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Golden Globes Winners and Sinners (Analysis)

Golden Globes Winners and Sinners (Analysis)

As critic Carrie Rickey pointed out on Twitter, it helps to remember that more people voted for class clown at your local high school than picked the winners at the 73rd Golden Globes Awards. This idiosyncratic group of 90 entertainment editors and writers who report on the film and television business for their outlets in 55 countries can be counted on to offer up some oddities, but this year hewed to a straighter course than usual. The HFPA even left out “Black Mass” star Johnny Depp, while making sure to invite a solid roster of stars to their glitzy ceremony, including Matt Damon, Will Smith, achievement honoree Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rooney Mara and Jennifer Lawrence. 

The rollicking Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday evening at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, hosted by foul-mouthed Rickey Gervais, whose intro did not disappoint as the bleeped broadcast went live on NBC. The high point of the show was the vivid reaction shots to Gervais’s off-color descriptions of balls-tucking and shoving his Golden Globe up his ass from actors like Lawrence, Ryan Gosling, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lady Gaga. As everyone hoped he would, Gervais’s first joke was about Mexican cartel-chaser Sean Penn: “I’m going into hiding. He will find me—snitch!” he said, beer stein in hand.

He sniped at Globes network NBC, “the only network with zero nominations, so they don’t care who wins,” he said. “Of course, women should be paid the same,” he said, adding that he got paid as much as last year’s hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: “It’s not my fault if they want to share the money.” Since he last hosted, “I’ve changed,” Gervais said. “Not as much as Bruce Jenner. What a year she’s had, Caitlyn Jenner, great bravery, destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers.”

Among various comedy moments the strangest was Gervais saying he’d rather have a drink with “Mad Max: Fury Road” introducer Mel Gibson than Bill Cosby; the star was not amused by that or the question—bleeped on national television—”What the f— does sugartits mean?” This was an ugly moment among many; the drinking vibe was heavy as several awards-winners seemed slightly sloshed and eventual Globe-winner DiCaprio’s expressive double-take after being nudged by Lady Gaga on her way to the stage to accept an unexpected TV acting Globe instantly went viral. 

Of course, when Gervais described buying a Golden Globe, the camera cut to Harvey Weinstein for an easy laugh. Going into the Globes, Weinstein’s “Carol” led the field with five nominations. But it wasn’t expected to win many awards, and came away with zero. Neither was “Steve Jobs,” but Kate Winslet won the first award for Best Supporting Actress, thanking co-star Michael Fassbender, who flew in from the UK set of “Assassin’s Creed” for the second weekend in a row, looking genuinely moved. Also shocked by a win was “Steve Jobs” writer Aaron Sorkin, who took Best Screenplay. “I thought I had as much chance of winning the screenplay award tonight as winning an award for Best Actress in a Musical,” he said, thanking director Danny Boyle and actors Fassbender, Winslet and Seth Rogen. “I could not be more proud of this movie.” 

The Globe wins over 14 film categories add momentum to certain races, without being at all predictive. The Globes show did not help to consolidate the Oscar frontrunner status of Best Drama, Director and Screenplay nominee “Spotlight,” as the strategy of campaigning for its sprawling ensemble in supporting backfired, with no Globe acting nominations at all. Instead the attention turned to surprise winner “The Revenant” with three big awards, including Best Drama and Best Actor for DiCaprio (also a SAG nominee, his tenth Globe nomination and third win), who shared his award with “the First Nations people,” thanking Best Director Alejandro González Iñárritu for this “triumph of the human spirit.” It was Iñárritu’s fourth nomination and third Globe win. Does this presage a surge for “The Revenant” as the movie takes off at the box office? The race is on. 

“It’s not about budgets or the size of the film,” said director Iñárritu of “The Revenant.” “Every film is so difficult, to date this has been the most difficult journey I was on myself. I was rescued by my incredible crew, cast and producers. We struggled for so many months, but we all in this room know that pain is temporary and a film is forever. So who cares?” He also thanked “the hero of film,” the financier Arnon Milchan of New Regency, who backed the movie to $135 million.  

It was a good night for Fox with major wins for “The Revenant” and homegrown “The Martian,” which was brutally skewered by Gervais all night as a “hilarious comedy,” ribbing them for their oft-criticized choice to submit (at the urging of the HFPA) the movie in the Comedy category. Comedy Actor winner Matt Damon recovered gracefully from the hectoring Gervais in order to do the job at hand: promote “The Martian.” And overlooked director Ridley Scott, finally accepting Best Comedy/Musical on the moving outer space drama’s behalf, said, “Comedy?” 

Many winners in their acceptance speeches dutifully listed the other key players who are still campaigning—that’s the point of this show on the road to Oscars. A24 PR chief Nicolette Aizenberg hovered with her fists clenched over her mouth as Best Actress Drama Brie Larson gave her graceful acceptance speech for “Room,” likely the first among many to come.

The Globes offer double the Best Actor and Actress slots, divided between Drama and Musical/Comedy, but the supporting categories offer only five each. “Joy” won Best Comedy Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, who thanked her writer-director David O. Russell. “Every time I am up here it’s because of you,” Lawrence said. “Thank you for your brilliance, your love for cinema is so pure, you make movies like you don’t even care if anyone ever sees them. I mean that as a compliment.” In this case the movie could use a Golden Globes bump at the box office. 

“The Hateful Eight” took one award out of three as an ebullient Quentin Tarantino accepted Best Score for veteran “The Hateful Eight” composer Ennio Morricone, who “has never won an award for any individual movie he has done in America,” he said. An Oscar win is a real possibility.
Statistically, those who land noms from SAG alone are more likely to land an Oscar nod than from the Globes alone. Land both groups, and you have better odds of landing an Oscar slot—the nominations will be announced on January 14th. Those who get neither reduce their chances, but this year’s SAG noms are strange enough to offer some unpredictability. 
Snubbed at the Globe Awards was Open Road’s supposed Oscar frontrunner “Spotlight,” which will look for more love from the Academy this week, along with the Weinstein Co.’s “Carol,” Fox Searchlight’s Saoirse Ronan—who has become close friends with rival Larson on the awards circuit—for emigre drama “Brooklyn,” Focus Features’ “The Danish Girl,” Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and Best Comedy nominees “The Big Short” (Paramount) and “Trainwreck” (Universal), whose writer-star Amy Schumer did an amusing bit with gal pal Lawrence (they’re developing a film together). Schumer is most likely to compete at the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. 
Among the Globes Supporting Actors, the one picking up steam is Sylvester Stallone, who got a rousing standing ovation before he gave a rather strange old-timer’s speech, recalling the people who supported the original “Rocky” rather than the ones responsible for rebooting the series with “Creed” writer-director Ryan Coogler and co-star Michael B. Jordan. (He stepped back onto the stage during the commercial break to thank them.) MGM is working on assembling a sequel, but Stallone may be running that show. 

Animated feature went to Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out,” as expected. It is also expected to win at the Oscars.  

Among the foreign film nominees, Oscar entry “Son of Saul” (Sony Pictures Classics) won the first Golden Globe award for Hungary, and continues to lead the disparate field of contenders. First-time feature director Laszlo Nemes has a long career ahead. “Let us not forget this human face,” he said of his film’s subject, the Holocaust. 

Film winners are listed below:
Best Drama
“The Revenant”
Best Musical/Comedy
“The Martian”

Actor Motion Musical/Comedy
Matt Damon “The Martian”
Best Director
Alejandro G. Inarritu “The Revenant”
Supporting Actress
Kate Winslet “Steve Jobs”
Supporting Actor
Sylvester Stallone “Creed”
Actor Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio “The Revenant”
Actress Musical/Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence “Joy”
Actress Drama
Brie Larson “Room”
Best Animated Feature
“Inside Out”

Original Song
“Writings on the Wall” (“Spectre” Sam Smith)
Best Screenplay 
Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”)
Best Original Score
Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight”
Best Foreign-Language Film
“Son of Saul”

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