For some reason, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to let Ricky Gervais host the Golden Globes again — and when he said his jokes wouldn’t be offensive, they believed him.
To no one’s surprise, no Hollywood figure remained safe from Gervais’ brutal ribbing, but he was much less entertaining than in past years. For one, he was noticeably less intoxicated than in past hosting jobs, which made it far less interesting. He jabbed and poked at the Hollywood elite, somewhat uncomfortably leaning towards jokes about trans-people, but any casual viewer could tell that his heart just wasn’t in it. A petition on bringing back Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will likely circulate in the next few days.
Enough has been said, though, about the depressing trend towards lackluster hosting in Hollywood awards shows. The Foreign Press continued to abjectly refuse to pick actual comedies to win the comedy awards, with “The Martian” taking home Best Comedy and relatively unknown dramedy “Mozart in the Jungle” winning Best TV Comedy. This is a somewhat infamous trend among all awards shows, but exacerbated on the Globes because, unlike the Oscars, it separates movies into dramas and comedies. Therefore, the problem becomes all the more noticeable when the HFPA blatantly turns up its nose at movies that can actually be called comedies.
The most egregious of these came in the Best Actress in a Comedy, when Jennifer Lawrence won for the resoundingly mediocre “Joy.” Besides the fact that David O. Russell’s latest Oscar bait was well below par, especially when put up against his last two collaborations with Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle”), every other nominated actress turned in a superior performance. Amy Schumer should have won for “Trainwreck,” but any of the other three — Melissa McCarthy (“Spy”), Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”) and Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”) — would have been perfectly acceptable. If Lawrence wins the Oscar for Best Actress, it would be quite unfortunate.
There was some good news. Leonardo DiCaprio won a well-justified trophy for “The Revenant,” while the film’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu earned Best Director in addition to Best Drama. While “Spotlight” was better, “The Revenant” was by no means bad, and has definitely started to build momentum for later awards. If the film starts to rake in the Screen Actors Guild awards, DiCaprio may finally have his first Oscar next month.
It was also nice to see Brie Larson win for “Room.” A powerful performance that took home a highly contested category, Larson’s win was richly deserved. She, however, is by no means a lock for the Oscar, as Cate Blanchett’s “Carol” will definitely make a push throughout the leadup to the awards. That said, it is fairly safe to assume that if Larson wins the SAG Award as well, the odds will shift in her favor.
Ultimately, not too much can be said to predict the outcome of the Oscars until the nominations are out and SAG distributes its awards. But if there was something to learn from this year’s Golden Globes, it’s that “The Revenant” has begun to separate itself as the frontrunner for many of the major awards. Also, as is tradition, Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”) won for his screenplay, which is all that needs to be said on the subject — he tends to earn the coveted nod.
All in all, as another Golden Globes comes and goes, we are officially in the midst of awards season. Stay tuned with The Badger Herald for predictions, reactions, thoughts and outrages during what should be a very exciting season.