If you found yourself repeating "I haven't seen that" all night, we've got you.

By Naveen Kumar
Jan 06, 2020 @ 2:30 pm
Alamy

Awards shows always feel a bit out of sync with reality. Not only because they find Hollywood denizens sharing rarified air and sipping Moet, but because they ask us to forget about the world’s troubles. For a few hours, we enjoy gourmet eye candy, stan our favorite constellations of stars, and scroll social feeds stacked with hot takes. But this year’s Golden Globes felt even more surreal than most, given the spread of woes that demand our attention once the glitter settles.

Many who took the stage expressed concern and support for people affected by fires sweeping across Australia, while a number of winners voiced calls to civic action. “While I love my kids so much, I beg of us all to give them a better world,” said Patricia Arquette, accepting her supporting actress award for Hulu’s The Act. “For our kids and their kids, we have to vote in 2020.” Accepting best actress for Fosse/Verdon, Michelle Williams, who recently revealed she’s engaged and expecting her second child, spoke passionately about women’s right to choose.

Of course, the best Hollywood entertainment often grapples with the anxieties and tensions that characterize our everyday lives. Directly or indirectly, stories on the small and big screens compel us to see and think about the world differently — even when most of what we see may be pretty dark. From drama series based on true events to movies that seek emotional and empirical truths, these Golden Globe nominees and winners speak to the here and now. Plus, they’re already available to stream.

The Farewell

Awkwafina made history as the first-ever Asian-American woman to win for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Best known as a breakout comic genius in Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8, Awkwafina is a total revelation in her first major dramatic role. Though the Golden Globes classified The Farewell as a comedy, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Filmmaker Lulu Wang based the story on her own family’s decision to keep a terminal cancer diagnosis from her ailing grandmother. It’s a tender, sad, and often hilarious meditation on the burdens and blessings of love and loss. Yes, this film will wring out your heart — but it’ll fill it back up to the brim, too.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

RELATED: This Is the Story of How I Became "Awkwafina"

Ramy

Hulu

The night’s first winner, Ramy Youssef for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, came as a total surprise. Even Youssef joked that most people in the crowd and at home probably hadn’t seen his Hulu series. Ramy is a funny and complex portrait of a young Muslim guy living with his conservative immigrant parents in New Jersey. Given that American TV has mostly cast Muslim characters as criminals and security threats, Ramy is something of a balm — full of the messy, hilarious humanity too long absent from how our popular imagination often considers Muslim people.

Stream it on Hulu.

The Morning Show

Apple TV

When you’re not in the mood for actual news, Apple’s fictionalized take on a New York morning show offers an uncanny look behind the cameras. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were both nominated for their roles as co-anchors of a show that resembles Today, in a story inspired by the ousting of Matt Lauer. The series picks up steam throughout the first season, with Aniston in particular showing a side of her talent not often seen. A second season has just been announced, so you have plenty of time to catch up (though you’ll probably blaze right through it in one weekend).

Stream it on Apple TV+.

Chernobyl

HBO

The devastating consequences of human folly on the natural world seem to be everywhere we turn. HBO’s Chernobyl, which won Best Miniseries, is a bracing and gripping account of the 1986 nuclear disaster with eerie and inescapable echoes in the present. If there were ever a historical catastrophe that stands as proof we’re screwing up the planet, Chernobyl is it. Cringe at the egoism and incompetence that led us to the brink of apocalypse, and take heart at the front-line heroism and commitment to the truth it inspired.

Stream it on HBO Go.

The Report

Alamy

The early-2000s government misconduct exhumed in The Report has suddenly grown in resonance since the movie’s relatively low-key fall release. Led by Adam Driver and Annette Bening (nominated for her performance as Senator Dianne Feinstein), The Report follows Senate investigations into the CIA’s torture of suspected terrorists in the wake of 9/11. Another case of facing painful history to resist seeing it repeated, this movie somehow feels both too soon and perhaps not soon enough.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

Unbelievable

Netflix

A number of winners, most notably women, used their platform to speak about pressing cultural issues from a deeply personal point of view. That’s the spirit of Netflix’s acclaimed miniseries Unbelievable, based on the true story of a rape survivor who was charged with filing a false report. Years later, two women detectives work to uncover the truth of her claims. It’s an incisive and illuminating look at whose voices are heard and believed, and a first-rate example of a series that addresses an urgent and sensitive subject with care and insight.

Stream it on Netflix.

RELATED: The Unbelievable Kaitlyn Dever

Booksmart

MGM/Shutterstock

If and when it all feels like too much to bear, an escape to simpler (and younger and raunchier) times is certainly in order. Beanie Feldstein was nominated for her performance as a high school senior who realizes she’s been so busy being good at school that she forgot to have fun. Slapstick and super-sweet chaos ensues, with Kaitlyn Dever by her side playing the equally driven and somewhat less ready to rebel best friend. With Booksmart, Olivia Wilde has made the kind of teen movie that we’ll be cueing up on repeat with the ranks of Lady Bird and Mean Girls. Invite your ride-or-die and press play for an unforgettable night of forgetting your cares.

Stream it on Hulu.

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