Golden Globes were even more unpredictable and chaotic than usual, thanks in large part to the show’s hybrid virtual format. The three-hour ceremony was plagued by frequent sound issues and awkward small talk between nominees over Zoom, with fashion ranging from jaw-dropping gowns (Amanda Seyfried) to tie-dye hoodies (Jason Sudeikis). The telecast felt even more casual than years past as nominees appeared from their homes with friends, partners, kids and dogs, and some imbibed throughout the event. (“Mank” director David Fincher could be seen taking shots when his film lost.)
Amid the mayhem were some genuinely terrific moments, as “Nomadland” drove off with the night’s biggest award for best drama, and Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”) and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) appeared genuinely surprised by their unexpected acting wins. Here are more of the best and worst moments from the show, which was hosted bicoastally by Tina Fey in New York and Amy Poehler in Los Angeles.
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You hardly noticed Fey and Poehler were on different coasts in their wonderfully biting opening monologue, which roasted everyone from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” director/writer Aaron Sorkin (“He can have seven men talking, but it feels like 100 men talking”) to James Corden (” ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is whatever James Corden was up to in ‘The Prom’ “). They also used their platform to address the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of Black voting members. “Maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you’ve got to change that,” Fey said. “So here’s to changing it.”
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Shortly after Fey and Poehler eviscerated the Globes, saying they honor “flashy garbage,” HPFA members took the stage for an uncomfortable and vague response to the organization’s lack of diversity but offered no details on how the organization plans to rectify that. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said HFPA vice president Helen Hoehne. “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.” Added the group’s president Ali Sar: “That means creating an environment where diversity is the norm, not an exception.”
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The first award of the night got off to a cringe-worthy start, when Daniel Kaluuya won best supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He started to talk but was apparently on mute, so presenter Laura Dern accepted the honor on his behalf. Just when it seemed the show would move on without him, Kaluuya came back on Zoom, saying, “You’re doing me dirty, you’re doing me dirty! Is this on? Can you hear me now?”
The British actor proceeded to give a moving speech about playing Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton in the film, describing how he “gave everything” to his performance. He ended by virtually toasting a glass of champagne to his fellow nominees, including a Hawaiian shirt-clad Bill Murray (“On the Rocks”), who smilingly raised a martini.
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Boseman, who died last August of colon cancer at age 43, posthumously won best actor for his towering turn in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted the award for her husband. “He would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” she said. “I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate all the ones we love. So thank you, HFPA, for this opportunity to do exactly that. And honey, you keep ’em coming.”
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The cutest moment of the night was undoubtedly from Chung, accepting the prize for best foreign language film for “Minari.” The filmmaker was hugged tightly by his daughter when the award was announced, as she said, “I prayed! I prayed!” The Korean-American drama was controversially placed in the foreign film category, despite being a story set in Arkansas about pursuing the American dream. ” ‘I just want to say that ‘Minari’ is about a family. It’s a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own,” Chung said in his speech. “It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It’s a language of the heart.”
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The “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” star picked up two awards for best musical/comedy actor and best musical/comedy (for the “Borat” sequel, which he also produced). Making his second speech of the night, Cohen poked fun at the former president, who contested President Joe Biden’s victory in the election last November. “Hold on: Donald Trump is contesting the result (of the awards),” Cohen said. “He’s claiming that a lot of dead people voted, which is a very rude thing to say about the HFPA.”
Cohen also joked about Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, who makes a highly unflattering cameo in “Borat 2.”
“This movie couldn’t have been possible without my co-star, a fresh, new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius,” Cohen said. “I’m talking, of course, about Rudy Giuliani. I mean, who can get more laughs out of one unzipping? Incredible. Our movie was just the beginning for him, Rudy went on to star in a string of comedy films. Hits like ‘Four Seasons Landscaping,’ ‘Hair Dye Another Day’ and the courtroom drama ‘A Very Public Fart.’ ”
Almost a year into the pandemic, we’re all tired of the constant meetings, calls and interviews over Zoom. Which is why it’s unhinged that the Globes tried to make the conferencing app such a big part of the telecast: Losers were stranded onscreen as winners delivered their speeches, with reactions ranging from plastered smiles to stone-faced indifference. Before each commercial break, nominees were also forced to virtually “mingle” and talk to one another over Zoom. While some, such as Bob Odenkirk and Matthew Rhys, nobly attempted conversation, most stayed silent or seemed unaware they were even on camera (see: Catherine O’Hara texting, Al Pacino dozing). At one point, a man’s voice could be heard instructing nominees to “just act naturally,” which only added to the horror show.
Excitedly presenting the award for best animated feature to “Soul,” Tracy Morgan mispronounced the film’s title as “Sal.” The “30 Rock” star later apologized for the puzzling moment on Twitter, joking: “Sorry SOUL. I was thinking about the pizza I was going to get from my guy SAL on the way home!!” “Soul” co-director Kemp Powers was similarly jocular as he congratulated the movie’s composers on their win for best original score, tweeting, “Your music is a huge part of what makes SAL so special!”
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