Golden Balls kick off Awards Season

This year marks the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards and the beginning of the awards season for film taking place on Sunday 16th January at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood.

Founded in October 1943 by eight foreign journalists who formed the non-profit organisation known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it has raised over $10.5 million for entertainment related charities in the past 15 years.

Unlike any other award ceremony it contains a certain informality as guests are free to mingle during the telecast creating a relaxed atmosphere whilst the addition of a goodie bag containing an assortment of chic presents adds a nice quirk. Despite the air of formality, it remains one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in film, with 250m viewers worldwide.

The awards encompass 25 categories of which 14 are awards for motion pictures and 11 for television. Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globe presents awards for different genres of film and television, including those for best  drama and for best musical or comedy. This results in a greater breadth of winners and ensures that films which normally wouldn’t be considered due to their genre get a chance to win.

The anticipation around these awards this year is particularly high as it sees a collection of equally brilliant films fighting for the top awards.

Favourite for the best motion picture drama category seems to be The Social Network whose portrayal of the computer science student Mark Zuckerberg who created the hugely popular social-networking site Facebook caused quite the storm last year, perhaps due to the vast number of users of the website who were keen to learn about its origins.

Colin Firth appears to be the favourite for the category of best dramatic actor for his outstanding depiction of George VI in Tom Hooper’s film The King’s Speech. His unexpected accession to the throne following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII saw him facing the twin challenges of overcoming his severe stammer and leading his country through the Second World War.

However, Firth is hotly contested for the award by 127 Hours’ James Franco who plays adrenaline junkie Aron Ralstonin – a man who has to make the abhorrent decision to cut off his hand when he finds himself trapped by a boulder in Robbers Roost, Utah.

Other films nominated for the best motion picture drama include Inception, Black Swan and The Fighter.

The notable Cecille B. DeMille award chosen by the board of directors of the Hollywood Press Association for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment has been awarded to Robert De Niro. Previous winners include Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino and Audrey Hepburn.

Despite the awards initially being presented by journalists in the association, in 1958 Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr stormed the stage with Whiskey and cigarettes and took over the show much to the delight of the audience. Since then a selection of celebrities have taken the role of presenter and this year’s list includes everyone’s favourite glittery vampire Robert Pattinson and teen heartthrob Zac Efron as well as the elegant Helen Mirren and Megan Fox.

Along with the selection of presenters there is the Miss/Mr Golden Globe, an honorary title traditionally awarded to the son or daughter of a celebrity who assists in the presentation of the awards. This year Miss Golden Globe is Gia Mantegna the daughter of actor Joe Mantegna who is perhaps best known for his roles in The Three Amigos, The Godfather Part III and Airheads.

Whatever the result, the ceremony promises to be an entertaining watch with each of the nominees being deserving and not out of place or unexpected. Perhaps if we are lucky we will be treated to something exciting such as Jack Nicholson’s mooning to the crowd in 1999 or Christine Lahti having to be dragged out of the bathroom to be presented with her award at the 1998 Golden Globes.

Taken from The Student, published Tue Jan 18th 2011.

 

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