by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
You may have thought you were watching a funeral, if you tuned in late to last Sunday evening's Golden Globes telecast. Those in attendance at the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom, mainly Hollywood A-list talent and other entertainment industry folk, were dressed in black from head to toe.
It was a cohesive effort to raise awareness about the recent onslaught of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination incidents that have given the motion picture and television community a black eye. From Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Charlie Rose, alleged victims have claimed in the past few months of having to succumb to sexual advances, or even being blacklisted for not agreeing to certain contractual terms that involved sex.
Throughout the three-hour ceremony, award winners that included Nicole Kidman (Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Big Little Lies), Elisabeth Moss (Lead Actress in a Television Series-Drama, The Handmaid's Tale) and Francis McDormand (Lead Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) acknowledged the issue boldly during their acceptance speeches. But the biggest fighting words came from Oprah Winfrey, who took to the stage like a lioness and delivered a roaring speech that got the room off its feet multiple times. Awkwardly, and sadly, Natalie Portman and Ron Howard presented the Best Director prize immediately afterwards to an all-male nominee lineup, which Portman thankfully didn't allow to go unnoticed.
But the black garments didn't darken the mood of the event, considered a bellwether to the pinnacle of award season shows, the Oscars. Emcee Seth Meyers was only slightly funny on the telecast, and there were moments when his jokes flatlined; more comical was when Aziz Ansari (Best Lead Actor in a Television Series-Comedy of Musical, Master of None) thanked the nation of Italy for all the great food the cast ate during the show's season, which actually did film portions of it in the European country, but seldom - or never - does food ever get mentioned in acceptance speeches.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization of foreign journalists that votes on the Golden Globes, threw a few wrenches into the Academy Awards, temporarily derailing some of its frontrunners, such as Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) for Lead Actress, who was beaten out by McDormand, Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) for Best Supporting Actor, who lost to Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Laurie Metcalf (Ladybird) for Best Supporting Actress, who was knocked off by Allison Janney (I, Tonya). Additionally, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri topped The Shape of Water for Best Motion Picture-Drama, setting up a showdown for the Academy Awards.
Three Billboards earned four awards total, the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph and Best Screenplay (Martin McDonagh), while The Shape of Water won just two, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro) and Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat). Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) and James Franco (The Disaster Artist) received Best Actor accolades for their leading roles in a Motion Picture-Drama and Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, respectively. Saorise Ronan collected the Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical for her role in Lady Bird.
In television, The Handmaid's Tale grabbed a couple of Globes, for Best Television Series-Drama and the aforementioned award for Moss, but Big Little Lies raked in the most hardware with four Globes, Best Limited Series, Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Television Series (Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Dern) and the Best Lead Actress prize for Kidman. On the comedy side, the surprise breakout hit The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took home two awards, for Best Television Series-Comedy or Musical and Best Lead Actress in a Television Series-Comedy or Musical (Rachel Brosnahan); Ansari walked away with the Lead Actor equivalent.
The only notable LGBT winner was Benj Pasek, the gay half of songwriting team Pasek and Paul, who won both Golden Globes and Oscars a year ago for penning 'City of Stars' from La La Land. They also won Tony Awards for scoring Dear Evan Hansen, which earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Score. Should they win the Grammy later this month, they will have achieved the feat of claiming three parts of the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), an entertainment milestone, in less than a year.
Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Martin, who wed his boyfriend Jwan Mosef on January 10, and Sarah Paulson were a few of the openly out presenters for the Globes
This past week, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced its nominations for Motion Picture Original and Adapted Screenplay, as well as revealing picks for the best scripts in documentary feature, comedy and drama television, animated television, variety shows and special televised events.
For film, the Adapted Screenplay nods went to Call Me By Your Name (James Ivory, based on the novel by Andre Aciman), The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell), Logan (Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green, story by James Mangold; based on characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures), Molly's Game (Aaron Sorkin, based on the book by Molly Bloom) and Mudbound (Virgil Williams and Dee Ree, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan).
The Original Screenplay nominations included The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani), Get Out (Jordan Peele), I, Tonya (Steven Rogers), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig) and The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; story by Guillermo del Toro). The 70th Annual Writers Guild Awards will be presented on February 11; many of the nominees will also be in the running for Academy Awards, as a substantial chunk of WGA members are Oscar voters.
Meanwhile, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) unveiled its choices for the best in film 2017 with many expected nominees; however, because the voting body is nearly entirely based in the UK they tend to lean toward British-made movies and English actors, some of whom are considered longshots for Academy Awards. Case in point, Jamie Bell received a Best Actor nomination for his work in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool and Hugh Grant is up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Paddington 2, neither of whom stands a chance to be in the running for an Oscar. Call Me by Your Name received four nominations, Best Film, Lead Actor (Timothée Chalomet), Director (Luca Guadagnino) and Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory). The BAFTAs, hosted by Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley, will be presented on February 18, though will only be televised overseas.
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