Today, January 5th, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) Golden Globe Awards airs its 77th broadcast. Occurring at the Beverly Hilton ballroom in Beverly Hills, California, the awards recognizes and celebrates talent in the categories of the Arts for cinema. This years nominees and nominations spans networks, streaming platforms and long standing motion picture studios.
There are a litany of characters that drew viewers into the screen this past awards year: Charlie played by Adam Driver in Marriage Story; Dusty Jackson played by Jessica Lange in The Politician, Roger Ailes played by Russel Crowe in The Loudest Voice, Bili played by Awkwafina in The Farewell. These characters are bound to their stories and the coffee culture accoutrements that elucidate them: tables of food where tea is sipped, theatre sets where coffee is delivered, and dance studios where coffee is an agent for energy.
This year, let’s look at some of the scenes that mirror life as we know and drink it.
1. Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sam Rockwell plays director and choreographer Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams plays actress and dancer Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon.
Throughout the series there is coffee in the diner, coffee on window sills, coffee atop pianos and coffee on dance studio floors. Coffee is a much a function of Fosse/Verdon as it is a prop.
Fosse/Verdon is “an inside look at the romantic and creative partnership between influential choreographer/director, Bob Fosse, and Gwen Verdon, one of the greatest Broadway dancers of all time.” IMDB
2. Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Once upon a channel, Fox News was created. Russel Crowe plays Roger Ailes, it’s founder and head in The Loudest Voice. Airing on Showtime, the series tells the story of Fox News’ inception as its play to a conservative America through television.
Fox News Channel coffee mugs make a cameo as well as Greek Anthora paper coffee cups across many newsroom discussions led by Ailes and his team. They even come between scenes throughout the history of Ailes sexual harassment of women including anchor Gretchen Carlson played by Naomi Watts.
“The Loudest Voice is a 2019 American drama television miniseries, a “Seven-part limited series about Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News. It focuses on the past decade which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, and the sexual harassment accusations that brought his career to an end.” IMDB
3. Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
A family that eats and teas together stays together.
In the drama The Farewell, by Lulu Wang, a Chinese “family discovers that their matriarch and grandmother Nai Nai has a limited time to live. Together they decide to keep the news from her while scheduling a wedding to gather all her loved ones to her before she dies”. IMDB
Bili, the granddaughter played by Akwafina travels to China and while there keeps the secret. Meanwhile her face and physical body betrays that something is wrong, a something her family aims to keep from grandma Nai Nai. While home for a pretend wedding Bili and her family elucidate food rituals of the East.
Note: China is known for its tea culture. But, Yunnan province in Southern China is where the growth of coffee production exists for the country. Its an emerging culture getting traction with the influence of international business, trade and the proliferation of Starbucks.
4. Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
High school can be tough, even for a budding politician. Netflix, the streamer with the most nominations this year at The Golden Globes, is behind one of the contenders for Best Television Series, The Politician featuring Lucy Boynton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and Ben Platt who plays Payton Hobart who is running for president. “Rich kid Payton has always known he’s going to be president. But first he has to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School.” IMDB
According to The National Coffee Association “the most robust increase in coffee consumption” is among Americans ages 13 to 18. So, it can be expected that teens in The Politician could be seen drinking coffee as well as their parents and guardians. A look at Jessica Lange who plays Dustin Jackson gives us a clue to where her coffee might be sitting as she navigates being a guardian of a child whose ability is challenged.
Ben Platt is also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
5. Best Screenplay Motion Picture
What is a movie without a script. Who knows?
“Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.” IMDB
Thankfully, the imagination doesn’t have to wonder too much with a script like Marriage Story by screenwriter Noah Baumbach, produced by Netflix, is prose and storytelling about a relationship at its breaking point, a fine piece of writing, line break byline break.
Charlie’s character is revealed through dialogue from his impending ex-wife’s stream of conscious like voice overs and his actions. She shares how Charlie is thoughtful, to the extent of getting correct coffee orders and passing them out to his play cast.
“He hands an intern” a coffee versus the other way around, interns handing principals of companies coffee. This script brilliantly allows the viewer to learn about its characters through what they love and do not. A simple exercise by a mediator for their divorce provides us peaks into moments like the one above following how the two fell in love before ultimately falling out of it.
Marriage Story is also nominated for Best Motion Picture Drama
6. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series
Where do five mothers go when they need to talk and bind over the one thing they have in common – children? One answer is the cafe.
“The apparently perfect lives of upper-class mothers, at a prestigious elementary school, unravel to the point of murder when a single-mother moves to their quaint Californian beach town. IMDB
As five friends and mothers come to grip with the ending of Season one of Big Little Lies and the death of Kidman’s husband, they attempt to move on despite the death that haunts them. With the mother – Meryl Streep – of Kidman’s now dead husband in town and on their trails she pops up in their lives and at their coffee stop inserting her opinions by mental force.
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are both nominated in this category for their roles in Big Little Lies airing on HBO.
7. Best Motion Picture Drama
The Irishman is three-hour and twenty-nine minute running time is long. However, that long is relative considering its a Martin Scorsese picture, featuring a cast of characters whose acting makes watching time defying.
“Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran is a man with a lot on his mind. The former labor union high official and hitman, learned to kill serving in Italy during the Second World War. He now looks back on his life and the hits that defined his mob career, maintaining connections with the Bufalino crime family.” IMDB
This is a movie about organized crime and a teamster who gets involved, albeit over his head. By the way, drinking on this job excludes coffee.
Enjoy the cinema!