La La Land is the big winner of the 74th Golden Globes
With last night’s Golden Globes, the Awards Season feels like it’s underway properly. It was a mostly unsurprising night for awards, with only a few wins that felt entirely unpredictable. Let’s break down the evening:
Certainly the least surprising story from the night was just how well Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land performed. Most people predicted its win in the Best Musical or Comedy, and while I would have loved to see Sing Street win, it had no chance. It was also highly likely that both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone would take home the prizes for Best Actor and Actress in a Musical or Comedy respectively. Again, the competition wasn’t outstanding, with only Colin Farrell for The Lobster and Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins posing any kind of threat. The same can be said for Best Score and Best Original Song: almost nothing else could compete (especially seeing as how the Globes nominated songs from Sing over Sing Street).
However, Damien Chazelle took home two huge wins for Best Director and Best Screenplay. While he was a solid bet for Best Director (Barry Jenkins seemed to be his biggest threat), defeating both Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan for Best Screenplay was hugely unexpected. Lonergan’s screenplay for drama Manchester by the Sea has taken home almost every Screenplay award so far; will this be the case at the Oscars?
One of the most exciting parts of the night was seeing just how unpredictable the drama categories are shaping up. In the big win of the night, Barry Jenkin’s coming-of-age drama Moonlight defeated Hell or High Water and Manchester by the Sea for Best Drama. Gaining a huge amount of momentum, Moonlight seems to be the only rival to La La Land at the moment. The Oscars famously love films about Hollywood and infamously don’t tend to favour black filmmakers, so it’s going to be a close call on the night.
While Casey Affleck was the favourite to win Best Actor in a Drama, almost nobody predicted Isabelle Huppert would defeat heavyweights Amy Adams and Natalie Portman to win Best Actress for her performance in the disturbing French drama Elle. Some weren’t even sure she’d get an Oscar nomination, so this has definitely gained her a lot of buzz. Even more unexpected was Aaron Taylor-Johnson winning Best Supporting Actor for Nocturnal Animals. I recently gave Taylor-Johnson the same prize, but I think almost everybody assumed the award was going to Mahershala Ali for Moonlight. It was less surprising to see Viola Davis win Best Supporting Actress for Fences; only Michelle Williams seems to stand between Davis and an Oscar now.
In the two other films awards, Zootopia deservedly won Best Animated Feature (Kubo and the Two Strings would have been a worthy winner, but wasn’t it surprising that Pixar didn’t get nominated?), while Elle somewhat unexpectedly defeated Toni Erdmann for Best Foreign Language Film. It would have been nice to see Divines win, but it was a competitive category all round.
Despite having no bearing on the Oscars, it was still interesting to see which way the Globes went in terms of TV awards. The Night Manager looks set to sweep the BAFTAs after winning the Miniseries awards for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Netflix once again achieved success with a Best Drama win for The Crown. The People vs. OJ Simpson proved to be a big hit, winning Best Miniseries and Best Actress for Sarah Paulson.
Though the Golden Globes are ultimately meaningless pap voted for by a bunch of crusty old white men who tend to nominate poor performances in order to meet celebrities, it’s still fun to see how Awards Season is shaping up. La La Land is looking unstoppable, Moonlight is looking like a feisty contender, and Casey Affleck must already be creating space on his trophy shelf. I can’t wait for February 26th.
By Harry J. Ford
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