Tag Archives: Golden Globe Award

Quick Thoughts on Last Night’s Golden Globe Awards

Last night was the 71st Golden Globes. They’re a little behind the Academy Awards who are on their 86th taking place in about a month. Anyhow, I usually like watching these awards shows, especially if I’ve seen some of the movies that are in contention. This year, I had the chance to see a few of the movies that had garnered a number of nominations: American Hustle, Her, 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club.

I really liked American Hustle, but after watching Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave, I was torn between who I thought deserved the awards in some categories. I thought that Jennifer Lawrence had a great performance in American Hustle, but I also thought that Lupita Nyong’o had an excellent performance in 12 Years a Slave. I think they’re both talented and terrific actresses, but with the underrepresentation…

… I’m torn.

I wish that this weren’t an issue in our society. I wish we could judge/award movies/performances on their merits and not worry about whether we’ve been fair in accounting for diversity. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely know and understand that because of our history, white people have a decided advantage when it comes to events like this (and life, in general), but I wish I could just be happy for Jennifer Lawrence and not wonder about Lupita Nyong’o. Unfortunately…

I was also torn when it came to the Best Actor in a Drama category. I’d seen three of the films for which actors were nominated in that category and in my opinion, it would be a toss up between Chiwetel Ejiofor (Choo-it-tell Edge–ee-o-for) and Matthew McConaughey. I thought they both gave excellent — excellent — performances. When Jessica Chastain announced Matthew McConaughey, I was happy, but as was the case for Jennifer Lawrence, I was a bit sad that Ejiofor didn’t win (or, for that matter Idris Elba, who I’ve read gave a great performance in Mandela).

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I don’t have a solution to this dissonance I feel, but I wanted to express my desire for a time when feelings like these needn’t be had. Maybe it will come in 10 years, maybe it will come in 100 years. When it does, I will welcome it with open arms.

The Deepest Principle in Human Nature is the Craving to be Appreciated

At the tail end of my trip last week, I stopped in Charleston, SC. While there, I was happy to enjoy some of the local cuisine, along with the sights and sounds, but I was also pretty excited to watch the Golden Globes. I always like to watch the award shows when I’ve seen most of the movies. Having seen a number of the movies that were nominated this year (Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, Argo, etc.), I was really excited. It feels like I’m more connected to the awards, somehow.

After watching the show, I couldn’t help but reflect on society at large. In particular, I thought about the lack of appreciation we show each other. That is, how many more award shows are there? A few big ones come to mind: the Oscars, the Grammys, the AMAs, the CMAs, the VMAs, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, the Tonys… and from there I struggle to think of many award shows that are on as large a scale. Of course, we could include the sports awards ceremonies, too — so the ESPYs and the NHL awards. And some folks might argue for the All-Star games.

This might be strange coming from a Canadian. In Canada, after you win an award, the culture dictates that you go and put it in your bag, so you don’t make anyone feel bad for not winning. In the US, however, that’s not the case. Nonetheless, it still feels like the US (and the world?) could do with some more appreciating of each other.

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Did you ever conduct a science experiment when you were in grade school about some sort of vegetable growing better to classical music? That stuff really works. Did you know that most vegetables/fruits are made up of water? And did you know… that most of the human body is made up of water? Can you see where I’m going with this. The words we use to communicate with each other matter. If something as simple as classical music can help vegetables grow, don’t you think that words of appreciation will be greatly beneficial to the people around you?

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So, while I won’t be organizing an awards show anytime soon, there are still ways that I can be appreciative of the people around me and in my environment. For instance, whenever I ride the bus, I almost always thank the driver upon de-bussing. Do you? How about if someone holds the door open for you — do you say thank you? Do you hold the door open for other people? If you take the time to look, I’m sure you’ll find that there are infinite opportunities for you to show your appreciation.

Note: The title of this post comes courtesy a quote from William James.

Arbitrage: Another Reason Why Mergers & Acquisitions Fail?

I’ve seen a couple of good movies in the last few weeks (look for some posts on them in the upcoming days). In this post, I wanted to talk a bit about one of those movies: Arbitrage. It came out this past year and stars Richard Gere (and Susan Sarandon). In fact, Gere is up for a Golden Globe for his performance.

And Wikipedia says that, “Many critics pointed out Gere’s ‘conflicted performance’ as a ‘career-best’, and cited the screenplay, ensemble acting, and direction as high quality.” Although there isn’t a reference, I did find this article in Rolling Stone from a few months ago that says, “Gere’s performance in Arbitrage is too good to ignore. At 62, he is at the peak of his powers.” And another from a CBS affiliate that says this could be Gere’s, “best performance ever.”

The movie really reminds me of a movie I saw around this time last year: Margin Call. It’s not hard to see why — they’re both about Wall Street and some of the transgression that may lead to turmoil. In Arbitrage, Gere is a financial wizard who is in the process of selling his firm (that he built from the ground up to a $600 million business). In amongst this, there are affairs, murder, lies, cheating, scandal — just about everything you’d expect in a good movie. While clearly a movie, some of these plots don’t seem out of the realm of possibility for actually happening (in real life).

The one thing that I found the most telling was something towards the end of the movie. Now, it’s going to spoil the movie, so this is where I’m supposed to say “SPOILER ALERT.” If you don’t want the plot ruined, you should definitely bookmark this post and come back to it after having watched the movie. You can watch it on Amazon right now!

Okay — so this is what it was: as the acquiring CEO is on the way to the gala, his right-hand man hands him a piece of paper that points out that Gere’s character’s firm has a $400 million shortfall. The CEO says something to the effect of, “what do you think?” And right-hand man says, “It’s all right there.” And then the CEO says, “I don’t see anything.” And then the CEO smiles at the right-hand man.

It’s often written that mergers & acquisitions fail and there are plenty of reasons why this is the case. Managerial hubris being a key culprit. However, after watching Arbitrage, I wonder how often it happens that the acquiring firm learns about a firm’s “cooked books” after acquiring it and then has to “sit on it,” or else the stock price would take a major hit.