A critical look at what it means to be an actor
by Emily Day
Entertainment award show season officially kicked off Sunday, Jan. 8, with the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Though some may say that the Golden Globes are less prestigious than perhaps the Oscars, the Globes honors a wide array of talents, spanning acting to musical scores, from both film and television.
Coming off the heels of a controversial year, the Globes was marked by two key factors: the unquestionable success of “La La Land” and the controversial discussion of an actor’s responsibility to be empathetic.
Already slotted as a favorite going into the evening, “La La Land” completely stole the show. It not only walked away winning each of the seven awards it was nominated for, but in doing so, broke a Globes record. In addition to receiving the title of best musical/comedy film, leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling won best actress and actor respectively, while its director, Damien Chazelle, earned best director and screenplay awards. Finally, to top it all off, “La La Land” was awarded Best Original Score and Best Original Song.
As a movie written to celebrate the arts and the creative people who pursue art, it seems fitting that “La La Land” should be honored at an award show celebrating the arts. In her acceptance speech, Stone dedicated her award to the fellow dreamers for which the movie was created.
“This is a film for dreamers,” she said. “I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in this world and that’s what this movie is about.”
Stone continued encouraging creatives to keep pushing ahead despite rejection, saying that she shares her award with them.
Later in the evening, three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep used her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award speech to encourage her fellow actors to use their unique platform to showcase empathy. Despite her voice being weak from illness, she urged her colleagues to use their platform to give a voice to misrepresented people groups especially in light of the current social and political climate.
“An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of those different from us and let you feel what that feels like,” Streep said.
Streep did not shy away from calling out President Donald Trump and his campaign, blaming them for fostering a climate where minorities felt defenseless and unsafe. She cited Trump’s alleged mockery of a disabled journalist as a mark of Trump’s disregard for the responsibility his position of power gives him.
“This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, filters down into everybody’s life,” she said. “Cause it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.”
Streep continued encouraging both the press and her fellow actors to come together to hold the government accountable and to stand for truth. She ended with a quote of encouragement from the recently departed Carrie Fisher, “take your broken heart and turn it into art.”
Regardless of political affiliation, it’s encouraging to hear people like Streep, with a large audience, coming to the defense of those who have been forgotten, ignored or mistreated.
The 2017 Golden Globes let people see the more human side of Hollywood. Showing actors as people who want to make a positive impact in the world through the arts.
Emily Day is a senior journalism major and arts & entertainment editor for Cedars. When not writing, she is watching an array of Broadway shows or forcing people to read her overly cliched blog.