By: Devin Riggs, Regular Contributor
To be honest the only two reasons I decided to watch the Golden Globes were Tina and Amy. They are my heroes. I love seeing them separately and together. They are intelligent, feisty, quick-witted, and fabulous. How could I not watch them host the Golden Globes for the third and final time?
Tina and Amy were great. Their opening was superb, everything you want and more. The Bill Cosby joke was inevitable and yet still painful. My favorite line poked fun at Cecil B. Demille Award recipient George Clooney.
I loved them, as usual, but as awards were handed out I realized there was more at play and I didn’t want to miss a second. Here are my five favorite things about last night’s show.
1. Let’s Talk About Women
Hollywood has always had a love-hate relationship with women, but last night I saw a resurgence celebrating not just strong women, but real and complicated women.
Joanne Foggart won for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey, who’s storyline involved a rape by a visiting lord’s valet. Foggatt received letters from rape survivors. One women didn’t know why she had written, but just wanted to be heard. Foggart responded saying, “I heard you. And I hope saying this so publicly means in some way you feel the world hears you.”
Amy Adams talked about strong women voices, including that of her character in Big Eyes, and those in the room with her. She is “grateful for all you women in this room who have a such a lovely beautiful voice” that “speak to her daughter so loudly.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal made a profound statement, “What I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film and that’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary and its what’s turning me on.”
These three speeches were the most moving to me. They remind us that women have a voice and it can be a strong powerful voice, or an unsure voice speaking for the first time. Women are not just a side note to the acts of men. We are complex and ever changing and we deserve to be heard.
2. Shining Light on the Trans Community
The Amazon Prime original show Transparent, a series about a father who comes out to his three children identifying as a woman, made history last night becoming the first online series to win a best series award, musical or comedy.
Creator Jill Soloway dedicated the award to “the memory of Leelah Alcorn and to many trans people who died too young” also thanking the trans community for making all of it possible.
Jeffrey Tambor who plays the father won Best Actor, and he said, “This is big. This is much bigger than me…I would like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your inspiration, thank you for your patience and thank you for letting us be a part of the change.”
He’s right. This is big. It’s so much bigger than one individual. It’s a step towards a safer world for trans people. It’s a step toward better understanding. It is amazing to see this show be recognized, but it’s also wonderful to know that we are getting better at shining light on the things that need to be seen. We are getting better at telling the stories that have never had the chance to be heard before.
3. “I Just Want to Be Better”
Gina Rodriguez won for her role in Jane The Virgin. With her first nomination and first win, Rodriguez is at the beginning of her career. She represents possibility and potential. She ended her speech quoting her father, “Say every day ‘Today is a great day. I can and I will.’ Well Dad, I can, and I did.”
Kevin Spacey, who won his first award after being nominated eight times, told a story about his last moments with filmmaker Stanley Kramer. Spacey, with a long and still flourishing career ended his speech, “I just want to be better, but this is very encouraging.”
These two actors both receiving their first Golden Globe, at two different times in their careers, speak of two important ideas.
One. That you must make every day count. You can do it. You will do it.
Two. There is always opportunity to be better. You can be amazing, and still have something to work on. You must continue to push yourself.
4. We Are All Human
In the foreign film category, Russia’s Leviathan won. Andrey Zvyagintsev said, “It doesn’t matter whether you are Korean, American, Russian, or French, a tragic story of an ordinary man who comes face to face with an indifferent system is absolutely universal.”
We are all struggling with similar issues. No matter how different you think you are from someone halfway round the world, you still have a lot in common. We are all human.
Common and John Legend won “Best Original Song” for Selma, a film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Common gave a moving speech at one point saying, “Selma has awakened my humanity,” mentioning several tragic events from the past few months.
5. George Clooney Made Me Cry
George Clooney received a lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Clooney’s speech was poignant, reminding everyone that we don’t remember the awards won as much as we remember the moments on film that took our breath away, and the quotes we repeat over and over even years later. And yes he did make me cry. That’s my natural reaction whenever someone mentions Robin Williams these days. Everyone who was nominated for an award made the audience feel something, and that’s what matters. That’s what we should remember.
After a beautiful and touching dedication to his new wife, Clooney also showed his support for the millions of people marching for change in the world. His closing remarks highlighted the work that they are doing to make the world a better place. “They didn’t march [today] in protest. They marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it. So, Je suis Charlie.”
The Golden Globes were amazing. I laughed, I cried, I celebrated. And I was reminded that there is good in the world. We are making progress, despite all the obstacles ahead, we are moving forward. Change is happening.
What were your favorite moments from Sunday's award show? Is there anything we missed?
Devin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.