Your Golden Globes Reading List

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

The two biggest reasons to watch the Golden Globes this year are obvious: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Even with the stellar hosts, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it through the entire lengthy ceremony. But there are some great films and TV shows up for awards. Whether or not you watch the ceremony, I gathered together a collection of our coverage on many of the nominees. 

12 Years a Slave is up for a slew of awards, including Best Motion Picture and Best Director. Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o are nominated for Best Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, too. Bitch film columnist Nijla Mu’min was very moved by the profound film: 

Following the film, I heard an audience member say: “So sad. There were so many of them compared to the whites. They could’ve killed them. Wow, the power of conditioning.” My feeling coming out of the film was very different. There was so much revolt in the simple will to stay alive. 

Philomena is up for Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay.  Judi Dench is nominated for Best Actress for the title role, too, and was great by all accounts in the film that dug into class and religion:

The performances of Dench and co-star Steve Coogan carry the film, which is an enjoyable personal tale as well as a moving commentary on the destructive impacts of British class structure and the Catholic Church. 

The Wolf of Wall Street is up for Best Motion Picture, Comedy. Bitch Editorial and Creative Director Andi Zeisler thought it was a frustrating movie:

Wolf of Wall Street will be deemed bravura, unconventional, and edgy simply by amping up the Roman-orgy hedonism we all already associate with Wall Street. This story has already been told. By telling it again with bigger and sexier props—the Quaaludes, the candle-wielding dominatrix, the intoxicated public masturbation—Scorsese is simply reifying Hollywood’s love affair with men’s stories, and helping to ensure that truly new, actually edgy stories will continue to get shunted to the sidelines. 

Icy Disney princess flick Frozen is up for Best Animated Feature Film. Our reviewer created a pros and cons list to determine whether y’all should see the film. 

Pro: It passes the Bechdel test. There are two female characters: Anna and Elsa. They talk about a lot of things other than boys, so we can check that off the list. It’s notable that the last three princess movies (Tangled,Brave, and Frozen) all featured central relationships with two females who are related to each other.  It would be nice at some point to explore friendship between girls who aren’t related, but as it is, the two leads have a good and complex relationship. 

Con: The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense. The movie rested on the fact that Elsa was “cursed” but they never explained how or why she had magic and Anna didn’t. They also didn’t do a great job of explaining why there were magical rock trolls who were “love experts.” There are just a lot of plot holes here, people. 

Blue is the Warmest Color is up for Best Foreign Language Film. I’m sad to see Wadjda isn’t nominated, but our reviewer thought Blue had some terrific performances:

In some ways, that acclaim is merited. Actresses Exarchopoulos and Seydoux give two of the finest performances you’ll see on screen this year. And the film is often quite moving; it captures the devouring feeling of first love in a strong and palpable way. But Exarchopoulos and Seydoux are constantly undercut by Kechiche’s direction.

I’m glad to see Greta Gerwig nominated for Best Actress in a comedy for Frances Ha—I think that film was overlooked this year. I doubt she’ll win, up against heavyweights like Meryl Streep, but Gerwig’s performance really resonated with me.

Director Noah Baumbach and star/co-writer Greta Gerwig steer the twenty-something coming-of-age story clear of sap and stereotypes, diving straight into a deep pool of modern identity and splashing around with fantastic fun and vigor.

Also up for Best Actress is Julie Delpy for her role in Before Midnight.

Audiences have been waiting eighteen years for Celine and Jesse—the stars of Richard Linklater’s 1995 romantic classic Before Sunrise—to become an item.

But when Linklater finally dishes up that picture perfect conclusion in his new follow-up film Before Midnight, the result a refreshing counter-point to Hollywood’s typical happily ever after stories. Instead, America’s ultimate romance dives into the realistic, practical tensions of middle age and marriage.

When it comes to TV, Breaking Bad is nominated for Best TV Series and Bryan Cranston is up for Best Actor. We looked at how Walter White can be a widely loved character even though he does all sorts of horrific things.

 Despite his corrupt moral compass, viewers continue to root for Walt and there’s a latent feeling that the audience will revolt if he doesn’t survive the show’s finale. Meanwhile, among many “Breaking Bad” fans, there’s no love lost (to put it mildly) for his wife Skyler. 

Also nominated for Best TV Series and Best Actor is Masters of Sex, which was a surprisingly solid and smart new show.

Instead of giving us a female character who mirrors men, star Virginia Johnson (played by Lizzy Caplan) is very much a woman. And the choices she makes are a reminder that as easy as it is for men to waltz past laws and standards of decent behavior and still keep an audience’s respect, real and fictional women alike face much higher standards.

Best TV Series if going to be a super-competitive category: Downton Abbey is also nominated. One fan wrote about how the show’s strength lies in its female characters.

Maybe, just maybe, the show’s plausible, convincing and complex female characters had something to do with the high ratings. Because amid the wreckage, the real star of this season turned out to be Lady Edith!

Girls is nominated for Best TV Series and creator Lena Dunham is up for Best Actress. The third season debuts after the Golden Globes—writer Kerensa Cadenas shared some thoughts this week on why she’s still watching the show.

I like a lot of things about Girls. Mainly, I like that it grossly reflects some parts of my own twenty-something experience: frustration with a bad economy, awkward sexual and romantic encounters, and female friendships that can be both loving and jealous.

Parks and Recreation is nominated for Best TV Series, Comedy. Parks and Rec is such a quality stand-by. This year we commissioned original Galentines from artist Natalie Nourigat to celebrate the show.

treat yo self!

American Horror Story: Coven is nominated for Best TV Mini-Series and Jessica Lange is up for Best Actress in a Mini-Series for her role as head witch.  The show has been a big hit and has a bit of a feminist bent. 

American Horror Story: Coven indeed has a lot of potential to be more feminist than its predecessors. Witchcraft, after all, has historically been associated with women whose talents, personalities, and life choices didn’t jibe with those of the status quo, and the horrible things that were done in the name of purging communities of witches were at heart an expression of fear—fear of women who don’t conform, fear of women who have no use for the usual institutions of male power, fear of women who can make shit happen. 

When I lead a workshop for 10th graders this year, many of the high school girls quickly named their favorite on TV as Jess from New Girl. Zooey Deschanel is nominated for Best Actress for that role—we talked about the show on our Fall TV podcast, where we also talked about Scandal, the super-popular show whose star Kerry Washington is nominated for Best Actress in a Drama. 


Popaganda: Fall TV by Bitch Media on Mixcloud

Orange is the New Black breaks into the Golden Globes with Taylor Schilling’s nomination for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama.  Wait, Orange is the New Black is a drama? I thought it was a comedy. Also, no way is Schilling the best actress on the show (I’m gonna go ahead and nominate Danielle Brooks for that one) but, whatever. Writer Victoria Law covered how the show brings light to real-life prison issues like healthcare for transgender inmates:  

Orange is the New Black catapults women’s incarceration into the media spotlight—the show succeeds at humanizing women in prison while also raising the issues they confront.

However, the show sometimes falls back on stereotypes rather than being a platform to more seriously examine real-life issues, as one might expect from a series designed to be popular entertainment. 

Here’s the full list of Golden Globe nominees. Look for our wrap-up of the event Monday morning!

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by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

James Spader - Best Actor on TV in a long long time

I missed your mentioning of him, unless I missed your mentioning of him -

great job/ great show / he owns this one hands down.

The roundup is good but I'm

The roundup is good but I'm surprised you didn't include the miniseries Top of the Lake. It was really good and written and directed by women!

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