2017 Golden Globes Winners
The night may have started off on a rough note with a painful monologue by Jimmy Fallon and multiple tech issues, but the 2017 Golden Globes quickly found its composure and in the process, became a memorable night with records set and surprise wins which shook the state of the awards race.
Let’s get it out of the way, La La Land was poised to pick up Best Picture, Actor, and Actress in the category of Musical/Comedy since nominations were announced, but it was a surprise to see it walk away with an additional 4 Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay (both collected by Damien Chazelle – the youngest winner of either category), as well as Best Original Score and Original Song (for “City of Stars”). With 7 wins, La La Land is now the biggest winner in the history of the Golden Globes – eclipsing the 6 wins earned by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Midnight Express. At this point, it feels like a safe bet that La La Land will continue to dominate at next month’s Oscars, and it will be interesting to see how distributor Lionsgate attempts to keep up the momentum.
Elsewhere, Casey Affleck won Best Actor – Drama for his harrowing work in Manchester by the Sea – and in his compacted acceptance speech thanked fellow nominee Denzel Washington, who many believed would take the award for his film Fences (his co-star Viola Davis was the sole winner for that film, earning a Best Supporting Actress trophy). Affleck seems like an Oscar lock at this point, though one wonders how the controversies surrounding his past and treatment of women will impact the awards campaign for this film, which has left a considerable stain on voters' minds. And even though Washington won the Best Actor Oscar fifteen years ago for Training Day, I honestly wouldn’t mind him picking up a second trophy in that category, as he is very deserving of it.
Best Actress – Drama contained a major shakeup, as dark horse nominee Isabelle Huppert won for her performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. Its phenomenal to see an actress pick up a major award for a non-English film (yes, I know this is coming from the Hollywood Foreign Press, but still), especially one that has been the subject of major controversy in the past few months since debuting at Cannes. While Elle failed to qualify for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category (despite winning the award here, with a GREAT speech from Verhoeven), one hopes that Huppert makes the cut for her work, because she is phenomenal.
Another major surprise came in the form of the night’s first trophy – with Aaron Taylor-Johnson winning Best Supporting Actor for Tom Ford’s sophomore feature Nocturnal Animals. Up until this point, the favorite to win was Mahershala Ali in Moonlight, on top of Taylor-Johnson’s nomination being met with confusion as the work from his co-star Michael Shannon had received more attention from press and FYC campaigns. Yet, he pulled out as the winner, and now it remains as to whether or not he makes the cut with the AMPAS in a few weeks.
This year’s Globes were made special by a tribute to the recently passed Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, which made for a touching display of mother and daughter affection, and the honoring of Meryl Streep with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Streep's speech formed an intensely expressive, powerful moment, in which she set her sights squarely on Donald Trump and made a call for more diversity in the arts, otherwise, in her words, “you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts.”
It’s this plea which made the final win of the night, Moonlight winning Best Picture – Drama such an incredible one. A major award like that going to a story about a young gay black man coming of age and finding his identity against an overbearing environment, is the kind of inspiring filmmaking that is important for the times we’re living in now, and certainly the kind of filmmaking that we need more of. In his speech, director Barry Jenkins spoke directly to those watching across the country, to get as many people to see it as possible, as that type of audience support is the only way we can guarantee more distinct narratives like it to exist.
With the Globes now out of the way, all sights are set on seeing what will be nominated for the Oscars (with the announcement happening on Tuesday, January 24th). Without a doubt, it does not look as clear-cut as it did merely a week ago. With three films harboring clear frontrunner status (in the form of La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea), it feels like things are really heating up to make for one of the most interesting award seasons in history.