The real winners and losers of the 2017 Golden Globes
Last night, the Golden Globes officially kicked off awards season, announcing its bizarre yet not bizarre enough to be all that interesting (boy, that show felt long) winners.
But who really won and lost at Sunday night's ceremony? Let's break it down.
What do you say about that, Denzel?
Winner: "La La Land"
How could the winningest movie in Golden Globes history not be a winner? There's obviously been a lot of love for Damien Chazelle's sweet L.A. confection in these early Oscar season months, and last night only solidified that, with "La La Land" scoring a record-setting seven awards – including Best Picture - Musical/Comedy – and winning in every category it was nominated. Entering the night as the frontrunner, there was a lot of potential for "La La Land" to trip up – especially with the unpredictable, celeb-obsessed HFPA in control and "Deadpool" lurking. Instead, the results only waltzed the musical further into the lead.
For about two hours and 56 minutes of last night's telecast, "Moonlight" was an unfortunate loser. Mahershala Ali – who's been winning up and down the circuit so far – lost the first award of the evening, Best Supporting Actor to Aaron Taylor-Johnson's generically menacing bad guy in "Nocturnal Animals, and things didn't particular improve from there. The indie drama kept losing throughout the night, the intro for Barry Jenkins during the Best Director nominations got messed up and as the end neared, I was getting concerned "Moonlight" might get "Carol"-ed by the Oscars.
And then it won Best Picture - Drama, the biggest award of the night, over "Manchester by the Sea" (the closest Oscar competition also nominated) and the Gibson career resurrection narrative of "Hacksaw Ridge" that was gaining steam over the past week. Suddenly, "Moonlight" went from life support to maintaining contender status. On the other hand ...
Loser: "Manchester by the Sea"
Despite coming into the night with strong HFPA buzz on its side, the final results for "Manchester by the Sea" were about as sad as ... well, "Manchester by the Sea." Losing to "La La Land" in the Best Director and Best Screenplay categories shouldn't be too devastating considering the buzzsaw the musical was running last night, but falling to "Moonlight" for Best Picture - Drama is a bad look. Luckily ...
Winner: Casey Affleck
At least "Manchester" got a win from Casey Affleck. The actor's been the frontrunner since January, when his terrific turn as a grieving slacker janitor made its debut at Sundance, and concerns about maintaining his momentum have been popping up. Also popping up: a big, boisterous turn from Denzel Washington in "Fences" that serves as a good foil for Affleck's small, subtle performance. But even with the typically starry-eyed HFPA in control Sunday night, Washington wasn't able to put a pothole in Affleck's road to gold. He's still the one to beat. That being said ...
Loser: Casey Affleck's speech
The most concerning person on Casey Affleck's path to Oscar is ... Casey Affleck himself. Looking like he was just pulled off the set of "The Revenant 2," the actor's speech was unmemorable, save for ending on an awkward Denzel Washington shout-out. These early award show speeches aren't just about grabbing your trophy, thanking the family and agents, and then bailing from the podium before the music drowns you out. They're about selling your movie's Very Important Ideas – and selling yourself as a voice to be heard on Hollywood's biggest stage. And Affleck didn't do that.
Winner: Viola Davis
Ever since it was announced she was campaigning for Best Supporting Actress, Viola Davis has been considered the frontrunner for her powerful performance in "Fences" – and Sunday just continued to prove that. In a category that'll likely look very similar Oscar night, Davis triumphed – though her best moment came later in the night while handing off an award to someone else. Given the task of introducing and paying tribute to Meryl Streep, Davis pulled out some kind of awesome one-woman show that could've won some awards of its own.
Loser: Natalie Portman
Going into the Golden Globes, we weren't expecting to learn all that much about the impending Best Actress brouhaha between the "Jackie" star and Emma Stone considering the two were in different categories. But while Stone won in her category, Portman went home surprisingly empty-handed, with Isabelle Huppert of "Elle" earning a surprise win. It wasn't a complete shock; the HFPA was already low on "Jackie," and foreign favorite Huppert winning over a foreign press branch makes sense. But it's a concerning look for a former lock.
And speaking of "Elle" ...
Name the movie that scored the second most awards last night. Nope, not "Fences." Not "Moonlight" either. That's right; Paul Verhoeven's provocative French rape thriller came away as one of night's biggest winners. Your parents are probably going to want to see it now, and ... yeah, let them see that one on their own.
Loser: Actually learning anything about the Oscars
So after writing all of that above, what does any of this actually mean for the Oscars? Nothing! HFPA members don't vote for the Oscars. "La La Land" won big, but mostly against the likes of "Deadpool" and "War Dogs," not its actual Academy Award rivals. Natalie Portman and Emma Stone weren't competing in the same category. "Elle" can't even be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.
At last year's awards, "The Revenant" and "The Martian" won big; the year before, it was "Boyhood" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Spoiler alert: didn't end great for those movies a month later. There's only buzz – and buzzed celebrities – to be gained at the Golden Globes.
Winner: The "La La Land" intro
The intro video, spoofing on "La La Land," was energetic, accurate and fun. Jimmy Fallon's whispy singing voice matched the original recording (not sure who I'm most insulting there) and it had the "Stranger Things" kids rapping with floating waffles, so that's fun. Enjoy that clip, and "La La Land" for that matter, while you can before we have to sit through hundreds of these spoofs by the end of February, and we'll have found a way to make L.A. traffic annoying again – maybe even more so.
Loser: Jimmy Fallon
In the words of Fallon's own character, "Ew!" The intro must've exhausted the host's limited charms, because the rest of the night was a nightmare. His opening monologue was piled with Trump jokes that would've seemed limp even if he hadn't publicly crippled any future Trump gags with a hair tussle heard 'round the world. Things did not improve from there, relying on terrible puns, a Chris Rock impression, brief-but-not-brief-enough bursts into song and a final Cyprus Hill/"Chastain and the Redmayne" joke that simultaneously murdered rap music and the art of comedy in one brutal blow. RIP, you two. You were so young.
Winner: Wiig and Carell's intro
The comedy duo's droll bit involving their first memories with animated films (not as sweet as it sounds) was easily the night's funniest moment. Shortly after, the cries of "Why aren't they hosting?" thankfully drowned out the sounds of Fallon's desperate flop sweat pouring onto the stage.
Winner: "The Night Manager"
Remember "The Night Manager," that Hugh Laurie/Tom Hiddleston AMC drama was pushing during the ad breaks of shows people actually watch? Well, the HFPA did, handing it three awards and making it the most awarded television show of the night. Take that, "Stranger Things" kids; should've been more British.
Loser: Tom Hiddleston
You could almost see the good speech trying to work its way out of Tom Hiddleston's mouth as he accepted the award for Best Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Movie (over the likes of Courtney B. Vance of "The People vs. O.J." and the "Night Of" power team of Riz Ahmed and John Turturro, no less). There was earnestly noble stuff about charity and aiding the South Sudan ... all ending with the accidental punchline of, "Doctors who do important things liked my show, so that's cool." Any thoughts on that, Christian Slater?
Winner: Meryl Streep
If the president-elect felt the need to complain about it the next morning, you know it was a good speech. Admittedly, it didn't start that way, with a scratchy-throated Meryl prattling off all of the performers' birth information like she quick Wikipedia-ed everyone during dinner and then tossing some needlessly aggressive shade at football and MMA (which I'm sure is playing well with this morning's debate). But eventually she brought it together, sending a strong message before ending on a lovely Carrie Fisher tribute. It's a shame that the thesis of "free arts and free press are good things, and also, hey, maybe be nice to people" is controversial, but if there's one person who couldn't give fewer f*cks, it's Meryl "America's Fun Mom" Streep.
The actual most annoying part of this whole "controversy," though? I've been preaching for years that current-era Meryl is a little overrated (that "Iron Lady" Oscar, *side-eye*), and now I'm going to have to add a "but not because of the Donald Trump" addendum to every time I argue that. Plus, with the buzz and the message it'd send, she's definitely getting an Oscar nomination now – so the very deserving Ruth Negga probably isn't. So thanks Trump.
Loser: "Hidden Fences"
ICYMI: Someone should tell the Golden Globes there is no movie called 'Hidden Fences' pic.twitter.com/9ybUjxxNBG— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) January 9, 2017
"Hidden Figures" is a movie. "Fences" is also a movie. "Hidden Fences" ... is not anything. But that didn't stop Jenna Bush from bringing up the non-existent mental typo while interviewing "Hidden Figures" producer and composer Pharrell Williams, or Michael Keaton from doing the same while announcing Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress. Maybe it's a future sequel to "Philomania," starring Adele Dazeem.
Loser: The crowd
The Golden Globes are notorious for being a loud, drunk kegger for celebs, but even the famous people on stage seemed irritated by the crowd not shutting the hell up, as several presenters either spoke up about it or had to wait for at least a dull roar to get their words in. Behave yourselves, Hollywood – and if you're not, at least make it fun and do or say something entertainingly dumb.
Loser: The play-off music
There's no good way to handle the play-off music at awards shows – ask the Oscars with their thank you crawl. But last night seemed more distractingly awful than usual. There were your standard-issue rude blaring reminders to get off the stage ... but then "The Crown," the winner of TV's biggest award," got suddenly played off by literal beat drop, and an understandably emotional and excited Isabelle Huppert was played off by the "Rocky" theme – only to be left confused standing at the mic, possibly still saying stuff? We'll never know. I know it was a long night – or at least felt that way – but give these people their moment.
Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield may have lost last night, but they won each other's hearts apparently.
After all the suffering Garfield went through between "Hacksaw Ridge" and "Silence," he deserves a make-out session with the world's hottest actor.
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