As one of Hollywood’s biggest parties, the Golden Globes never fail to deliver glamour, excitement, and a few surprises. With the awards all handed out, we take a look at the night’s biggest upsets and surprises.
When you cram all of Hollywood’s biggest stars into the Beverly Hilton, you never know what might happen. This year’s Golden Globes took place on a night that, like many awards shows in recent memory, are effected and intersected by the politics of the moment. The shadow of the Harvey Weinstein scandal loomed heavy over the night, but the courage of outspoken women brought out a celebratory attitude.
Take a look at our picks for the biggest surprises from the 2018 Golden Globes.
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ meets with huge success
Martin McDonagh’s new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri had a big night. Not only did the film lead Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand to acting awards, but it also snagged awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Motion Picture – Drama. Those last two wins were big surprises for those invested in the awards season race.
Until now, Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird were considered the frontrunners in the race for Best Original Screenplay. McDonagh’s win throws a definite wrench in what many people considered a two-horse race. It’s also a disappointment; the screenplay, which features McDonagh’s schtick of caustic vulgarity and violence, is frustratingly superficial and tone-deaf.
At a time when audiences are demanding greater diversity in storytelling, Three Billboards is a definitive step backwards. It’s a film that gives a racist cop a redemption arc. It is a film that features violence against black people, yet sidelines these characters and their voices. It’s a film that uses violence against women as little more than a plot device. In a year with so many films that celebrate and encourage inclusion and diversity, Three Billboards is hardly the winner many expected to see.
Natalie Portman calls out the ‘all-male nominees’
If you’re like me, you were still wiping away your tears after Oprah’s speech when Natalie Portman and Ron Howard took the stage to present the award for Best Director. Oprah had just brought the room to their feet with her speech, accepting the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award. She spoke at length about the importance of diversity, representation, and the importance of women in acting social change.
When introducing the nominees for Best Director, Natalie Portman said simply: “And here are the all-male nominees.” While the comment was delivered with poise, it inspired quite the reaction from the audience (and from those at home, I’d imagine). Her comment helped to underscore a contradiction in the evening’s awards proceedings; women were disappointingly unrepresented on a night so focused on raising awareness for women’s voices. That no woman was nominated for Best Director in a year with Dee Rees’ Mudbound and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Birds felt like a huge oversight.
Barbra Streisand later underscored this disparity while presenting the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. She reminded the audience that she is the only woman to ever win Best Director at the Golden Globes. That was 34 years ago in 1984 for her film Yentl. That a woman has only won Best Director once in the Golden Globes’ 75 year history is a damning statistic. Kudos to Natalie Portman for taking a chance to point out, in a small way, this frustrating imbalance.
Guillermo del Toro wins Best Director
In a category with Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and Martin McDonagh, Guillermo del Toro won the Golden Globe for Best Director. On a night that was rather lacking in inspired choices, del Toro’s win managed to bring some much needed delight to the stage.
Del Toro’s career has been marked by two constants: hard work and monsters. You won’t find a single film of his that lacks a monster and it’s that commitment to genre filmmaking that has pushed him to the outside of awards conversations for years. With The Shape of Water, del Toro has connected with awards bodies once again. His win, however, was still a surprise.
Given the success of McDonagh’s film in several other categories and the beloved Spielberg delivering a star-studded film with a timely message, del Toro is hardly the obvious choice. However, he is a deserving one. His win and the heartfelt, genuine speech that followed were some of the best moments of the night.
‘In the Fade’ wins Best Foreign Language Film
Led by Diane Kruger, In the Fade snagged the win for Best Foreign Language Film, a choice few expected. The film follows one woman whose life falls apart after her husband and six-year-old son are killed in an attack by neo-Nazis. Her performance won her Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, but In the Fade was hardly a lock for the Golden Globe.
Also nominated in the category was Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, the film that won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new film Loveless, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, was also in top contention for the Globe. His previous film Leviathan won the Globe only four years ago. Angelina Jolie’s film First They Killed My Father was also in contention.
While the winner of the Golden Globe doesn’t always go on to win the Oscar, this win certainly will put some steam behind the Oscar campaign for In the Fade.
Red Carpet Blackout
Led by big names in Hollywood, including Meryl Streep, Eva Longoria, and Reese Witherspoon, the Time’s Up movement announced earlier this week that they would be wearing all black to the Golden Globes to speak out about sexual harassment and assault. While this wasn’t necessarily a surprise, the success of that announcement exceeded expectations on Sunday night.
There wasn’t a single dress or suit on the Golden Globes red carpet that wasn’t black. This movement, while certainly a very low bar to clear, helped redirect the red carpet conversation in a way that is undeniably meaningful.
On a night that is typically geared toward using fashion to make a bold statement, red carpet hosts had to find something else to talk about. The solidarity among those in attendance helped reinforce the message of the movement and made questions like, “Who are you wearing?” sound trite. Instead, the conversation turned to the period of change currently happening in Hollywood and around the world.
This movement helped give the microphone to the most important guests of the evening, including Tarana Burke, leader of the #MeToo movement, Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and longtime advocate in the women’s rights movement.
In a small yet significant way, the Time’s Up movement became the focus of the night. We heard presenters and winners bring that phrase up again and again. Let us hope that this is the beginning of meaningful change that won’t be forgotten about in the months and years to come.