Golden Globes — Green Book is Golden

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I hadn’t planned on writing about the Golden Globes, but two people asked me my opinion so I thought…okay, that’s enough of an excuse to sit down and share my thoughts.

Hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg were funny and had great chemistry. I liked their joke about one lucky audience member that was going to be chosen to host the Oscars. They did a great bit where everyone in the audience got flu shots; complete with a dig at the anti-vaxxer folks, where Samberg added, “They can just put a napkin over their head, and we’ll skip them.”

The segment where they started off saying they’d insult stars and instead praised them, was a good premise. The material just needed to be a bit stronger.

It was heartwarming to hear Sandra Oh talk about diversity and all the variety of people she saw in the crowd. I just didn’t like the fact that Emma Stone felt the need to yell out an “I’m sorry” for playing a character that was half Asian in Aloha. Also, it was a bit odd that the first person to win an award after talk about all the diversity in the crowd was old Hollywood. About as old as Hollywood could be: Michael Douglas, who had a dad that was old Hollywood (and who he now looks exactly like). And, he’s an actor that married a gorgeous woman half his age. It was awkward timing, but who knew?

Douglas’ Netflix show The Kominsky Method got Douglas that “best actor in a TV comedy” award, and the show won for “best TV comedy. I was just thrilled to see Alan Arkin there (even if he didn’t look thrilled to be there).

I’m not going to list all the winners, because everyone that cares has already seen the list. I’ll just mention thoughts I had about winners/losers, as they come to me.

As someone that’s a huge fan of Queen, I will say — Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t deserve to win any awards. As a movie, it just wasn’t that good. Great music, and a terrific performance by Rami Malek (and congrats to him on his win for “best actor in a motion picture”). A Star is Born was the much better “music” movie. Oh, and as wonderful as Malek’s speech was…it sounded a bit like he was having trouble talking. It’s as if he still had the fake Freddie teeth in. And, I get why he thanked Mercury, but then he thanked Queen’s Brian May (guitarist) and Roger Taylor (drummer), but what happened to bassist John Deacon. Is he chopped liver?

Speaking of which, Lady Gaga won for her song “Shallow” which is a good tune. She was the favorite to win the “best actress in a motion picture/drama.” I was thrilled that my choice won — Glenn Close for her terrific performance in The Wife. It was fun to see her stop for a congratulatory kiss from Michael Douglas, her Fatal Attraction co-star. And how wonderful was her speech? Starting with the cute line “It’s called ‘The Wife’, which is why I think it took 14 years to get made.” With tears in her eyes, and talking about women like her mom that stay at home and feel like they didn’t accomplish anything in life. Good stuff.

It was cute when Roma director Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) won for “best director” he mentioned how tough it was to follow both Harrison Ford, and Jeff Bridges (after Ford commented on having to follow Bridges’ speech).

Speaking of which…Bridges is such a fun actor, and it was great to see him get an award. Even better that his co-star in Hell or High Water, Chris Pine, introduced him. My wife loved the fact that Bridges name-checked Buckminster Fuller.

His speech started off strong, and you gotta love the guy’s enthusiasm, but…whenever he talks, he always ends up sounding like The Dude. You gotta wonder if his “method acting” playing Lebowski has had lasting effects. When he started going on with some bizarre metaphor about life being a big game of tag, for a second, I thought he was referencing the movie Tag with Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm.

Christian Bale won for “best actor in a motion picture/musical or comedy” for Vice. I was rooting for Viggo Mortensen, which was a better performance in a much better movie. Sure, Bale looked like Cheney, but…do we really just award people for wearing fake bald heads and gaining 40 pounds? And what’s with him thanking “Satan” for the inspiration? Perhaps Satan was also what inspired him to spend 20 minutes yelling at a lighting guy on the set of a movie (remember that crazy video?), as well as the domestic violence charge he was arrested for. But I digress. My wife implored me not to be negative in this story.

Now, if you want to see a classy speech — Mahershala Ali, who won for “best supporting actor in a motion picture” for Green Book. I was thrilled he won, because he’s amazing in it, and it’s by far, the best movie of the year.

Ali, who couldn’t have been nicer at a party my wife and I attended, said in his speech: “Dr. Shirley was a brilliant man, and I just want to thank him for his passion and virtuosity and the dignity with which he carried himself each and every day,”

Those same things can also be said about the man who portrayed him.

Green Book surprised a lot of others, as it won two more awards, including best screenplay. I loved hearing Nick Vallelonga give a great speech about what it was like to write about his dad (Tony “Lip” Vallelonga). Of course, the music played him off. I wish it would’ve been Don Shirley music, just as I wanted to hear the orchestra play Queen music when those winners kept talking. Heck, it might have gotten Rami to strike one last Mercury post on stage.

When the orchestra tried to play director Peter Farrelly off, he insisted they stop. And they did. It’s one of the rare times I’m glad he got to finish talking. He started off with a wonderful compliment to Octavia Spencer (one of the producers), and it was sweet that he mentioned actress Linda Cardellini, because with Viggo and Ali getting all the award recognition, it’s easy to forget her powerful scenes in the movie. And, because some haters are criticizing this film, it’s nice to have him explain what it was about. I couldn’t be more thrilled this picture got to shine at the Globes. Perhaps it will get people to the theatres to see it (it hasn’t been getting the green in terms of box office receipts).

Regina King won for “best supporting actress in a motion picture” for If Beale Street Could Talk. That’s easily the most overrated movie of the year, but she was great in it, and is wonderful in all her movies, so it was nice to see her get her first win. She, like Farrelly, was able to get the music to stop while she was talking.

Since I don’t follow a lot of the TV shows, I just get happy when an actor I like wins. I hadn’t seen Killing Eve, but loved seeing the excitement on Sandra Oh’s face when she won for that, and watching her proud dad as the first person to stand, as he applauded her.

For music scores, one of the best was Kris Bowers (Green Book). He wasn’t nominated (I heard it had something to do with the music being too similar to Don Shirley; that’s also going to keep him out for Oscar consideration). My second favorite of the year was the always brilliant Alexandre Desplat. What he did with Isle of Dogs was music to my ears. Literally. Yet I wasn’t bummed Justin Hurwitz won for First Man. Even though he may have stolen the theromon usage from Another Earth, the music might be the best thing in First Man. And when I talked to him at the Critics’ Choice awards about the music for La La Land, it was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had with a musician. So, bravo to him!

Carol Burnett is one of the biggest talents in TV history. Steve Carell gave a wonderful tribute to the comedian when he presented her with the first-ever “Carol Burnett Award.” Burnett, surprisingly spry at 85, had some great quips as usual. One being when she asked if she’d be given the award each year.

When Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney walked out on stage, they had some funny lines about how much they have in common (height certainly wasn’t one of them). There’s not a nicer person in Hollywood than Janney. I interviewed her once, a few hours before she was going to the Tony awards, and we again spoke before a big win she got for I, Tonya. When you compliment her work, she acts like she’s hearing it for the first time. Such a sweetheart.

I loved hearing someone throw a Les Moonves joke out there. I can’t remember who said it, but…that made me wonder why there wasn’t also one directed at Kevin Spacey. After all, he made that dorky video, and his court appearance was going to be the following day. Samberg did all those funny songs/videos on SNL. Would it have killed him to do a Spacey parody video?

I always love seeing when a star brings out their daughter, to be the Golden Globes ambassador. Idris Elba brought out 17-year-old daughter Isan. I suspect when Idris does his DJ gig at Coachella, he won’t be bringing Isan along.

I’m glad the hosts joked about why Vice was being nominated in the category as it wasn’t a musical or comedy. It reminded me of the time Jethro Tull won a Grammy, the first year they had a “heavy metal” category.

I saw online that Nike made Spike Lee a special pair of Jordan’s that he wore. I think that’s awesome. He’s a huge basketball fan, and one of the best things he’s ever done were those Mars Blackman/Michael Jordan commercials. So, having some golden shoes made, with his studio logo on the back and movie title in front, should be as thrilling as winning an award. And since his BlacKkKlansman didn’t win, those are a nice consolation prize. Perhaps they’ll make him a little nicer in interviews and in person.

Overall, the Golden Globes was a pleasant surprise. Green Book was the best movie of the year, and it deserved more than the three awards it got, although I think that’s more than any other film got. So I can’t complain.

Just make sure you catch the Critics’ Choice Awards on January 13th.


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