The Golden Globes have always been the red-headed stepchild of awards season. It’s not exactly the Oscars and it’s not exactly the Emmys. It honors achievements in film making and TV but never really focuses on the technical awards like sound design and art direction. Even though it gets to the nitty-gritty of what people want to watch, they really haven’t had much love over the years.
Last year, there was no televised ceremony as most of NBC, which had aired them for years, refused over controversies surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and lack of diversity in its membership. For the second time, in 15 years, the awards were announced via a press release. The first was in the winter of 2008 when the Writers Guild strike was still ongoing.
Then, there has been the hosting of Ricky Gervais who apparently mistook the ceremony for a roast. While conservatives have loved it, who wants to attend an awards ceremony where someone like Gervais, whose own accomplishment really has been creating the British version of The Office, telling people they’re pricks in so many words. At other times, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have hosted it but I never really cared for it but it was better than Gervais. This year, the awards ceremony had Jerrod Carmichael who made most of the jokes about the diversity issue as well as criticizing Tom Cruise for returning his Golden Globe awards.
While I didn’t agree that The Banshees of Inisherin is a comedy, it won in the Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy. I feel it might have been done out of controversy in which Brendan Fraser has claimed that former HFPA president Phillip Berk sexually assaulted him 20 years ago. Fraser, who’s in The Whale, has been getting good reviews. But he said if he got a nomination, he wouldn’t attend. Instead, Austin Butler won for Best Lead Actor in a Drama his titular role as Elvis. Needless to say, some people would classify Elvis as a musical.
The Golden Globes do honor actors and actresses in musicals or comedies. I’m just wondering why Butler wasn’t nominated in that category. I don’t think it was a good performance and quite standard of the musicians rise to fame and then crash and burn trope that is too often used. You can see that the HFPA might have been a little pissed with Fraser and just nominated him to satisfy those in Hollywood but didn’t even think of him winning because of his boycott.
During the late 1960s, the Federal Communication Commission claimed the HFPA was using this tactic when people mentioned they wouldn’t attend. That didn’t happen this year as both Kevin Costner won for Yellowstone and Amanada Seyfried won for The Dropout, yet neither were in attendance. It’s just more controversy that has always stained the awards ceremony which is probably why most people don’t take it as seriously. There have been allegations of payoffs for movies and shows to be nominated, such as the movie The Tourist, which was a spy thriller nominated for Best Comedy/Musical. The movie received mostly negative reviews despite being a box office success worldwide.
Then, there was Pia Zadora winning in 1982 for Best New Star of the Year, a category that has since been discontinued. Zadora had acted in 1964’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Also, the movie she was in, Butterfly, for which she received the award received mostly negative reviews. Zadora beat out Elisabeth McGovern for Ragtime and Kathleen Turner for Body Heat. Both movies were bigger hits with critics. Both McGovern and Turner have had better success in movies over the years while Zadora made a few forgettable movies before appearing as herself performing at the Oscars in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult in 1994.
Accusations of racial discrimination have also plagued the award shows with The Farewell, Minari and Parasite all be regulated to the Best Foreign Language category because they didn’t have 50 percent of English, yet other bigger movies like Babel and Inglourious Basterds, who also didn’t have 50 percent English, were nominated for Best Motion Picture: Drama. This year, both Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan won for Everything Everywhere All at Once in the Best Lead Actress in a Comedy/Musical and Best Supporting Actor respectively. And Angela Bassett won for Best Supporting Actress for Black Panther: Wakanda.
The Golden Gloves did the right thing by nominating Top Gun: Maverick as Best Motion Picture: Drama because it’s a good movie. In 2017, they nominated Deadpool as Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical, which showed the Oscars that they don’t discriminate. Following last year’s criticism over Don’t Look Up, which got mixed to bad reviews, which got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, a lot of people speculated why blockbuster movies with good reviews are often excluded.
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018, suggested that Spider-Man: No Way Home was a far better movie. He was right. It had a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes to Don’t Look Up‘s 56 percent. And it made over $1.9 billion worldwide. And people still talk about it now more than a year later. You probably just remembered Don’t Look Up. The Oscars themselves need some more diversity and stop nominating the arthouse movies and the epic sagas which have been called “Oscar bait.”
The fact that Kate Winslet won an Oscar for playing a woman who couldn’t read a good 15 years after Wayne’s World poked fun of this Oscar bait trope shows just out of touch their voters are. Why not nominate Top Gun: Maverick? It’s a wonderful movie. The French Connection is technically the only action movie to win Best Picture Oscar. Horror, comedies, fantasies and westerns are often excluded.
I think this might be what is turning some people off of all award shows. They’re scrambling to find the same generic movies to give the awards too without ever thinking that it’s more than drama and epics. The Oscars and the Golden Globes have been reduced to a Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet with the same dozen people keep getting awards but they rename them from Citizen of the Year to President’s Award. It’ the same way most literary scholars refuse to acknowledge any books published prior to the 1960s as classics. Why isn’t Stephen King’s The Stand considered a classic like Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
Times are a changing. We have to change with them, What’s that saying, “Don’t live too much in the past or else you’ll miss what’s happening today.”
What do you think? Please comment.