This year’s recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement may have started out a bit boilerplate, but her rousing #MeToo meditation that “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have” drew well deserved cheers as she dug in.
Promising “a new day is on the way” and but avoiding even uttering the words “Donald Trump” like Meryl Streep last year, the media mogul’s hymn to a free press and those women sexually harassed and sexually assaulted in Hollywood and everywhere else was a bright flame in an otherwise dark and dank ceremony. Hell, NBC even predicted an Oval Office future for the undeclared OWN boss:
— NBC (@nbc) January 8, 2018
As attendees wore black, accompanied activists and sought to appeal to our better angels in a post-Harvey Weinstein Hollywood battling a flood of allegations and institutionalized discrimination, there were a lot of good intentions in tonight’s Golden Globes. However, facing an admittedly daunting task, the often awkwardly Meyers-fronted 75th annual Hollywood Foreign Press Association shindig proved that when you take the crazy out of the usually well lubricated Globes, the result can also be pretty damn dull.
As my colleague Mike Fleming Jr. so succinctly said in Deadline’s live blog tonight: “The Globes made a tactical error, getting so caught up in the sex harassment vibe that it didn’t intersperse enough humorous interruptions from Seth Meyers, or anything funny, at all.”
I would take that a lunge further and say it was a strategic mistake because other than hitting a lot of repeat buttons from the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, the just over three-hour ceremony began to drag early on. With the exception of Winfrey’s very personal remarks and a gleeful James Franco bringing Disaster Artist inspiration Tommy Wiseau onstage, the show never really recovered after first-time host Meyer’s monologue.
Not that the nearly 15-minute opener was any jump to Tinseltown light speed itself. Dutifully making sure to check off Weinstein’s name as well as that of the also much-accused Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and his frequent target of President Trump and noting that a woman likely should have been the host, the Late Night star stumbled when he mocked the disgraced producer. “He’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the In Memoriam,” said Meyers of former Globes mainstay Weinstein as the sparkling crowd at the Beverly Hilton responded unfavorably. “It’ll sound like that,” he added weakly on the longtime dick clark productions-produced show.
With big wins by Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, HBO’s Big Little Lies, Guillermo Del Toro, Lady Bird, This Us‘ Sterling K Brown, Darkest Hour’s Gary Oldman, Saoirse Ronan, James Franco, Frances McDormand and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Amazon newbie comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the Globes and viewers were reminded of how things could have been by a brief and acerbic appearance from past co-host Amy Poehler in the crowd during a segment of Meyer’s monologue that replicated the “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” element of his nightly show.
“I’m a woman in Hollywood, Seth,” Poehler punched out at Meyers’ mansplaining. “We’ve all been through a lot. I don’t need a set-up to make a punchline work,” the past Globes winner deadpanned. “Oh another apology. How wonderful.”
Coming after a pinched and also Weinstein-name-checked red carpet, where Ryan Seacrest and gang on E! and Al “Positive Energy” Roker and crew on NBC analyzed the many dark clothes that attendees and nominees were attired in, tonight’s Globes were also under an umbrella of heightened security and Hollywood soul searching – and lacking much wonderful at all.
Perhaps it was the weight of being the first major awards show to hand out its baubles since the New York Times broke open Weinstein’s decades of abuse of women on October 5. As The New Yorker and others followed with more details and the likes of Spacey, Louis C.K and others were dragged out into the spotlight for their foul behavior, the #MeToo movement and the Hollywood-backed Time’s Up initiative became the focal point of an anticipated evening in a reeling Tinseltown that was destined to be far different than last year’s Jimmy Fallon-hosted show.
Yet, ever as Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thelma and Louise’s Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, a very precise Natalie Portman on the all-male Best Director category and more spoke on behalf of the abused, injured and overlooked, the tone of the 75th Globes was very akin to the 74th in its under-performance.
Unlike the Globes duplication of Emmy wins for Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies, that is not a deja vu you want in a time where Hollywood and America demands better and more. Maybe to rediscover what the Globes do best, we need more of what Francis McDormand declared to her fellow Best Actress nominees – tequila for all. Or to quote Barbra Streisand from tonight completely out of context – time’s up.