Revolutionary spirit at this year’s painfully nice Golden Globe Awards

January 7 at 6:00 AM

Did you miss the 3-hour, 20-minute telecast of the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night? If so, don’t worry — here’s everything you need to know, from the big wins to the headline-making speeches to the maybe-but-seriously-probably-not celebrity feud that started on the red carpet.

“Green Book,” this award season’s most controversial movie, won big

Some critics love Peter Farrelly’s film “Green Book” for its depiction of how jazz pianist Don Shirley, a black man, and his chauffeur Tony Vallelonga, a white man, became unlikely friends in the early 1960s. Others have claimed it “spoon-feeds” racism to white people and does a disservice to Shirley and his family. Basically, the movie has become this year’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association sided with the former camp. Not only did “Green Book” win best screenplay and best motion picture, comedy or musical, but Mahershala Ali also won best supporting actor for playing Shirley. What might this mean for the Oscars? Who knows! Academy voters are also an unpredictable lot.

“A Star Is Born” and “Vice” each received a single award

Much of the film industry and critics went gaga (pun intended) over “A Star Is Born,” the most Hollywood of Hollywood-centric movies to be released this awards season. First-time director and star Bradley Cooper seemed likely to win something. First-time lead actress Lady Gaga had similarly surpassed expectations.

“Vice,” while polarizing overall, also featured lauded performances. It’s hard not to throw awards at a cast made up of Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Adams. Each movie, however, went home with just one award. “A Star Is Born” won best original song for “Shallow,” while Bale was recognized for transforming into Dick Cheney.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” did well despite its tumultuous past

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has earned a fair share of detractors for its depiction of Freddie Mercury’s personal life, but a good portion of those people still agree that animated concert scenes keep the movie entertaining. Rami Malek, who plays the Queen frontman, has attracted quite a bit of praise as well.

So perhaps it makes sense that “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which has made more than $700 million worldwide at the box office, earned a pair of awards in the prestigious drama category: best actor and best motion picture.

But all of this could be surprising when you recall the disastrous making of the film. Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to play Mercury back in 2010 but dropped out a few years later because of creative differences. By the time production with Malek was underway, news broke that director Bryan Singer had been accused of sexual assault by multiple people. Singer was fired in late 2017, replaced by Dexter Fletcher for the last bits of production and omitted from acceptance speeches.

Glenn Close’s powerful speech that invoked her mother

Hollywood loves Glenn Close, but she wasn’t considered the front-runner in the dramatic actress category for “The Wife,” based on Meg Wolitzer’s novel — many expected the prize to go to Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born.” Instead, winner Close looked stunned as she made her way to the stage, stopping briefly to accept congratulations from her “Fatal Attraction” co-star Michael Douglas.

“It took 14 years to make this film,” Close said through tears. “And, you know, it was called ‘The Wife.’ I think that’s why it took 14 years to get made.”

There was appreciative laughter, but Close stayed serious: “I’m thinking of my mom, who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s, she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplished anything.’ And it was so not right,” the actress said. “What I’ve learned through this whole experience is that women, we’re nurturers. That’s what’s expected of us. We have our children; we have our husbands, if we are lucky enough; and our partners, whoever. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, ‘I can do that, and I should be allowed to do that.’ ” The audience gave her a standing ovation.

Regina King’s speech about equality

Regina King was nominated for Netflix’s “Seven Seconds” in the TV category and “If Beale Street Could Talk” on the movie side — she won best supporting actress for the latter and gave one of the most powerful speeches of the night. She started by addressing the criticism that celebrities use award shows to get up on their “soapbox.”

“The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big,” she said. “ I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years everything that I produce, I am making a vow — and it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything that I produce is 50 percent women. And I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries: I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

Christian Bale thanks Satan

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

First of all, Christian Bale is British. It’s easy to forget, but the accent doesn’t lie, even as it surprised many people on social media. Anyway, as he picked up the trophy for best comedy actor for his starring role as former vice president Dick Cheney in the biopic “Vice,” Bale informed the crowd that he has cornered the market on playing “charisma-free [jerks].” (He didn’t say jerks.) “What do you think, Mitch McConnell next? That would be good, wouldn’t it?” he asked cheerfully. He then gave one more shout-out: “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role.”

“The Americans” gets its due, while “The Kominsky Method” gets Googled

The television awards generally went about as expected: Rachel Brosnahan won best actress in a TV series, musical or comedy for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Ryan Murphy’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” nabbed best limited series or TV movie. But two other shows stood out. The critically lauded if not heavily watched “The Americans” ended its six-season run last year with many fans feeling it never quite received its due, particularly at the Globes, where it had never before been nominated for best drama series. That changed Sunday night when it took the award home for its haunting final episodes.

The real surprise, though, was Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” which had a fine night, earning Michael Douglas a best actor in a TV comedy award and bringing home the statue for best TV comedy. The surprising part? No one seemed to know what it is. Created by Chuck Lorre and starring Douglas and Alan Arkin, the show follows an aging actor who works as an acting coach and his best friend and agent, who recently lost his wife — something many people found out after Googling “what is the kominsky method,” a search term that peaked during the Globes broadcast … twice.

It was a big night for Sandra Oh

Not only was Oh the first person of Asian descent to host the Globes, but she also made history with her award-winning performance as Eve Polastri in BBC America’s “Killing Eve.” The Canadian actress became the first person of Asian descent to win best actress in a TV series, drama, since Yoko Shimada in 1981, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In her acceptance speech, Oh thanked her parents in Korean.

Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh’s duologue

Most of Samberg and Oh’s speech played it safe, but two spontaneous moments stood out for vastly different reasons.

First, the pair said “Crazy Rich Asians” was the first studio film with an Asian American lead since “Ghost in the Shell” and “Aloha,” the joke being that the latter two films starred Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, respectively — white actresses playing Asian Americans. Suddenly, Stone’s voice could be heard off-screen shouting “I’m sorry!” loudly enough to be heard on television, giving viewers a sense of the goofy (read: drunken) energy in the room.

And later, Samberg referenced the actual Black Panther Party in a joke, which decidedly fell flat, about the superhero movie. “If you told me as a kid growing up in the Bay that there was a movie called ‘Black Panther’ that starts off in Oakland, this is not what I would have imagined,” he said, before addressing director Ryan Coogler: “Ryan, were there a bunch of old members of the actual Black Panther Party saying, ‘I can’t even get an audition?’ Just kidding, they were all framed and murdered for wanting justice and equality. The world is and always has been a nightmare. It just seems worse now because of our phones.” Coogler didn’t exactly laugh so much as stare stoically during the joke, and reactions on Twitter ranged from confused to angry.

Patricia Arquette keeps the network censors busy

There’s always someone who stresses out the network censors, and this year it was Patricia Arquette. Known for headline-making speeches, Arquette (who won best actress in a limited series for Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora”) didn’t disappoint. The audio of her speech was briefly cut, so audiences at home had no idea what she said — but some helpful insiders confirmed that she was referring to her, um, “messed-up” teeth. (She was in the middle of thanking the makeup artists who helped with her prosthetics.) “It was an unplanned f-bomb,” she told reporters backstage, according to Vulture. “I’m very sorry. This is a very elegant occasion.”

Jeff Bridges went full Jeff Bridges

While accepting the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, Bridges delivered a roughly six-minute speech that began normally (by thanking people) and wound up confusing (by comparing our ability to determine society’s fate to ship rudders and trim tabs, which are involved in the boat-steering process). He also compared life to a game of tag: “You know, I’ve been tagged. I guess we’ve all been tagged, right? We’re all alive. Right here, right now! This is happening. We’re alive!” You can read a full transcript of Bridges’s speech here.

The executive producer of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” gets political

“Versace” executive producer Brad Simpson was one of the only people during the show to reference politics, as he accepted the trophy for best limited series or made-for-TV movie. He reminded the audience that the legendary designer was murdered 20 years ago, and was one of the only public figures who was open about his sexuality during “a time of intense hate and fear,” the era of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“Those forces of hate are still with us. They tell us we should be scared of people who are different from us. They tell us we should put walls around ourselves. As artists, we must fight back by representing those who are not represented,” he said. “As human beings, we should resist in the streets. Resist at the ballot box. And practice love and empathy in our everyday lives.”

Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph are engaged!!!

That may not actually be true, but a (comedic) proposal certainly took place! Before presenting the award for best screenplay in a movie, Rudolph said, “I’m so sorry, guys, but I have to do this.” Her voice broke as she turned toward a wide-eyed Poehler and said shakily, “Amy, you’re the love of my life,” while pulling out a box. “You’ve always been there for me. Amy Geraldine Poehler, will you marry me?”

That should sound familiar. Perhaps the most surprising part of the 2018 Emmys came when Glenn Weiss surprise-proposed to his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, while receiving an award for directing the Oscars. We called the moment “heartwarming” back in September, but judging from the rest of this comedic duo’s interaction, they have a different take on the moment.

“Whaaaaaat? I can’t believe you’re doing this!” Poehler replied, adding, “Are we stealing focus away from the next award?”

“Don’t worry, it’s just best screenplay,” Rudolph said, followed by a whole lot of face-touching and cheek-smashing.

The desperate search for the Fiji Water Girl

Who is the Fiji Water Girl? This mystery spread through Twitter faster than a Melanesian waterfall. As celebrities decked out in overpriced one-time-use-only clothing gallivanted down the red carpet, one woman stood strong in her duty: passing out Fiji Water. The young woman, clad in a sea-blue dress, natch, stood stoically on the red carpet, helping hydrate any parched celebs. The anonymous H2O slinger was such a constant presence in the background as stars from Tony Shalhoub to Jim Carrey to Dakota Fanning stopped for interviews and photos that several publications argued she “stole the show.” Of course, she quickly became a meme as social media users began inserting her into famous scenes from various movies.

Washington Post
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