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« Golden Globe Host Watch: "Please Give Us Five Stars!" | Main | Aquaman is now DCEU's Biggest Film »

Golden Globe Night. Surprises, Upsets, and then... Catastrophe

by Nathaniel R

It all started out so well. Beautiful stars were begowned bejewelled and even some of the men took fashion risks. Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg were quippy and fun without overdoing it (the magic of good but unobtrusive hosting). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were thrown at us early on to whet our appetite for big A Star is Born wins later on. Oh how young and naive we then were at 8 PM EST...

Idris Elba was charming as an obviously proud father to Miss Golden Globe. Ben Whishaw won for A Very British Scandal and highly praised Hugh Grant's wonderful performance (Hugh Grant has been doing his best work in years this decade but can't seem to win prizes or even be nominated for them all that often). Regina King, looking absolutely smashing in a tight blue gown, took Best Supporting Actress, ending the threat of Amy Adams steamrolling the televised shows for Vice. Reaction shots of Sandra Oh's parents always charmed throughout the show especially during her historic Best Actress in a Drama Series wins. The Globes even went way out of character in kind ways like honoring a final season instead of a debut season, or picking a seasoned actress instead of a pop star for once. 

Two career tributes to Jeff Bridges and Carol Burnett were wonderful examples of watching Hollywood honor its own and watching movie and tv stars be FANS as the legends took the stage. It reminded us painfully of what we lost when Oscar demoted their Honorary Awards to a non-televised tradition. 

So many highlights, really.

There were ill omens for the finale of this Golden Globes night early on, though, if we're being honest. Too many winners dully read lists of names (don't people realize that these shows are televised and the bulk of the audience doesn't know the names and doesn't care, unless you personalize it in some way. You will never ever ever make a clip reel of memorable acceptance speeches if what you're doing is reading names. Worst yet, nobody will even remember that you won!). Too few speeches felt personal or even political. Green Book won screenplay.

It was in the last half of the night that everything got a bit crazy, first with utter elation and then an awful mood crash. A hour or so into the show I was nursing a pounding tension headache from my chair, rolling a tennis ball underneath my neck to get a knot out. The headache suddenly went away and I honestly don't know if it was the tennis ball trick that cured me or Olivia Colman calling Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz "my bitches" to their obvious delight, and ours at home. The evening's joy peaked with a surprise win for Glenn Close in Best Actress. Generally pop stars acting is catnip to the Globes but they passed on Lady Gaga for the legendary thespian. (Surprise, the long coronation we kept hinting at can finally commence). If Close wins the Oscar, we'll all look back at Close's tearful inspiring  speech here as the moment that clinched it for her; no boring list of names, just passion, message, specificity, and gratitude -- what a concept for an acceptance speech! 

If we'd only known how bipolar the night would then become. 

To close out the show both Best Picture prizes went to divisive movies. Curiously both are film which have been accused of having their true stories of queer musicians diluted or significantly fictionalized by the people doing the telling (former bandmates in the case of Bohemian Rhapsody and the family of an employee in the case of Green Book). Stranger still, neither are runaway successes in the usual areas that win you Best Picture prizes. Green Book wasn't the box office sleeper success people (including me) predicted it would be in theaters which generally fuels awards campaigns for "crowd pleasers" and it was roundly attacked for being reductive about its take on race relations. Bohemian Rhapsody was a huge hit, which never hurts, but it had terrible reviews (which usually means you're dead in the water for winning prizes) and a troubled production history. It also had a director no one dared name in their thank you speeches, due to repeated allegations that he's a sexual predator. The industry in the room, many wearing Time's Up pins or bracelets, applauded and presumably hit the after parties. A strangely sour finale, that, at the end of what is typically the most "fun" night of the awards season. 






Bill Murray announcing Green Book

Best Picture, Drama: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy: “Green Book”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Best Actor, Drama: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy: Christian Bale, “Vice”
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”
Best Motion Picture, Animated: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language: “Roma”
Best Original Score, Motion Picture: Justin Hurwitz, “First Man”
Best Original Song, Motion Picture: “Shallow” — “A Star Is Born”



Best Television Series, Drama: “The Americans,” FX
Best Actress in a Series, Drama: Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Best Actor in a Series, Drama: Richard Madden, “Bodyguard”
Best Series, Musical or Comedy: “The Kominsky Method,” Netflix
Best Actress in a Series, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Best Actor in a Series, Musical or Comedy: Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Best Limited Series:“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” FX
Best Actress in a Limited Series: Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Best Actor in a Limited Series: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal”

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Reader Comments (72)

I enjoyed the show despite the terrible decision(s) at the end. When I think of this edition of the Globes, I'm going to recall two inspiring speeches-- those of Carol Burnett and Glenn Close. They were pitch-perfect.

(As an aside, I feel like Bradley Cooper getting shut out by Rami Malek was also a pretty egregious error, but will likely be drowned out by the subsequent and even more egregious win by Bohemian Rhapsody in Best Drama.)

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

The idea of a "popular film" Oscar is dead if they actually nominate Bohemian Rhapsody., with it's critical drubbing. I knew the actual legacy of Freddie Mercury was DOA when I saw Brian May on the red carpet.

I'll console myself by watching Freddie's actual Live Aid performance - truly one for the ages. Love him, and he deserves better.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I disagree on the opening. Samberg (who's typically very funny) and Oh were awful at the gig. Oh was much better on the mic when accepting her award.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentertr

I cried during Glenn Close's speech. It's time.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I love Sandra Oh even more. But how is that possible when I already loved her so much?

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Going forward I'll have enthusiasm for other televised precursors following suit for Close. However, BAFTA may get cute for Colman, a long assumed possibility.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Glenn Close's win seems a lot less shocking in retrospective. Glad ASIB was shut out. That was a boring white-man-in-peril circlejerk film. And the categories it was submitted in was fraudulent.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

The Close moment was great television, which hugely helps her in the Oscar race, but .... so was the Colman moment. I think Olivia could take SAG and BAFTA and be a runaway winner on Oscar night.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Glenn Close will not be ignored. Hide your bunny rabbits.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I didn't watch it but wow, the Globes played it too safe and that sucks.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Richard Madden wins for Bodyguard, Ben Wishaw wins for A Very English Scandal, Olivia Colman wins for The Favourite and Glenn Close wins for The Wife, that's a result!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe (UK)

GLENN MOTHERFREAKING CLOSE!!! She will not be ignored anymore!
The Globes did Amy Adams wrong tonight. I hope she and Close wins the Oscar.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLOL

@A Star is Born: That is what you get for playing in the wrong category.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

ASIB was not shut out; it did win Best Song after all.

Go Glenn Close! You get that Oscar, girl.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I was gobsmacked with the love they showed Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody. I still think Ethan Hawke is going to win Best Actor. But YEY for Glenn Close winning. She MUST win the Best Actress Oscar. IT IS TIME!!!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Did they change the trophy design though?!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFR

The drama category was already wackadoo with the two musicals in contention, but I didn't think they'd go completely off the rails. If the starfuckers in the HFPA didn't go all in on A Star is Born, I'm thinking the Academy won't either (I still think Cooper takes Best Actor though). However it plays out, this has to be the weirdest year for Best Picture I've ever followed. Plenty of "popular" choices, but nothing that seems universally loved (do people love Rome?). At this point they should just give it to Black Panther for being the most popular film in contention. At least it has good reviews. I'd totally be down for it both because I do love the film, and because the meltdowns that it would inspire would be more entertaining than any awards show is bound to be.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVal

We are caught in a landslide -- no escape from reality.

I wonder if ever since #OscarsSoWhite, followed by the tone-deaf reactions by older people to the necessary voting body changes, then the Moonlight/LLL envelope debacle, then problematic Best Actor winners, then Kevin Hart, now what will prove to be a bizarre and controversial batch of nominees and winners coming up....maybe the universe is trying to tell us that we should gracefully bow out of caring about this whole awards circuit....

...or at least give it one-hundredth of the import it holds over a lot of us now. Because people are strange and voters are going to do whatever they want to do. And there's no point in letting all of THIS drive us crazy in a crazy world.

A million years ago, I was in an AOL chat room (lol) where a female film critic was giving a chat-interview about the upcoming Oscars -- it might have been Lisa Schwartzbaum of EW? maybe? -- and she said, "Don't care too much about the Oscars. They'll only break your heart." And I think our hearts are too sensitive right now and this machine we're all in is, to quote Laganja, "too fucking much" that we all might need to take a step back.

Spring is coming and I'm looking forward to it.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Talk shit about amy's vice performance all you want, but her portrayal of camille preaker in sharp objects deserves both oscar and emmy, she should have at least won for that tonight...

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLouisebanks

Am I the only person who though Regina King's speech was not great? I felt she tried to take an issue to the audience, but still wound up making it sound like it was all about herself. I honestly thought that it may be the speech that loses her the Oscar when I saw it, but the internet seems to disagree with me. Please respond if you can assure me I am not crazy.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Glenn Close’s tears had me tearing up. Such an unexpected win (although so well deserved) since I really thought Lady Gaga was going to win.

Oh and Samberg did pretty well as hosts (all those presenter intros misdirection!), OMG at “Chris Pine and his busted face” line.

It was nice seeing the nominees in the little “live feed” squares since I’d forget who was in attendance (like Charlize) until their category was up.

And aw, thanks Darren Criss for giving a shoutout to the his Mom’s heritage. It’s not often I get to see/hear another Filipino on a nationally televised awards show.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

The Bohemian Rhapsody thing is a travesty

I hope Oscar ignores it as much as humanly possible

so happy about Glenn Close and Olivia Colman!

Great speech from Close <3

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Travis C - I agree. I love Regina and am so glad she won (she needed that) but she rambled like crazy and that pledge at the end of the speech seemed tacked on, desperate to channel McDormand's stance from last year's Oscars, and frankly a little hard to believe.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

olivia colman can sure any ailment

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I can't help but tear up during Glenn Close's acceptance speech. I think her Oscar win is now inevitable.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Favourite moment is when Michael Douglas got up and hugged Close on her way to the podium (Fatal Attraction reunion!!!!) , and clearly the show producers thought Gaga was winning too as they seated her right up front.

If ASIB placed themselves in Comedy / musical and Roma was eligible for best drama (what a weird rule) then the whole shape of the night would’ve been totally different.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Thrilled for Glenn Close - great speech in an evening of the usual awful speeches - and very happy for Regina King. Those were the 2 wins that made me happy. Bohemian Rhapsody winning BP & Green Book winning BMCP were both goofy as hell - and then there's that Green Book screenplay win, ugh. At any rate, it's going to be a fascinating run-up to the Oscars this year, much more interesting than last year's 4 inevitable acting wins.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Regina King did not wear blue.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLumiere

I think this is the worst GG best picture duo ever.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLSS

Gee, now I want Jeff Bridges and Carol Burnett to host the Oscars.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

Our Bohemian Nightmare continues,

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

And NICOLE had to be the one to announce it - adding even more tragedy.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Worst Best Picture duo ever, BUT

Cody Fern - Chalamet - Whisaw - Criss

Regina King - Olivia Colman and the Pattys


Glenn Close.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

As noted by many others, so excited for Glenn Close. A really lovely speech. She deserves all the awards from here on.

I am most embarrassed for the GGs announcer, who apparently has no idea how to pronounce anyone's name. He absolutely mangled Caitriona Balfe's name (Katerina Balf?). Not that I am some Caitriona Balfe superfan. But damn, the woman's been nominated like 1,243 times and been on countless red carpets. You might want to get her name right at some point. Sheesh.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

LSS, agreed that this is probably the weakest two best picture winners ever...and I "enjoyed" both movies, but the filmmaking is not good.

Travis C, also agree that Regina's speech was bad: kind of unfocused and self-important. It didn't help her cause for Oscar, whereas Glenn Close pretty much locked it up for herself last night.

I thought Adam and Sandra started off well but then nosedived quickly. I wouldn't say Sandra has a great instinct for comedy.

I still think Bradley Cooper will win the Best Actor Oscar at the end of the day. His losses last night will only help him: now he runs the risk of being "overlooked" and Hollywood will take care of him.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

Wow, I have been following Nathaniel's blog for years but tragically, I disagree with both cases a lot.
Brian Singer has nothing to do with Bohemian Rhapsody since he was fired from the project. There's nothing sanitized about Rami Malek's take. He's clearly gay and his long-time partner figures in the movie.But Mary had to figure into it because they couldn't bend fiction. Mary was the closest person in Freddie's life. He identified as bisexual. As Rami Malek noted in press interviews they just didn't have time to explore every gay relationship he had.
I'm sorry, I love Nathaniel, but I just don't see how this is a bogus claim that's being used to sink a movie's Oscar chances. It's the kind of ":not true to life" attack that's been used to try to sink movies since "A Beautiful Mind"

I was in the same screening as Nathaniel at the Middleburg Film Festival and I feel the audience response to the film was genuine and Farrelly acquitted himself well. He talked about how he didn't want to do the white savior trope or the magical negro trope and just wanted two imperfect people growing from each other. If the critics have such a narrow definition of what kind of movie can be acceptably made, than film makers will be scared of making any movies as bold and politically incorrect as this film.

It's been extremely frustrating watching the last two Oscar races be determined by which film is more politically correct by ridiculous guidelines(La La Land=a white person can't enjoy jazz, Three Billboards=a racist can't improve)

As for the factual stuff, Green Book was written with the expressed consent of Don Shirley before he died. It makes complete sense that his relatives wouldn't know the kind of stuff that Tony's son did since he was a private man

I made the case for Green Book here:

I also made the case for how this kind of dogmatism over what's properly woke and what isn't is reductive in its own right here:

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOrrin

Those new trophies are ghastly.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNnnnvg

Oh my Glenn what a tremendous speech! Nothing better than someone truly shocked to win an award. Olivia had a terrible speech when you really think about it but she is charming. Sorry Nathaniel but hosts were poor and cringe and that's just the truth.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

I tuned in expecting something unexpected to happen so I wasn't surprised by the big winners. The only issue is Oscar voters who don't watch the movies thinking, "if they won the Golden Globe, they must be good!" and aping those same choices.

The opening monologue was pretty weak overall but did anyone catch after Sandra Oh described Crazy Rich Asians as "the first studio picture to feature Asian leads since Ghost in the Shell and Aloha" and over the resulting laughter Emma Stone yelling out "I'm sorry!"

Pretty funny.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Thrilled for Glenn, and right on time. Looks like SAG ballots are due Jan. 25? She looked like such a winner last night and I hope voters feel the same way. Momentum is a helluva drug.

The race feels like Colman vs. Close to me now, since I can see BFCA and BAFTA breaking for the former and SAG for the latter. If that's the spread, I feel good about Glenn at the Oscars.

I love Gaga but I don't see a good opportunity for her to "catch up" at this point. Even a SAG win would feel like a fluke. Who knows, but she'll have a Best Song award to celebrate.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

the wins i was really hoping for were whishaw and colman, and they gave me those! was also delighted to see oh and close win. the best picture awards remind me of the old phrase i've read here: "globes are gonna globe."

nat, i'd be excited to hear a deep dive on best actress now, post-globe (or perhaps post-oscar noms). who's the frontrunner? will olivia and glenn split the anti-pop star vote? three person race?

truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

I can't believe Rami Malek is going to win the Oscar. Poor Bradley (although it's not like he campaigned much).

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Someone explain to me why A Rainy Day in New York is being held in a warehouse somewhere, while Bohemian Rhapsody is a box office hit that is feted with awards.*

And please don't tell me that Bryan Singer was fired From BoRhap... he was fired with two weeks remaining on production, the movie bears his name, everyone working on the film consented to do so with him as director, and he was proudly posting about its awards on social media last night.

Note that I am not a Woody Allen fan (I have no interest in seeing Rainy Day), but this is just Hollywood hypocrisy of the highest order. Last year after the Golden Globes, Greta Gerwig had to put out a statement justifying working with Allen in 2012, and Timothee donated his salary from Rainy Day to charity. Singer has been a known pedophile for what, a decade?

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

It's also nice to see the HFPA acting as a corrective in the Best Actress race.

By that I mean: The Wife wasn't my cup of tea but Glenn was undeniably great in it. Critics groups consistently ignoring her (on the merits of the performance and her career) started to feel like its own kind of "anyone but Glenn" groupthink.

Those groups try so hard not to seem predictable that an obvious, deserving choice can get lost in the shuffle—not to say Colman, McCarthy and Gaga haven't deserved to share the wealth. It's just suspicious and unfair that there was little-to-none for Glenn.

That makes her win feel more momentous, like, err, a Reversal of Fortune.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

The thing is... like most award shows, there were good and bad. People tend to dramatize this every year, but it's true. That said, yes the 1-2 punch of GREEN BOOK and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY claiming the night's top two prizes are... worrying.

And it's so weird to me so MANY people online don't get why. Look at Sasha Stone as one example. Have you seen all her tweets and reactions last night? Jeezus.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIan P.

Why is it wrong to award those two films, Ian

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOrrin

haven't seen Green Book but "insufficiently woke" is not a critique I'm going to let hamper the experience of watching a movie Octavia Spencer produced, starring two actors I love who are said to be very good in it.

The Pop Culture Happy Hour people (two or three of whom admittedly haven't seen it) were running with the "old fashioned, simplistic, behind the times" critique, too. They even said the director was wrong to say we need to listen to and spend time with each other. The horror!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMiz Miz

The worst thing sbout Bohemian Rhapsody winning is that it is actually a terrible movie.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

@Ian P: I personally think Sasha Stone is a complete hack. She is SO extreme in her opinions and so desperate to turn them into facts before the facts. Her horrible whining over Birdman --- > Boyhood was disgusting. And she was pivotal in the "erase Glenn" movement that the internet hipster critic "intelligentsia" tried to pull with an article that basically said "see ya next time, Glenn, Gaga is winning this." I can only imagine her tweets. I won't be bothering to read those or anything else she writes anymore.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Green Book is very good, so I'll live with it, tho Ali is a lead the point that annoyance, I admit, and Farrelly's acceptance speech was nice but so scripted. I feel that happened with the Gianni Versace movie winning.

Still haven't seen Bohemian Rhapsody.

The two women who I think will compete for the win both had great speeches and just came off so well.

The hosts weren't good tho. Likeable, but not very funny. Not good at all.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

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