I Watched the Golden Globes

Aside from the fact that Hollywood gives and gets way too many awards for what they do, and no one else in any other field gets that kind of accolades, it was a good night. I did see a lot of the nominated tv shows and films, though certainly not all of them.

I was happy for Sarah Paulson for her portrayal of Marcia Clark in The People vs OJ Simpson, which also won for best tv limited series.

I watched The Crown on Netflix, and what really drew me in was both the writing and Claire Foy‘s portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth, a person who I am generally not very interested in. I was very happy that she won the best actress for a tv mini-series. This mini-series was so well done because of their approach to the inner life of young Elizabeth as she becomes queen unexpectedly, and how she struggled with what it means to her to be a monarch. What was really moving to me was her outrage at not having a proper education, especially because she  had to meet with Winston Churchill every week and discuss politics, which she was not prepared for. The show also won best mini-series.

I have only watched a few episodes of Blackish, and was thrilled to see Tracee Ellis Ross win there. Here is what she said in her speech: “This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you, we see you.” Right on.

La La Land took everything in the music, musical movie category, as it should. Nancy and I saw it on Saturday. The song, City of Stars, won best song, and is jazzy and pop at the same time, and is captivating. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were perfect as a modern day Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant…not too corny, buy singing and dancing the whole time, and I’m glad they won the best in their category.

Casey Affleck won Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea, which is a very well done most depressing movie of the year. If I were his character I would have killed myself…that’s how tragic this movie it. He stayed in character every single second of the movie, which had to be difficult beyond belief. I was hoping that Amy Adams would win best actress for Arrival, but  it went to Isabelle Huppert for Elle, which I haven’t seen.

The winner of the best motion picture was Moonlight, which after I saw it, I predicted it would, or at least should, win.  Moonlight is a film that is deeply grounded in its character work, a balancing act that’s breathtaking to behold. It is one of those rare pieces of filmaking that stays completely focused on its main character while also feeling like it’s dealing with themes about identity, sexuality, family, and, most of all, masculinity. And yet it’s never preachy or moralizing. Both Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight are about men and masculinity, themes that are not at the top of my list of interests, but I was captivated by both of these films, and strongly recommend that you see them.

The highlight of the night for me was Meryl Streep‘s speech upon winning the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Now, I agree that she has won too many awards (nobody has given me an award for being the best psychotherapist, nor will they ever) but she really does deserve everything that comes her way because  she is so gifted. What she did with her speech was to call out the President-elect for mocking a disabled person and warned that a free speech would need to be defended. Totally political, and I loved it. Actually, I cried all the way through it. Here is her speech in its entirety:


Please sit down. Thank you. I love you all. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend. And I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year, so I have to read.

Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said: You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.

But who are we, and what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island; Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids in Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in London — no, in Ireland I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a girl in small-town Virginia.

Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.

They gave me three seconds to say this, so: An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work.

But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose. O.K., go on with it.

O.K., this brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing: Once, when I was standing around on the set one day, whining about something — you know we were gonna work through supper or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, “Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?” Yeah, it is, and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.

As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art.

Thank you Meryl.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James Akers
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 05:25:57

    You perspective?  Nicely done!



  2. Marta
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 07:53:05

    having seen Lion, Dev Patel coming out with the little boy who had quite a large role in the movie was so many bing and wonderful.



  3. Larry
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 16:28:36

    thanks Phern for sharing your perspectives. I really enjoyed reading them.



  4. Richard Juhl
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 21:50:56

    I wasn’t able to watch. Thanks for the wonderful summary.



  5. Rickibo@aol.com
    Jan 09, 2017 @ 22:03:42

    Thanks for this. Another great post. xoxo Ricki



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