Golden Globe Awards Review- Unfunny Comedies, Unfamiliar Faces, and Unpredictability

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Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant, one of three victories for the film.

While we could have said before last night’s Golden Globes that we had some kind of inkling of the thought process of the Hollywood Foreign Press, it’s hard to do that now, as last night they announced shocker after shocker at the ceremony, on both the film and TV side.

In the Best Picture categories, it was a double success for 20th Century Fox, as The Revenant upset heavy favourite Spotlight to take home Best Motion Picture- Drama, while The Martian beat out The Big Short to win Best Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical. This puts both films in a strong position in the Best Picture race for the Oscars, due to the presumed frontrunners flagging a little bit. It will particularly hurt The Big Short, which lost all 4 of its nominations, losing out on the Comedy side to a film that isn’t a comedy (personally, I didn’t laugh once during The Martian, and I found the forced humour rather grating, and made it lose a lot of its tension).

In the Lead Acting categories, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson are all but locks to win at the Oscars after their victories for The Revenant and Room, respectively. While on the Comedy side, Matt Damon’s and Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar chances received a massive boost, with them both now likely to pick up a nomination on Thursday. In Supporting, the best winner of the night was Sylvester Stallone, who won for playing Rocky Balboa for the seventh time in Creed, giving a great speech that will help his chances of winning at the Oscars, so long as he is nominated. For Supporting Actress, the fate of Kate Winslet is yet to be seen as she wasn’t up against Rooney Mara for Carol or Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, but this certainly won’t hurt her.

In Screenplay, Aaron Sorkin’s victory for Steve Jobs is well deserved, winning against tough competition, and it gives the film some more deserved recognition. Sam Smith put his hat in the ring for Original Song after winning for Writing on the Wall (Brian Wilson was robbed, by the way), and Ennio Morricone now is in a strong position to win Best Original Score at the Oscars, even though he wasn’t up against John Williams for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or Thomas Newman for Bridge of Spies. Also, there were pretty easy wins for Inside Out in Animated Feature, and Son of Saul in Foreign Language Film.

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Gael Garcia Bernal took home Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of classical conductor Rodrigo in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, which also took home Best Comedy Series.

Over on the TV side, the winners were a bit all over the shop, and what you would call ‘classic’ Golden Globes. In Drama Series, the victor was USA Network’s Mr. Robot, a somewhat predictable winner due to it’s critical acclaim, and it being a debut show. A slightly stranger winner was in Comedy Series, where Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle took home the top prize, beating out last year’s champ, Transparent, which is a far, far superior show. Anyway, someone should give the awards campaign team for Mozart in the Jungle a medal, because they did extremely well to win here, especially as it’s for the show’s second season, that was released on Amazon Prime on 30th December, way after the nomination voting period.

In the acting races, the Golden Globes got sentimental and gave Jon Hamm a goodbye hug by awarding him Best Actor in a Drama Series for Mad Men, rather than giving it to heavy favourite Rami Malek for Mr. Robot. In Best Actress in a Drama Series, Taraji P. Henson owned the stage after winning for Empire, in a show that needed its buzz to pick up after an underwhelming second season. For Best Actor in a Comedy Series, the Globes continued their trend of a double victory in Comedy Series and Comedy Actor (see Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Transparent for proof), and gave it to Gael Garcia Bernal for Mozart in the Jungle. He’s fine on the show, but it’s an underwhelming victory, considering the layered performances that Aziz Ansari and Jeffrey Tambor give on their shows. In Comedy Actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus lost yet again as Rachel Bloom won for The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, that I’m sure that no one actually watches.

Over in Limited Series/TV Movie, the biggest shock of the night came as Wolf Hall beat 1/10 favourite Fargo to take the top prize, as the FX show left empty handed. Oscar Isaac won Best Actor, which is no surprise considering his popularity after both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ex Machina, even though Show Me a Hero was not nominated anywhere else. In one of the worst victories of recent memory, Lady Gaga took home Best Actress for American Horror Story: Hotel, beating career best performances from Kirsten Dunst, Queen Latifah and Felicity Huffman, just so that they could get her up on stage.

Finally, in the Supporting categories, Christian Slater won Supporting Actor, as they surprisingly gave him Mr. Robot‘s acting award instead of Rami Malek, and Maura Tierney surprisingly won for The Affair‘s only nomination, ahead of Emmy winners Regina King and Uzo Aduba, whose defeat meant that Netflix went home empty handed.

Overall, I have to say that it was quite a disappointing night, especially on the film side as you can see all the winners receiving Oscar nominations, rather than more daring choices given a shot, like Trainwreck or Spy, actually really funny comedies, winning over The Martian. On TV, it seems like they went for the ‘cool’ factor rather than quality. Seriously though, who honestly thinks that Mozart in the Jungle is better than Transparent or Silicon Valley?, or who thinks that Lady Gaga was better than Kirsten Dunst? Shame, oh, shame. Bring on the Oscar nominations on Thursday!

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