Perhaps it is a sign that we are making headway as a society. How fitting that on Martin Luther King Day, so many people of minority and under-represented groups won awards for their work at the 64th Golden Globe Awards. All awards were richly deserved. Since this event is a function of the Hollywood Foreign Press, it should not be surprising, but it is and worthy of note.
“Dreamgirls”, previously a smash success as a Broadway musical, is now a smash success as a movie. It led the way as Best Comedy or Musical. The African-American cast proved vastly talented and earned Eddie Murphy a Best Supporting Actor Award, and newcomer Jennifer Hudson a Best Supporting Actress Award.
Jennifer proved in a dynamic way that she has it all – voice and acting talent. She is one of many American Idol contestants Simon Cowell did not believe would make it. He was quite wrong. Hudson made a quick reference to that matter by saying “Simon, like my voice now?” at the end of her acceptance speech.
Veteran actor Forrest Whittaker won Best Actor in “The Last King of Scotland” as the larger than life Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Another energetic newcomer, America Ferrera, won for Best Actress for her television role in “Ugly Betty”.
This offbeat comedy/drama about the fashion industry and beauty has been warmly embraced by fans across the country. Salma Hayek, as executive producer, has brought the flavor of Hispanic life in America to the small screen. She was rewarded with a Best Comedy Golden Globe.
Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu continued the Hispanic charge with his award for “Babel”, a movie which, surprisingly, did not win any other awards. He offered one of the few moments of laughter by telling Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (appearing on crutches) that his “papers” were in order. He was referring to the on-going issues California has with border crossings from Mexico.
The Brits did well with Hugh Laurie as Best Actor in his Dr. House television role, and Helen Mirren was recognized several times for her work in two films as both the “old” queen, Victoria and the “new” queen, Elizabeth II, for which she won Best Actress.
Sacha Baron Cohen, who is actually British, won for his outrageous portrayal of “Borat”. Luckily, he did not give his acceptance speech as his character from Kahzakstan.
Shonda Rhimes, a rarity as a black female executive producer, was joined on-stage by the entire cast of Best Drama on Television, “Grey’s Anatomy”. This show features a highly popular multi-cultural cast.
Clint Eastwood, part of the “old guard” in Hollywood, won for “Letters from Iwo Jima” which was a foreign language entry made as the Japanese viewpoint of Iwo Jima. But Eastwood did give a nod to his Japanese star, Ken Wantanabe.
These multi-cultural acknowledgements serve to remind us that America is indeed a “melting pot” of many ethnicities and cultures. Congratulations to the Hollywood Foreign Press for their color -blind and gender-blind awards. It gives those who go to the movies a more colorful, more accurate and more exciting picture of America and the World.