One Golden Night

Thomas Hober ‘19

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The 75th Annual Golden Globes kicked off the New Year beautifully on Sunday, January 7th. Host Seth Meyers led America through a night that honored the best of movies, television, and miscellaneous media released in 2017. Filled with humor, shock, and above all else, empowerment, the night stood out as a fitting start to a brand new year of entertainment.

The beginning of the ceremony set the stage for the night’s focus: of women’s rights and of Hollywood’s sexual assault victims. With its poignant references, the night was presented as a beacon of hope and change, a stark contrast to the melancholy state of the media following the sexual misconduct charges against Hollywood heavyweights—among them include Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Louis C. K. “[These allegations] have created a culture in which people as a whole are becoming critical of the entertainment industry…how the industry as a whole views women and gender values,” Andrew Falduto ‘19 states. Seth Meyers took time to express his opinions on the subject in his opening monologue, stating “a lot of people thought it would be more appropriate for a woman to host these awards and they may be right…but if it’s any consolation I’m a man with absolutely no power in Hollywood.” While Meyer cracked many similar jokes as the show progressed, the night would soon prove to be no laughing matter.

Due to such changing atmospheres, many women took the opportunity to bring attention to the lack of acknowledgement towards women in Hollywood. Of these, Barbra Streisand’s comments stood out as some of the most moving, as she pointed out the obvious lack of female nominations for Best Director. Streisand also voiced her astonishment that the Academy did not hand a Best Director Oscar to a single woman since her 1984 win with her movie Yentl. Many other women presenting or receiving awards addressed the same issue in both subtle and blatant methods. Most notable were the remarks of Natalie Portman, who sparked controversy by saying, “Here are the all-male nominees.” While the political undertones played key roles in the ceremony, the night’s accolades also provided many notable highlights.

In the world of movies, the dramatic revenge thriller Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stood out as the big winner of the night, receiving four total awards from six nominations: Best Drama Motion Picture, Best Screenplay of a Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Motion Picture, and Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture. Indie coming-of-age film Lady Bird took home gold as well, with two awards (Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture). The night also marked many first wins, including those for seasoned actors Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell in Darkest Hour and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri respectively. Television gifted its viewers with an equally talented set of nominees this year and an even more incredible set of winners. HBO’s Big Little Lies and Netflix’s The Handmaid’s Tale received much critical acclaim, with the former making good on its four total nominations and the latter earning two awards. Arguably the greatest greatest win of the night was with NBC’s This Is Us, when show actor Sterling K. Brown was awarded Best Actor in a Drama TV Series, setting a milestone by becoming the first African American actor to win the award.

While the main purpose of the night was to highlight the prominent talent of the entertainment this past year, the true star of the 2018 Golden Globes manifested in the shape of former talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who received the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award, an accolade granted to an individual by the Hollywood Foreign Press for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Countless celebrities throughout the night praised this decision, making their approval of Winfrey’s reward no secret to the rest of the world.

Upon receiving the award, Winfrey took ample time to inspire hope in the millions of people tuning in to the ceremony. Commenting on the effects of the changing times, Winfrey discussed pressing topics such as treatment of the press, sexual misconduct, and ever-present discrimination. She referenced influential names in the fight for civil rights such as Sidney Poitier, the first African American to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards, and Recy Taylor, a young African American woman who refused to stay silent about her rape that occurred to her in 1944. In addition, Winfrey proudly contrasted her illustration of a bleak, sorrowful world with what her vision of the world in the future: a brighter day to eclipse the longest, darkest night. She concluded her speech by promising, “when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” She was met with thunderous applause.

This year’s Golden Globes went beyond the standards of the average annual awards show, and instead acted as an unveiling of the structure supporting the entertainment industry, which clearly resonated with ceremony viewers.

“I found Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes so empowering,” said Audrey Raphaels ‘19.  “I personally believe [my] generation really took it to heart…and [hope] they found the same inspiration I did.” Amidst all the pomp and circumstance, the night served as a necessary reminder of strength and adaptability in the industry, not only of mere actors and directors, but of all the viewers and non-viewers around the globe.

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