The highly-anticipated 2014 Golden Globe awards aired last night and there were few surprises. While the African Diaspora was well-represented in the nominations, only one winner prevailed. British director Steve McQueen’s slave narrative ’12 Years a Slave’ won for best picture, beating out ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘Gravity,’ ‘Wilhemina,’ and ‘Rush’. Mexican film director Alfonso Cuaron won the best director award for his highly-acclaimed film, ‘Gravity’ starring Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The fact that there was only one black and brown win isn’t surprising, but the fact that ‘The Butler’ received no nominations with Lee Daniels at the helm and powerhouse performances by Oprah Winfrey and Forrest Whitaker is still perplexing.
Nonetheless, there were no real upsets except for iconic actress Jacqueline Bissett’s rambling acceptance speech, which was dare say it, upsetting. Jennifer Lawrence’s win for Best Supporting Actress and Amy Adams’ Best Actress win for ‘American Hustle’ were well-deserved with outstanding performances in a film that was really a ‘Goodfellas’ knock-off, but featured enough good fellas (Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, J.Law and Amy Adams), so audiences and critics wouldn’t notice.
Matthew McConaughey has finally shown what he is made of in Hollywood, shedding his ‘aw shucks,’ pretty boy image and playing the hell out of his role in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ supported by fellow Golden Globe winner Jared Leto, who is clearly 30 seconds to Oscar. Can we get an ‘Amen’ for McConaughey’s shifting star status and Leonardo DiCaprio winning an award? While we’re at it, lets have a worldwide group hug for DiCaprio, an outstanding actor who has yet to receive an Oscar despite a ridiculously awesome body of work. If the 2014 Golden Globes are any indicator, this may very well be his year, for a lesser film that is dwarfed by many other films in his body of work, but an overdue win nonetheless.
Even though British actor Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor did not win best actor for ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ or ’12 Years a Slave’, or their nominations in the best actor in a series, miniseries or television, it was a good reminder that these talented brothers are making their marks across a broad spectrum of spaces. I guess Elba can’t win every year, but it would be nice. Although Naomie Harris‘ haunting performance in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ did not receive a nomination, U2, whose lead singer Bono’s name has become synonymous with Africa for his philanthropic work on the continent, won for best original song for a motion picture, ‘Ordinary Love.’ No surprise there.
Let’s just put this on the table — the world community is in love with Kerry Washington, and rightfully so; however, Robin Wright demonstrated that she has staying power with her win for ‘House of Cards.’ If you haven’t caught Wright’s intense yet understated performances as a politician’s wife who is anything but a politician’s wife in the Netflix series, then you will understand why she walked away with the statue. Wright brings ‘it’ in every episode. Wright’s win is a reminder that the writers at ‘Scandal’ and Washington, who has been joined/upstaged by powerhouse actors Joe Morton and Khandi Alexander, still have more work to do if they plan on Olivia Pope sashaying away with a statue. Speaking of sashaying, memo to the free world: Lupita Nyong’o’s fashion game is fierce, which is duly noted. Please don’t think that focusing on her fashion choices will make us forget how talented she really is as an actress, particularly when she is overlooked for a dynamite performance as was the case with ’12 Years a Slave’.
To see the full list of winners, visit CNN.com.
This post was written by The Burton Wire’s founder & editor-in-chief Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.