BEIRUT: To witness the Golden Globe Awards in the MENA region means to be awake before the break of dawn, which in and of itself is a pretty challenging thing to do.
Nothing makes this activity more regretful than having to sit through an award ceremony that not only is predictable, but is also filled with eye-roll inducing speeches and stances that are silly, over-the-top, and have nothing to do with the celebration of achievements within the cinema and television industry.
Instead, the entirety of the ceremony was dedicated to belittling men who happen to also be white, as well as the many men accused of sexual harassment, albeit after 20 odd years of silence from the industry, and finally the current President of the United States.
One would think this was more of a “roast” and not an award ceremony for film and television.
The ceremony began with a cringe-worthy monologue by Seth Meyers who instead of empathizing with the victims of the sexual harassment infestation in Hollywood, indirectly empathizes with the white men sitting in the room – who are, let’s face it, the true victims of this coup d’etat, for most have done nothing but stay silent and support Hollywood’s current agenda for fear of their jobs and status – sounds like a familiar tale.
The awkward tension in the room could be felt even from the tube, and where there was once glitz and glamour, now is a room filled with celebrities who look like they are attending a funeral instead of an award ceremony.
The ceremony’s wins were beyond predictable – one could quite literally call out the winner before it was announced – and yet all over the press the event was being labeled as “the most unpredictable night of the year.”
Starting the night off, the ever-so-elegant, Nicole Kidman won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Limited Series or TV Film award, for her performance in HBO’s Big Little Lies. Kidman was followed by fellow Laura Dern, who won the award for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Television Limited Series or TV Film.
The HBO mini-series also took home the award for Best Television Limited Series or TV Film.
Sam Rockwell took home a much-deserved award as Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The film garnered more wins with the powerful Frances McDormand winning Best Performance by an Actress, Martin McDonagh winning Best Screenplay, and finally, the film topping the night with the Best Motion Picture Drama win.
First time nominee, Rachel Brosnahan, lead actress in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, won Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy, and comic Aziz Ansari also took home the Best Performance by an Actor version of the same award.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also won Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
On the dramatic end of the spectrum, Elisabeth Moss won for her performance in Hulu's The Handmaid’s Tale, which also not so coincidentally won the Best Television Series Drama, and Sterling K. Brown for his portrayal of Randal in the much-loved NBC family drama, This is Us.
Soarise Ronan and Lady Bird, the film she starred in, took home the awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
As if to confirm thoughts disclosed in The Disaster Artist film review, James Franco won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and brought Tommy Wiseau onto the stage before a whooping and cheering crowd – all under the phony banner of “dreams coming true.”
Speaking of phony, The Greatest Showman, a film which had no place being nominated for anything, took home an award for “This is Me” as Best Original Song. The song might as well become the anthem for the current state in Hollywood.
None of those wins were surprising in the least bit, they were driven by the ceremony’s ideological push.
Gary Oldman, Allison Janney, Ewan McGregor, and Alexandre Skarsgard were also winners during the ceremony.
Guillermo Del Toro won Best Director for his film The Shape of Water and told the audience that his “monsters thank you,” making Del Toro’s speech possibly the most genuine of the entire evening.
His moment, however, was overshadowed by actress Natalie Portman’s passive-aggressive comment when announcing the nominees for the Best Director award.
While director Ron Howard was stating that he was honored to be presenting the award for best director, upon her turn to speak Portman said, “Here are the all-male nominees for Best Director,” a statement to her disappointment that no female directors were nominated.
Looking back on 2017, no “female” director aside from Greta Gerwig would have deserved a nomination, but let us not forget that many “male” directors were also robbed of a nomination including Dennis Villeneuve and Luca Guadagnino, who both delivered powerful films last year.
The most atrocious moment of the entire evening was Oprah Winfrey’s speech after being awarded the honorary Cecil B. Demille Award, an award given for one’s outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.
Instead of taking this moment to truly talk about her journey and why she did what she did to leave such an astounding legacy in the world of film and television, her speech became almost like a presidential campaign speech – resulting in NBC posting on Twitter: “Nothing but respect for OUR future president.”
This is what Hollywood has come to.
Even with all their speeches and faux inclusion, the ceremony did the one thing it always does, it made those within the industry seem like the saviors of mankind as they applaud themselves for doing things that any sane human would do.
It is a shame to witness this downfall of the industry that used to inspire, motivate, and encourage.
In retrospect, wearing black was quite suiting indeed, for we shall all be mourning the death of the Hollywood that once was.
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