The anticipation that surround Christmas for a child is filled with wonder and delight; the decorations remind us of hope to come and we anxiously await our presents to be so perfectly placed under the Christmas tree. It’s truly a magical time.
Unfortunately, we lose this as we grow up, but I’ve found a replacement: Awards Season.
As a movie lover, few things bring me more joy than hearing awards buzz and knocking some of the year’s best off my list. It becomes a challenge to see all the nominations. I do this because I love to be informed and I HATE when people think the show or movie they watched should win simply because it was the only one in the category they saw. Sadly, that doesn’t guarantee it was the best.
The 74th Annual Golden Globes officially kicked off my Awards Season. Sometimes I watch the Critics Choice but it’s not really the same level for me. I won’t respect the Emmy’s because Big Bang Theory is always inexplicably nominated and I don’t care about the Grammy’s. Anyway.
To no one’s surprise, La La Land was the big winner of the night, winning Best Score, Best Original Song, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Musical or Comedy. It won every award in every category where it received a nomination. In addition to that impressive accomplishment, it became the most winningest film in the award show’s history.
I’ve reviewed La La Land, and I loved it (minus the ending because of my preference), but some of the wins surprised me. I assumed it would sweep in the Musical or Comedy category based on the love its receiving and how good and original it is. Heck, I even thought it could pick up the musical awards because the score and songs were a delight. But when Damien Chazelle won for best screenplay AND best director, especially over Kenneth Lonergan in both categories, I was shocked.
Comparing Manchester by the Sea and La La Land is apples and oranges. They are two very good, very different movies. Both heartbreaking in their own ways. While La La Land is charming, I thought Lonergan would win for screenplay and directing because of the real, raw emotion and depth of love he captured in Manchester. Not that La La Land isn’t filled with love, it’s just different and truly I thought it wasn’t as heavy as the big awards sometimes favor.
While I don’t think 2016 was a great year for movies, there were clearly stars who ended up in the wrong year. Like everyone against Leonardo DiCaprio last year, there are just a few films I don’t think can be beat. With heavy hitters like La La Land and Manchester, there is little room for other amazing films like Lion, Captain Fantastic, Arrival and Fences, to name a few.
Also, let’s not forget Moonlight is a strong contender as well.
The Golden Globes allow different movies to shine in their respective categories, but the Academy puts them together for an intense race against each other. Will La La Land hold its own against Moonlight and Manchester? If the Academy remains as white as in past years, Moonlight may receive no love, but I hope they learned from all the backlash in 2016.
I’m most interested in the acting wins. Both Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling won for their amazing performances in Manchester and La La Land, respectively. Both are clearly favorites. In little over a month, they may face off directly for best actor. We also have Emma Stone against many amazing performances, including Isabelle Huppert from the French film Elle who took home the Globe last night. It seems like she could be a strong contender for the Oscar as well, if nominated. It’s not common for an actor from a foreign film to make it into the acting categories so one assumes when it happens, you should pay attention.
Overall, the night was filled with speeches filled with love and surprising wins from deserving shows and performances. But to me, the politics stood out the most.
I’m never the person who thinks entertainers are there to entertain and have no business getting political. Even if I don’t agree with their position, I acknowledge they’re in a tremendous position and can influence others. It’s a waste of what you can do if you keep your opinions to yourself, especially if they’re important.
So last night they obviously talked about Trump.
In 11 days, @realDonaldTrump will take office and I think more than 50 percent of America is concerned. Jimmy Fallon included jokes in his monologue and Hugh Laurie was thankful to receive an award at the ‘last ever Golden Globes’ because it was centered around the Hollywood Foreign Press, also known as the three things Mr. Trump hates most.
It was Meryl Streep, however, who divided the nation almost as much as Mr. Trump.
Rightfully receiving the Cecil B. Demille award, Streep used the opportunity to speak out against hate. Yes, that is how I’m phrasing it because it wasn’t political. The comments made last night weren’t like when celebrities made fun of Bush. It’s beyond anger that Hillary didn’t win. She began by detailing how Hollywood was a land of foreigners, and began rattling off the histories of her fellow actors in a way that made you realize Meryl Streep is truly one of a kind.
Then she transitioned into discussing the most harrowing performance she had seen all year: when a presidential candidate mocked a handicapable person.
“When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
She never said Trump’s name, but she didn’t need to. She called out the need for arts and to keep fighting for love. Her words almost brought me to tears because so many people still don’t understand. People still think the democrats are just being cry babies because their candidate didn’t win. People aren’t seeing the bigger picture of what Donald Trump represents.
Personally, I don’t care if you thought the fact he wasn’t a politician gives him a real chance of doing something good. Or because he wasn’t a politician means he doesn’t have skeletons like Hillary. I’m sure he has skeletons, probably a few hidden in those tax returns he still won’t release.
While many applauded Streep’s speech and the fact she completely used the opportunity to speak against hate instead of discuss her career, others felt it was wrong that ‘leftist’ Hollywood got involved and claimed this is why Trump was elected in the first place.
Twitter user J. Benson (@BenzHasFriends) summarized it best in his tweet sent last night:
“We have a serious problem when someone encouraging us to be kind and empathetic is seen as a political statement. #GoldenGlobes #MerylStreep”
Streep didn’t attack his policy or plans. She wasn’t being a crazy liberal. She was simply being a human concerned for our nation under a man who doesn’t care about diversity and hates what is different from himself.
After she finished with a quote from Carrie Fisher, internally I was the GIF of her at the Academy Awards when Patricia Arquette won for Boyhood and discussed the wage gap and Meryl Streep was out of her seat, pointing in excited agreement.
The crazy thing about this campaign/election/candidacy is there’s nothing political about it. If nothing else, I am proud of the people who refuse to blindly fall in line because they have to. We cannot let hate win, and we must continue to be kind and fight for the truth. I am with you, Meryl. Thank you for your continued bravery and dedication to fighting for what’s right.
So basically we saw a very diverse awards show, moving speeches and echoing messages of the importance of fighting for love in our country which soon could be covered in a shadow of hate and intolerance. In an industry where many recognize their opportunity to help us escape, it was a lovely reminder that they, the dreamers, know they can bring us joy and will continue to work to create the beautiful art we enjoy.
Keep dreaming. Keep loving.