The 72nd Golden Globe Awards was a night of celebration that saw George Clooney heavily mocked, Kevin Spacey swearing and Patricia Arquette close to tears. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kicked off the show, for the third consecutive year, with Hollywood’s most sensitive subjects under inspection. “Tonight we celebrate all the great television shows we know and love as well as all the movies that North Korea was okay with” Fey said. The duo continued by making jives at their “despicable, spoiled, minimally talented” peers as Fey mocked both Seth Rogan’s “The Interview” and North Korea’s aggression towards it. It seemed that nobody was safe in their opening speech. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault allegations were brought to light in the form of impersonations and the industry itself was criticised for its representation of older women. Clooney, who received a Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, had his own credentials made fun of when Fey listed the many humanitarian qualities of Clooney’s new wife Amal Alamuddin and ended with “so tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award”.
Jokes aside, the running theme of the evening was the power of expression and freedom of speech proving that the recent terrorist attack in Paris at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was playing on everyone’s mind. Guests, such as Diane Kruger and boyfriend Joshua Jackson, held up signs reading “Je Suis Charlie” on the red carpet. Others, like Kathy Bates, had the slogan strategically placed on items like phones for the world to acknowledge their solidarity with the slain victims. Clooney concluded his speech for his “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” with a dedication to the unity marches in Paris and beyond “in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear”. While, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Theo Kingma received a standing ovation when he pledged for union. “We must stand united” in the “importance of freedom of artistic expression from “North Korea to Paris”.
Kevin Spacey was not shy to demonstrate his right to expression with an expletive after winning Best Performance in a Television Series for his role as ruthless politician Frank Underwood in “House of Cards”. “This is the eighth time I’ve been nominated” Spacey said. He continued with “I cannot fucking believe I’ve won.”
Patricia Arquette stole the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Motion Picture from her fellow nominees Jessica Chastain, Keira Knightley, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep for Richard Linklater’s coming of age 12-year project. Arquette, reading off a piece of paper, emotionally thanked her “on-screen family”, her inspirational deceased parents and those who helped her when she was a twenty year-old struggling single mother trying to make it in the film industry. MBIFA winner “Boyhood” also won Golden Globes for the Best Drama Motion Picture and Best Director cementing its place as a serious contender for Oscar votes. Linklater, in an equally touching speech, dedicated his award to “families that are just passing through this world and doing their best”. He succinctly concluded with: “Bottom line is we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect”.
The Hollywood Foreign Press, an organization of journalists, is perhaps trying to shake off its conservative image by, in a surprise, awarding the Best Picture in the Musical or Comedy Division to Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” beating the Oscar favourite “Birdman”. However, under the same category Michael Keaton managed to nab Best Actor while Amy Adams won Best Actress for “Big Eyes”. Keaton, in jest, thanks the Hollywood Foreign Press “for even having a Comedy category”.
Despite the freedom of speech concept that dominated the Golden Globes ceremony, there was still a distinct lack of diversity amongst the nominees. “Orange is the New Black” supporting actress Uzo Aduba lost out to “Downtown Abbey” Joanne Froggatt who won Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Series for her portrayal of rape victim Anna Bates. While, ironically “Selma”, the historical drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King, had four nominations but only one success with Best Original Song for John Legend and Common’s song “Glory”. Leading man David Oyelowo was nominated for Best Actor but lost to “The Theory of Everything” Eddie Redmayne. In his acceptance speech Common stresses the importance of freedom and unity comparing himself to the “hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote” and “the caring white supporter killed on the front lines of freedom.”
Is the 72nd Golden Globes Awards the most honest and heartfelt ceremony ever to take place? The stars and industry figures take a break from talking about themselves (for once) and focus their attention on others. Producer Harvey Weinstein, ahead of the event, in an open letter wished for the Golden Globes to remember those killed in the January 7 attack. Weinsten’s wish is undoubtedly honoured as the winners not only praise others for their achievements but also pay tribute to those who are less fortunate. Jared Leto, in a moment before presenting Patricia Arquette her Best Supporting Actress Award, implores to the “brothers, sisters, friends and families in France” that “our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with you”. “On vous aime. Je Suis Charlie.”