“Nomadland,” the seemingly bleak yet uplifting tale of human spirit seen through the eyes of van-living desert dwellers, was named best drama film at Sunday evening’s 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, while “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won for best comedy/musical picture, and Netflix’s “The Crown” earned four honors, including best drama series.
“`Nomadland’ at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” said Chloe Zhao, who was also named best director for helming the film and also wrote the screenplay. “So for everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you. We don’t say goodbye, we say, `See you down the road.”’
When she was named best director, Zhao said: “This is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories. … They give us a chance to learn from each other and have more compassion for each other.”
The Golden Globes were held in a largely virtual format, but the broadcast was based bi-coastally, with Tina Fey hosting from The Rainbow Room in New York and Amy Poehler from The Beverly Hilton. A handful of presenters appeared in person at the two venues, both of which featured small, distanced pairs of first-responders and health care workers.
The awards were also presented in the shadow of debate over the admitted lack of diversity among the ranks of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the roughly 90-member sponsoring organization that came under fire in the past week for its lack of Black members. The issue was raised repeatedly throughout the night, from the opening monologue to various acceptance speeches. Three leaders of the HFPA appeared on stage during the telecast, vowing to improve diversity in their ranks but not offering any concrete plans for how it intends to move forward.
The diversity issue loomed over the evening — highlighted by the lack of critically acclaimed Black productions such as “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami” among the best picture nominees. But while it wasn’t nominated for best drama, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” contributed to the night’s most emotional moment, when the late Chadwick Boseman was named best actor in a drama film for his role as an upstart musician.
Boseman died of cancer in August at age 43. The award was accepted on Boseman’s behalf by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, who fought through tears as she thanked his collaborators on the film.
“He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” she said. “… He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.”
She added, “I don’t have his words. But we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love, so thank you HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that.”
Andra Day was named best actress in a drama film for her lead role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day also fought through tears as she accepted the honor.
“To the amazing, transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday, who just transformed me with this role and with her presence and her spirit — I love all of you so much,” she said. “Thank you so much to just everybody who was part of this incredible project.”
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was named best motion picture musical or comedy, and star Sacha Baron Cohen won the prize for best musical/comedy film actor.
“Donald Trump is contesting the result,” Cohen joked after winning the acting prize. “He’s claiming that a lot of dead people voted, which is a very rude thing to say about the HFPA.”
Cohen thanked the cast and crew of the film, including “the field team who literally risked their lives, and most thanks of all to my bodyguard who stopped me from getting shot twice.”
Rosamund Pike was named best actress in a musical/comedy film for “I Care a Lot,” a dark comedy about a con artist who uses the legal system to become the guardian of elderly victims and drain their savings.
She thanked the HFPA for recognizing “the dark side of comedy.”
“Maybe I just have to thank America’s broken legal system for making it possible to make stories like this,” she said.
Daniel Kaluuya was named best supporting actor for his portrayal of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” He said the role “took it out of me.”
“I gave everything, and I couldn’t give it to a more noble man” than Hampton, he said.
“And I hope generations after this can see how brilliant he thought, how brilliantly he spoke and how brilliantly he loved,” Kaluuya said. “He taught me about myself, he made me grow as man, and I appreciate it with all my heart. And I hope people — there’s a lot of information about how he died, but I hope people out there will grow and learn about how incredibly he lived.”
Jodie Foster won the prize for best supporting actress for her work in “The Mauritanian.” It was her third career Globe win, previously winning best actress in a drama film for “The Accused and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Foster also received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2013.
Aaron Sorkin won the Globe for best screenplay for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
“Minari,” the American film about a Korean family starting a new life as farmers in Arkansas, was named best foreign language film.
“`Minari’ is about a family. It’s a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own,” the film’s writer/director Lee Isaac Chung said. “It is deeper than any American language, any foreign language. It’s a language of the heart. I’m trying to learn it myself and to pass it on. And I hope we’ll all learn how to speak this language of love for each other, especially this year.”
Diane Warren, Laura Pausini and Niccolo Agliardi shared the Globe for best original song for “Io Si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead.” Meanwhile, Pixar’s “Soul” won the prize for the original score of Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, with Reznor joking, it was the “first piece of art I’ve ever made in my life that I can actually show my kids.”
“Soul” was also named best animated film.
On the television side of the awards, Netflix’s “The Crown” collected four honors on the night, including its second Globe for best drama series, repeating its win from 2017. Like most of the Globe winners, creator Peter Morgan accepted the honor via videoconference, punctuating his remarks by saying to his children, “from whom I’ve been separated too much (during) this pandemic, to them I say I’m sorry and I love you.”
Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor both earned their first career Golden Globes for their work on “The Crown,” winning best drama series actress and actor for portraying Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
“To Emma Corrin, best actress winner, you’re extraordinary, talented, funny and a brilliant player of rock- paper-scissors. I love you lots,” O’Connor said.
He also pushed to raise awareness of mental health issues, saying, “I’m very lucky to be able to work in this period and there are so many people who are unable to work and are alone and isolated, and I hope we can all collectively put mental health at the forefront of our minds.”
“The Crown” also earned a supporting actress Globe for Gillian Anderson. The prize for best supporting TV actor went to John Boyega for “Small Axe.”
“Schitt’s Creek,” which swept all comedy honors at the Emmy Awards, won the Globe for best comedy series, with co-creator Daniel Levy hailing the actors and crew.
“The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons has taken us to places we never thought possible and we are so grateful to all of you for it,” he said.
Levy added, “This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages `Schitt’s Creek’ has come to stand for, the idea that including can bring about growth and love to a community. In this spirit of inclusion, I hope at this time next year, this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today, because there is so much more to be celebrated.”
Catherine O’Hara won the prize for best actress in a comedy/musical series for “Schitt’s Creek.” She again heaped praise on series creators/co-stars Daniel and Eugene Levy for creating an “inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story.”
“It’s an experience I will forever hold dear to my heart, and I’m proud to be part of their family,” she said.
Jason Sudeikis collected his first career Golden Globe for his work as an American football coach who takes over a struggling English soccer team in “Ted Lasso.”
“I want to give a shout out to all the people I act with on this show, because they’re all incredible,” he said. “Do they make me the best, no. But I know for a fact they make me better. Better than I am, better than I thought I could be.”
Netflix’s ratings smash “The Queen’s Gambit” was named best limited series or made-for-TV movie, while star Anya Taylor-Joy was named best actress in a limited series for her role as an orphan-turned-chess prodigy. Mark Ruffalo was named best actor in a limited series or TV movie for his dual role playing twin brothers in HBO’s “I Know This Much is True.”
Jane Fonda was presented with the HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award during the ceremony, while Norman Lear received the Carol Burnett Award for television achievement.
Since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association divided its film category into two formats for the Golden Globes in 1963, 63 percent of the films that ended up with best picture Academy Awards had first received a Golden Globe.
The Golden Globe drama winner has gone on to win a best picture Oscar 28 of 57 times. The musical/comedy winner has won eight times at the Oscars, most recently in 2019, when “Green Book” won the Academy Award for best picture.
Last year, “1917” won the Globe for best drama and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” won for best musical/comedy, but the Oscar best picture prize went to “Parasite.”
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