The Golden Globes ceremony requires Hollywood to pull off the ultimate contortionist act – slapping itself on the back while holding its hands up and admitting to its mistakes.
But it is quite a stretch to think of the Golden Globes guests quaffing champagne while looking suitably repentant.
Unofficially the Globes mark the start of three months of red carpets, shiny statuettes and gushing acceptance speeches – so seeing how they set the tone could be the most interesting part of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) show.
Here are a few of the things to look out for:
:: The dresses
Don’t think the stars aren’t taking the Hollywood harassment scandal seriously. Most have committed to forsaking their annual designer dress battle in favour of wearing black on the red carpet. It’s meant to be a silent protest from those who have given their backing to the new Time’s Up initiative, a financial fund most have donated money to that promises to try to provide harassment victims with financial backing for any legal help they might need.
All terribly noble – no doubt the RMT union is kicking itself that it’s never thought of a little black dress-themed strike. But Rose McGowan – who claims she was raped by Harvey Weinstein (which he denies) – has said the idea is ridiculous.
In tweets she has since deleted, the actress said: “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest….YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”
The Marchesa reference relates to the fashion line of Weinstein’s estranged wife Georgina Chapman.
:: The seating
Of course, the VIP guest list looks rather different this year. When it comes to table plans, it’s safe to say there’ll be no name cards being set out for Weinstein or Kevin Spacey. They’ve gone from being two of the most respected invitees to persona non grata.
Acting legend Christopher Plummer, 87, will be sitting in Spacey’s seat after filmmaker Ridley Scott decided on a last-minute reshoot to remove the actor from All The Money In The World, a film about the billionaire Getty family. Stepping in at the eleventh hour has certainly paid off for Plummer, earning him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Arguably the effort alone would make him a deserving winner.
Expect the team that made The Post to be given a table near the front. The timely re-telling of President Nixon’s attempt to gag the US press has earned Meryl Streep her 31st Golden Globe nomination – this time for Best Actress in a Drama. And, needless to say, you don’t seat Streep by the toilets. A $2m contribution from filmmaker Steven Spielberg (nominated for Best Director) via his foundation to the Time’s Up fund will also make him a popular face that the HFPA will want to promote.
But every party has guests who are simply easier to discretely encourage to stay in the kitchen – if they turn up at all. Geoffrey Rush, for example, who is in the running for Best Actor in the TV categories for playing Albert Einstein in Genius. The Oscar winner has denied any inappropriate behaviour but stepped down as president of AACTA – Australia’s screen industry academy – after the Sydney Theatre Company revealed it had received a complaint against him from two years ago.
:: The winners
If anyone is actually watching the winners, it could be quite a good night for Britain and Ireland. In the TV categories, Ewan McGregor – nominated for playing twins in the third season of Fargo – is up against Jude Law in The Young Pope.
It’ll be interesting to see if The Crown’s Claire Foy can do the double. After winning last year, she’s nominated again as Best Actress in a TV Series Drama for the popular Netflix saga.
As for film, Dame Judi Dench is nominated for her regal role in Victoria and Abdul and Dame Helen Mirren for The Leisure Seeker, about a couple in their golden years who embark on a road-trip. But it could be Saoirse Ronan’s to steal, with critics raving about her coming of age film Lady Bird.
Sally Hawkins is meant to be a frontrunner for Best Actress in a Drama in Guillermo Del Torro’s Cold War fairy tale The Shape of Water, although the temptation of hearing what Meryl Streep might have to say about politics and the state of Hollywood in her acceptance speech might have swayed voters.
Critics have been saying for months that Gary Oldman will finally get the recognition due for his impressive portrayal of Churchill in Darkest Hour. The category of Best Actor in a Drama might not be that clear cut though. The HFPA could reward Daniel Day Lewis for his last role before retirement, Phantom Thread.
:: General awkwardness
Regardless of whether Gary Oldman wins – it’ll be interesting to see how he navigates the ceremony. He might struggle to make polite conversation with members of the HFPA, as he’s not a fan of the organisation. In 2012, when he was doing the awards show rounds with Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, he reportedly called the Globes voting process “bent”.
Then there’s the show itself. Presenter Seth Meyers has the tricky job of lightening the mood. It’ll be his first time hosting the show, following the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – and the US Talk Show host has acknowledged the atmosphere will be tense. However, he told Vanity Fair that he wants to focus on the current “moment of empowerment”.
“Hopefully we can talk about it in a way that is not just drawing attention to what was a huge bummer, but rather what this moment means going forward,” he said.
:: The parties
After sitting through three hours of acceptance speeches, the stars have traditionally cut loose at the after-parties but even that’s different this year.
The Weinstein Company’s post-ceremony knees-up was a guest list that everyone wanted to be on. For the past three years it hosted one with Netflix at The Beverly Hilton, but unsurprisingly the streaming service has decided cut its ties with the company.
Of course there are others but will anyone really want to be snapped dancing on the tables or with their arms drunkenly draped around their co-stars? Hollywood’s penchant for indulging those with a swollen sense of self-entitlement is arguably what’s gotten the industry where we are today. Partying when it still has problems isn’t a good look.
:: The 75th Golden Globes will begin at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in LA at 5pm Pacific Time, streaming in the UK from 1am Monday.