GOLDEN GLOBES 2020: THE AWARDS, THE AFTERMATH, AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE OSCARS

The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards started off with business as usual for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s booze-filled party meant to celebrate the year’s best achievements in film and television. It was almost a revival of the early 2000s: Jennifer Aniston! Brad Pitt! Jennifer Lopez! Charlize Theron! Eddie Murphy! Renée Zellweger! As the celebrities rolled up and sauntered down the red carpet, it was a reminder of how the old guard is still standing strong. And the old guard won tonight. 

When the dust settled, it became clear that Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood and 1917 are the ones to beat this awards season, with three wins for Quentino Tarantino’s buddy picture and two wins for Sam Mendes’s war drama, including the Globe’s two different Best Picture awards. The acting categories stopped fluctuating tonight and settled on a reasonable quartet we’ll likely be seeing all season: Phoenix, Zellweger, Pitt, and Dern. Parasite is locked for Best International Feature after tonight’s win, and with other races still forming as the deadline for Oscar voting on the horizon, tonight’s Globes could reshape the season. 

WINNERS:

  1. Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood – Tarantino’s latest effort struck gold this year, winning Best Picture – Comedy/Musical, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay. As a love letter to the motion picture industry and set during the hazy days of 1969, it’s likely that at least one of these wins (most likely Brad Pitt, who seems set to sweep) will repeat at the Academy Awards. Arguably the most reflective film of Tarantino’s career, it’s no surprise that a possible Best Picture career win could happen for the snarky bad boy of American cinema. 
  1. Joker Todd Philip’s Scorsese-inspired superhero crime film won two awards tonight:  Best Actor and Best Original Score. Hildur Guðnadóttir’s dark and grim compositions won her the award for music, while Joaquin Phoenix took Best Actor for his eerie turn as the Clown Prince of Crime. Oscar nominations and wins for the both of them are highly likely at this point, which would mark the first time that two actors won Academy Awards for playing different incarnations of the same character. It’s a good night to be a Warner Brothers executive: they just proved that Hollywood can treat superhero movies as high art. 
  1. Missing Link – in a crowded year for animated features dominated by sequels (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Toy Story 4, Frozen II), Laika’s latest film Missing Link just established itself as the ideal pick for a non-franchise animated feature not produced by a major studio, giving it a leg up in the race for Oscar and Annie glory. It may have fizzled at the box office, but it seems posed to be the rallying post for those sick of the Disney-Pixar stranglehold on the Best Animated Feature category. 
  1. Laura Dern – for once, the Golden Globes didn’t go with the flashiest pick (that would’ve been Jennifer Lopez). The Globe’s preference for larger-than-life stars made this particular voting base the only challenge for her to win over. From here on out, she’ll be racking up awards left and right. Get ready for Marriage Story posters that say “Academy Award winner Laura Dern” because she has this category all locked up. I can only hope that the Academy uses her monologue about how women are expected to be perfect parents while fathers are allowed to be failures as her clip.
  1. Awkwafina The Farewell may have been snubbed in other categories, but the film snagged a win for its lead actress’s hilarious and heartbreaking performance. With only five slots and one category for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, the uproarious applause for Awkwafina and her delightful speech may have just hit the sweet spot of attention needed for her to receive a nomination. Watch out, Renée: if there’s anyone who could upset you on February 9th, it’s Awkwafina. 
  1. Rocketman – In an odd year for Best Original Song, Elton John’s “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” came out on top, beating out fellow superstars Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, while Taron Egerton went home with the award for Best Actor – Musical/Comedy. Any concerns about the film’s early release date and limited performance compared to the massive hit Bohemian Rhapsody can be put to rest. In a competitive year for Best Actor, it’s likely that Egerton has snagged that final fifth slot, and Elton John may have a second Oscar on his shelf very soon. 
  1. 1917 – The big shock of the night came down to the two biggest categories: Best Director and Best Picture – Drama, both of which went to Sam Mendes’s 1917, a WWI drama filmed in multiple long takes and edited to resemble one continuous take. With no major stars in it and having only played in severely limited release until this Friday, the wins are an enormous boost for the film’s wide release. Of course, knowing the Globes’ history of bribes, the possibility that Universal threw money to sway votes for the sake of being able to call their new major release a Golden Globe winner lingers in the air like grenade smoke. Still, congratulations are in order for this war epic, which seems poised to break out at the box office. 

LOSERS:

  1. Jennifer Lopez – Jenny from the Block’s momentum took a big hit tonight as the awards body most likely to award her starry, larger-than-life role in Hustlers passed her over for Laura Dern’s quieter and more subtle work in Marriage Story. She’ll land that Oscar nomination, but a win now seems distant and unlikely. JLo will just have to settle for performing at the Superbowl halftime show with Shakira instead. Such is the life of a pop diva!
  1. Adam Driver – despite a slew of critics awards, Adam Driver’s masterful turn in Marriage Story lost to Joaquin Phoenix’s explosive performance in Joker. We may be looking at another Bradley Cooper/Rami Malek divide here, where the more subtle performance loved by the film critics and by Twitter users loses out to the more showy role beloved by the general public. There’s still time for the narrative to change, but his train might have lost too much steam tonight. 
  1. Disney/Pixar – The Lion King, Frozen II, and Toy Story 4 all failed to win any awards from the Globes, with smaller films winning in their place. Did the members HFPA unite to rebel against the House of Mouse? Seems like it, considering they insisted on nominating The Lion King in Best Animated Feature against Disney’s wishes, only to give the film nothing at all. It’s an open question as to whether this will continue at future ceremonies this awards season, but perhaps Scorsese’s open criticism of the Walt Disney conglomerate has inspired a quiet rebellion. 
  1. The Irishman – Martin Scorsese was praised by winners all night long, but his lengthy, masterful crime epic ultimately went home empty handed, despite receiving 5 nominations from the HFPA, including Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (twice). What happened here? It’s possible that the running time of the film and its story just didn’t click with the voting base. Perhaps having three different Netflix films split the vote in Best Picture. It’s unlikely that the BAFTAs or the Academy will have the same indifference to The Irishman, however. Don’t fret, Italian kings: your time is coming. 

Essays

coleduffy View All →

21, born and raised in Boston, now a college student in Los Angeles. Mamma Mia wine mom personality. Jerry Gogosian of the film world.

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