The Golden Globes 2019: Fascinating and Disastrous

Roma, Roma, Roma! Ok, got it out of my system. let’s talk about The Golden Globes, 2019.

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This was a rare year of compromise for the Globes, giving out awards to films as passable as Green Book and career-masterpiece Roma, alike. There was a lot of talk about Black Panther and Spike Lee, to no avail, and in one of the biggest upsets in years, Bohemian Rhapsody took the ultimate win. Let’s have a minute, and attempt to dissect the fascinating and ever-questionable world of the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma

The best call of the night.

Starting off with some positivity. Roma’s wins in the Foreign Film and Best Director categories was the most deserving moment of the show. Though the Cuarón-lover in me wanted to see it sweep, the direction of the film is arguably its most crucial aspect. This is, by his own admission, Cuarón’s most personal film, a work of art only he could have made. As director and cinematographer for Roma, his talents were unparalleled, and his recognition in the proper category was the best call of the night.

Olivia Colman Takes Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy:

Okay, more positivity! Olivia Colman taking the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy is exactly what The Favourite deserved. Film buffs and analysts will study Yorgos Lanthimos’ direction and cinematography for decades without mainstream attention, and the world is (sadly) okay with that. What we should never be okay with is ignorance to one of the greatest ensemble casts of the year, and possibly the decade. The award could have gone to any of the female stars, but Olivia Colman’s hideous transformation earned. The category was tough, and it would have been heart-melting to see Elsie Fisher’s acceptance speech, but Colman’s win was deserved, and on par with the equally-incredible Glenn Close who took the adjacent award in Motion Picture Drama.

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Vice

Christian Bale thanked Satan in his acceptance speech.

While most were busy trying to make out what kind of mind game Christian Bale and his wife were playing during his acceptance speech, there were many an old school film lover hung out to dry by Bale’s win for his role in Adam McKay’s Vice. Robert Redford was the most deserving, considering The Old Man and the Gun was his final film, but any of the nominees would have made sense, even Lin-Manuel Miranda’s jolly Mary Poppins Returns lamp-lighter. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t go to Bale’s head and he starts taking more soulless, despondent roles like this one. Thank you Christian, very cool.

Mahershala Ali Wins Best Actor For Green Book:

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If Green Book deserved anything, it was a nod to the actors. The second major win for Mahershala Ali in the last three years will, hopefully, further cement his status as a working great. Between the new season of True Detective and this, things are looking up for the Oscar winner. If that doesn’t translate into a prosperous career, I’m not sure what it will take. Ali elevated every moment of Green Book, and I couldn’t be happier with the reaction from the the HFPA. Like Elsie Fisher, it would have been wonderful to see Timotheé Chalamet deliver a stutter and smile-filled speech, but I guess we’ll have to settle for one of the best actors working today.

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Queen Biopic Wins Best Drama

Bohemian Rhapsody Took the Award of the Night

Yikes. There’s really no reason to be surprised: this is the institution that gave Avatar the same attention in 2009. There’s no problem with Rami Malek taking the Best Actor in a Drama award, he, like Mahershala Ali, was the best part of his film. But that means we’re forgetting Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe, and Ethan Hawke. The world loves Queen!

Again, it’s not a shock: the film was massively successful, a fan favorite, and a biopic. What’s troubling is the kind of behavior it endorses, primarily for director Bryan Singer and the dreadful script from Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan. Though Singer was removed from the picture (and not present at the acceptance speech), his influence is felt in the haphazard editing and internal strife between the crew. It’s a slapped-together film that shouldn’t have made it past the focus groups, but like most forgettable films, there’s always something to latch onto. Malek was, dare I say, pretty good, yet there was little to his performance that said “this should be remembered forever”. Razzie worthy would be more accurate, mostly due to the script which, once again, dominates most of the incredibly rich and complex character. This isn’t the most baffled I’ve been during awards season, but the fact that A Star is Born didn’t take Best Drama blew me away. Fan favorite? Check. Charismatic cast? Check. Best original song and breakout performance from notable celebrity of opposite medium? Check and check. Lest we forget, it was a fairly adventurous movie. Beale Street was the right pick, but I was fully prepared for A Star is Born to take the glory. Instead, it was nearly snubbed, and replaced with a film nearly as bad as Venom.

The Great Snubs:

C’mon! Mid90s, First Reformed, Annihilation, Eighth Grade, A Star is Born, The Other Side of the Wind, where’s the love? Another year for notable snubs, it could have been much worse, but I will die on the hill that First Reformed captured this year better than any other film. To avoid any nomination at all, that’s really something. Notable indies like Jonah Hill’s fantastic time-study Mid90s and Bo Burnham’s stylistic knockout Eighth Grade were also ignored. K. Both films hit like remnants of 2017’s indie auteur boom, and I suppose the HFPA thought so as well. It’s a bummer, but we still have the Oscars to hope for, and there is still hope for Shoplifters, too! The Golden Globes were a cringy, awkward mess this year (as they are bound to be), but to focus on the good, at least we got Roma.