Monday, January 8, 2018

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Hollywood Foreign Press Association, NBC-TV, aired January 7, 2018)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2018 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

We got home at 3:40 p.m., well in time for the advertised 4 p.m. start time for the Golden Globe Awards (thank goodness the Internet revolution has moved at least some of the awards show telecasts are finally being aired on the West Coast in real time, instead of on tape-delays that only remind us that the East Coast-centric media establishment always wants to make us West Coasters suck hind tit), though that was just the start of the interminable pre-awards show. The Golden Globes were the first major Hollywood awards telecast to take place after “the moment,” the welcome awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in Hollywood and the media that has produced some really bizarre results. Thanks to the efforts of online campaigns like #MeToo and Time’s Up (the latter was giving out pins for the male attendees to wear to show their solidarity with women speaking up against their own victimization by powerful men, and the campaign’s organizers ran out of them), women are finally getting the pervasiveness of the problem exposed — and as the example of Kevin Spacey and the recent telecast on Lifetime of the TV movie A Tale of Two Coreys (in which Corey Feldman and Corey Haim are depicted as rape victims and their descent into major drug habits are shown as delayed PTSD responses to having been molested by the men in the industry who were supposed to be protecting them), this isn’t a problem just women have to deal with. The anti-harassment groups called for everyone to wear black to the ceremony, and virtually all the attendees did — which gave the proceedings the appearance of a funeral, even if some of the women had costume jewelry studding their black gowns.

The high point of the evening for me was the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Oprah Winfrey, who gave a long and occasionally rambling speech but one which framed the whole issue of sexual harassment in a broader context of equality and respect for human rights. There were far fewer jabs at President Trump this year than last — maybe out of a consciousness that Hollywood has to get its own house in order before they start throwing political stones at the Right again — and most of the ones that were implied the message rather than actually stating it the way Meryl Streep did the year before. There was probably an implied statement from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in their choices for the two Best Picture winners: the Drama winner (announced by Barbra Streisand, who mentioned that she won the Golden Globe for Best Director in 1984 — and there hasn’t been a woman winner since, though the Globes at least deserve credit for giving a woman Best Director a quarter-century before the Oscars did!) was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, based on a true story about a mother (played by Frances McDormand in one of her few projects not also involving her husband, Joel Coen) in the titular small town who took out three giant billboard ads criticizing the local sheriff and law enforcement in general for not working hard enough to find the man who raped and murdered her daughter; and the Comedy or Musical winner was Lady Bird, written and directed by a woman (Greta Gerwig) about a teenager in Sacramento in the early 2000’s who yearns for a career in the creative arts and a better and more cosmopolitan life than that offered to a girl from “the wrong side of the tracks” in that environment. (Alas, Gerwig wasn’t even nominated for best director: all the nominees were men, and white men at that.) The Golden Globes can be frustrating in that not only have Charles and I not seen any of these movies (I think it’s been over a year since we went to a traditional movie theatre at all), but many of them are still in limited release and therefore we couldn’t see them even if we wanted to, while a lot of the nominated TV shows aren’t on traditional broadcast or cable outlets but on “streaming” services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, which we don’t subscribe to (we’re spending way too much money on television as it is!) and are based on both a technology and a business model that totally appall me — the business model being, “We’ll make you pay through the nose for one or two shows of real quality, and to get them you have to take the rest of our garbage.”