Golden Globes disappoints, still shocks

We are now in that time of the year that I love and hate the most. It is time for Awards Season. A time where we sit around and watch as everyone pits their films against each other in the spirit of trying to score some golden statues. Everyone knows that it isn’t awards season until all of our favorite celebrities get really drunk together at The Beverly Hilton courtesy of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association for The Golden Globes.

The Golden Globes have almost always had a reputation of a glorified televised Hollywood party as opposed to a legitimate prestige awards ceremony, and rightfully so. The Golden Globes have a very long reputation of rewarding on the basis of popularity or legacy as opposed to overwhelming merit and cultural significance. But nonetheless, it can be a fun show to watch, especially since 2010 when they introduced a traditional host with Ricky Gervais, who still has yet to be topped. This year, the HFPA selected the odd pairing of Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh to host the event, and it went just about as everyone feared it might.

The pairing felt forced and unnatural. Samberg and Oh are great performers, but they seemed to have very little chemistry with one another. Their jokes mostly fell flat and were usually followed by rather stale attempts at being woke. However, Oh had one very poignant speech about inclusion in the industry that had one very awkward moment of a lone laughter in the audience, which stands as representative of the whole evening. Not to mention there was a prolonged joke segment of giving the audience fake flu shots that landed with exactly zero people.

The real meat of the awards show comes from the winners, and if the Globes are to set a tone for the rest of awards season, this should be alarming. The biggest positives came from seeing films like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “Roma” win big with Animated Feature and Foreign Language Film. Acting greats Christian Bale, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Glenn Close gave amazing speeches for their much deserved wins. Those weren’t necessarily surprises though. The surprises came in the later portion of the show and were not for the better.

The shocks of the show came when “Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” swooped in and collected the two Best Picture awards, as well as Rami Malek winning for his Best Actor for his impersonation-not-performance turn as Freddy Mercury for “Bohemian,” and “Green Book” collecting Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.

Obviously, these films have fan-bases. I myself am a fan of “Green Book” for the most part, but it shows that Hollywood isn’t quite ready to practice what they preach yet. With Sandra Oh’s speech early on in the ceremony, it set a tone that the big winner would show legitimate progress, but the actual results show otherwise. Both winners received intense backlash on social media platforms citing the fact that “Bohemian” casts a negative light on Mercury’s sexuality and is directed by an alleged sex offender, who was omitted from any and all mention during the ceremony. “Green Book” received backlash for being a film about race relations written by a crew of three white men and simplifying the issues at hand. It has been labeled a “white savior” film.

Regardless of what you may think about the two winners, with meaningful diverse films like “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Crazy Rich Asians” being nominated alongside those films it, becomes very hard to neglect the fact that Hollywood still comes across as an old white man’s club that can’t accept new, exciting content. I can only hope this trend doesn’t continue for the remainder of awards season and that we see value in originality and diversity. This might be the worst Globes show the HFPA has put on.