Golden Globes – An English View
Posted on January 19, 2012
You know your getting older when it takes three days to recover from a 4am late-nighter. So was staying up for the Golden Globes worth my reduced capacity to function this week?
The two hours of red carpet were every bit the frivolous celebrity fest I expected and making it through to 1am was a breeze. But this was followed by E! blasting a tirade of Kardashian adverts over Ricky Gervais’ highly anticipated welcome and I began to feel my frustration growing. The fear that Gervais would say something inappropriate blighted not only the opener but also the first two awards.
On watching the re-run of Gervais’ jokes, it became clear that this interruption was completely unnecessary. Reactions to Gervais have been mixed. He did play it safer than last year but, for me, this didn’t detract from the quality of his performance and I laughed aloud. Gervais’ confidence and rapport with both presenters and nominees alike proves he has become an accepted member of the Hollywood community.
Of course, the Globes are a much more relaxed affair than many similar awards ceremonies and this makes them more watchable. In-jokes abounded, showing a much friendlier side to Hollywood than we usually see.
And so to the awards themselves…
The most welcome result of the night was Idris Alba’s Best Actor award for Luther – the BBC detective drama in which he is utterly mesmerising. And Martin Scorsese’s Best Director award for Hugo was certainly well deserved – that opening sequence in Hugo is beautiful. Awards for The Artist were well earned too.
But I have to admit that I was disappointed with many other results on the night. I had my fingers crossed for Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Michael Fassbender (Shame) but the accolades went to the much more predictable choices of Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) and George Clooney (The Descendants).
I also closed my eyes and made a wish for Boardwalk Empire and its cast: Steve Buscemi and Kelly MacDonald. It was, perhaps, too much to ask for Boardwalk to clean up two years running but the writers and cast really did up their game this year – and that was hard to do given the outstanding quality of series one.
I was proud to see the number of British nominees equal those of their American counterparts in many of the categories, but I question why Downton Abbey trumped Mildred Pierce to win Best Mini-Series. I do love Downton and eagerly await each new episode but fear its idealised version of the English aristocracy has played into stereotypical American preconceptions. Alternatively, Mildred Pierce was fearless in its slow burning plot development which enabled the series to delve deep into the complexities of human relationships.
As the UK is sadly so far behind in terms of US film and television releases, I’m left to await winners The Descendants, Boss and Homeland with interest. I hope that they prove worthy of the accolades they have received and outdo their fellow Globe nominees We Need to Talk About Kevin, Shame, Moneyball, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. If they do, the British are certainly in for an exciting time this spring.
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