The 2016 Golden Globes: The Boys’ Show is Back!

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Via justjared.com

 

That didn’t take long did it?

While last year the Golden Globes were progressive and ever more women centered, this year just seemed to forget all of that and revert to the standard boys show that we can expect coming from Hollywood unfortunately.

Here’s hoping the 2016 Academy Awards are better? Given #OscarsSoWhite was a trending hashtag last year due the lack of diversity in their nominations, I may just be setting myself up to be Waiting for Godot.

The Problems:

Problem no 1: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were not cohosts. While I am a fan of the British snark when it comes to comedy, Ricky Gervais was not doing it for me. On the heels of the Steve Harvey screw up at Miss Universe, I at least expected, Ricky Gervais to do that, at least that would have been funny. Hell, Jamie Foxx as a presenter had to do the Steve Harvey bit for him! I just miss Amy and Tina and all I got was some okay X rated jokes and a Cosby rape joke.

Problem no 2: No women won in any of the categories that didn’t have woman in the title of the award. That meant unless you were a Best Actress/Supporting Actress, SOL folks. There were no female creative wins this year as there were last year. Not only that, two movies about women this year up for Golden Globes nominations vs. ten movies about men. Two steps forward, one big old step back.

Problem No 3: The movies that were carried by people of color *cough* Creed, were not thanked. Love Sly Stallone, but would it have taken off his shine to recognize Director Ricky Coogler or main actor, Michael B. Jordan?

Problem no 4: Speeches for the most part were underwhelming this year. I know not every actor, director, writer, composer is supposed to say something relevant about the state of the affairs of the world, but a good chunk of the films this year lended themselves to an opportunity to do so.

The Positives:

It was great night to be a Latino man in Film/TV: with wins for Alejandro G. Iñárritu as Director, Gael Garcia Bernal and Oscar Isaac for acting. Inarritu

The WINS:

Leonardo won a Golden Globe for Best Actor finally, which means he’s that much more close to getting an Oscar. We’ll see although he’s got stiff competition and the Academy has been snubbed him for a decade now.

Lady Gaga won a GOLDEN GLOBE for acting. Let me repeat, Lady Gaga won a Golden Globe for acting, not singing, but acting. Apparently, she was shocked too. While I haven’t seen the American Horror Story episodes she’s in, she is proving to be multitalented artist.

 Denzel Washington won the Cecil B. DeMille award for Lifetime Achievement in film. Introduced by his longtime friend and fellow actor Tom Hanks, what followed was the best dang montage to ALL of his best movies, which is almost like every movie. When Denzel brought his family up to the stage, to accept the award I don’t think there was a person who wasn’t a little like “awww” for the humbleness of the moment.

Taraji P. Henson. I don’t know whether I was through when she started giving out Cookies for her character, Cookie, on the TV Show “Empire. Her speech “What do you mean wrap? I’ve been waiting for this for 20 years, you gonna WAIT?!  Or “who knew that playing an ex-convict would take me all around the world”. Taraji is EVERYTHING.

Good speeches:

 There were not a ton this year that said anything beyond, “me, me, me oh and thanks to the other folks who made this possible” unlike last year which had plethora of speeches that recognized their work as part of a larger cause.

The most interesting was Hollywood Foreign Press President talking about the duty of the film/tv/media world” to fight against violence, injustice, and intolerance”.

This was followed by Leo’s great acceptance speech that acknowledged and lauded First Nations and indigenous peoples work in fighting for justice in their communities and the need for equality in storytelling on the big screen

Best Joke of the Night? Goes to: America Ferrera and Eva Longoria when presenting together getting back at the Golden Globes for mistaking America with Gina Rodriguez of “Jane the Virgin

Yes, hi, I’m Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes,” Longoria cracked right off the bat.

“And hi, I’m America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” Ferrera replied.

“And neither of us are Rosario Dawson,” the Longoria said quickly.

Amen,probably not a person of color in that room or watching who didn’t go “YAAAAS!”

You can check out the full list of winners here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising the Profile of #TransLivesMatter: A Review of “The Danish Girl”

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The experience of the transgender individual is brought to life very beautifully in Tom Hooper’s ‘The Danish Girl. While there have been other interpretations on the big screen, most recently “Dallas Buyers Club”, and even further back in “Boys Don’t Cry”, this is one of the most comprehensive tellings of the transgendered experience.

2015 was a watershed moment for the transgendered movement aka as the “T” in the LGBTQ acroynym. There was the 2015 coming out of Olympic winner and reality TV Kardashian family member, Caitlyn Jenner. Before that, “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox was on the cover of Time Magazine. There is high profile transgendered activist and media commentator Janet Mock and so many more. And now there is long overdue media attention focused the #translivesmatter movement which has shone a light on the fight for equality in the transgendered movement, focusing on everything from job security to the high number of murders and beatings of trans individuals.

It is no doubt it is this groundswell that created an environment for the making and high profile promotion of “The Danish Girl”, a biopic on the life of Lili Elbe a transgendered woman who was the first trans person known to undergo gender reassignment operation in the early 20th century.

Lili was born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener and was a successful Danish artist under the name of Einar who was married to fellow painter Gerda Wegener. Eddie Remayne (The Theory of Everything) portrays Einar/Lili) and Gerda is portrayed by Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina). Remayne who won the Academy Award in 2015 for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” brings his amazing ability to disappear into a character to Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe. The previews looked promising even though there was some backlash as to whether a straight cisgender man could fully ever capture the transgender experience.

Remayne’s Einar looks much like the photographs, a quiet, and slight man who is deeply introspective and lost in the world of his paintings of landscapes. He’s drawn out only by the vivaciousness and love of Vikander’s Gerda. They seem very happy together, a young couple committed to their craft, even working to take the next step in their married life: have a baby. Things might’ve continued that way, had it not been for Gerda needing a female model to finish her painting. Their mutual friend, a ballerina, who was the subject of the painting is late and Einar ever the supportive husband, stands in for the model. Initially, Einar fumbles to put on the stockings and dress shoes correctly and vehemently refuses to wear the dress, but drapes it across his body. It is posing in those moments, touching the linen and reflecting on its beauty, Lili awakens.

As part of a game created by Gerda, Lili attends her first ball. It is there Lili realizes the game is no longer a game as she realizes her feelings but is confused as to what is happening and why she can’t find the answer nor the doctors.

Hooper for his part weaves together a credible tale as to the evolution of Lili. Though it was a story in 1920s Europe, the only significant detail that is now updated, is that being transgendered is actually considered real and not a form of mental illness. Lili’s extreme gender dysphoria; the strains on her once happy marriage; being treated as an object of curiosity; confusion as to what transgendered means for sexual orientation as opposed to identity; and being beaten up in the by angry hecklers are still the hallmarks today of the transgendered experience as told by transgendered people. Lili also leaves her work as a painter behind, as it is who Einar was, and not Lili.

Hooper’s film is an homage to painting with each scene framing the actors in a warm/cool thick background of colors only found in paintings. Hooper had a love affair with landscapes as Einar the painter did but it was Remayne and Vikander’s performances that carried the film all the way to the end. It was not a movie that yielded great emotion, interestingly enough, but it was a story you wanted to see play out to the end because of Remayne, whose physicality as an actor was on full display as he became Lili. Remayne was believable as Lili until the absolute end, which was crucial to the success of the film. Much has been written on whether a trans actress should have played Lili, a question I think is valid and worth discussing. It is certainly a separate piece and you can check out more substantives thoughts on the matter here and here

“The Danish Girl” is an important groundbreaking film on the life of trans pioneer, Lili Elbe. Danish Girl’s acting performances will yield the few accolades in the 2016 awards season, not much else, as it looks like from early predictors. If nothing else, this movie represents an important moment for the trans community where there is a confluence for the first time in media, politics, and greater popular culture, where people are starting to see why trans lives matter. If that’s the greatest contribution that “The Danish Girl” makes then that’s enough.

New Year. New Blog

So here it is a New Year, yet another blog to add into the blogosphere.  There are not enough perspectives out there from a black women on feminism, politics,  race,  and certainly using all these lens  to critique films/TV/Media. This is a blog that will do that.

The topics of feminism, politics, and films won’t always be mutually exclusive posts, they are topics that will and often do often intersect quite well.

Stay tuned for more posts!