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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” – now that Christmas is finally over we get to celebrate the season that everyone spends all year looking forward to… film awards season!
As always the Golden Globes kicked of the race on the 18th January that will ultimately lead to the Academy Awards on February 22nd. If truth be told the Globes have never really been taken particularly seriously by those with more than a passing interest in the film industry.
There’s a real sense that these awards are just a way for millionaire actors, actresses and celebrities to stroke each other’s egos while getting more than a little bit drunk. The fact that several undeserving films were nominated this year, (seriously, Annie was nominated this year in a major category as well), doesn’t help the showrunners claim that they’re a legitimate awards show very much.
The Golden Globes aren’t even particularly useful in terms of an indication as to who will win come Oscar night; the Screen Actors Guild awards are a far better measure of who will be bathing in glory come February. In the past the Globes have provided some reasonable entertainment but for those wondering if this year’s show was worth staying up till 1am UK time (with a 4am finishing time). The short answer is no, but I’ll continue to do it every year regardless.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned for the third time to host the awards. Once again they proved to be serviceable but unspectacular hosts. They had a few funny jokes, though they’d confirmed beforehand that they wouldn’t be back for a fourth time so “nothing was off the table”, so I had thought they would make more risky gags. Strangely, other than their opening monologue, the co-hosts featured very little and when they did appear they recycled jokes from last year.
The Golden Globes lack the flair or showmanship of the Oscars, or even the BAFTAS, it’s just three straight hours of acceptance speeches and awkward moments. It’s a yearly tradition for the Globes to drag on a little but this year was particularly bad as the early winners were allowed an awful lot of time for speeches meaning that in the tail end of the show (the most important part) the whole thing was seriously overrunning.
In terms of the winners and losers, it was a rather unpredictable year with several of the favourites losing out to underdogs. On the TV side of things The Affair was the big winner taking home both “Best TV Series – Drama” and “Best Actress – Drama”, with ITV’s Downtown Abby wining “Best Supporting Actress” for Joanne Froggatt’s performance.
Kevin Spacey finally got his hands on a Golden Globe for his role in the Netflix original series House of Cards. Transparent came out the victor in the “Comedy and Musical” categories wining both “Best TV Series – Comedy and Musical” and “Best Actor – Comedy and Musical” for star Jeffrey Tambor.
2014 has been a pretty excellent year for films (despite what some of my recent reviews for SCAN would have you think), so it was anybody’s game. The biggest robbery of the night was the excellent LEGO Movie being passed up in favour of average sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 for “Best Animated Film”.
While it’s been a great year for films as a whole, it has been less so for actresses with there being a disappointing lack of great female roles throughout the year. Julianne Moore took “Best Actress – Drama” for Still Alice, which was a huge shame seeing as Rosamund Pike was far more deserve for her performance in Gone Girl. Whereas Amy Adams won “Best Actress – Comedy and Musical” for the second consecutive year for her role in Big Eyes, she won last year for American Hustle.
JK Simmons was the much deserved winner of “Best Supporting Actor” for his excellent turn as a fierce music teacher in Whiplash. Simmons thanked his co-star Miles Teller, who was unfairly snubbed from a nomination himself. There was some controversy over JK Simmons being eligible for “Supporting Actor” considering his sizeable role in Whiplash.
Eddie Redmayne was a lock for “Best Actor – Drama” for his transformation into the inspirational Stephen Hawkings in the otherwise average The Theory of Everything. The competition between Redmayne and fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch for the Oscar has been built up by the media but the award seems pretty much confirmed at this point; Redmayne can already start clearing space on his shelf.
The hilarious Birdman received two awards, “Best Actor – Comedy and Musical” for lead Michael Keaton and “Best Screenplay”. Keaton’s speech was one of the most genuine moments of the night, with the veteran actor getting choked up as he expressed his admiration for his son.
Birdman was also a focal point as the biggest upset of the night, losing out to The Grand Budapest Hotel for “Best Picture – Comedy and Musical”. Birdman had been the bookies’ favourite for weeks and having already won two awards it seemed it was on track for a third until Wes Anderson got to take home the prize. Both films are excellent however and either would have been a worthy choice.
The big winner of the night was however Boyhood, a film literally twelve years in the making. Taking home “Best Supporting Actress” for Patricia Arquette, “Best Director” for Richard Linklater and the big prize “Best Picture – Drama”. Rather disrespectfully Richard Linklater and the cast were rushed off stage as the awards show was overrunning, cutting their acceptance speech short.
George Clooney was also honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. The 72nd annual Golden Globes awards were an enjoyable show but as always pale in comparison to the big event, the Academy Awards. Regardless as the show hurriedly drew to a close, my eyes stinging with tiredness; I was already looking forward to the next step on the long awards season road. Bring on the Critics’ Choice Awards this Thursday!