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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why the Golden Globes Matter.

By: Leora Horowitz

The Golden Globes ceremony is one of the more interesting to air during the January, February crop of award shows. Alcohol abounds, controversial hosts are rebuked and then re-hired, and, while by all appearances the Globes are just as glamorous if not more so than any other ceremony, many view this particular award as lacking the glory and prestige as others. Or, as Ricky Gervais put it last night, “They’re like the Oscars without all the esteem.”

It’s understandable to see where this reputation stems from. The SAG Awards bestow actors with accolades from their fellow actors, and praise from your peers is among the highest kind. The Oscars are the timeless standard by which all praise and elegance is generally measured, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of true movie professionals, with representatives from all of the crafts associated with making a movie. Meanwhile, the Globes are the awards of the Hollywood Foreign Press, a group whose choices have long garnered criticism and scorn. For example, last year’s The Tourist garnering three nominations? Gervais was right to mock it then, and his follow-up this year, asking Johnny Depp if he had actually seen it yet, was spot-on. Meanwhile, while this year’s motion picture nominees were largely accurate, the TV choices left many questions unanswered. Callie Thorne nominated for Necessary Roughness? Thomas Jane for Hung? Kelsey Grammer beating Bryan Cranston for best Actor in a TV Drama????? Competent performances to be sure, but this was a great year for TV, and surely there were better choices. Plus, any show that can find room for two performances from the tepid Carnage and yet ignore Melissa McCarthy’s stellar work in Bridesmaids is worthy of criticism.

Unusual selections such as these, coupled with an alcohol-infused vibe that gives way to generous amounts of raunchy humor (more on that later) gives many the impression that the Golden Globes is the “lesser” of awards shows. But last night, I felt anything but, and there are several reasons why.

1. You’d be hard pressed to find another show where penis humor is so acceptable.
Perhaps because there is more of an informal feel at the Globes, presenters and winners alike speak at the podium with an ease that makes for great laughs. From Seth Rogen’s proclamation that “I currently have an erection” whilst presenting with the admittedly stunning Kate Beckinsale, to George Clooney’s discussion of Michael Fassbender’s full frontal nudity (golfing will never be the same), those who take the stage at the Globes provide a nonchalance and humor that the audience can appreciate. Ricky Gervais was tamer than last year, but still managed to throw in a joke about Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver,” and Madonna’s back and forth banter with the host furthered the theme.

2. The layout relates a sense of Hollywood camaraderie that is easily replicated.
There are few things more adorable then seeing Tina Fey peek her head into the snapshot of her good friend Amy Poehler as her name is announced as a nominee, or funnier than seeing Jesse Tyler Ferguson hold up a “Whatever” sign as his screen partner Eric Stonestreet is called for his nomination. At the Golden Globes, the actors sit at circular tables, and the span of the camera allows you to see the interactions of Hollywood’s elite, and they’re often quite pleasant! As I spent the night with my friends playing our Golden Globe prediction game, (I predicted the winner before each category, and money was donated either to me or from me depending on the outcome. I got 15 right and 8 wrong—not too shabby, if I do say so myself!)Our laughter and friendship was replicated on TV as friends Brad Pitt and the “Cloonmeister General” riffed on each other, and Fey and Poehler shared laughs. See—celebrities: they’re just like us…albeit in the smallest of ways.

3. It’s still an award and an honor.
Perhaps my favorite moment of the night came when Octavia Spencer won the award for best Supporting Actress in a movie. This is an actress who we have all seen countless of times in bit parts—Woman on Line, Woman behind the Counter, Crazy Nurse, etc. And she just won a Golden Globe—and deservedly so. Her emotion and excitement were matched by other actors in the audience, such as Melissa McCarthy, who recognized that struggle of working to become an actor, and being rewarded with this recognition. You saw similar glee in Shailene Woodley, an actress who, before her nomination for Supporting Actress, was best known as the Pregnant Girl from that poorly written ABC Family show. Her excitement at being a member of the cast of the Best Picture winning The Descendents was palpable, and conveys to the audience just how real and important the Golden Globes can be.

Here is a list of the nominees and winners from last night’s broadcast. Green represents a prediction I got right, red represents my wrong guesses.

Best Drama
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
War Horse

Best Comedy/Musical
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn

Best Animated Film
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War
In the Land of Blood and Honey
The Kid With a Bike
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

Best Actor in a Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical
Jean Dujardin, The Artist--silent thank, tap dance
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method

Best Actress in a Drama
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help

Best Director
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants
Steve Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin, Michael Lewis, Moneyball
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March

Best TV Drama
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones

Best TV Comedy or Musical
Modern Family
New Girl

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

Best Actor in a TV Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Kelsey Grammer, Boss

Best Actor in a TV Musical or Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

Best Supporting Actor in TV Series, Miniseries, or Made-for-TV Movie
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Actress in a TV Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie
Romola Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Best Supporting Actress in TV Series, Miniseries, or Made-for-TV Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

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