The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards Recap

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This year’s Golden Globe Awards was far more than an office party for the glitterati, as some critics have charged. Not only did the ceremony highlight great achievement in cinematic art, but its presenters and award recipients also consciously interjected relevant political and social commentary into the discourse. From the humor of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to the moving speeches of award winners, the beautiful and tumultuous world landscape from which the inspiration of their craft is drawn was not only acknowledged but emphasized.

Among the high fashion, red carpet arrivals of gorgeous celebrities, a theme of solemnity wove through the crowd as stars displayed “Je Suis Charlie” pins and signs in support of the victims of the recent terrorist acts against free speech and the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Inside, Fey and Poehler set the tone for the evening with a tongue-in-cheek introduction that playfully broached several gravely important issues, including the controversy surrounding the release (or rather, the non-release) of The Interview, the enduring racial tension, and violence in the states, and the sexual assault allegations pending against Bill Cosby.

Some of the most moving acceptance speeches addressed social issues as well. Joanne Froggatt’s portrayal of a rape victim in the series Downton Abbey earned the actress her first Golden Globe Award, and her acceptance speech became one of the night’s most memorable as she said, “After this storyline aired I received a small number of letters from survivors of rape, and one woman summed up the thoughts of many by saying she wasn’t sure why she’d written, but she just felt in some way she wanted to be heard. I’d just like to say ‘I heard you’ and I hope to say this so publicly means in some way you feel the world hears you.”

Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez also became emotional during her acceptance speech for the award of Best Actress in a TV Comedy as she said, “This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.”

Jeffrey Tambor spoke directly to the transgender community, who he thanked for their “courage,” “inspiration,” and “patience.” Tambor won his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical, and the actor dedicated the award to the community that inspired him and his role.

The night’s other winners included Julianne Moore, who won Best Actress in a Drama for Still Alice; Eddie Redmayne for his dramatic portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything; Michael Keaton, whose role in Birdman earned him Best Actor in a Comedy; and Amy Adams, Best Actress in a Comedy for Big Eyes.

Tina Fey is not the first to mock the self-congratulatory culture of Hollywood or the inflated sense of purpose among some of its actors. But for better or worse, the public has charged this group of people with representing the light and dark of humanity and imagination, with evoking laughter and outrage. To me, it doesn’t then seem appropriate to criticize a show that exists to entertain and as it simply says, “Job well done.”


As interesting and sometimes controversial as the Golden Globes are, the after-parties to me are even more fascinating. Hopping from one floor to another inside an exclusive hotel (this year they tore down half of the Hilton to put another hotel right next to it) and gliding from one party to another was a bit challenging but certainly exciting.

The first was the HBO party, right below the awards show in the pool area, which has been transformed into one of the most glamorous sets of the night. Then on to the CBS party on the roof, which looks like the ballroom of a Presidential Inauguration. Next, we moved across the parking lot to the Weinstein party, where most celebrities socialize. That particular party room is set up with plenty of bars for easy access to beverages. Then, of course, we have the Creative Artist Agency (C.A.A.) and private parties. My favorite this year was Tina Fey’s after-party at the top of Sunset Towers. Most of the winners stopped by to congratulate each other.

About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...

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