awards show

2017 Golden Globe Awards

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Did we expect this year’s Golden Globe host, Jimmy Fallon, to make exceptional political commentary? No. Did we expect him to make us laugh? 100%. And while his limited jokes were a wide range of smirk and laugh-out-loud worthy, his La La Land-inspired opening was flawless. It made reminiscing on 2016 ridiculously gleeful, even the heartbreaking (media-speaking) portions: shoutout to Barb. From there the show was the GG we’ve learned to love – actors awkwardly climbing over other people to give rushed speeches, hushed murmurs the entire show, painful hug attempts. We can be glad it’s over, and excited to let the countdown to Oscar Night – February 26th – begin.

The Presenters
Okay, not a presenter, but it was fun to see Questlove as DJ on stage. Even better was seeing DJ JLD. This time each year I’m reminded of how adorable Lorenzo Soria is. Dev Patel alongside Lion co-star Sunny Pawar distracted my small viewing party, not to mention all of the GG audience. Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn “presenting” was a clear reminder not to see Snatched, while Steve Carell (and Kristin Wiig) made me want to binge even more of The Office and trust me – enough of that was done this snow weekend. Matt Damon also got some well-deserved laughs for reminding us that he won Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for The Martian. Anyone else still, unfortunately, have “Chastain and the Redmayne” stuck in his/her head?

The Fashion
Shoulders were out to play this year – what’s it even called when a Bardot dress has straps? Regardless, Drew Barrymore owned the trend, while Kristen Bell and Daisy Ridley were my main faves. And Donald Glover’s suit? Fantastic. Honorable mention goes to John Lithgow’s glasses.

The Winners
Sarah Paulson (and, let’s face it, her dress too) was a great, early win for The People v. O.J. Simpson. Everyone deserves co-workers that look at them proudly like Denzel looks at Viola. La La Land should not have won Best Screenplay, and honestly, did it truly deserve winning each award that it did? Damien Chazelle was quick to remind us (twice) how hard it was to make his “modern movie musical,” though these awards aren’t for defeating difficulty. And if Land was so difficult… what does that make its remarkable competitors in the “Drama” category? We’ll see what the Academy has to say.

Etc
Huge, grateful round of applause to Meryl Streep (introduced beautifully by Viola Davis) for her Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech. I don’t care that Mamma Mia! was played far too much before she spoke, or that her “Hollywood, Foreign, Press” joke got more laughs than Hugh’s. The start was exploitative (even creepy?), and a Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech is bound to be contrived. But with her precious time, Streep spoke about issues that are far more important than trophies for television and film, and in a way that was incredibly poised.

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awards show

2016 Academy Awards

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Best Picture nominees, via Mashable.

Before the best televised event of the year, Robin Roberts said to Leonardo DiCaprio, “Tonight the carpet is red, and the nominees… are dreaming in gold!” This year the Academy is really forcing that We All Dream in Gold line, but Roberts could have easily quipped, “Tonight the carpet is red, and the nominees… are white!” Chris Rock came onto the Oscar’s stage as host and owned it. He made every anticipated joke but in a way I rarely saw coming.  The #OscarsSoWhite controversy goes beyond zero black nominees, and while Rock (unfortunately) didn’t touch on that, overall he made the show feel personable and, consequently, inclusive. Unfortunately in its own attempt to be inclusive, the broadcast included strange pop-ups sharing “accomplishments” of presenters. The music included was also awful. But let’s focus on some positives, like Black History Minute and the clothes worn by Kerry Washington, Kevin Hart (“This is Dolce and Gabanna head to toe, and I’m shinin’!”), Charlize Theron, Lady Gaga, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams…

My Questions: Is Jacob Tremblay’s dad Juan Pablo? Who messed up the live camerawork during the monologue’s mention of Best Cinematographer? Coincidence? Who invited Stacey Dash? Did Jennifer Garner take a selfie with Common and, if so, can we see it? All that laughing during the Minions presenting was pity laughing, right? Why did Sacha Baron Cohen get to present the clip for Room? Who decided to move forward with those Kohl’s Drunk History ads?

The Highlights: Jacob Tremblay standing up for a better view of C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB8. Chris mentioned Girl Scout cookies the moment I began eating my Tagalongs – I absolutely would have bought cookies from those Girl Scouts. Let it be noted, Kate Winslet also began eating Tagalongs. The Weeknd has the greatest focus I may have ever seen, first performing on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway and now surrounded by gymnasts (?) literally circling him. Mark Ruffalo WINKING into the camera, was he trying to kill me?  Lady Gaga proved once again that she’s one of the greatest, and most influential, performers of this decade. Sam Smith’s “Thank You Ticker” included “Barbara Broccoli,” and I hope she’s real. When J.J. Abrams had to stand by winner Alejandro González Iñárritu mid Best Director speech as he’s being cut off by the orchestra, who’s playing the Star Wars theme…

The Awards Themselves: I need to see The Danish Girl now, since apparently Alicia Vikander’s performance in that was award worthy (though she was unreal [ha, but truly] in Ex Machina and yet not nominated). “What another lovely day” was a perfect start coming from winner of Costume Design, Jenny Beavan. The clips prior to announcing Sound Editing were fantastic. Mark Rylance as Best Supporting Actor for Bridge of Spies made me so pleasantly surprised and his speech was the first that made me smile. Louis C.K. presenting an award deserved an award. I’m sorry, “Rehab” was played after Amy won Best Documentary? Not cool. I couldn’t help but wonder if The Academy has avoided giving Leo an Oscar because they didn’t want to hear him talk about global warming. Even after watching several films, including every Best Picture nominee, my ballot may not have been great, but Spotlight winning Best Picture made my night. My week! I know the week has just begun but… how do you top that moment?

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awards show

2016 Golden Globe Awards

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Watching the Golden Globes is like walking into a party far too late and the friend you were supposed to meet there has bailed and half of the people at the party are speaking pure gibberish. It’s chaotic and full of winks and nods, and in this absurdity Ricky Gervais shines. Beyond Gervais’ hosting, the theme of the night seemed to be “I really didn’t think I would win,” as many winners proclaimed, and for some I nodded along. Scattered thoughts below. 48 more days till the Oscars folks.

The Presenters: Immediately we have a long, 21 Jump Street reunion with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as the bear from The Revenant because why not? I like to imagine JLo and The Rock planned ahead to wear jewel tones. America Ferrera and Eva Longoria had the greatest (and refreshingly entertaining) pre-award presenting banter. I would’ve loved the In Memoriam performance Andy Samberg pitched, and I’m confused why Kate Hudson was wearing a choker in 2016. Please, do not let chokers resurface.

The Awards: Kate Winslet, why are you surprised? Quentin Tarantino accepting Enni Morricone’s award for Best Score makes me want Tarantino to host any award show ever. Jon Hamm winning (again!) for Mad Men only made me sad because it reminded me there’ll never be any more nominations for Mad Men. Mad Men Mad Men Mad Men. Anomalisa didn’t win? But Sylvester Stallone winning for Best Supporting Actor, receiving a standing ovation, and saying “I wanna thank Rocky Balboa, the greatest friend I ever had” was goose-bump inducing. In other wonderful quotes, a Marilyn-styled Lady Gaga won and instantly said, “I feel like Cher in that John Patrick Shanley movie… Moonstruck” and I thought my heart was going to burst. Moonstruck can never die. Let The Martian win its awards while its considered a comedy, amirite? Leo pronounces “adaptation” strangely, but he won! He really won!

Cecil B. DeMille Award: As if Denzel Washington winning this isn’t exciting enough, there was a mini Philadelphia moment when Tom Hanks introduced it. Cue fabulous career reel. In a Hollywood film class I took in the UK, we spent weeks on Denzel. They adore him. I can only imagine how stoked they were watching those few minutes. His speech…? Focus on that reel again.

Etc: Theo Kingma, President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, looks like Gru. Queen Latifah saying, “Whaaat?” in response to Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer being themselves was all of us, as was Alan Cumming’s look of gleeful horror as Gervais and Mel Gibson interacted. Watching the preview of Trainwreck made me realize of anyone in that movie, Lebron should’ve gotten a nod. Are there PVC pipes on the stage? A commercial break began with Jane Fonda rubbing Terrence Howard’s head, so if that’s not tabloid fodder I’m not sure what it. I perfected a Moscow Mule, finally.

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awards show

2015 Academy Awards

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) winning Best Picture 2015

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) winning Best Picture 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year– the suspense, movie marathons, and popcorn binges cease for the night that awards many of the best films from the past year. It’s my Christmas morning, my Super Bowl, my whatever-is-wildly-interesting-and-important-to-you. It’s the Academy Awards. This year, there was plenty to anticipate, and like any good show, there were ups, downs, and lots of sparkle and fake smiles. Here are my sporadic thoughts, somewhat categorized, on the Oscars.

My Questions: The show immediately began with a voiceover saying, “Live at the Oscars,” and then host Neil Patrick Harris referred to the show countless times as Oscars, not Academy Awards. Are we witnessing an identity crisis here? How much eye liner was presenter Channing Tatum wearing? Who wrote Shirley MacLaine’s bit to introduce The Theory of Everything, which included a portion saying it taught viewers about enduring love? Why does Oprah seem to be shown more than anyone else from Selma?

The Live Performances: MVP Award from the opening number was earned by Jack Black (screens in our jeans!). During Maroon 5’s performance of “Lost Stars” from Begin Again, the cameras seemed to intentionally avoid showing Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, as if in hopes of making viewers forget those current Oscar nominees starred in such a lackluster film within the same year. Jennifer Hudson performed during the In Memoriam portion, and co-viewer Trent and I fondly remembered when she placed 7th in American Idol. John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory” was a powerhouse, and Legend’s voice is the equivalent of taking the first dip into a jar of Nutella– so rich, so smooth. Scarlett Johansson reminded us that The Sound of Music turned 50 this year, so naturally Lady Gaga performed a tribute and (perhaps surprisingly) crushed it. JLo had a seat front and center, and I was a little jealous. What started with “The Hills are Alive” became a full-blown medley of perfection, and somewhere Carrie Underwood had to have been crying. Then Julie Andrews stepped on stage and what I thought was perfect became, somehow, more perfect.

The Highlights: Meryl Streep sitting next to Jennifer Hudson. David Oyelowo’s fierce red tux. Several of the commercials this year were wonderful, but the Comcast “Emily’s Oz,” which I had watched online days before, made me cry, again. NPH’s Birdman spoof complete with Miles Teller playing drums was one of his few comedic high notes of the evening, second to his introduction of Josh Hutcherson: “Here’s the Peeta who won’t throw paint on you.” JLo and Chris Pine walking to present to an instrumental version of “You Sexy Thing.”

Special highlight shout-out to “Everything is Awesome” because that did not disappoint. With The Lego Movie’s controversial Best Animated Film snub, it’s as if all the last minute campaigning/bribing money went to this live performance, filled with countless dancers, Oscar statues made of Legos, and an Awesome Possum whom I hope to be when I grow up. Best of all, even several commercial breaks after the performance, pieces of confetti could be seen fluttering about. It was, you better believe it, awesome.

The Awards Themselves: The delightful The Grand Budapest Hotel won four awards, and with each “thank you” to director Wes Anderson I may or may not have squealed. The music seemed to be intentionally cutting off speeches at the worst times, so when Ida‘s director Pawel Pawlikowski simply kept going, I was thrilled. I’d love to know how many people Googled “Lonnie Lynn” after “Glory” won for Best Original Song. Graham Moore’s speech after winning Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game ended beautifully, and Eddie Redmayne’s win for Best Actor (The Theory of Everything) was such a classic celebratory speech I’m gonna watch on a bad day. He legitimately said, “I will be its custodian” while gazing at the Oscar. And cheers to Birdman for winning Best Picture! With several reviews already posted here, I won’t go into detail regarding coulda-shoulda-woulda. I scored a 63% prediction rate and ate a pint of gelato, so now it’s off to bed, dreaming until next year’s awards season.

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awards show

2015 Golden Globe Awards

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The Golden Globes, for me, is the rehearsal dinner to the wedding that is The Academy Awards, and yet, I prepped with red wine and red velvet cupcakes as I watched the Red Carpet. It matters, but it’s sloppier, shorter, and, lest we forget, it includes television. I haven’t seen all the nominees, so I won’t be writing about those that should or shouldn’t have won; rather, let’s break down everything else.

The Fashion: Kerry Washington looked fabulous, as did Adrien Brody. Lupita Nyong’o might’ve been my favorite, though, and her glasses, which I didn’t know she wore, made it even better. Shout out to Wes Anderson’s perfectly crooked bow tie and Prince’s cane/microphone. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez presented (was it a promotion of The Boy Next Door?) in a dress that made my chest hurt, and I was thrilled when co-presenter Jeremy Renner referenced that she “got the globes.” Someone had to say it. Best in Worst Show goes to Jane Fonda, in a red bit that seemed to be held together with Saran Wrap and red barrettes.

The Tone: This year felt different. There were exciting wins, and we could debate whether or not it should be exciting that there were awards earned by Transparent, Jane the Virgin, The Normal Heart, and more, but it is important to remember that it’s 2015, and the ground is still breaking for countless people and their stories. While I was thrilled with some nominations, and some wins, many actions and words reminded me, and I’m sure countless viewers, that things are far from fine. I would love to play this show to a new generation years from now, remove the date, and ask them when this show premiered. The cracks regarding North Korea and comments about Ferguson, George Clooney’s “Je Suis Charlie” button proudly worn on his jacket as he accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Amy Adam’s referencing the “loud voice” of women, and Maggie Gyllenhaal praising the “roles for actual women in film and television”… I felt backwards watching it. Thirty-five minutes in, HFPA’s President Theo Kingma vouched for freedom of speech “from North Korea to Paris” and evoked a standing ovation. It makes awards shows and red velvet cupcakes seem so silly, and reminds me there’s a lot of good still needing to be done.

The Quotes:

“It took me three hours today to prepare for my role as human woman.” -Tina Fey

“You can say anything in the world and get in trouble. I know this as a fact.” -Billy Bob Thornton, before he quickly exited with his award.

“Two things I said I wasn’t gonna do– cry and air-quotes.” -Michael Keaton

The Rest: I found Tina and Amy (the hosts) dresses clashing, and Ricky Gervais’ jokes funnier. I was shocked to learn Nurse Jackie is still going. There was a commercial for Crispy M&Ms so you better believe I’ll be running to the store tomorrow looking for that lime green package. We all do want to be a “FOG” (Friend of George [Clooney]). Oprah Winfrey was shown so many times you’d think this program was shown on OWN, not NBC. Best Motion Picture Winner, Boyhood, will be in Redbox soon, but I’m holding tight for Tyler Perry’s Girl, I Thought You Were Gone— Tina and Amy really got my hopes up. 

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