• Golden Globe Awards

The 78th Golden Globes

A bi-coastal stage. A virtual show. In-person presentations. A live audience of front-line workers. Two legends. And more first-time-winners than we ever had before.
The biggest challenge for live TV-programs in the strange and abnormal times we have been living in for the past year, whether they are talent or award-driven shows, is how to keep them interesting despite the (en)forced lack of physical closeness. As humans, we want to hug and kiss – and in the case of a normal Golden Globes telecast – we want to see famous people do that while they table-hop and eat and drink and laugh together. We want to see the starry-eyed young star in awe of his seat neighbor, a legend. We want to see a nominee who brings her or his mum or dad or teenage son or daughter as their guests. We want to be in on the joke, and that was the one thread that kept us going this year despite the harsh reality. Thanks to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, our hosts, we were, in fact, in on the joke. They felt close, even though Amy stood onstage at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and Tina at the Rainbow Room in New York City. In our digital world, they even made fun of reaching across the virtual stage. The comedic element was underscored by the appearance of some members of their SNL-family, from Kristen Wiig and Tracy Morgan to Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson. Other presenters were Angela Bassett, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Cynthia Erivo, Rosie Perez, Margot Robbie, Awkwafina, Christian Slater, Salma Hayek, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix, Susan Kelechi Watson, Sterling K. Brown, Bryce Dallas Howard, Christopher Meloni, Tiffany Haddish, Renée Zellweger, Annie Mumolo and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The first part of the show belonged to Brits: Daniel Kaluuya and John Boyega won consecutive awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Judas and the Black Messiah and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role for Small Axe respectively. They accepted from the comfort of their own homes, as did all the winners with the exception of our Cecil B. deMille Award recipient, the great Jane Fonda, 83, who marched onto the empty stage with a spring in her step and an activist’s mission in her heart, all dressed in white, delivering a rousing speech that incorporated everything: gratitude, deserved criticism, well-meaning encouragement and hope for a better future: “There’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry. A story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made,” she said, dedicating the evening to diversity and inclusion and asking us to “expand the tent.”
The diversity of the night’s nominees did not just show itself by the more than 125 people being strewn all over the Globe – Sacha Baron Cohen and Nicole Kidman in Australia, Gillian Anderson and Rosamund Pike in Prague, most of The Crown-cast and creators in England, Laura Pausini, one half of the winning songwriter duo for Best Song in Italy (the other half, Diane Warren, was in her studio in the Hollywood Hills), others in Asia and South America, to name a few – but also in the masked faces of the only people who were invited to the Beverly Hilton Ballroom, to sit (albeit socially distanced) where usually the stars mingle: the first responders that the HFPA had invited as our only live guests.
Looking not a day over 60, Norman Lear was presented with the Carol Burnett Award for Achievements in Television: “At close to 99, I can tell you that I have never lived alone, I have never laughed alone and that has as much to do with my being here today as anything else I know,” he said. Among many touching moments, the one that made everyone tear up, was the posthumous win for the wonderful Chadwick Boseman for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and his wife’s speech when she accepted for him: “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” said Taylor Simone Ledward Boseman, “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside all of us that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.”
Best Actress recipient Andra Day whose name was called for her role as the legendary singer and godmother of the Civil Rights Movement in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, could not believe she had won and later posted a video that showed her unrestrained, pure joy. She was only one of the many first-time nominees that ended up being first-time winners. The others: Chloé Zhao who won Best Director for Nomadland which also got the Best Motion Picture, Drama prize, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit), Jason Sudeikis (Best Actor in a TV-Comedy for Ted Lasso), Jon Batiste as the co-composer of the Best Score for Soul, Lee Isaac Chung who directed the Best Foreign Language Film, Minari, the aforementioned John Boyega, and Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor (both for The Crown that also garnered Best Television Series, Drama for Peter Morgan and Best Supporting Actress TV for Gillian Anderson)
Also surprised “beyond belief” as she said, was Jodie Foster who accepted her Best Supporting Actress Film Globe for The Mauritanian in stylish pajamas from her couch, sitting next to her wife.
The evening’s big winners were Nomadland (2), Borat (2), The Queen’s Gambit (2), and The Crown (4)
Full winners list here.