Kicking off with shots of a masked audience comprised of first responders and ending with Nomadland taking home the top prize of the evening, the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night offered plenty of memorable triumphs, meme-worthy Zoom snafus and questionable decision-making. Before the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gets themselves into any more trouble, The Globe and Mail presents the highs, lows and whaaaaaaaat-the-whaaaaaaaaat Golden Globe moments that left us with a week’s worth of talking points.
Hosts with the Most-ish: If any year deserved the who-gives-a-[censored] indifference of regular Globes host Ricky Gervais, it was this year. Instead, the HFPA went with the relatively safe choice of Tina Fey (broadcasting from New York’s Rainbow Room) and Amy Poehler (live from the Beverley Hills Hilton), who poked the industry with jokes about Quentin Tarantino’s foot fetish and Matthew McConaughey’s car commercials. It was pretty funny … if you had just awoken from a five-year coma. (If so, I won’t judge you for immediately self-injuring yourself in a bid to go back to sleep.)
Pandem-ish: Last year, Globes winners were eager to talk current affairs: it was all Australian wildfires, potential war with Iran and Tom Hanks confessing that he was high on cold medicine (wait … when did Tom get COVID-19 again???). This year, the pandemic backgrounded the entire surreal affair, but it was also strangely absent from most everyone’s acceptance speeches. In a way, that’s good: Why dampen an evening of ostensible escapism with the crushing depression of reality? But it was also undeniably strange. At least there were several presenter-led pushes for vaccination and the Feeding America campaign. And Sean Penn was there, too, for some reason.
Jane Says: Accepting her Cecil B. DeMille Award, Jane Fonda nicely obliterated any of the evening’s other guests with her passionate and poetic ode to the importance of creativity, connectivity, diversity and progressiveness – and not once mentioning her own career. It was a rare moment of a star knowing exactly what audiences needed to hear at this moment, and giving it to them with self-awareness and grace.
Mank Drank: One good thing about this Zooming mess: we get to see genuinely honest reactions from losers. Take Mank writer-director David Fincher’s caught-on-video reaction to losing the Best Screenplay to The Trial of the Chicago 7′s Aaron Sorkin: he simply took a shot. I feel you, David.
Schitt Happens, Again: Fresh off a record-breaking Emmy sweep, the Schitt’s Creek crew found lots of love at the Globes, too. Although maybe Best Actress in a Comedy winner Catherine O’Hara could have gone without the canned applause coming off her husband Bo Welch’s iPhone, which was supposed to be funny but was just technically aggravating. Which is as good a summation of the evening as anything. (Although I guess O’Hara gets immediately forgiven, at least north of the border, for giving a shout-out to the CBC.)
Golden Parachute: The HFPA doesn’t exactly have the most sterling reputation in the movie business. But even HFPA apologists were feeling leery going into Sunday’s gala, given that a series of recent Los Angeles Times investigations revealed that, among other things, the Globes organization counts exactly zero Black journalists among its members. Addressing the situation, Fey and Poehler riffed that, “maybe [the HFPA] didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s.” Eh. Call me back when someone supersizes that joke. And yes, I’m aware that using a supersize joke is as hacky as whatever Fey and Poehler were doing. It’s called meta-comedy, people!
“Is this on?”: Maybe not the best way to follow up comments on the HFPA’s hazy commitment to respecting Black artists is to have the acceptance speech from your first Black winner of the evening, Best Supporting Actor Daniel Kaluuya, cutting out. But just as presenter Laura Dern was ready to move things along, the Judas and the Black Messiah star jumped back in, although not before proclaiming that the HFPA was “doing me dirty!” Fair.
Ready-to-Wear: As much as I admire celebrities’ devotion to getting dressed up to go absolutely nowhere, I feel more spiritually linked to Jeff Daniels and Jason Sudeikis, who decided to make like the rest of us: by making the bare-minimum effort. Daniels, seemingly broadcasting from his in-laws’ basement, was clad in simple flannel, while a dazed Sudeikis rocked a tie-dye hoodie. I have a feeling, though, that if any nominated woman tried this dress-down approach, social-media reaction would not be nearly so kind as the empathetic reception that greeted the man best known as Ted Lasso.
Aww, Who’s a Good Boy?: The most unexpected benefit of a Zoom-heavy Golden Globes was the opportunity to see just how many nominees have pets. And how much Olivia Colman loves each and every one of them, judging by how far she leaned into her screen every time a new pup popped up. Also: Jodie Foster’s dog really seems to be a grown-up version of Buffalo Bill’s best friend, Precious, from The Silence of the Lambs, doesn’t it?
Red Carpet Ride: The Globes answered the question of how you air a red-carpet special without a red carpet by taking a page from everyone’s game plan this year: Try your best and hope no one gets too sad. Thus, we got co-hosts Susan Kelechi Watson and Jane Lynch, standing six feet apart, Zooming with stars who got dressed up at home and bantered through sometimes glitchy web connections. Bonus: We got rare glimpses at the abodes of such stars as Regina King and Kate Hudson. Downside: We got the opportunity to feel that much worse about our own laundry-strewn, unvacuumed, completely in-disarray domiciles.
Wait, What Are These Movies Again?: As much as I love Golden Globes winners Nomadland and Minari, and respectfully admire the lead performances in The Mauritanian (and, um, have heard okay things about The United States vs. Billie Holiday), it is fair to wonder aloud just how many viewers out there have actually seen these movies. Nomadland, for instance, only became available to watch in U.S. theatres and on streamer Hulu two weeks ago – and Canadians won’t have a chance to see it for another three weeks, and that’s only if they happen to live in areas where theatres are open. (If not, it’ll be another month on top of that until its streaming debut on Disney+ add-on Star.)
LIST OF GOLDEN GLOBE WINNERS
Best motion picture, drama: “Nomadland”
Best motion picture, musical or comedy: “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Best actress in a motion picture, drama: Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
Best actor, motion picture musical or comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Best director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Best actor in a motion picture, drama: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Best supporting actress, motion picture: Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian.”
Best limited series or TV movie: “The Queen’s Gambit”
Best actress, limited series or television movie: Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit.”
Best drama TV series: “The Crown”
Best actress, television series, drama: Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Best actor, television series, drama: Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Best supporting actress, television: Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”
Best comedy or musical TV series: “Schitt’s Creek”
Best actor, television series, musical or comedy: Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Best actress, motion picture musical or comedy: Rosamund Pike, “I Care a Lot”
Best actor, limited series or television movie: Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True”
Best screenplay, motion picture: Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Best supporting actor, motion picture: Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Best supporting actor, television: John Boyega, “Small Axe”
Best actress, television series musical or comedy: Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Best animated movie: “Soul”
Best original song: “Io Sì (Seen)”
Best original score, motion picture: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste, “Soul”
Best motion picture, foreign language: “Minari”
With reports from The Associated Press
Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter. Sign up today.