Meryl, LaLaLand & Oscar Implications: Breaking Down The 2017 Golden Globes
As someone who’s always been a negative nelly when it comes to the Golden Globes, this was an all-around good show. I’ve never criticized the awards themselves, but the whole disaster of it all. It’s usually a drunken catastrophe where the next morning we whine and complain about who gave the most irritating speech. While there were a few minor annoyances, nothing really set me off. I’m just so happy Ricky Gervais wasn’t the host. The snark factor was downgraded 1000%. You could tell the crowd was a lot happier and more relaxed at not having to live in fear at who Ricky would blast next. Please. No more Ricky. While I don’t have strong feelings either way for Jimmy Fallon, he was solid and moved the show along efficiently.
We’ll get to the film awards soon enough, and whether or not we should even bother having the Oscars this year (La La Land), but as always, a few thoughts on the ceremony:
The La La Land Opening
While I didn’t find the La La Land opening hilarious, I respect the effort. Fallon was fine. You had the obligatory Justin Timberlake appearance. Didn’t see that one coming. While it wasn’t downright hysterical, there were some definite highlights. The appearance of the Stranger Things kids was awesome, as was the floating Eggo waffle. Brilliant. While Ryan Reynolds was funny in the bit, they missed the mark by not having him just be Deadpool. How funny would a Fallon/Deadpool “City of Stars” duet have been? Come on!
I give Jimmy Fallon a solid B+. He gets 70 points off the bat for not being Ricky Gervais. Nothing bombed too badly. He was quick, efficient and even got me to chuckle at times. I counted 3.5 election jokes in the monologue. That could have been worse. His best line of the night was probably laughing about Manchester by the Sea bloopers. That was a good one. And even as someone who loves Batman v Superman, I have to admit the Matt Damon pretending to like it line was pretty good. Jimmy did well. Speaking of Matt Damon, he also had a great line when announcing “newcomer” Meryl Streep in the Best Actress – Comedy category. That was funny.
The two best speeches of the night came from Viola Davis and Emma Stone. Unlike some acceptance speeches, Viola Davis was exceptionally genuine. Stone’s speech was great because it tied into the movie she won for better than any of the other speeches, and was effective as hell. Well done.
The Meryl Streep Speech
No matter what political leaning you are, it’s easy at times to get annoyed by political statements at an entertainment awards show, unless your movie or show relates to that subject matter. If there was one actor or actress in all of Hollywood that has the gravitas to talk about whatever she wants at an awards show, it would be Meryl Streep. Streep gave an eloquent and well thought out speech. Let’s juxtapose her speech with what Hugh Laurie did. While both essentially have the same message, Streep did it with maturity and grace, while Laurie sounded completely obnoxious. That’s the difference.
–While Deadpool had no chance of winning, it was really cool to see it introduced as a Best Picture nominee. It was pretty funny to hear Jake Gyllenhaal try and give it this serious introduction. Dude, it’s Deadpool! Lighten up, Jake.
—While the Steve Carell/Kristen Wiig Best Animated Feature bit went on a little long, it was pretty damn funny. Carell killed it, and that was funnier than anything Kristen Wiig said in Ghostbusters. Yeah, I went there.
–The Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds tribute was soul crushing, but powerful as hell. Wow.
–Best Moment of the Night: For selfish reasons, Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed presenting the last award of the night was just flat out awesome. It made me want to watch Rocky for the 800th time.
The Low Lights
–The Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn bit was torturous.
ONTO THE AWARDS (and what it all means come Oscar time)
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals)
Well, we started out with a big upset, didn’t we? First of all, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is very deserving here. He was effectively creepy in Nocturnal Animals. As far as the Oscar implications go, this category is a bit of a mess right now. Aaron Taylor-Johnson may not even get nominated here, let alone win. Let’s not forget Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) got snubbed here. If I had to pick a front runner come Oscar time, I’m going with Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), but this category is very convoluted right now.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Viola Davis, Fences)
There was a time I thought this could be a close race between Viola Davis and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), but Davis seems to have a stranglehold on the category right now. She’s going to be tough to beat. Let’s also not forget this could be a make-up Oscar when she didn’t win for The Help.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (Ryan Gosling, La La Land)
How could anyone not be a Ryan Gosling fan? This award was a no-brainer, but come Oscar time, he’ll have to go up against Denzel and Casey Affleck. We’ll talk about that later, but I’m starting to believe in a possible Gosling upset in the Best Actor race. It’s a long shot, but not completely out of the question.
Best Screenplay (Damien Chazelle, La La Land)
This was the one award La La Land had a chance of losing, and it couldn’t even do that. This movie is an unstoppable monster right now. Damien Chazelle is winning an Oscar in February. The only question is will it be one or two?
Best Director (Damien Chazelle, La La Land)
While La La Land still has a slight chance to lose Best Picture, Damien may have this award locked up. I’m not sure how he loses this award. He may have won it on the first scene alone.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (Emma Stone, La La Land)
Another La La Land no-brainer. Best Actress may be the tightest race come Oscar time. While Natalie Portman (Jackie) still has to be considered the favorite, Emma Stone is right on her heels. This will be a nail-biter.
Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical (La La Land)
This is like the Cleveland Cavaliers coming out of the Eastern Conference. Nothing was ever going to beat La La Land in this category. Come Oscar time, La La Land will have to play the Western Conference finalist though (Moonlight/Manchester by the Sea). That will be a bit more interesting.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama (Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea)
Affleck is going to be real tough to beat in this category, but Denzel Washington is certainly no slouch. What hurts Denzel the most is that he’s going for Oscar #3. That’s a big factor. We also can’t discount the Casey Affleck controversies, although those seemed to have subsided. While he’s a distant third, Gosling also has a sliver of a chance.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama (Isabelle Huppert, Elle)
If you thought Aaron Taylor-Johnson was the biggest upset of the night, think again. Whoa. I figured Natalie Portman’s name was already inscribed on this award. If you think about it though, it makes sense. Elle did win the award for Best Foreign Language Film, and this is the Hollywood Foreign Press, so Huppert winning here shouldn’t be a total shock. Much like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Huppert is not even likely to get an Oscar nomination (she didn’t get a SAG nomination). At the end of the day, the Best Actress race is coming down to Stone Vs. Portman.
Best Motion Picture – Drama (Moonlight)
It took all night, but Moonlight finally won an award, and it was the biggest one of all. This pretty much cements Moonlight, and not Manchester by the Sea, as the biggest threat to La La Land. I could absolutely see a scenario at the Oscars where Moonlight wins only one award, but it just so happens to be Best Picture. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before. We’ll find out soon enough.