Film & Television

The Golden Globes: Time’s Not Up Yet

Regina King, who won the award for Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk, ran through a list of thank you’s, but just as the music began to let her know her time was over, she returned to make a powerful challenge:

“One more thing. So often everyone out there, they hear us on the red carpet and they say celebrities, we’re using the time to talk about ourselves when we are on our soap box and using a moment to talk about the systemic things that are going on in life. Time’s Up times two. The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we are speaking for everyone. And I just want to say that I’m going to use my platform right now to say in the next two years, everything that I produce, I am making a vow — and it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything that I produce — is 50 percent women. And I just challenge anyone out there — anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

Patricia Clarkson acknowledged Hollywood’s sexual harassment history in a humorous aside when she was recognized for her work in HBO’s Sharp Objects. In thanking her director, Jean-Marc Vallée, she said, “You demanded everything from me, except sex — which is exactly how it should be in our industry.” As expected, Rachel Brosnahan won another award for Amazon comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She thanked the “village” that it takes to make the show. “And our village is a matriarchy,” she explained, “Led by Amy Sherman-Palladino. We have women in so many leadership roles across this show.”

As Best Actress, Comedy or Musical, Olivia Colman won for her hilarious portrayal of crazy Queen Anne in The Favourite. Minutes later, Glenn Close won Best Actress, Drama for The Wife. The fine actress, who seemed genuinely stunned by her win (many expected Lady GaGa to be honored for A Star is Born), joked at first. “You know, it was called The Wife; I think that’s why it took 14 years to get made!” But, she quickly became more serious.

“You know, to play a character is so internal and I’m thinking of my mom, who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s she said to me, ‘I feel I haven’t accomplished anything.” And it was so not right. And I feel what I’ve learned this whole experience is that women, you know, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands if we’re lucky enough and our partners, whoever. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, ‘I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.’  “

The evening’s top awards went to TV series The Americans, The Kominsky Method, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and to movies Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. Other highlights of the evening included Christian Bale (Best Actor, Comedy for Vice), thanking Satan for inspiring him to play Vice President Cheney; Carol Burnett winning the first Carol Burnett Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television (“Do I get it every year?” she quipped); Jeff Bridges encouraging everyone to take action (“You’re it!” he exclaimed); and, Sandra Oh, bowing and thanking her parents—who were there—in Korean for her award for Killing Eve.

Diversity and inclusivity were themes all evening, although with less gravitas than last year. But sadly, just like last year, there were no female directors recognized (and only one co-screenwriter, Deborah Davis, for The Favourite). In fact, according to a study released last week, only eight percent of Hollywood’s top films were directed by women in 2018, compared with eleven percent in 2017. Martha Lauzen, executive director of San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, points out, “The study provides no evidence that the mainstream film industry has experienced the profound positive shift predicted by so many industry observers over the last year.” The percentage is basically unchanged from twenty years ago. If anything, we are losing ground. Lauzen’s team calls it the “Celluloid Ceiling.”

Oh joked about this never-ending battle early on in the awards presentation. She noted that actress Claire Foy was nominated for her work in First Man, and said, “‘First man’ is also how studios look for directors.” In a gruff caveman voice, she continued, “First, man! If no man available, then pair of man! Then team of man! Then. . . eventually. . .maybe. . .woman?”

It would be funny. If it didn’t ring so true.

 

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