2015 Golden Globes: delightful or distasteful?


Photo by Lawrence K. Ho from Tribune Media Content used with permission

After winning Best Drama Motion Picture, the cast of “Boyhood” share smiles backstage at the Golden Globes.

Tess O'Brien, Arts and Entertainment Editor

As best put by Billy Bob Thornton during his acceptance speech, and yes this is it in its entirety; “These days you get in a lot of trouble no matter what you say, you know what I mean? You can say anything in the world and get in trouble, I know this for a fact. So I’m just gonna say thank you.”

While the show did run relatively smoothly, several celebrities definitely should have followed Thornton’s lead. Instead, their running mouths provided some friction on an otherwise successful show.

The best of the worst include Jeremy Renner’s awkward comment to Jennifer Lopez, the dragging on of Margaret Cho’s North Korean skit, and Ricky Gervais’s John Travolta-esque pronunciation.

Now several people are likely to disagree with this assessment, and I may be overreacting, but I do have my reasons. Renner, whom I’ve always adored due to his role as Hawkeye in “The Avengers,” has taken a nosedive on my list of favorite celebrities after Sunday. He made an unprofessional comment which objectified an extremely talented woman, leaving both me and the celebrity audience groaning. It was hard to watch and it made me angry that one of the most influential women in this generation was being degraded in front of millions of people where she really had no choice but to laugh the comment off.

As for Cho, the skit started off on a middle note for me, it was funny and risqué, with what’s been going on recently with “The Interview.” And when she asked for a picture with Meryl Streep, I couldn’t help but laughing out loud. Plus, we had the added benefit of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch photobomb yet another award show picture!

Cumberbatch, pictured here with his wife, has developed a reputation for photobombing. Last year his victim was U2, this year's was Cho.
Jay L. Clendenin
Cumberbatch, pictured here with his wife, has developed a reputation for photobombing. Last year his victim was U2, this year it was Cho.

However, there were concerns about the skit being seen as racist. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

On one hand, it seems insulting to make fun of the serious and dangerous situation in North Korea. On the other, the skit was obviously meant to be satirical and Cho herself Tweeted early Monday morning, “I’m of mixed North/South Korean descent- you imprison, starve and brainwash my people you get made fun of by me.”

A difficult debate, but as all celebrity controversies, I’m sure it will be silenced by more relevant news within a month. Regardless of these concerns, I feel like the skit did drag on for a while and parts definitely could have been cut out.

My least favorite part of the night was Gervais. Don’t get me wrong- he was entertaining, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for poor Quvenzhané Wallis. The “Annie” actress who has received nominations for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe before the age of 12 has constantly been bombarded with the same question; “How do you say your name?”

She has answered the question several times and the pronunciation is easily attainable with a quick search on Google. After working so hard, the girl deserves to have this moment of recognition, one where her accomplishments are acknowledged, but what does Gervais do? He mispronounces her name, seemingly on purpose, demeaning her achievements for the sake of a poor joke. And even if he truly didn’t know how to say her name, he should have looked it up; this is the Golden Globes for goodness sakes!

Apart from these blaring issues, I really did enjoy the show. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were on fire yet again. Sadly, this was their last year hosting, but the bittersweet situation didn’t diminish their performance as they dragged Bill Cosby and poked fun at the celebrities. While the ladies did a great job, “Saturday Night Live” alumni Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader were even more spectacular as they presented Best Screenplay. If I had to choose anyone to succeed Fey and Poehler, it would definitely be them.

Meanwhile, acceptance speeches from Gina Rodriguez and Maggie Gyllenhall exuded inspiration for Latinas and women everywhere. Other heartwarming moments include John Legend and Common winning Best Original Song for their song “Glory” from the movie “Selma,” which follows the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. Their ensuing speech, tying the movie to Ferguson, was one of the most powerful moments of the night. As for television, “Transparent” won the best show of the year, leading to a strong speech by producer and writer Jill Soloway, who dedicated the award to Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager who recently took her own life.

In the end, however, the Golden Globes are about excellence in television and film, and some truly excellent films were rewarded. Among them were “The Theory of Everything,” “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” a personal favorite. The film that took home the most prestigious award, Best Drama Motion Picture, was “Boyhood,” a coming of age story about a boy named Mason. It’s no question why the film won- director Richard Linklater took 12 years to film the movie, using the same actors and documenting the growth of Mason from six to eighteen years old. Such dedication deserves an entirely separate award!

Now with the Globes done and over, we can look forward to the next big award ceremony: the Oscars. Even though “Boyhood” took home the big award, some of the previously mentioned movies still have a chance to take home the reputable Best Picture Oscar award. Tune in on Feb. 22 to watch the reveal of the big winners! Or, if you’re not a film buff, you can just watch it to shamelessly judge the celebrities because deep down we all know that’s why we watch award shows.