I’ve always said the Golden Globes are my favorite awards. Not only does it bring together film and television, two of my favorite things, but it never takes itself too seriously. Kinda like the Oscar’s funny cousin.
This year was no different, if only for the amazing hosting of Tina and Amy.
Side note: I’ve had three different dreams of them adopting me in the past week.
I had a blast watching it and live-tweeting throughout the night. And I was generally pleased with the winners and the jokes and the presenters and just watching my favorite stars totally relaxed and lively and having fun.
Buuuuuut, there were a few things that didn’t sit right with me. And by the end of the night, I realized exactly what I want to do with my career in entertainment.
What were those things you ask?
- Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor over Chiwetel Ejiofor
- Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress over Lupita Nyong’o
And frankly if 12 Years A Slave hadn’t won Best Motion Picture in the end, I might have given up altogether. It was by far one of the best, if not the best, film of this year. Powerful beyond measure, difficult to watch yet impossible to turn away, with performances that struck so deep they made you forget you were sitting in a movie theater. (You can read more about my thoughts here)
I actually really like both McConaughey and JLaw. I think they are very talented actors and both roles merited recognition. However, not in comparison with the roles played by their contenders Ejifor and Nyong’o, respectively.
McConaughey really delivered an intense performance in Dallas Buyers Club. The dedication he put into the role absolutely paid off. Jennifer Lawrence also did an incredible job in American Hustle, though you can argue that crazy housewife isn’t much different than crazy widow. (Also, the role seemed like it should have been for someone older? Maybe that’s just me.)
So now, and this is very important so I’m putting it in ALL CAPS: THIS DOES NOT MEAN I AM BASHING ON MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE AS ACTORS / PEOPLE OR DIMINISHING THEIR PERFORMANCE IN ANY WAY.
But. You absolutely cannot compare either role to the painful, raw intensity portrayed by the actors in 12 Years A Slave. However difficult the movie is to watch for us, imagine the weight of the pressure on Chiwetel Ejiofor who carried the entire story on his shoulders. The gravitas of the role and the frustration he adds to it is so real, so genuine. You believe you are really looking at Solomon Northup, watching his life helplessly, anxiously.
Lupita Nyong’o, on the other hand, played a slave who was whipped and raped and abused in ways we cannot comprehend. She did extensive research for the part that broke her emotionally, but she powered through because she felt obligated to tell Patsey’s story. And she had just graduated from Yale and was picked over tons of other qualified and experienced actresses.
She had the following to say about her role:
“When reading the script, I felt sympathy for her. I wanted to hold her, I wanted to make it all right. But that’s no way to play her. I had to let go of that and recognize that Patsey abused was the norm. She didn’t get time to sentimentalize her abuse. She didn’t get time to wallow in it. She needed to live through it. And it was coming from all directions. It was physical, it was emotional, it was psychological. And she was always trying to get through it. Those were the things that guided me and prepared me to do this role. And recognizing that this was a true story. And I had the privilege of doing this for fake.”
And this brings me to my point. It’s nothing new, but Hollywood is still very much a white man’s club. There have been progressive steps in the right direction, sure. But things like this (and so many others, don’t get me started) really bring me back to just how much work there is left to be done.
This is what I want to do. I want to work in entertainment publicity. That’s the path I’m working towards every day. But now I have a purpose. To increase the diversity and recognition of females and POCs in the film and TV industry. To tangibly make a difference in the next 50 years of Hollywood.
I don’t know how. But I won’t take any job or task that isn’t a step in that direction.
And yeah it might be even harder for me as a young Hispanic woman. But fuck it. Because if anyone can do it, I can.
So get ready Hollywood. Here’s to change.