Of course, as we always must do when discussing the Globes, there are caveats to consider when analyzing what the winners and losers mean to awards season as a whole (and when we say “awards season as a whole,” understand that to mean “The Oscars”). The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a weird, insular group of people who often make decisions based on the quality of the parties thrown for them and the quality of the stars starring in them. This is what leads to The Tourist getting multiple nominations back in 2010, and the somewhat improbable situation of All the Money in the World receiving three nominations (including Best Director!) when there was no possible way the film could have actually been finished when it was screened for the HFPA. And as always, the choice to split between “Drama” and “Comedy/Musical” further muddies the waters coming out of the Globes, as we have two movies and six actors/actresses that have received awards.
Now, with all that being said, what do we know moving forward?
Well, certainly a few things. It’s often easy to over-correct for this, but so often these award granting bodies want their winners to say something. That can take various forms, whether it’s the Lifetime Achievement style Oscars given to actors or directors (see also: Scorsese for The Departed, Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger, Morricone for The Hateful Eight, etc etc, which is why you just might be able to bank on Roger Deakins finally winning for Blade Runner 2049), the desire to pat themselves on the back for Hollywood being such an awesome force in the world (The Artist, Argo, and to a lesser extent, La La Land), or the need to say something about the state of the world with their winners, as you could argue with the victory of Moonlight in the year following the Oscars So White controversy.
That last one, that’s the one we need to pay attention to this year. The Globes made that pretty clear.
The focus on the Golden Globes this year was undoubtedly on women in Hollywood, stemming from the impossible to ignore #metoo movement that shook the industry in the wake of Harvey Weinstein finally paying the price for decades of abusive power over women, so much of which seemed to be tied into Weinstein’s ability to campaign for, and win, major awards like Oscars and Golden Globes. You can see in the films and TV shows that won big, all of them have a female-fronted perspective, whether it’s The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies on the TV side, or Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri on the film side. Three Bilbboards was the biggest winner of the night, grabbing four total awards for Sam Rockwell, McDonagh’s script, Frances McDormand and Best Drama (the more prestigious of the Globes' split categories, giving it the most momentum out of the gate as we rumble through the guild awards on the way to the Academy closing the season on March 4.