New Year, New Awards: 2019 Golden Globes

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The new year is in full swing, and with the start of 2019 comes the long-awaited awards season, officially kicked off with the Golden Globes. The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on Sunday, Jan. 6, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continued its long-standing tradition of celebrating excellence in television and film. While traditions of the ceremony were most definitely upheld, this year’s ceremony was also a sign of changing times, including several speeches regarding inclusion in the entertainment industry and even a brand-new award.

The evening was hosted by actors Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, who surprisingly avoided political topics such as President Trump and the government shutdown. Instead, their jokes were aimed at the stars in attendance, while also briefly alluding to cultural appropriation and identity politics. In addition, Oh and Samberg were sure to mention the currently host-less Academy Awards, claiming, “One lucky audience member will host the Oscars.” Sophomore Sammi Feldman thought the duo’s decision to avoid politics was sound, stating, “I thought it was smart of the hosts not to talk about Trump. It was a nice break from what’s usually in the media in today’s polarized world.”

The night’s film awards were rather evenly spread, with no one film taking home the majority; however, the night was definitely filled with surprises. A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was expected to be a big winner of the night, nominated for four Golden Globes but went home with only the award for Best Original Song. While A Star is Born was heavily predicted to win Best Drama, Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic film about Freddie Mercury, the band’s lead singer, was awarded the Golden Globe. In addition, Rami Malek took home the award for Best Actor in a Drama for his riveting performance as Mercury in the film. In his speech, he thanked Mercury “for giving me the thrill of a lifetime.” Senior Rosie Perlstein was delighted by the news of Malek’s win, explaining, “Bohemian Rhapsody was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, and I was so happy it won at the Golden Globes because the story is really important and the acting was great.” The inspirational story of the unlikely friendship between black pianist Don Shirley and his close-minded driver Nick Vallelonga as they travel the Deep South in the 1960s, Green Book, received three Globes, including the award for Best Comedy or Musical. As the first awards show of the season, the Golden Globe Awards set the scene for ceremonies to come and may sway further nominations for films such as these.

It was also a big night for many popular television programs. The Americans, the FX program surrounding Russian spies in an American suburb, starring real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, was awarded the Globe for Best TV Drama. It beat out Julia Roberts’ new show Homecoming and Sandra Oh’s Killing Eve. However, Oh was victorious in the category of Best Actress in a TV Drama for her performance in Killing Eve. Matthew Rhys of The Americans was beat out for Best Actor in a TV Drama by Richard Madden, who won for his role as a British police officer in the political thriller Bodyguard.

In addition to the television and film awards, a brand-new award, the Carol Burnett Award, was presented to its legendary namesake by Steve Carrell in a heartwarming tribute to her six decades of comedic success. Burnett expressed her gratitude for both the award and the industry that allowed her career to reach such success, dedicating her award “to all those who made [her] dreams come true, and to all those out there who share the love I have for television and yearn to be a part of this unique medium that has been so good to [her].” The beloved Jeff Bridges took home the famous Cecil B. Demille Award for a career of excellence in a myriad of films, including The Big Lebowski, Starman, and True Grit. Bridges thanked his late father in his acceptance speech and left the audience with the message that we have all been “tagged” to be lucky enough to be alive.

While the overall tone of the 2019 Golden Globes was one of light-hearted joy, several speeches took a more serious turn toward societal issues, both celebrating and criticizing the progress that has been made in the entertainment industry. Peter Farrelly, director of Green Book, used his time to demand tolerance, stating, “We are still living in divided times” and urging us all to “look for what we have in common.” During her acceptance speech for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk, Regina King made a vow to equality, promising “everything that I produce, it’s 50 percent women.” But King didn’t stop there. She continued to “challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power” to do the same. Senior Angelica Almonte appreciated these sentiments from the recipients, stating, “I think it’s amazing when celebrities use their platforms to advance causes they’re passionate about. It was especially empowering to watch Regina King make a personal promise for the sake of gender equality; it really showed her dedication and fervor.”

The 2019 Golden Globe Awards continued the best traditions of the ceremony’s 76-year history, while also implementing new traditions. At its core, aside from the jokes and red carpet looks, the Golden Globes are intended to celebrate the best talent in television and film, and this year, there was definitely no shortage of talent. After seeing the year’s best talents showcased and acclaimed at the Golden Globes, it should be exciting to watch how the remainder of awards season unfolds.

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