Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are the Golden Globes Still "Golden?"

I can't remember the first time I sat down to watch the Golden Globes...and I'm not talking about the "fair-weather" viewer who turns the show on the first and last thirty minutes to see the "big" awards. (The producers have caught on in case you haven't noticed.  You have to wait a good hour between Best Supporting Actor and Actress these days).  I'm talking about sitting through the entire 3+ hours, only getting up to go to the bathroom or shake awake the foot that has fallen asleep.  Why?  I guess the simple answer is, I love films.  I always have.  And like thousands of other starving artists, I wanted (okay, still do) to be an actress.  I even wanted to go to an arts high school (I thought it would be just like Fame), but my parents wouldn't let me.  They said I wouldn't be able to find a career in the arts, and I should focus more on "academics."  (Insert irony here: I am, after all, a University Instructor teaching drama.)

Fine.  I'll repeat that story when I win my first Oscar. 

My first role was going to be Annie.  You know, the red-headed orphan.  Couple of problems there -- one, I don't have red hair, and two, I can't sing.  Okay, in the car I've belted out notes that I feel are deserving of the Grammy and the Tony.  (If you've been in the car with me, keep quiet.  I'm telling a story.)  But when I was sitting on my dresser with my comb or brush in my hand, I sounded just like this...

She was no Barbra Streisand, but it resonated with me.

As the years went on, my tastes began to change and a new standard was set in place: Meryl Streep.  Now how a kid goes from Annie to Meryl Streep is as big of a mystery to me as it might be to you, so I can't give a logical explanation there.  Maybe it's the same line of thinking that makes me enjoy a Monty Python film as much as Cinema Paradiso.  The first Meryl Streep film I remember seeing was Sophie's Choice.  I was blown away by her acting ability in that film and the ones that were to follow throughout the 1980s.  She truly defined "talented actress" to me, the same way Kate Winslet does today (think past Titanic here). 

Streep was brilliant.  Yes, she was a beautiful woman on the big screen, but this woman could really act.

And when I sit down to watch the Globes, I want to see real actors celebrated for real work.  What do I see instead?  Continuous shots of Brangelina (the most horrifying one -- if there was only one -- was when Angie decided that she needed to reapply her lip gloss during a brief filmography of Robert De Niro's work just before he received the Cecil B Demille award.)

Thank god for the last 30 minutes of the Globes when my faith was restored by the choices for Best Actor and Best Actress.  But as I was sitting there watching, I really started thinking about where awards shows have gone over the past thirty years (I'm just including the ones I've remembered seeing and experiencing).  Have tastes in what defines "best" just changed?  Was The Social Network really the best film had to offer this year?  And, yes, I know about the petitioning/political arena that surrounds these award shows...but the powers that be still manage to get it right once in while, don't they?

So what's changed here?

While you think about it, I'll put in The Social Network and think this over some more...or read this article on why Helena Bonham Carter's choice in shoes overshadowed her performance in The King's Speech.

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  1. Ah, but the Globes are why God created Twitter: