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Gold Standard: Emmys' highs and lows, plus a few more Toronto thoughts

Gold Standard: Emmys' highs and lows, plus a few more Toronto thoughts
Rachel Brosnahan, winner of the lead actress comedy Emmy. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Henry Winkler finally has an Emmy. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” cleaned up … at the expense of “Atlanta.” And voters gave “Game of Thrones” another series award despite a subpar season.

When the listless evening ended, many were hoping Teddy Perkins would haunt the Emmys for years to come.

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Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I'm Glenn Whipp, The Times' awards columnist and your newsletter host.

Highs and lows of the 70th Emmys

The highs? How about the first award presented during the ceremony? The beloved Henry Winkler won his first Emmy more than four decades after his initial nomination for playing the Fonz on “Happy Days.”

The lows? Pretty much everything after that.

Times television critic Lorraine Ali wrote that the evening’s message seemed to be “progress without the edginess.” I weighed in on the night’s many surprises, most of which were not exactly welcome. (I remain dumbfounded that “Atlanta” — the leading comedy series, with 16 nominations — came away with nothing Monday, though it did win three awards for sound editing, cinematography and guest actor at the earlier Creative Arts Emmys.)

Low-energy hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che didn’t really look like they wanted to be there, and viewers seemed to notice. Times staffer Stephen Battaglio reports on the show’s record-low ratings. By and large, it was an evening to forget.

Newly engaged Glenn Weiss and Jan Svendsen at the Governors Ball.
Newly engaged Glenn Weiss and Jan Svendsen at the Governors Ball. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

But at least there was that marriage proposal …

Oscars telecast producer Glenn Weiss turned his acceptance speech into a moving tribute to his late mother and then a marriage proposal to girlfriend Jan Svendsen. The moment left the audience slack-jawed (Leslie Jones), joyful (Benedict Cumberbatch) and teary (Claire Foy).

Most important, it seemed to please Svendsen.

She said yes.

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in "Green Book."
Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in "Green Book." (Universal Pictures)

Wrapping up a memorable Toronto Film Fest

In between last-minute screenings and trips to the airport, Times film critic Justin Chang and I discussed our favorite movies from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. We managed to cover a fair amount of ground, including some outstanding foreign films — “Burning,” “Cold War” and “Shoplifters” among them — along with more mainstream titles like “Widows,” “First Man” and “Green Book.”

The latter film won the festival’s People's Choice Award, catapulting it into this year’s best picture race. “Green Book” stars Viggo Mortensen as a no-nonsense (but charming) Italian American hired to drive an acclaimed, cultured black pianist (played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali) on a concert tour through the deep South in 1962. It’s “inspired” by a true story, though, as presented, the events and characters’ attitudes often stretch plausibility. Still, thanks to the actors’ work, it’s (mostly) endearing. Critics regarded “Green Book” with suspicion, but the Toronto audiences loved its crowd-pleasing vibe. It opens in theaters Nov. 21.

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I'd love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can't get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.

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