The person with the best speech at the Golden Globe Awards last night was Oprah Winfrey.
But the person with the best line of the night was Natalie Portman.
Winfrey spoke after she was awarded the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, the first black woman to be so honored.
She talked both about her experience as a little girl watching Sidney Poitier win an Academy Award in 1964, and about women speaking truth–a prevalent theme last night given all that’s happened in Hollywood the last few months.
It was a great speech. But then, Portman took the stage, appearing with director Ron Howard to present the award for best director.
She had just one crucial line, and she inserted two little words that made it so memorable:
“And here are the all-male nominees.”
Because yes, there were five nominees, and they were all men.
Left out of the nominations were the female directors of some highly acclaimed films from last year, including Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Patty Jenkin (Wonder Woman), and Dee Rees (Mudbound).
Of course, it’s not as if Portman were the first to point out the all-male nomination slate; it’s been a theme of some of the coverage of the Globes this year. And it’s especially poignant again, given the big stories out of Hollywood since September.
But the efficiency and wit with which Portman made her point–along with the fact that she kept a straight face, refusing to undermine her point by pretending that she thought it was a joke–brought down the house.
And Twitter, and my Facebook feed.
Obviously unscripted — or at least not in the approved script. That’s all it took.
Because as Barbra Streisand, the only woman ever to win the Golden Globe for best director, for her movie Yentl in 1984, pointed out later:
That was 1984. No other female nominees in 34 years?!!
Oh, the best director winner, by the way, was Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.
Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced later this month. It will be interesting to see if the result is anything different–and if Portman’s two words might impact it.
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