It sounded like a good solution for these times – a ‘virtual’ Golden Globes. But in the end it felt like we didn’t get a chance to highlight those who excelled in making quality movies and television. Instead, the winners were often overshadowed by technical glitches and what looked like Zoom fatigue in spades. Plus the question on everyone’s lips seemed to be – who makes up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and why don’t they have any black members?
And fair enough too. In the lead up to these awards, many have written or spoken about their frustration over the lack of best picture nominations for standout Black ensemble films like Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Judas and the Black Messiah, One Night in Miami and Da 5 Bloods.
In television, many felt Micaela Coel’s I May Destroy You should have been nominated and was snubbed. In a nice touch though, when Jane Fonda was given her Lifetime Achievement Award on the night she mentioned this show and how she’d enjoyed and been challenged by it and she called on Hollywood to change and be more inclusive.
Tina Fey, who was hosting the night from the top of the Rockefeller Centre in New York brought the issue up earlier in the night saying: “Look, we all know award shows are stupid… The point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I realise, HFPA you may not have gotten the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you have to change that.”
Amy Poehler, who was hosting from the Beverley Hilton Hotel in California then added: “This is probably something we should’ve told you guys about earlier. Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens, okay? But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”
At least this was all mentioned by the hosts in their opening dialogue, but unfortunatley, when the first award was announced by Laura Dern as being Daniel Kaluuya for the best motion-picture supporting actor, Kaluuya appeared on the screen but we couldn’t hear him. Dern came back on and apologised but then Kaluuya reappeared saying, “You’re doing me dirty! Is this on?”
This wasn’t a great start to the night and although the night did pick up from there, this incident showed the challenges of hosting an awards night in these unusual times.
Still some classic lines from Fey and Poehler…
Still, the night was better than missing out on the show completely which could have happened. The hosts opening monologue had some great lines as usual. Not as many as we’ve enjoyed in the past but still some of those classic pearlers. Here are a couple to savour:
Poehler: “TV is the one that I watch five hours straight, but a movie is the one that I don’t turn on because it’s two hours.”
Fey: “If you’re like, ‘Mario Lopez is surprisingly good in this,’ that’s TV.”
So what were the wins of the night?
One of the major wins of the night was the fact that three women were nominated for Best Director – the first time more than one female director has been nominated.
To back this up, Nomadland filmmaker, Chloé Zhao, won Best Director, making her the second woman ever to win the award – the first being Barbra Streisand, in 1984.
As well, Sacha Baron Cohen took the stage multiple times for wins for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and The Crown took home a slew of awards.
If you missed the Golden Globes you can watch them on Foxtel or if you don’t have Foxtel, you can catch them on Binge. For more on all the winners of the Golden Globe Awards for 2021, take a look here.