I don’t want this to become public knowledge, but it needs to be said. Surely I’ll regret my next few sentences someday, but I’ve ruined my reputation multiple times in this blog. What’s one more guilty admission? So here goes…
I love film award shows.
Not only that, I’m one of the rare cross-sections of film snob/award show watcher. Most of the snobby elites talk about how the “true worth and cultural impact of a film is never taken into account,” or “small budget films are unrepresented,” or “they’re just picking the popular movies, not the films I lik… er, the true gems of cinematic brilliance.”
But let’s be honest and, in my case, self-depreciative. Film snobs are just higher-than-thou contrarians. Luckily, I am not…
It is my firm belief that award shows are interesting for what they display about pop culture. I infrequently agree with them on quality, especially if you go back to years when stupid circus melodramas won top awards. I’m not pretending to agree with their choices, but I find their choices interesting. The popular opinion is largely more important than my personal one.
But I’m not here to defend award shows. Frankly, they’re big enough to survive despite snobby online derision. No, I’m here to defend The Golden Globes, which is a different beast altogether.
As culture blogger Laura Lamansky asserts, “The Golden Globes are crap.”
“Basically the awards show was designed to make money,” she writes. “The HFPA puts on this shindig to rub elbows with the rich and famous… And everyone (the stars, E! Channel, reputable press sources, etc..) is playing along with this scam (i.e. that the Globes matter)… In all reality, the Golden Globes are a three hour event that advertises movies. You are basically watching one big long trailer.”
True, if you give into pure cynicism. But I’m defending the Golden Globes, so I’ll avoid tirades about scam artistry and marketing ploys. At least, as much as humanly possible.
But even if the HFPA is a den of grifters, the Golden Globes are important for what they advertise. Some people see movies (good movies) simply because they heard about them on this “big long trailer.” So I will play along with the scam, at least in the guise of a devilish advocate.
But now I want to pose a question: do the Golden Globes even have value in the realm of the award circuit? Well… eh. Maybe? Let’s compare to the other awards.
Even non-film-snobs consider the Globes more of a “precursor” to the Oscars, the big kahuna of the award circuit. The Golden Globes are more of a populist prognosticator, like Nostradamus if he rode a skateboard and called you “dude.” The Globes are widely seen as interesting, but only in what they might say about something more important. It’s not really respect, per se.
Now I happen to prefer the Oscars as the litmus test for modern cinema (woo, earned my film snob stupidity with that one). However, when I started writing this and talking about why I like award shows… I fear the Golden Globes may be the most honest show in the circuit. And in some ways… the best. Even if they’re kinda stupid, that fact deserves praise.
I’ll freely admit that the Oscars are stupid as well. They fall prey to the red carpet pageantry, the eyebrow-raising claims of “suspense,” the fact that Hollywood elites are giving awards to themselves. Not to mention the bribery. Hoo, the bribery.
However, to claim one is more “populist” than the other is not entirely accurate. The Oscars are just as laughable. They just have the airs, whereas the Globes don’t play into pretense (at least not as much). Shouldn’t being closer to honesty be rewarded?
In her blog, Lamansky calls the Oscars, “an actual determination of talent from actual style makers.” Did you laugh at that sentence, because my eyebrows flew across the room in disbelief. In what world are the Oscars any of those things? More importantly, how are the Golden Globes not each of those traits in equal measure? By hosting a giant national award show, the HFPA are style makers in their own right.
They are growing farther apart, but populism shouldn’t be a reason to hate the Golden Globes. That’s technically the reason we like any award show, the ability to agree or disagree with people about entertainment. Award shows are important in the conversations they spark, and the Golden Globes do that admirably. They’re a 3-hour celebration of film, so why can’t film enthusiasts just relax and appreciate that?
If the Golden Globes are a celebration of film and a reason to talk about them, why should liking them elicit guilt? Why should I hate a show that furthers discussion of something I enjoy? The more award shows we have, the more we get to talk about movies. I think that’s reason enough to celebrate the Golden Globes.
I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about the People’s Choice Awards here. Stupid people and their stupid choices…