The 81st Golden Globe awards occurred on January 7, 2024 in Los Angeles. The awards ceremony is run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and showcases achievements in film and television. Comedian Jo Koy hosted this year’s show, and was given the task only 10 days prior, which proved to be challenging. He received mixed reactions for his performance, with critics stating that he failed to connect with the audience in the stature Ricky Gervais had famously conducted in previous years. He made controversial jokes about Taylor Swift and Barbie which were not well received either, and blamed his writers when he was booed during the monologue.
HBO’s corporate drama Succession dominated the television categories. It won four awards including “Best Television Series” in the drama category, and individual acting prizes for stars Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, and Matthew Macfadyen. The Bear and Beef each won three globes, with The Bear earning ”Best Television Series Musical or Comedy”, and performance awards for Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri. Beef performed similarly, winning “Best Television Series” for a limited series, complimented with awards for leads Steven Yeun and Ali Wong.
Moving into films, Oppenheimer achieved a major sweep, winning a staggering five awards. Cillian Murphy took home “Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama” for his triumphant role as J. Robert Oppenheimer. Robert Downey Jr. won “Best Supporting Actor” for his role as Admiral Lewis Strauss. Composer Ludwig Göransson won “Best Original Score,” and Emma Thomas—producer, and wife of Christopher Nolan—received “Best Motion Picture Drama.” Finally, Christopher Nolan, after six nominations in over 20 years, won the “Best Director” award. Christopher Nolan reminisced about being on the Golden Globes stage before on behalf of the late Heath Ledger when Ledger won the best performance in a motion picture drama for his role in The Dark Knight, during his acceptance speech which was received as a classy gesture.
Poor Things was another strong competitor, winning “Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy”, with Emma Stone receiving “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy” for her outstanding work as Bella Baxter. Industry aficionado Paul Giamanti won best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” for his unique performance as Paul Hunham in The Holdovers.
Killers of the Flower Moon received seven Golden Globe nominations, and won a single award for “Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Motion Picture Drama” for the powerful performance of indigenous actor Lily Gladstone. Veterans of the industry, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Martin Scorcese, were left empty-handed on this rewarding night.
Barbie was nominated for nine awards but unfortunately won only two Golden Globes due to the strong competition. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell received the award for ”Best Original Song” for their collaboration on “What Was I Made For?,” and Barbie also received the newly-added award for “Cinematic and Box Office Achievement” for generating nearly 1.5 billion dollars in revenue at the box office.
Notable losses for the television awards include the highly acclaimed The Last of Us, Barry, and Ted Lasso. Similarly for the film awards, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Saltburn, Air, and Maestro had fans of the movies shocked by their lack of recognition.
With the Oscars less than two months away, will the Golden Globes foreshadow what is to come? Although in the past, the consistency between the awards for the Golden Globes and the Oscars has not been reliable, we can expect some upsets when the nominations for the Oscars are released on January 23, 2024. Whether Christopher Nolan will get his long-awaited Oscar for his beautiful work on Oppenheimer, which would have longtime Nolan fans buzzing, is still a tale only time can tell. What can be currently observed, is that the competition is unforgiving with the strong number of media offerings presented in the past year.