If you’re obsessed with movies, tuning into awards ceremonies is like watching your beloved children in a talent contest. I’ve spent months banging on like a proud mama about Everything Everywhere All at Once (two awards), The Banshees of Inisherin (three), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Elvis. My favourite films of the year, so far, are The Fabelmans (which won Best Picture - Drama and Best Director) and Tár (Best Actress). Wow, didn’t my babies do well?
Talking of which, how cool that pushy, middle-aged mums dominate most of the above projects. The Fabelmans’ Mitzi; Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Evelyn; Tár’s Lydia; Black Panther 2’s Ramonda. These fiercely intelligent and gifted characters aren’t exactly mothers from hell, but they surely have a problem with boundaries and their imperfections are as fascinating as their strengths, which gives the sublime performers playing them so much to work with.
Yep, this year, Michelle Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett and Angela Bassett were allowed room to breathe. As Yeoh said in her acceptance speech, life for an aging actress can be scary (“as the numbers get bigger, the opportunities get smaller”). But that horrible situation is changing and the Globes are on trend.
So it’s disappointing that the five directors in the Best Director Category were all men. And that the eleven directors acknowledged in the Best Motion Picture categories were all men. Luckily, Spielberg, the Daniels, Ryan Coogler and Todd Field are feminist film-makers. On the night itself, the Golden Globes did right by women.
The HFPA needed to clean up its act, re: diversity, and, thank Christ, 2023 will not be remembered as an all-white affair. Or a heteronormative one. In Tár and Everything Everywhere All at Once, LGBTQ characters are central to the narrative and, even better, aren’t required to double as inspiring/tragic role models.
The Globes were once synonymous with glitz and bizarre (and even craven) decisions. That’s no longer true. Some will say Brendan Fraser should have won for The Whale; that his decision to boycott the ceremony (because of the alleged abusive behaviour of the organisation’s former president, Philip Berk) counted against him. But Darren Aronofsky’s drama is a piece of dreck and I’m glad it went home empty-handed.
Fingers crossed that the victories here are replicated at the Oscars. Colin Farrell (Banshees, which also won Best Picture — Musical or Comedy) and Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere) astound, in their respective movies, as gentle souls who aren’t quite what they seem. The only shame is that Farrell and Austin Butler, up against each other, can’t both win Academy Awards. I’d choose Farrell over Butler, if I had to, but how lovely to see them both honoured. I couldn’t be more proud.