Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won big at the 77th Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, California, on Sunday.
Tarantino’s ninth feature won the Best Musical or Comedy award, Best Screenplay award for Tarantino, and Best Supporting Actor award for Brad Pitt. The film follows three days in the lives of Hollywood actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his trusted stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) in Los Angeles in 1969.
Pitt thanked co-star Leonardo DiCaprio in his acceptance speech by making a joke about the final scene of the movie Titanic: “He’s an all star, he’s a gent, and I wouldn’t be here without you, man. I thank you. Still, I would’ve shared the raft.”
The Golden Globes were hosted for the fifth time by comedian Ricky Gervais, who has famously been a hoot every time he has steered the ceremony through the parade of awards and speeches. In a monologue, Gervais said that winners should just take their gongs and move on without making political speeches because they lose the right to do so when a #MeToo-themed The Morning Show is made by a company “who runs sweatshops in China”.
Sam Mendes’s World War I drama 1917, which follows two British soldiers travelling through hostile territory in France, won the Best Film award in the Drama section. Mendes also won the Best Director award. The period production, lensed by the great Roger Deakins, is notable for giving the illusion of being shot in a single take. 1917 will be released in India on January 17.
In the Drama section, Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor award for his sensitive take on the archetypal villain in Todd Phillips’s Joker. Renee Zellweger won the Best Actress award for playing American singer and actor Judy Garland in the Rupert Gould-directed biopic Judy.
Taron Egerton won the Best Actor award Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of singer-songwriter Elton John in Duncan Fletcher’s biopic Rocketman. In 2019, Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and co-directed by Fletcher, got its lead actor Rami Malek all the major acting awards.
Rapper and actor Awkwafina won the Best Actress Musical or Comedy award for Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. The film follows a Chinese family organising a gathering for their terminally ill grandmother. Awkwafina is the first Asian-American actress to win an award in this category. “If I fall upon hard times, we can sell this,” Awkwafina joked during her acceptance speech.
Among other honours in the cinema section, Laura Dern won the Best Supporting Actress award for playing a ruthless, upmarket divorce lawyer in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. This was the only win for a Netflix production at the Globes. Marriage Story had six nominations, The Irishman had five, The Two Popes had four, and Dolemite Is My Name had two.
The Best Original Song award was bagged by (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, from Rocketman.
The award for Best Original Score went to Hildur Guonadottir for her haunting work in Joker. She is the first solo female composer at the Globes to be honoured. Variety noted, “The only woman to share in the honor previously was Lisa Gerrard, a co-winner with Hans Zimmer in 2000 for ‘Gladiator.’ The last woman to be nominated was Karen O, who shared a nod with Carter Burwell in 2009 for ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’”
The Icelandic composer has also scored the television series Chernobyl, for which she recently won an Emmy.
The Best Animated Feature Film award went to Chris Butler’s stop-motion animated Missing Link, which follows a Bigfoot-like creature from America teaming up with a British explorer (voiced by Hugh Jackman) to seek out his Yeti cousins in the Himalayas.
South Korean film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-Ho, won the Best Foreign Language Film award. It was also the first Korean film to be nominated at the Globes. In 2019, Parasite became the first Korean production to win the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film revolves around a lower-middle class family that tricks a wealthy family into being hired as household help.
Giving his speech in Korean with the help of a translator, Bong said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films... I think we use only one language – the cinema”.
In television, the Best Musical or Comedy award went to Fleabag’s second season. Season two of the HBO series Succession won the Best Drama award. Both stars of the show also bagged top acting awards.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who created Fleabag and plays the titular heroine, won the Best Actress award in the Musical or Comedy section. Waller-Bridge spoke highly of her co-star Andrew Scott, who plays her love interest in the show and the viral sensation Hot Priest: “He could have chemistry with a pebble.”
Brian Cox, who plays the Rupert Murdoch-inspired Logan Roy, the ruthless owner of a media conglomerate in HBO’s Succession, won the Best Actor in the Drama section.
Actor-creator Ramy Youssef won the Best Actor award in the Musical or Comedy section for his work in the Hulu series Ramy, which follows the life of an American Muslim millennial living in New Jersey.
Olivia Colman won the Best Actress award in the Drama section for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of the Netflix series The Queen. Colman had won the Best Actress award Musical or Comedy in the film section last year for The Favourite.
In the Miniseries or Television section, Russell Crowe won the Best Actor award for depicting disgraced Fox News founder Roger Ailes in Showtime’s The Loudest Voice. The Best Actress award went to Michelle Williams for FX’s Fosse/Verdon, in which she plays Broadway dancing sensation Gwen Verdon.
Crowe was not present to accept his award. A note sent by him was read out by presenters Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon: “Russell Crowe could not be here with us tonight because he is at home in Australia protecting his family from the devastating bushfires. Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based.”
The Supporting Actor award in this section went to Stellan Skarsgard for portraying a conscientious Russian bureaucrat in HBO’s Chernobyl, which chronicles the events following the 1986 nuclear disaster.
Patricia Arquette won the Supporting Actress award for the Hulu true crime miniseries The Act, which follows the 2015 murder of Dee Dee Blanchard (Arquette) by her daughter, whom she had been abusing for years.
American television host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres was handed the Carol Burnett Award, which honours achievements on television on and off the screen.
Tom Hanks won the Cecil B DeMille award, given to individuals for outstanding achievement in entertainment. As he took stock of his lengthy career, Hanks noted, “You’re a dope if you don’t steal from everybody you’ve ever worked with. And I have stolen from the likes of people who only need one name. Like Meryl, like Denzel, like Antonio, like Meg, like Julia, like Sally Field – even though that’s two names, it’s still one.”
Nearly all the winners stayed away from making political statements. Not so Gervais, who referred to the MeToo movement and the alleged suicide of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in his presentation.
The film executives at the ceremony are from different companies but are “all terrified of Ronan Farrow”, Gervais noted. Farrow is one of the journalists who broke the story of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations in 2017. Gervais also took a dig at Jeffrey Epstein, before telling the audience, “Sorry, I know he’s your friend”.
Gervais’s crack about the lack of nominations for women in the Best Director category invited criticism.
Sacha Baron Cohen lit into Facebook once again. Cohen has previously attacked the social media giant for failing to curb the dissemination of hateful views online.
While introducing Taika Waititi’s Adolf Hitler-themed comedy Jojo Rabbit, Cohen said, “The hero of this next movie is a naive misguided child who spreads Nazi propaganda and only has imaginary friends. His name is Mark Zuckerberg. Sorry, this is an old intro for the The Social Network.”