Meanwhile, b(l)ack at the Golden Globes, the first awards show of the 2021 season is done & dusted, and its fair to say we can only hope these shows get better.
If the 2020 Golden Globes was marked by the crass, ‘bite the hand that feeds you’ humor of then host Ricky Gervais; this bi-coastal, dependent on technology, 2021 version hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, can at best be called tone deaf and full of glitches. To be fair, the glitches with the WiFi signal come with the territory, but the inert weakness of addressing the bull in the china shop – that there are no Black HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) members – is all too glaring, and shouldn’t even be an issue in this day and age. But the fact that it is, made it the running commentary of this years Awards show.
In a previous article, I had made my bold predictions about the Golden Globes winners, notorious for being the unpredictable Awards show. So for those wondering how I fared, I got 14 out of 25, a 56 percent batting average. And yes, it was a letdown, as I actually got the first 5 awards handed out correctly, but began misfiring soon after.
Tina and Amy were fine in the opening, utilizing some simple trick visuals to evoke laughter, and set things off on a light mood. First award was for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, and I had predicted British actor Daniel Kaluuya for Judas & the Black Messiah, and here’s where the first glitch happened as Daniel lost his signal at first. Next up was Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Drama, and John Boyega in Small Axe was the winner.
This was followed by Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek picking up Best Actress in a TV Series -Musical or Comedy. Best Animated Motion Picture went to Soul, and Best Actor in a Limited Series went to Mark Ruffalo for his portrayal of twins in I Know This Much Is True. At this point, I was 5 for 5.
But then, Best Screenplay went to Alan Sorkin for Trial of the Chicago 7, when I had picked Mank, and Emma Corrin who played Princess Diana in The Crown romped off with Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama; besting my choice of Olivia Colman from the same series. And Best Original Song went to Dianne Warren and Laura Pausini for the song in the Sophia Loren starrer, The Life Ahead.
Best Original Score went to Soul’s Jon Baptiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, my pick; but I was blindsided by their choice of Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso for Best Actor in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy. Schitt’s Creek was Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy; and I was overjoyed that my pick, Rosamund Pike was Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for I Care A Lot.
Josh O’Connor was the big surprise for Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama for his Prince Charles in The Crown; and Minari was Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language. The Best TV Series Drama was The Crown; and the night’s first surprise was Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian picking up Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – even she admitted she thought she was no longer relevant for these awards with her, ‘I never expected to be here again.’
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a TV Series went to Gillian Anderson for her Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, and I picked and loved that Anya Taylor-Joy was Best Actress in a Limited Series for Queen’s Gambit, which then gathered up Best Limited Series Television. Then it was Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor – Drama, with his widow giving us his acceptance speech. Undoubtedly, the most genuine touching moment of the night.
Best Director Motion Picture went to Chloe Zhao for Nomadland, and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy was Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Sacha Baron Cohen reappeared a few minutes later, copping Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for Borat. And then we had the biggest surprise of Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama going to Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Better known as a singer (she sang Rise Up), this is her first major movie role – she was a nightclub singer in Marshall and voiced Sweet Tea in Cars 3. Given that Zhao had won Best Director, the night ended with Nomadland picking up the Best Motion Picture – Drama award.
Norman Lear and Jane Fonda were given special Life Achievement awards. What was jarring was the things the show resorted to for stretching the show’s running time. Most notorious here would be Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson as clueless non-composers – not funny and a waste of time. And while Sudeikis did go on too much in his acceptance speech, others who were doing fine were rudely interrupted by the muzak. All in all, lessons I hope the Academy Awards will duly note. In this time of pandemic and virtual Awards shows, brevity is best.
As I’ve commented in the past, the Golden Globes is the HFPA voting, and it’s not often seen as a reliable predictor of how the Academy Awards, with all the Guilds, will vote. But it does give some films and artists a step up for being recognized. If anything, it should give Nomadland the push it needed to be recognized as a frontrunner. And please, Golden Globes, if you know what’s right for you, ensure that you’re inclusive and diverse by next year.