The Golden Globes have historically been criticised as biased, which is probably valid. With a meagre 93 voters, all Hollywood-based, multi-millionaires; the claim that nominations are incentivised by big names that draw in viewers as opposed to smaller, more talented ones, sounds conceivable.
Yet despite myself, I cannot help feeling apathetic towards this criticism. The thing is, complaining that the Golden Globes are biased is a bit like complaining that One Direction can’t sing: you’re kind of missing the point. Of course they’re biased, self-congratulatory and trivial – but then – isn’t Hollywood in general? Do directors not cast big names in order to draw in viewers? Do big names not sign themselves to the films with the biggest budgets? The news that the Golden Globes are biased is hardly shocking – of course they are! However, the Golden Globes are an opportunity for Hollywood to condense into one night, in one place, all the glamourous, charismatic, romantic stuff it does so wonderfully. It may not be real, but it’s undeniably Hollywood.
The Golden Globes this year provided no exception, and, in recognition of this, here go the awards for:
The Most Heart-Warming Moment: Michael Keaton, who won Best Actor for Birdman, choked up talking about his best friend: his son, and it was adorable. But then, in a move more romantic and sexy than all of his past roles combined, George Clooney, accepting the DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, declared he’d been waiting his whole life to find love, and was humbled to have finally found it with Amal Clooney. Before you say anything, George Clooney said it, which actually makes it fine and not in the least bit sickening.
The Most Politically Conscious Speech: Jeffrey Tambor touchingly dedicated his Globe for his role in Transparent to the Transgender community. As well as this, Maggie Gyllenhaal, picking up a Globe for her role in The Honourable Woman, said “when I think about the performances I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not. Sometimes sexy, sometimes not. Sometimes honorable, sometimes not. (…) That’s what I think is revolutionary”. Finally, Theo Kingma (President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) stated “we will stand united against anyone who would repress free speech anywhere, from North Korea to Paris”; this was by far the most poignant speech of the night and won a compelling standing ovation.
The Most Questionable Award: Julianne Moore won her third Globe, Best Motion Picture Actress, for her role in Still Alice somewhat questionably beating Felicity Jones in the Theory of Everything and Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl.
The Most Surprising Win: Inarritu’s Birdman is an ambitious satire of Hollywood success. Packed with imagination and creativity, it is a daring and unorthodox, and, for that, was written off by a few as an eccentric cult film. Then, amazingly, it was awarded seven nominations and won two of those (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical and Best Screenplay) providing us with a glimpse of what the future could hold for small, creative films at the Globes.
The Most Deserved Award: It has to be said that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood’s incredible success was well deserved. Linklater looked positively exhausted at the end of the night purely from traipsing up and down the aisle to collect awards all night. That combined with the fact he’d just spent twelve years making a triple Golden Globe winning film (Best Supporting Actress, Director for a Motion Picture, and Best Motion Picture). Eddie Redmayne’s Best Actor for the Theory of Everything was also unsurprising.
The Best Dressed Celebrity: Prince presented the award for Best Original Song which went to Common for his song Glory in Selma. Prince wore an incredible metallic suit with sunglasses accompanied with a Willie Wonka-style cane and presented “Best Original Score” when he was supposed to say “Best Original Song”, but I forgave him. So did everyone else.
So what have we learned from the Golden Globes this year? George Clooney is the only man in the world ever to have pulled off the “I’ve been waiting my whole life for you” cliche, Hollywood is now fully on board with this “spreading the love to minorities” thing, and Prince is just absolutely and entirely flawless.