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2019 Golden Globes: Wins for New Orleans, Baby Steps for Progress

Credit: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr Creative Commons

Unapologetically Progressive

Hollywood award ceremonies have always featured some semblance of politics. Whether it’s a winner wanting to take a moment to spotlight an issue, a movie riding a big wave off of current events, or a planned streaker streaking across the stage, these shows can often go beyond self-pats on the back.

Michael Moore won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine and was booed for speaking against Bush and the Iraq War. Natalie Portman presented the Best Director Golden Globe, threw shade at the fact that no women were nominated, only for a repeat scenario to play out the next year. This time, it’s popular to be progressive. It’s popular to be unapologetically so.

Let’s hope it sticks. Let’s keep pushing buttons. The fight for diversity and inclusion continues.

The January 6th, 2018 edition of the Golden Globes was all about he wanting for change, with only a small handful of actual change. For every Sandra Oh winning, we get multiple Green Book victories. And while that may be a win for Hollywood South productions, it’s seen as regressive in the face of earnest change. Ironic and confusing, but this is how people feel.

One step forward, two steps back? Maybe. The whole of the evening was a step in the best direction possible, with jokes that made light of problems but represented optimism for something different down the line. Sure, Green Book might not be excused of its “controversy”, but actor Mahershala Ali won for it.

Baby steps.

Uniquely New Orleans

While it wasn’t a night of cascading takeaways for Louisiana made films and television shows, our humble slice of Hollywood away from Hollywood got some recognition, despite and in spite of perceived ugliness.

Green Book was the big one, taking home Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Screenplay, and Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). This film, which was screened for cast, crew, and cinephiles at the New Orleans Film Festival a few months back, is a Southern road trip with burgeoning male friendship at its center, one that deals in maturity, dignity, and respect, all clashing amidst heavy racial tension. While some (many even) critics have come out against the movie, citing it as a faux pas in clumsily handling the themes and writing out important historical pieces, it stands out for its centerpiece and heart, telling a story “inspired by” and dramatized, sure, but one that could still influence people.

Patricia Clarkson gave a shout-out to the city during her acceptance speech (highlighted below) for Best Supporting Actress for the HBO limited series Sharp Objects. It was a sweet message delivered and expressed by way of love towards her parents.

Hollywood South, love it, hate it, or feel ambivalent about it, showed up to the party for some wins. We have plenty more stories to help tell, and even more we want to tell.

We’re here.

Below are some of my favorite tweets and commentaries of the event:

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