Well, the first major award show of the 2018 season has come and gone — a kind of canary (in black) in the coal mine for the many shows to follow — with everyone from host Seth Meyers (terrific, in my opinion) to producers and presenters and winners gingerly finding their way in what will hopefully be a brave new Time’s Up world.
But what are we to make of the winners? Not to brag (but okay, to totally brag) but with the exception of two categories, we did pretty amazingly well in our predictions. Are there lessons to be learned as we continue on to this long march to the Oscars on March 4? Here are a few takeaway thoughts.
1. Lady Bird continues to soar: Sure, the HFPA blew it by not nominating writer/director Greta Gerwig in the directing category — one of the biggest head-scratchers heading into the ceremony — but they sure did lavish the film with love and four nominations. Lead actress Saoirse Ronan took home best actress in a musical or comedy (well, there is a lot of Sondheim in the film) before Lady Bird snagged the award for best motion picture, musical or comedy. The film’s Oscar chances can only benefit from such a bump, but it will be very interesting to see how this film will do once it it is in the same category as some of last night’s best drama contenders. Which brings us to….
2. How about all those Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri wins? In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a big, big fan of this film, and consider it to be one of my favorites of the year. However! Not everyone feels this way — not even in the EW newsroom — so it was surprising to see Martin McDonagh’s film win best drama over other would-be favorites like The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, and The Post. Seeing Frances “all out of you-know-whats” McDormand deliver a fiery speech when she won best actress in a drama can only help remind voters that, while she sort of famously doesn’t campaign, it’s always good to see her get up on stage. Who else wished they were also in that category purely to go drink tequila with McDormand?
3. Sam Rockwell also makes a good speech: As I’ve written before, this category is so tough this year. Willem Dafoe! Richard Jenkins! Armie Hammer! You can’t swing a dead cat around in this town without hitting a movie or supporting actor that is completely deserving. But methinks Rockwell did himself a lot of favors with Oscar voters (who began casting their ballots on Jan. 5) by getting up on stage early in the night and hitting the exact right balance of wit and genuine gratitude. Also, how many people thank their director “for not being a d—?’ Not enough, thinks this reporter. Not enough.
4. Allison Janney is nipping at Laurie Metcalf’s heels: Earlier in the season, Laurie Metcalf’s stunning portrayal in Lady Bird looked to be one of the only real frontrunners in this year’s race. Understandably, because she’s fantastic. But coming in hot at the end of the year is I, Tonya, which boasts a darker-than-dark Allison Janney as Tonya Harding’s cold-as-an-ice-rink mother. The HFPA giving it to Janney over Metcalf is interesting and should make this race a bit more unpredictable (though I’m still going on record here that it will be Metcalf with the ultimate win).
5. Can we always have Oprah? We can agree — yes? — that the air just straight up changes its molecules when Oprah is talking. This was certainly true last night, when Oprah Winfrey became the first African American woman to win the Cecile B. DeMille award and took the stage to give one hell of a speech. “For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up,” Winfrey said as the crowd got to their feet in ecstatic applause. “So i want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders to take us to the time when nobody has to say ‘Me Too’ again.”
You know what? Do yourself a favor and watch it again below, or you can read the full transcript here.
Head here to see the full list of Golden Globes winners.