Why do I linger on award shows empty of gravitas?

Ana Costanzo, Staff Writer

By Ana Costanzo

Maybe the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has drugged me from the comfort of my living room after every sit-down for American award shows. How else could you explain my viewing of the 77th Golden Globe Awards?

Every year I expect to witness some radical moment for film history; on the other hand, every year I question why I even bother watching the awards show at all. I continuously await the Golden Globes in want of something…different. I yearn for the possibility the HFPA will recognize my top films of the year. What’s the point, then, when my films are seldom recognized? 

My grievances aside, there were surprises to be had on this monotonous occasion. But mostly, the night was full of predictable outcomes stemming from a Hollywood submerged in a culture of pick-and-choose inclusivity. 

The first win of the night began with a hopeful prospect (of which the Golden Globes rarely explored later in the night). Ramy Youssef won Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series—Musical or Comedy for his show Ramy in which he stars, directed, executive produced, and wrote. Youssef was pitted against cultural funny man Bill Hader (Barry) and Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method). These were his strongest competitors as the Emmys recognized both shows earlier in 2019. 

However, Ramy stands out in its bold narrative of religion in a millenial society where such a concept is bourgeois, as well as delving into the older generation’s fear of isolation and loneliness—the show is one of the best of 2019, but also one of the most underrated which makes his win extraordinary. 

For the remaining awards dedicated to television, the Golden Globes promptly followed suit with the Emmys. Fleabag won Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series—Musical or Comedy for Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy (audiences are still swooning over Hot Priest). HBO’s Succession won Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series—Drama for Brian Cox and Best Television Series. HBO continued to dominate accolades as the HFPA recognized Chernobyl for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television for Stellan Skarsgård (eyebrows truly do make a difference!) and Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Another surprise of the night was Awkafina’s award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy for The Farewell. It doubtless was a shock to her as the film was greatly underrated in 2019. Nonetheless, the HFPA did recognize her nuance and character portrayal, and congratulations to the woman who wins over Cate Blanchett (albeit in a substandard film Where’d You Go Bernadette) and Emma Thompson (who acts in an above substandard film Late Night). 

The only other shock of the night (at least to my home audience) was in the animation department which pitted Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 against each other. However, Disney did not prevail this year; instead, Missing Link won for Best Motion Picture—Animated.  

I could go on and on about who won this and who won that, but I have a soul. Unlike the HFPA who awarded Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood with three awards, the biggest winner of the night. Three!

Tending to foreshadow the wins and nominations for the Academy Awards, The Golden Globes once again shows its undying penchant for male-driven films virtually devoid of women as anything more than props. Now, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is a film I have difficulty understanding the appeal behind (besides blockbuster actors and an A-list director—oh, I get it now). The story is built on nostalgia and devoid of acute storytelling and directing. This award show’s recognition of such a film is enlightening in that the Academy Awards may ostensibly follow suit. If I knew Hollywood’s reputation for endorsing male films, then why am I so surprised? 

Doubtless it’s the HFPA drugs. 

But I won’t let them get to me this time. Alas, I’m anticipating the next award show—you never know! Moonlight may just win again.