“Boyhood,” “Birdman” soar at Golden Globes

By Arthur Aumann

Independent films “Birdman” and “Boyhood” won awards unexpectedly at the 72nd annual Golden Globe awards Sunday.

These wins were among many shocks at the Globes. Another? “True Detective” didn’t receive any awards. Fortunately, several of the Globe-nominated films may get a another chance at this year’s Oscars.

The big winner in the drama category was “Boyhood,” which took home awards for Best Picture — Drama, Best Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette). “Boyhood” has been a darling of critics since its July release, and rightfully so — it is one of the most ambitious movies ever made, as it was filmed over the course of 12 years.

“Birdman” was also recognized in the comedy category, taking home awards for Best Actor (Michael Keaton) and screenplay. But, the film lost best picture for a musical or comedy to “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

The success of “Birdman” and “Boyhood” comes as a surprise as both are atypical of movies that usually win at award ceremonies. They are independent movies written by their directors and not adapted from previous source material, something that has become increasingly rare. Next month’s Oscars should feature a tight race between these movies.

Perhaps the success of “Birdman” and “Boyhood” will encourage more artistic creativity rather than Oscar bait biopics that have been flooding theatres, like “The Theory of Everything” and “Selma.” As one of the great American directors Quentin Tarantino once said: “Another genre I have no respect for is the biopic. They are just big excuses for actors to win Oscars. It’s a corrupted cinema.”

Part of what makes the Globes unique is that it’s a hybrid that presents awards for movies and television shows in contrast to the Oscars, which focuses solely on movies. “Fargo” and “Transparent” won multiple awards while “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective” — arguably the two best shows on television — surprisingly took home nothing. Perhaps the biggest shocker of the evening was when “The Affair” won best television drama over “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards.”

Kevin Spacey, Eddie Redmayne and Billy Bob Thornton also took home acting awards. George Clooney was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement for his humanitarian work — at age 53, he is a fairly young recipient of the award.

This past year of movies will be put to rest Feb. 22 at The Oscars.