Monthly Movie News: The Bizarre Legacy of the Golden Globes and How They’re a Sham

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MMN: The Bizarre Legacy of the Golden Globes and How They’re a Sham

For their January 2020 episode of Monthly Movie News, Melvin and Daniel decide to dig head-first into the Golden Globes. Although they were almost a month ago, and the Oscars are literally happening in a matter of days, Daniel went deep-diving into some fascinating subjects regarding the Golden Globes. Throughout this episode, you’ll hear our deliberations on the results of the Golden Globes, the never-ending controversy surrounding them, their mysterious and borderline conspiracy-sounding history, and ultimately, whether or not they truly matter apart from being a manufactured scheme to sell more home-video copies of popular movies.

It’s a fascinating adventure as they navigate the value of award shows, whether the cultural definition of good is equal to the Christian definition of good, and how, despite all of this chit-chat, they still look forward to hearing the results of the award shows.

Below are a few highlights from January 2020:

77th Golden Globe Winners

The big winners this year were Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which took home Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino), and 1917 which took home Best Picture (Drama) and Director (Sam Mendes). Joker and Rocketman also won 2 awards each with Joaquin Phoenix getting Best Actor in a drama for his titular role in Joker alongside Hildur Guðnadóttir who won best original score for Joker while Taron Edgerten won Best Actor in the “Comedy and Musical” category for his performance as Elton John in Rocketman while the real Elton John won the best original song award with Bernie Taupin for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Againfrom Rocketman.

Other big wins went to Renée Zellweger who received the best Actress in a drama award for playing the titular role in Judy while Awkwafina grabbed the best actress award in the “Comedy and Musical category for The Farewell. Laura Dern grabbed best supporting Actress for Marriage Story, the lone win for Marriage Story despite being the most nominated film with six nominations total. Rounding out the winners, Missing Link won best animated feature film and Parasite won best foreign language film.

The Controversy

This isn’t unique to the Golden Globes, but as always the question as to why the majority of the nominees and winners are typically white and male has once again been brought up. Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Lopez were the favorites among the critics and press in the lead up to the show and did not win, while Emmy winners Billy Porter and Jharrel Jerome weren’t nominated at all. The real kicker is that not a single woman was nominated for best director or screenplay, including Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) despite their films being nominated in other categories. It’s also worth noting that if it wasn’t for Bong-Joon-ho we might be having similar conversations about the ethnicity of the best director category as well.

Remember the Brie Larson thing? The thing where she was talking about male vs female critics? While her comments were perhaps a little too pointed, her general point was about representation in media and in the press surrounding films has some merit. After all, people tend to enjoy films that they can relate to more, that’s just how watching movies works. So, Daniel decided to do a little digging. Who are the people voting on these movies?

Who Are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association?

Who and What are the Hollywood Foreign Press? The answer is: Well, that’s kind of complicated. According to an eye-opening article from the New York Times titled “Wait — Who Runs the Hollywood Foreign Press Association?” Caity Weaver writes:

“The H.F.P.A. was born of the chaos of global warfare in 1943 when eight foreign-born journalists living in California banded together to, apparently, gossip privately about celebrities. (The H.F.P.A.’s website is vague: “At first, the members held informal gatherings in private homes.”)

The lives of most of the founders remain obscure. By far the best known (Henri Gris), a native Latvian who wrote a lengthy profile of Mussolini’s son-in-law for Esquire in 1937, would go on to publish a National Enquirer article titled “Space Alien Baby Found Alive, Say Russians.” He also reportedly lost an arm at some point between establishing the Golden Globes and his death”

Weaver, Caity (2019, January 10). Wait – Who Runs the Hollywood Foreign Press? Source

Another article discussing the formation of the HFPA cuts right to the chase as to the purpose of the groups formation. Caroline Framke writing for Vox in a piece titled The Golden Globes and the controversial group ​that decides the awards, explained writes:

“When the HFPA was formed as the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association in 1943, its members’ primary goal was to “formalize their relationship with the studios and facilitate their work of interviewing movie stars and film directors for publications around the world.” Basically, foreign journalists in Southern California weren’t getting the same attention as local journalists, and they definitely weren’t getting the access to “movie stars and film directors” that they wanted.

The first Golden Globe Awards was held in 1944 as an “informal luncheon” — a far cry from the sparkly festivities the ceremony has since become.”

Framke, Caroline (2018, January 7) The Golden Globes and the controversial group that decides the awards, explained Source

So, quite an illustrious legacy. But, the past is the past right? Surely, since the awards have been going on since 1944, the HFPA has developed into a legitimate governing body? Right?


I suppose you’ll have to tune in to the latest episode of Monthly Movie News and find out! Or, you know, read the above articles in full, but you’ll miss out on Melvin and Daniel’s witty banter, and we know you don’t want to miss out on that!

Monthly Movie News is a podcast/article released at the end of every month and contains a discussion of the month’s most interesting, funniest, or ground-breaking movie-related news.

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Daniel Braindead is a Producer and Cohost of Cinematic Doctrine. Combining his BA of Biblical Studies, brief study in Journalism, and an overdose of film trivia and film history, Daniel brings clarity and comedy to every episode of the Cinematic Doctrine podcast! His prowess for cultural understanding and biblical application always brings something new to the table.

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