.
Last year the Academy Awards had the world squabbling over the lack of diversity in Hollywood. With films like Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures collecting Golden Globe nominations, we’ve barely heard a peep on the subject this year, and no one seems to care that there were next to no Asian or Hispanic faces in the running for awards.
While the 2016 Oscars took the spotlight off its nominees and became shrouded in a dark cloud of negativity, the 2017 Globes have taken us above and beyond the film industry to acknowledge something of far greater importance than movie magic. All that’s left to do is wait and see what this year’s Academy Awards have to offer.
Full List of Winners
Best Supporting Actor
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals
Best Original Score
La La Land
Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“City of Stars,” La La Land
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Best Animated Film
Best Foreign-Language Film
Damian Chazelle, La La Land
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Emma Stone, La La Land
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
La La Land
Best Actor, Drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress, Drama
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Best Picture, Drama
Best Actor, Television Drama
Billie Bob Thornton, Goliath
Best Actress, Television Series Comedy or Musical
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Best Television Series Comedy or Musical
Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Best Actress, Television Drama
Claire Foy, The Crown
Best Television Drama
The Crown, Netflix
Best Actor, Television Series Comedy or Musical
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Image courtesy of eOne Films