» Movies » SHOCKING night at the Golden Globes!

SHOCKING night at the Golden Globes!

By Aseem Chhabra
January 07, 2019 16:09 IST
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Why were two of 2018's critically panned films awarded?! exclaims Aseem Chhabra.

Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

It was a shocking night.

Most observers seemed beyond surprised when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- a Los Angeles-based organisation with members writing for international publications -- chose to give top awards to two of 2018's critically panned films.

In awarding the Golden Globes to Bohemian Rhapsody (Best Motion Picture, Drama) and Green Book (Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy), the HFPA took the safe, populist route by picking films that were crowd pleasers, but have been criticised for handling subjects like sexuality and race in a simplistic and even regressive manner.

Even more stunning was Green Book winning the screenplay award at the expense of favorites like Roma, If Beale Street Could Talk and The Favourite.

Some observers tweeted that the HFPA members have no affiliation with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, suggesting that these wins will have no impact on the Oscars.

But this is where they wrong.

The voting for the Oscar nominations starts on January 7 and goes on until January 14.

During this period, the studios behind Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book will go overboard in promoting their films.

People often try to belittle the Golden Globes, especially given that the HFPA has fewer than 100 voting members, but the awards do affect the Oscar race.

But all award ceremonies have some upsets and that is what makes the shows fun to watch.


Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The HFPA did right in honouring Glenn Close as Best Actress, Drama, for a little seen, but beautifully made indie film The Wife.

Close gave an emotionally charged acceptance speech about women following their dreams.

'I'm thinking of my mom who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life,' Close said, trying to overcome her tears of joy and surprise. 'And in her 80s, she said to me, "I feel I haven't accomplished anything." And it was so not right. I feel what I've learned through this whole experience is that... (women) have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams.'

'We have to say, "I can do that and I should be allowed to do that".'

Close, 71, who said she has been in the acting business for 45 years, previously won two Golden Globes for her television work.

She has received six Academy Award nominations, but is yet to win.

That could change this year.

Close has a very strong chance of being nominated and winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Wife.

But she will face solid competition from Olivia Colman, Globes winner for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy, for her delightful performance in The Favourite.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Also waiting in the wings is first-time actress Lady Gaga who has won a lot of praise for playing Ally in A Star is Born.

Bradley Cooper's maiden directorial venture only won a single Golden Globe for Gaga's song Shallow.

But the film -- a huge box office hit, having earned over $390 million worldwide -- still has potential to score high at the Oscars.

Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/NBC Universal via Getty Images

Two of the popular wins were in the supporting acting category.

No one would fault the HFPA in recognising the talents of two very deserving African American actors, Mahershala Ali (Green Book) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk).

King got a standing ovation when she ended her acceptance speech by saying, 'I am making a vow to make sure that everything that I produce, it's 50 percent women. And I just challenge anyone out there, who is in a position of power to stand with us in solidarity and do the same.'

Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

The Golden Globes ceremony was less issue-based as compared to last year's when most celebrities wore black with #Time'sUp pins to support the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.

But one of the two emcees of the show, Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh, made a point to emphasise the change that could be seen in the room.

Indirectly pointing to a table of African American actors from Black Panther and another that seated the Asian team from the hit film Crazy Rich Asians, Oh said: 'I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change. I'm not fooling myself. Next year could be different and probably will be. But this moment is real, because I see you.'

Later, Oh won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV series, Drama, for her role in the gripping show Killing Eve.

Oh, the first Asian actress to win a major TV award in four decades, faced tough competition from the likes of Julia Roberts (Homecoming) and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale).

She became emotional as she honoured her Korean immigrant parents who were present at the ceremony. It was very moving to see her father as he stood up to cheer his daughter.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Some of the other awards were predicted by most observers, yet everyone seemed pleased with the outcome.

Mexican Director Alfonso Cuarón took home two Golden Globes for his black and white masterpiece, Roma.

The film won the Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, as well as the Best Director Globe.

Cuarón beat other favourites like Bradley Cooper, Spike Lee and Peter Farrelly.

This is Cuarón's second Golden Globe for direction. In 2014, he won the trophy for directing Gravity.

Cuarón is only the second director to win the award for a film that was not nominated in the Best Picture category.

HFPA rules state that only English language films can be nominated for Best Picture.

In accepting his award, Cuarón said, 'This film was directed by Libo (his childhood nanny, whose character inspired the film's protagonist Cleo), by my mother and my family, and maybe even more importantly, by this place, this very complex land, that shaped and created me.'

'Muchas Gracias Mexico,' he declared.

Among the other winners was Michael Douglas who bagged the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series, Musical or Comedy, for the Netflix show The Kominsky Method.

Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images.

There was a desi presence at the show as well.

HFPA President Meher Tatna made her second appearance at the awards ceremony where she spoke in her lovely Indian accent announcing that her organisation would donate $2 million in grants to two non-profit organisations, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and to InsideClimate News.

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Aseem Chhabra