Less an awards show and more a prolonged statement of cultural correction, Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards managed to keep things fairly entertaining…
Here are 5 of the best Golden Globes acceptance speeches of 2018:
Nicole Kidman: “My mama was an advocate for the women’s movement when I was growing up. . . . Thank you for what you fought for so hard.”
Rachel Brosnahan, who won best TV comedy actress for her lead role “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel”: “Let’s hold each other accountable and invest in and champion [women’s] stories.”
Reese Witherspoon, speaking after “Big Little Lies” won best limited series: “I want to thank everyone who broke their silence this year. . . . Time is up, we see you, we hear you and we will tell your stories.”
McDormand: “Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work. Thank you.”
The evening’s anticipated centrepiece, Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecile B. DeMille Award, did not disappoint. She started by remembering what it meant for her, as a little girl, to see Sidney Poitier win an Academy Award in 1964 and segued to a comment about Recy Taylor, a black woman who was gang-raped by white men in 1944 and told people what happened rather than keep it quiet.
Winfrey’s speech thundered into a rallying cry for equality and justice for women everywhere, “whose names we’ll never know,” and a salute to men who support them. “A new day is on the horizon,” she said. “A time where no one will have to say ‘Me Too’ ever again.”
The crowd went wild; it was up to film director Ron Howard and actress Natalie Portman to follow Winfrey’s speech, with a presentation of best film director. “And here are the all-male nominees,” Portman archly announced. (Guillermo del Toro won for “The Shape of Water.”)
The Globes have a reputation, deserved or not, for being the fun! awards show – the unrestricted schmooziness! The tipsiness! The mouthiness! – but the event’s 75-year history suggests a better word: fungible. That’s what makes them a good venue for takeover.
By standing for little and meaning less, its easy for a host or a cause to mould the Globes to the mood or message of the moment. Ricky Gervais held sadistic sway over the show on the four occasions he hosted; accepting last year’s DeMille award, Meryl Streep delivered a resistance rallying cry just days ahead of President Trump’s inauguration.
The Globes resiliently cling to that ancient (and confining) Beverly Hilton ballroom setting and an A-list-collides-with-B-list vibe. Along the way it has become a proving ground for celebrities to test-run their causes, movements and opinions – to be as Hollywood as they can be. They even brought out the ultimate weapon, Barbra Streisand, to deliver one final jab at the patriarchy.
After a show that resolute, one should probably expect a presidential tweet, with one’s morning coffee, declaring a my-button-is-bigger war on Hollywood.