Hollywood. Foreign. Press.: Golden Globe Reactions

E: Usually, the Golden Globes live up to their reputation as Hollywood’s biggest party, spun out by a loose and comfortable host and filled with goofy drunken moments, establishing running gags and generally distinguishing themselves from the more formal and less star-centric Oscars.  Instead of a vast theater, the event is held in an intimate ballroom; you can hear the noise from the bar from the stage, and stars tuck in together at tables, charming and brilliant and bright.

This year felt a little different, though.  The attendees penchant for black and metallic dresses, mixed with the huge round centerpieces of orange roses, lent a dark Halloween glamor to the event, and throughout the night, speeches referencing our current political situation made sure it would be talked about today not for who wore what or tripped on the stage, but what He Who Must Not Be (and was not) Named tweets in intemperate response after the telecast.

Oh, there were great dresses (Brie Larsen, Emma Stone, Hailee Steinfeld, Annette Benning, Claire Foy, Viola Davis), great tuxes (I have yet to see Donald Glover’s sitcom Atlanta, but the man must be a genius if he can pull off brown velvet) and moving speeches (Tom Hiddleston, Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy and Viola Davis again) and some truly memorable presenting (Kristin Wiig and Steve Carrell for animation!).  And I cried like a baby during the tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.  All that aside, I’m just going to quickly take a look at the show from the Oscar races’ perspective, because my time is short and the impact there is big.

Some context; as you may know, La La Land took the festival circuit by storm and was considered the obvious, runaway frontrunner (Hollywood loves nothing so much as movies about Hollywood) until it was suddenly overlooked for the SAG ensemble.  In a flurry, pundits debated whether the charming, light mood  simply didn’t fit the nation’s post-election gloom, or if it was only that the SAG nominating committee didn’t consider the film an ensemble work.  After all, they did nominate the two lead actors.  At any rate, no movie goes on to win Best Picture at Oscar without also being nominated for SAG, and so the waters muddied.  I felt that the new frontrunner  had to be the searingly beautiful working class dramedy Manchester By the Sea.  It’s smart and unpretentious, filled with indelible performances, and it speaks to those parts of us which are broken and may never mend.

But with the Hollywood Foreign Press, at least, hopeful dreamers are still in fashion.  La La Land took Best Picture: Musical or Comedy, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay – the big five.  (In fact, it surprises me to learn that La La Land took home more Globes than any movie ever before — seven, when you add in score and song.)  It’s unlikely to repeat that feat at the Oscars (Casey Affleck is likely to repeat his win in Drama unless challenged by Denzel Washington, while Gosling will struggle to get a nomination) but it has the potential to take the other four.  In fact, the entire opening number was a love letter to the film, an interesting choice since the movie hasn’t even opened in most of the country.  Instead of Manchester By The Sea, Moonlight (a gay black coming of age story) took the Drama prize.  All together, it was a strong statement.

In the acting categories, we may have gotten a little clarity.  Affleck, as I said, cemented his place as the frontrunner; a win at the SAG should make that incontrovertible. The combination of Emma Stone’s win in Comedy, and Natalie Portman’s moderately surprising loss to Isabelle Huppert in Drama is very good news for Miss Stone’s chances at the big show.  The fact that both Affleck and Stone gave sweet and personal speeches will work in their favor as well. I don’t know if I’d have said there was an obvious frontrunner in Supporting Actress, but with her win and powerful speech five time nominee Viola Davis has definitely vaulted into that status.  I think there’s now no frontrunner in Supporting Actor: the critics prizes have been eaten up by Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali, but Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Nocturnal Animals is an unknown whose nomination came as a surprise and wasn’t repeated at SAG or the Critics Choice.  I’m sure he’s talented, but either through shyness or shock he wasted the opportunity to introduce himself to a wider audience with his mumbling speech, even failing to make eye-contact through the camera.  I’m not saying that to be mean; the speeches matter.  The good will they generate can boost a nominee’s chances hugely.  We’ll have to see if Ali roars back at SAG, what that speech might sound like, and of course who gets nominated for Oscar.

So there we are.  Will La La Land hold on to its spot at the top of the pile?  Is the Hollywood mood more hopeful than expected, more determined than every to cling to their best self-image?

As a quick aside, the dominance (or lack there of) of La La Land means that Lin-Manuel Miranda may have to wait another year or two to complete his EGOT (or MacPEGOT, as some would have it); Moana‘s “How Far I’ll Go” lost out on Best Song to La La Land‘s “City of Stars.”  My favorite part of that film’s speeches, actually, came in the repeated shout outs to popular choreographer Mandy Moore (not to be confused with the actress, nominated in the television category).  As I wait fearfully for news of my beloved So You Think You Can Dance‘s fate, I take solace that at least my favorite dancers and choreographers will go on doing work that I might sometime get to see somewhere.  Maybe the over all message of this telecast is that we need to take our joy where we can; we have to hold on to the good with both hands.

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Golden Globes 2015: Winners and Reactions

E:  Well, that was pretty fun, huh?  We got some new blood – especially in the television awards – and a lot of never-before rewarded veterans also got noticed after (in some cases) decades of quieter excellence.  Really, the only disappointment is that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are insisting on retiring as hosts.  Those women should host everything. Continue reading

Fall 2014 Television Preview: Sunday

E: Gentle readers, welcome to the always highly anticipated Relatively Entertaining Fall Television Previews! It has, in the last several years, become our custom to present a night-by-night preview of each season’s offerings, including both returning and new shows. We cover the major nets, as well as the better-known cable shows — or at least the ones that pique our interest and conform to network scheduling norms.

Sunday has become the night to stay home — the richest evening in animated comedy and prestige drama.  Not to mention football.

C: She just says that because it’s when The Good Wife is on.

E: Well, sure, but I think you’ll find Sunday’s slate is far more than just my favorite show. And as always, if we haven’t included something that you watch or were thinking about watching, please leave a comment and let us know why we’re missing the boat! Here’s a quick key to help you as you read:

  • Titles in blue are new this season
  • Each * means one Quibbling Sibling will be tuning in

Continue reading

2014 Emmy Nomination Reactions

E:  What does a broadcast drama have to do around here to be nominated?  Today nominations were announced for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.  There’s a lot to be excited about, but man.  If you’re a network executive in broadcast tv, you have a lot of soul searching to do.  A quick discussion of and response to the nods coming right up. Continue reading

February 2014 Movie Preview

M: You want to hear something good to start a monthly preview? I actually like the look of a lot of the movies this month!

E: Wait, what did you say?

M: I know, unexpected, right? We often rail about the lack of quality releases in all but a few month of the year, and February is often one of the worst (go back and look at the start of last year’s February preview for some details). I’m wondering if last year’s “surprise hit” Warm Bodies may have warmed up the way executives look at February.

C: I mean, you have to think at this point there’s room for a few good movies to take the place of the Christmas ones leaving theaters. They’d be foolish not to give us at least a few good kid flicks and romcoms.

E: Leaving aside the fact that most people would probably want good movie options all year long, yes — with school vacations and Valentine’s Day, there’s room for good movies to become really big hits.

M: Even better — there’s stuff I want to see, too.

E: Do tell, brother.

Continue reading

2013 Fall Television Preview: Thursday

E:  So, okay, it’s not the Must See TV of the 90s–

C: What could be, really?

E: Still, we have some of the most anticipated new shows of the season, and some of the most successful shows of last year. Oddly, cable has pretty much ceded this night to the nets, so maybe they think it’s Must See even if I don’t. Here’s a quick key to help you as you read:

2013 Fall Television Preview: Monday

E: Gentle readers, welcome to the always highly anticipated Relatively Entertaining Fall Television Previews! It has in the last several years become our custom to present a night-by-night preview of each season’s offerings, including both returning and new shows. We cover the major nets, as well as the better-known cable shows – or at least the ones that pique our interest and conform to network scheduling norms. This year, Monday brings a pleasant mix of old favorites and intriguing new shows; after a few early hours of comedy and reality competitions, the 10pm is quite the log-jam. Wondering which new show to watch? Read on! And as always, if we haven’t included something that you watch or were thinking about watching, please leave a comment and convince us why we’re missing the boat! Here’s a quick key to help you as you read:

  • Titles in blue are new this season
  • Each * means one Quibbling Sibling will be tuning in Continue reading