The 78th Golden Globes – Return of the Online Awards Ceremonies

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The return of the online awards ceremony this week with the 78th Golden Globes. A sense of tiredness was apparent when it was announced it would be online and it showed in the limited range of nomination due to the lack of films released in the past year.

There were several occasions of bad audio, strange cutaways and odd small talk between the nominees making the whole night quite awkward. The nominations were already controversial with some of the decisions most notably the snub of Michaela Coel for ‘I May Destroy You’ but Emily in Paris having two nominations as well as Sia’s highly problematic film ‘Music’ gaining two nominations also.

The build up to the night was also overshadowed by the revelation that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had no black members in the group voting on the winners. Considering the amount of heat last year for the lack of black nominations across the 2020 awards season (the hashtag oscarssowhite went viral) its disappointing that the organisation has not taken steps within itself to improve itself. 

However there was some progress made with the winners and nominations. For the first time three out of five of the directors nominated were women and Chloe Zhao win for Nomadland marked only the second time a woman had won the prize and the first time an Asian woman had won the prize. Netflix also won big with the Crown taking home eight awards showing it still can hold its own among the giants of Hollywood.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented the awards, doing the best they could considering they were on different sides of America, hosting over call. Normally they bounce well off each other having worked together for so long but without the physical closeness and live audience the monologues and jokes seemed slightly disjointed and clumsy. All things considered they still managed to pull it off and improvise when technical difficulties occurred.

Poor Daniel Kaluuya struggled with his speech after winning Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture when he started speaking but no one could hear the audio. This was followed up by Catherine O’Hara’s husband attempting to play a crowd applause effect for her Win in a TV comedy off his cellphone which malfunctioned causing him to look very antisocial during her speech. 

The night wasn’t all bad connections and lost jokes. It featured a once in a lifetime sight, David Fincher taking shots on camera every time his film ‘Mank’ lost for best Director and Best Screenplay. Borat snagging two awards was also something to process, winning both Best Motion Picture in the Musical/Comedy category and Baron Cohen taking the award for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy as well. Some felt Hamilton was snubbed with Borat Subsequent Moviefilm taking the prize but at this point in 2021 nothing surprises anyone anymore. 

Chadwick Boseman winning best Actor in a motion picture posthumously cast a somber moment over the ceremony as his wife gave an acceptance speech in his honour saying “he would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify the little voice inside all of us”.

Jane Fonda accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award brought the house down with calls for action with diversity representation in storytelling, calling out the HFPA again and giving a nod to Michaela Coel. 

Nomadland winning best picture rounded up the night on a high, already having broken barriers with Zhao being only the second woman to ever win the golden globe for directing as well as winning big in its other nominated categories. It broke the boundaries for what normally wins at the Golden Globes and set the tone for the rest of the awards season with Nomadland already the favourite across the upcoming awards. 

Overall it was like any other awards evening, some surprises, some awkwardness but this time it was accentuated by the online aspect. At this point with how the evening went, there will be a sigh of relief for when the age of online awards ceremonies will be over. 


Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series (Drama) Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV series (Comedy or Musical) – Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy – Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama – Andra Day, “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday” 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama – Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy – Rosamund Pike, “I Care a Lot”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy – Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Best Motion picture – Drama – ‘Nomadland’

Best Motion picture – Animated – ‘Soul’

Best Motion picture – Foreign Language – “Minari’

Best Motion Picture (Musical or comedy) – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture – Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” 

Best Director – Chloe Zhao “Nomadland”

Featured image – Entertainment weekly

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Film, Media and Journalism student who writes about things that catch her interest. Instagram @charlsutcliffe

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