In a night of major upsets, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s ode to late 1960s-era Los Angeles, emerged as the big winner at the 77th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, taking home trophies for best musical or comedy, screenplay and supporting actor.
Overall, it was a moment when the Hollywood establishment pushed back against the streaming services that have aggressively arrived on the scene. Sam Mendes’ “1917,” a World War I epic that does not arrive in wide release in theaters until Friday, was named best drama, and Mendes received the Globe for best director.
“I hope this means that people will turn up and see this on the big screen, the way it was intended,” Mendes said from the stage in an unsubtle swipe at Netflix.
It was a humiliating evening for the streaming giant. Netflix went into the ceremony with a leading 34 nominations, including six for Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” more than for any film, and five for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” But Netflix left with only two prizes: Laura Dern collected the Globe for her supporting role in “Marriage Story” and Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) was named best actress in a television drama.
Amazon and Hulu each took home a pair of awards, notably a win by “Fleabag” (Amazon) for best TV comedy. But Apple TV Plus was shut out.
In contrast, HBO converted four of its 15 nominations into wins, including Globes for best drama (the soapy media family series “Succession”) and best limited series (“Chernobyl”). Sony Pictures, the studio behind “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” was the big winner among film companies.
The ceremony began on a frothy and obscene note, as the returning host, the British comedian Ricky Gervais, cracked numerous jokes that were bleeped by NBC censors. He mocked Joe Pesci by likening him to Baby Yoda, cracked an extremely vulgar joke that involved the “Cats” star Judi Dench licking herself, poked fun at Hollywood’s focus on diversity and pronounced that “no one cares about movies anymore.”
But the proceedings grew increasingly serious as the night went on. Michelle Williams, accepting the Globe for best actress in a limited series for FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” pleaded with women to vote. “When it’s time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest,” Williams said. “It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.”
Patricia Arquette, winning for her supporting role in the Hulu limited series “The Act,” offered a stern dose of reality, reminding everyone that, among other things, America was “on the brink of war” and that President Donald Trump had tweeted about destroying Iranian cultural sites earlier in the night.
The Globes, awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are not taken seriously as markers of artistic achievement. But Hollywood covets the red-carpet spectacle, which comes during nomination balloting for the Academy Awards. (Voting for the Oscars started Thursday and concludes Tuesday; nominations will be announced on Jan. 13.) Studio marketers will use Globe wins to promote winter films. NBC, which broadcasts the ceremony live, makes a fortune on ad sales.
Over the last 10 years, the Globes and the Oscars have agreed on best picture winners only 50% of the time — although they did match last year, when “Green Book” was the big winner at both ceremonies.
Renée Zellweger and Joaquin Phoenix win, as expected.
Nothing is certain when it comes to the Globes, but Renée Zellweger was as close to a sure thing as it gets. She won best actress in a drama for her heartbreaking portrayal of a middle-aged Judy Garland in Roadside Attraction’s “Judy.” On the men’s side, Joaquin Phoenix won for his demented transformation in the Warner Bros. comic book drama “Joker.” “I cannot believe you put up with me,” he said from the stage to the director Todd Phillips.
Eddie Murphy was the favorite to win best comedic actor for playing a struggling comedian who comes up with a blaxploitation hit in Netflix’s “Dolemite Is My Name.” In a surprise, Taron Egerton (“Rocketman,” released by Paramount Pictures) was called to the stage. A flummoxed Egerton thanked his mother — “This one’s for you” — and Elton John, whom he played in the film: “Thank you for living a life less ordinary.” Awkwafina won best actress in a musical or comedy for “The Farewell.”
Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks receive accolades.
In recent years, stars like Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep have appeared on the Globes stage to accept lifetime achievement awards and have unleashed cris de coeur about politics and sexual harassment. This time around, the foreign press association seemed to make a statement about a need for niceness. The lifetime achievement honorees were Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres, both of whom are more known for uniting than dividing.
In presenting the Globe to DeGeneres, “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon spoke about what it meant to her, as a young lesbian, to see DeGeneres come out of the closet. “The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV,” McKinnon said. “Attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change.”
DeGeneres fought back tears, thanked McKinnon and joked the same was true for her watching Carol Burnett: “Every time she pulled her ear, I knew she was saying, ‘It’s OK. I’m gay, too.”
Hanks, who was battling a cold, choked up once while talking about his family and a second time while reflecting on the process of moviemaking. He said some of the best advice he had ever received came while he was a fledgling actor. “Your job is to show up on time, know the text and have a head full of ideas,” Hanks recounted.
‘Parasite’ awarded best foreign film.
The foreign press association was beaten to a pulp on social media for putting forward an all-male slate of director honorees and overlooking women like Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), among others. The lack of awards recognition for female filmmakers is a problem that extends beyond the 88-member foreign press association; women could also be excluded by Oscar voters this year.
But with giants like Scorsese and Tarantino in the mix, there has been little oxygen left for any other filmmakers on the awards trail.
Globe voters could have thrown a curve ball and awarded the best director trophy to Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite.” Bong, the 50-year-old Korean filmmaker, created a genre-defying gem that dazzled critics. But the directing prize went to Mendes instead.
“Parasite” did win best foreign film. “Once you overcome the 1-inch tall barrier of subtitles you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” Bong said, speaking in Korean with the assistance of an onstage translator.
HBO’s ‘Succession’ takes best TV drama.
It was a good night for HBO. “Chernobyl” won best limited series and “Succession,” the network’s deliriously well-reviewed drama about a feuding media dynasty, won the best TV drama prize. One thank-you stood out: Jesse Armstrong, the “Succession” showrunner, name-checked Richard Plepler, the former HBO chief who recently announced he would be working exclusively for Apple TV Plus.
Apple, which is hoping to become a player on the awards scene, had two chances in the best actress in a drama category. Aniston and her “Morning Show” castmate Witherspoon were both nominated. But Olivia Colman won for her stiff-upper-lip portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s “The Crown.”
“I already got a little bit boozy because I didn’t think this was going to happen,” Colman said.
© 2019 The New York Times