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It’s difficult to process that awards season is back considering it only ended one month ago in March 2020. But alas, the 78th Golden Globes happened, kicking off a dystopian awards season with no red carpet and no bottles of Moët in sight. The Golden Globes is always unhinged, but this year hits a little different not only because it’s virtual, but because of a collective animosity and distrust toward the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which ignored incredible films and television shows made by and starring people of color (to name a few slights: zero nominations for Michaela Cole’s I May Destroy You, and only two for Regina King’s One Night In Miami) in favor of nominating aggressively terrible things like Emily In Paris, which received two nominations. Last week, a Los Angeles Times report revealed that the HFPA does not have any Black members.
In case you a stronger person than me, did not even bother to watch the Golden Globes, here is a recap so you can make a timely reference in a Zoom meeting.
Fortunately, it was as chaotic — if not more so — than last summer’s Steven Sondheim Zoom, with an energy that I can only describe as co-directed by Joaquin’s Joker and the Safdie brothers. There were some unexpected but incredibly welcome winners such as John Boyega, Jason Sudekis, and Nomadland. There were also plenty of awkward but relatable cuts to bored, possibly drunk or stoned celebrities on Zoom.
The Golden Globes opened with a monologue from (bi-coastal) hosts Tina Fey (at the Rainbow Room in New York City) and Amy Poehler (at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s International Ballroom in Los Angeles). Both venues had an audience of socially distanced and masked essential workers and first responders. Fey and Poehler quickly proved that they were not holding back on bashing the HFPA for its lack of diversity or its affinity for nominating absolute garbage: they dragged Emily In Paris, Ryan Murphy’s The Prom and James Corden in Ryan Murphy’s The Prom. The overall theme of Fey and Poehler’s monologue, and the show in general, was that while awards shows — especially this one — are very stupid, they are an important way for inclusive, diverse stories and storytellers to get seen and recognized.
While Fey and Poehler kicked off an offbeat but energetic vibe reflective of the sloppy in-person ceremonies that are the only redeeming thing about the Golden Globes, the technology quickly went haywire when the first winner of the night, Daniel Kaluuya — who won best supporting actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah — started his speech without any sound.
From that point on things went, by this show’s standards at least, normally, which is to say, a mishmash of expected and messy. As it turns out, Acceptance Speech Wrap-It-Up music is somehow even more awkward when the winner is accepting virtually. The same can be said of the Loser Cam, which in a virtual broadcast, centers the reactions from an award's losers even more. (Jared Leto, who lost to Kaluuya, looked like a disappointed wax figure in his little Zoom rectangle.) Rosamund Pike won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for I Care A Lot, the new Netflix dark comedy of which reaction to has been mixed…at best. Tracy Jordan announced the winner of best original score for Pixar’s Soul, but pronounced it “Sowel,” which is the closest Better Call Saul has ever gotten to winning a Golden Globe. An anxious Jason Sudekis accepted the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy series in a tie-dye hoodie in front of his sexy fireplace with his signature Ted Lasso mustache. Take that, Harry Styles! (sorry).
Instead of a heartfelt speech about her career and how much the Cecil B. DeMille award means to her, Jane Fonda circled the conversation back to the frustration with the HFPA. Fonda talked about how much diversity and inclusion means, and listed specific films and television shows that have opened her eyes and educated her on different experiences including Minari, Ramy, Judas and the Black Messiah, and One Night In Miami. Fonda also included a sassy and classy insult to the HFPA when she specifically cited the impact non-nominee I May Destroy You had on her. Her hair was purple and powerful.
In the most emotional and sincere moment of the night, the late Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe for his extraordinary performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Boseman’s wife Taylor Simone Ledward delivered a beautiful speech on his behalf detailing everything he would have said in his speech. He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices," she said. We all knew this was coming, but it was still gut-wrenching.
Most of the wins went as expected: Schitt’s Creek and The Crown cleaned up, so did Nomadland and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm—all solid picks that you can’t begrudge. However, it would not be the Golden Globes without a very Golden Globe-y winner, which is the most random, unexpected winner in a quite major category: think Taron Edgerton, who won best actor in drama for his performance in Rocketman last year. For months, Carey Mulligan, Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby or Viola Davis have dominated the conversation about the category. Absolutely zero of them won, because Andra Day won for her performance in The United States vs Billie Holiday.
Overall, the 78th Golden Globes ceremony was successful in that it was as chaotic as I personally wanted it to be, and Ricky Gervais was nowhere to be seen. Some of the best films, TV shows, and performances were awarded, and, generally, the garbage the HFPA nominated, like EmIly In Paris and The Prom, were not. Chloe Zhao became the first woman of color to win best director and the second woman to win best director, after Barbra Streisand won for directing Yentl in 1984. But most vitally, this particular ceremony, as manic as it was, proved that the suspicion toward the HFPA and the Golden Globes is felt by everyone, including the people it awards and hires to host its own show.
Originally Appeared on GQ