What is certain to be the most unconventional awards season in living memory has got underway in earnest with the Golden Globes giving the first indication of which films might be in the running for the Oscars, at the other end of the journey.
In the drama categories – which are most closely linked to Oscar contention – Nomadland picked up the two top prizes, Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Director for China’s Chloé Zhao, who becomes only the second woman to win the honour, after Barbra Streisand, nearly forty years ago.
But in one of the bigger surprises of the night, Frances McDormand, who plays the nomad at the heart of the film, missed out in the Best Actress in a Drama category to Andra Day for The United States vs Billie Holiday. She was one of a number of black actors to take major prizes, after it emerged that the HFPA – the group of LA-based foreign journalists that runs the Golden Globes – had no black members. Chadwick Boseman was posthumously named the Best Actor in a Drama for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Britain’s Daniel Kaluuya won the Best Supporting Actor honours for Judas and the Black Messiah.
Nodding to the controversy, collecting the award for the Best Comedy or Musical, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s Sacha Baron Cohen thanked the “all white” HFPA – a joke, which risks stirring the pot by failing to recognise that the group includes many Arabs, Latinos, Filipinos and Japanese, among other ethnicities.
Nevertheless, the vice president of the secretive organisation, Helen Hoehne, acknowledged the revelation, saying, “Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organisation.”
Sacha Baron Cohen was also named Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Another British star, Rosamund Pike, won the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for I Care A Lot. And the Best Supporting Actress prize went to The Mauritanian’s Jodie Foster, who accepted the award from home via video-link, in her pyjamas, alongside her wife; it was only eight years ago that she was honoured with the HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, using her acceptance speech to open up publicly about her sexuality, in a way she had never done before.
The other film awards went to Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for The Trial of the Chicago 7, with Pixar’s Soul picking up both the Best Animated Motion Picture and Best Score prizes.
As well as separately honouring dramas and musicals or comedies on the big screen, the Golden Globes also hand out awards to small-screen productions that can decreasingly be referred to as TV shows, since many are now watched through online streaming or catch-up services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and the BBC’s iPlayer.
The big winner among these categories was The Crown, which was named the Best Drama Series, as well as securing the corresponding Best Actor and Best Actress awards for Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana, and Josh O’Connor, for his portrayal of Prince Charles. Gillian Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher in the series, was named the Best Supporting Actress.
There was more British success, as John Boyega was named the Best Supporting Actor for playing the police officer Leroy Logan in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology series. And Anya Taylor-Joy, who has joined British citizenship and has lived in the UK since the age of six, was named the Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for The Queen’s Gambit, which itself won the Best Limited Series or TV Movie award.
The prize for the Best Comedy or Musical series went to the final season of Schitt’s Creek, whose star Catherine O’Hara was named the best TV comedy actress.
The awards ceremony – delayed amid the uncertainty of the Covid crisis – was hosted by the returning pair of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but in keeping with social distancing requirements, they could hardly have been further apart, with Poehler in the Golden Globes’ traditional home of the Beverly Hilton ballroom in Beverly Hills, while Fey was in New York. The winners all accepted their prizes virtually from their own homes – some dressed up, others in casual wear – and the few guests scattered around the ballroom usually occupied by Hollywood’s biggest stars were frontline workers and first responders of the pandemic.
Here is the full list of winners:
Best motion picture – drama
Best actress in a motion picture – drama
WINNER: Andra Day, The United States vs Billie Holiday
Best actor in a motion picture – drama
WINNER: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best motion picture – musical or comedy
WINNER: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy
WINNER: Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot
Best actor in a motion picture – musical or comedy
WINNER: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best supporting actress in any motion picture
WINNER: Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian
Best supporting actor in any motion picture
WINNER: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Best director – motion picture
WINNER: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Best screenplay – motion picture
WINNER: Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Best motion picture – animated
Best motion picture – foreign language
WINNER: Minari (USA)
Best original score – motion picture
WINNER: Soul – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste
Best original song – motion picture
WINNER: Io Si (Seen) – The Life Ahead
Best TV series – drama
WINNER: The Crown
Best actress in a drama series
WINNER: Emma Corrin, The Crown
Best actor in a drama series
WINNER: Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Best TV series – musical or comedy
WINNER: Schitt’s Creek
Best actress in a TV series – musical or comedy
WINNER: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Best actor in a TV series – musical or comedy
WINNER: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Best limited series or TV movie
WINNER: The Queen’s Gambit
Best actress in a limited series or TV movie
WINNER: Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
Best actor in a limited series or TV movie
WINNER: Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
Best supporting actress in a series, limited series or TV movie
WINNER: Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Best supporting actor in a series, limited series or TV movie
WINNER: John Boyega, Small Axe
Cecil B DeMille Award – Jane Fonda
Carol Burnett Award – Norman Lear