The best time of year is finally upon us, awards season! It’s time to celebrate the movies and TV shows that have made us cry, laugh, love and, most importantly, opened our eyes to new worlds and ideas during the past year. This year gave us some of the best that this industry has to offer. We danced along to Elton John’s classics in Rocketman. We laughed with Phoebe Waller Bridge in Fleabag. We cheered on the March sisters in Little Women. We saw the return of the Italian Mob in The Irishman, with a comeback from Joe Pesci. We roared as Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio stopped the death of Sharon Tate in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. The list could, and does, go on. Not only do the award shows highlight the best of the industry, but they also reflect the current political and social climate. More directors and writers are diversifying their casts, while new people are breaking into the industry to tell unique stories that more people can relate to and learn from.
The Golden Globes aired on Jan. 5 to kick off the joyous awards season. Ricky Gervais made a bold entrance with his trademark jokes that cross the line, but continue to be absolutely hilarious. He was not afraid to call out the audience for being self-righteous and pompous, so he made it his goal to put them in their rightful place. Some of the big winners of the night included Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, winning best supporting actor, best screenplay and best motion picture in a comedy or musical and 1917, winning best motion picture in a drama and best director. Some of my favorite performances were Taron Egerton’s portrayal of a young Elton John, which won him best actor in a comedy or musical, as well as Soairse Ronan’s Jo March (Little Women), which earned her a nomination for best actress in a drama.
The Globes were a night full of celebration, while also giving actors and actresses a platform to call for change. Climate change dominated the conversation and was the topic of most acceptance speeches. Not only did many celebrities speak about the Australian wildfires, but the Hollywood Foreign Press even made the dinner menu completely plant-based, calling attention to the link between animal agriculture and climate change. Notably, Awkwafina made Golden Globes history by becoming the first Asian American woman to win best actress in a leading role for her movie, The Farewell. Although a step towards progress, women seemed to be snubbed again in this year’s nominations, with the entire director’s category made up of male nominees.
As the Oscars approach, I look forward to seeing the winners, the political statements and, obviously, the red carpet outfits. Film and television make up such a large part of our lives. We get emotionally attached to the characters. We cry when they pass away, we root for them and we relate to them. Whether you’re watching the classic love story of Casablanca, the chilling story of The Shawshank Redemption or the modern female-centered story of Ladybird, all of these movies pull us into a new world. That’s why I love watching movies and shows. For just a little bit, you can escape reality and see a different side of life. If you’re heartbroken, you can watch Pretty Woman to make you believe in love again. When you’re bored, you can watch Bohemian Rhapsody to make you dance to Queen. What we see on the screen truly adds color to life, and that is why America celebrates visual media.