In one of the biggest surprises at this year’s Golden Globe ceremony, AMC’s miniseries “The Night Manager” won three awards. Tom Hiddleston even edged out favorite Courtney B. Vance to take home the statuette for best actor in a TV movie or limited series.
To be fair, the Globes are notorious for shockers like this. Last year, “Mozart in the Jungle” reigned supreme, despite the fact that Amazon’s classical music drama has never generated much buzz.
That trend re-emerged early Sunday night when Aaron Taylor-Johnson was named best supporting actor for his role in “Nocturnal Animals,” snubbing Mahershala Ali, who had been considered the front-runner for his role in “Moonlight.” (Disclosure: The Washington Post is owned by Amazon’s chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos.)
In other surprises: Best actor in a TV drama went to Billy Bob Thornton for Amazon’s “Goliath,” instead of Rami Malek, fresh off an Emmy win for his acclaimed performance in USA’s “Mr. Robot.” And a Netflix show won best TV drama series, but it wasn’t “Stranger Things” – that honor went to “The Crown.”
We’ve put together a guide to help sort through some of the less recognizable titles and figure out if they’re worth adding to your watch list.
Fashion designer Tom Ford is behind this psychological thriller, adapted from Austin Wright’s 1993 novel “Tony and Susan.” Amy Adams plays an art dealer, and Jake Gyllenhaal plays her struggling writer ex-husband. Taylor-Johnson (of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” fame) is a villain in the film’s story-within-a-story, which unfolds through an unpublished novel written by the vengeful ex. The film nabbed the grand jury prize at the Venice International Film Festival before hitting theaters in November. Ford was also nominated for a Golden Globe for best director but lost to Damien Chazelle for “La La Land.”
“The Night Manager”
This six-episode series was adapted from John le Carri’s novel about a former British soldier attempting to infiltrate the operations of a dangerous arms dealer. That’s just niche enough to appeal to some viewers, while alienating others, but the show did garner its fair share of critical acclaim. “Despite a few nasty but necessary killings, it’s so clear who we’re supposed to root for,” Mike Hale wrote in his New York Times review. “If TV shows had jaws, this one’s would be square.”
And “The Night Manager” obviously did something right since Hiddleston’s co-stars Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman also took home statuettes for their supporting roles. It’s worth noting that AMC co-produced the show with BBC – another reason it might have resonated with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Even though “Goliath” premiered to mixed reviews, Thornton won over a number of critics with his performance as a washed-up trial lawyer who lands a big case against one of his former clients. In his review of the David E. Kelley show, Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever said Thornton and his co-stars – including Ever Carradine, Maria Bello and William Hurt – helped the legal thriller overcome its flaws.
If you haven’t yet heard of “The Crown,” which took home the best drama award and landed Claire Foy the statuette for best TV drama actress, it’s not because the show isn’t worth watching. There are two things at play here: It just premiered in November. And it was part of a crowded slate of original content released by Netflix last year. The 10-episode first season follows Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Philip Mountbatten, as newlyweds. The show also features John Lithgow as Sir Winston Churchill. Lithgow, who won at the Critics’ Choice Awards, was also up for a Golden Globe, but lost to Laurie. “The Crown” is probably worth adding to your watch list – it’s a favorite among critics, including Stuever, who declared the show “scrumptious,” but cautioned fans not to binge it in one sitting.
“Elle” took home the award for best foreign language film and French actress Isabelle Huppert bested Natalie Portman and Ruth Negga, acclaimed for their respective roles in “Jackie” and “Loving,” to take home best actress in a film drama.
“Elle” follows a woman who is brutally raped by a masked stranger. In her review, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday took issue with the film’s “opportunistic” use of sexual violence, but she praised Huppert for her performance.
“Chic, severe, ferociously focused throughout a performance that demands a transparent display of violently conflicting emotions, Huppert is the best and maybe the only reason to see ‘Elle,’ or to believe that it possesses something of value beyond pseudo-smart S&M titillation,” Hornaday wrote.
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