No red carpet, no “he wore, she wore”, no celebrities, no teary acceptance speeches. Some day maybe all awards shows will be this way, but for now, this was the Golden Globes in the dog house.
It was dubbed the film world’s big party night with good reason. Having covered it, I remember seeing drunken tuxedoed guests staggering around the hotel corridors in the early hours at the Beverly Hilton looking to carry on the party. Drinking through the ceremony was the form, table hopping the norm, it was an almighty schmoozefest, so to not have any of that spoke volumes.
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Talk of unethical practices had been circulating for years, of voters being wined and dined by potential competitors, but it took the revelation, following a Los Angeles Times expose that the voting membership did not have a single black person, to spur PRs, stars and broadcasters to boycott and for NBC to drop the screening of the event.
It was left to the Golden Globes website to declare the winners, there were a few tweets from the victors, and an Instagram reaction to a historic moment, as MJ Rodriguez became the first transgender actor to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for Pose.
Amongst the other winners, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story stated its claim to forthcoming Oscars glory (whatever the event itself, it still points towards the lead running films for the awards shows that follow), and with chronic underrepresentation of Latino and Hispanic filmmaking talent in Hollywood, the victory of two of its leads should have been a moment. Likewise, the victory of director Jane Campion for the Netflix film, The Power Of The Dog, was another, pointing towards a very strong chance that the Oscars could follow suit and add to its pitifully short list of winning female directors.
Other winners included Nicole Kidman for her tremendous performance as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos, and Will Smith as tennis father Richard Williams in King Richard.Succession succeeded again, Kate Winslet won for Mare of Easttown, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast was also amongst the winners.All worthy of recognition, but the film victors will have to wait for other ceremonies to have their onstage moment, pandemic permitting.The HFPA has committed to reform, and already increased its diversity, and maybe it will be back next year. But the viewership for the awards ceremony was significantly down last year, lockdown didn’t help of course, and a big glitzy 2023 return is by no means a given.