Amid all the glitz and Hollywood glamour of the 70th Golden Globes award presentation Sunday, depictions of federal employees won the day. It was a banner year for federal issues on both the small and big screens.
In the television categories, a Showtime drama named after a relatively new federal department cleaned up: Homeland was declared best TV dramatic series and won both main acting drama awards, which went to Damian Lewis and Claire Danes for their roles as a Marine officer-turned-Congressman-turned-terrorist and a CIA officer, respectively. Game Change, the HBO film chronicling John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin for the second-highest executive branch position, took home three awards. Julianne Moore won best performance in a miniseries or television film for her role as Palin, and Ed Harris won best best supporting performance in a series, miniseries, or television film. Game Change itself won best miniseries or television film.
Federal issues also had a strong film presence in 2012, and the Golden Globes showcased those big-screen depictions. Daniel Day-Lewis won the award for best performance in a motion picture drama for his portrayal of the 16th president's examination of executive powers and the thirteenth amendment in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. But the stories and portrayals of relatively unknown feds stole the awards. Jessica Chastain won the best performance award for her role as Maya in Kathryn Bigelow’s chronicle of the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain’s character fights through bureaucratic hurdles, dead ends and perpetual budget struggles to eventually find the key people that lead the agency to bin Laden. In several scene-stealing performances, Chastain’s character has to deal with office politics, like any federal employee.
The big winner for feds and film was certainly Ben Affleck’s Argo. The story of CIA’s Tony Mendez’s plan to rescue diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis won Best Picture and Best Director for Affleck. Mendez himself appeared to present the film with John Goodman during the ceremony, and Affleck thanked Mendez and federal employees, saying Mendez “represents the clandestine service as well as the foreign service that is making sacrifices on behalf of Americans every day. And those serving overseas, I want to thank them very much.”
There it is, federal employees. Hollywood likes you. They really really like you.