It was a mix of business as usual and overwhelming sea change at the 76th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, where the film and television industry gathered to celebrate themselves — and be seen by one another at the crowded Beverly Hilton bar during commercial breaks — on live television.
The red carpet, which was more like a women’s march last year thanks to the #TimesUp movement and conversations about representation, sexism and sexual harassment, had reverted back to a nonpoliticized space, where Ryan Seacrest was safe once again to ask: “Gaga, who are you wearing?” “Diamonds by Tiffany!”
But once inside, it was clear why Hollywood appeared to have taken a step back from the fervent social activism of the past few years: the race and gender equality they’d fought for was evident everywhere.
The Golden Globes are known for a relatively relaxed environment full of as much glamour and beauty as there is imbibing and comedy.
The hair and makeup donned by celebrities who walk down the red carpet tends to follow suit. The beauty looks at the 76th Golden Globes Awards were no exception except for a few head-turning (and eyebrow-raising) choices.
The vibe at this year’s awards was effortless. Shellacked-into-place up-dos were nowhere in sight. As were outlandish lip colors or overwrought eye makeup.
Golden Globes co-host Sandra Oh got choked up seeing the diverse sea of faces in the Beverly Hilton ballroom. A Netflix movie won a Golden Globe for the first time. And Christian Bale thanked Satan in his acceptance speech.
So, yes, the 76th Golden Globes on Sunday night proved to be an evening of inclusion, a night of historic firsts and a largely enjoyable mix of the boozy humor and star power that have helped it lap the Oscars in recent years as an evening of entertaining, watchable television.
With Oscars balloting beginning Monday, it provided the night’s winners a podium to make their case to film academy members, and several of those honored by the HFPA — Glenn Close, Regina King and the aforementioned Bale, who comically hailed Satan for inspiration in playing former Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice” — took that opportunity and ran with it.
It was a big night at the Golden Globes for the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The film won best drama and lead Rami Malek won actor in a drama for his portrayal of the rock legend. But director Bryan Singer’s sudden exit from the film and the controversial allegations that have followed him for years were top of mind in the backstage press room.
Twentieth Century Fox fired Singer as director of the project in December 2017 after rumors of clashes on the set with Malek and other cast members. Singer’s departure caused the London production to temporarily shut down until Dexter Fletcher took over the rest of the shoot, but Singer still received a directing credit. That same month, Singer’s name fueled more headlines when he was sued over a 2003 allegation that he raped a 17-year-old boy — a charge he has denied.
The brand-new Golden Globe trophy design made its official debut Sunday at the 76th annual ceremony, but it seems not everybody got the memo about how to hold it properly.
According to the announcement about the redesign by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., this year’s bigger, heavier and more ergonomically sound trophy was meant “to ensure that winners do not obstruct the golden globe when holding the award.”
In one of the most moving and inspirational moments of the evening, Regina King won the best supporting actress in a motion picture Golden Globe for her role as a mother seeking justice for her daughter’s wrongfully imprisoned partner in the adaption of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Only moments before, King had lost in the limited series or motion picture made for television lead actress category for her role in the Netflix series “Seven Seconds.” Amy Adams was likewise nominated in both categories, for “Sharp Objects” and “Vice.” Patricia Arquette won the television award for Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora.”
Though King was not nominated at the SAG awards, she has been making a strong showing with critics groups for her role in “Beale Street” and is still a favored contender for the upcoming Oscar nominations. She is in some ways on the same trajectory as Allison Janney a year ago with her Oscar-winning role in “I, Tonya.” Both are respected veterans of film and TV who had never quite landed the movie role that brought them proper acclaim. “Beale Street” is King’s first live-action feature film role in nearly 10 years.
Once Sandra Oh finished hosting the Golden Globes, she proceeded backstage as one of the night’s winners.
“I am just slowly kind of landing into this room with you,” said the “Killing Eve” star who won the award for best performance by an actress in a TV drama. “I gotta tell you, the win is so surprising. Also, I was so stressed about hosting that I just couldn’t give [the nomination or the win] one second’s thought. It was unbelievable and amazing, and I’m so grateful. I just feel, this is one of the most incredible nights of my life.”
It’s also been a big night for Oh’s parents, who have gone viral for their onscreen reactions to Oh’s win. “As for my parents who are amazing, amazing people, and internet sensations, they’re so happy, they're so happy,” she said. “And it’s just the kind of thing that, for Asian kids, to actually make our parents happy, it’s so fulfilling that it happened. I’m just so happy they were here and able to come.”
Providing the latest set of potentially confusing data points in what has been an unpredictable awards season, the 76th Golden Globes gave major boosts to the racially inflected period road movie “Green Book” and, more surprisingly, the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” in their pursuit of Oscar glory.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” — a film that had a troubled production including the firing of credited director Bryan Singer and was largely dismissed as a major awards contender early on — took home the prize for best picture in the drama category, beating out a field that included presumptive favorite “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Though the Globes has a long history of delivering occasional head-scratchers, “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King seemed to speak for many in the crowd when, accepting the award, he said simply, “Wow, now that was unexpected.” Rami Malek also earned the prize for best actor in a drama for his turn in the film as the lead singer of Queen. (Neither Malek nor King mentioned Singer in their acceptance speeches.)
On the heels of “Green Book” winning the Golden Globe for musical or comedy motion picture, director Peter Farrelly was asked his favorite scene to shoot. Instead, he offered his most memorable moment from the film.
Early in the movie, bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga throws away two lemonade glasses after a pair of black plumbers drink out of them. Portrayed by Viggo Mortensen, Tony Lip ultimately redeems himself, but the scene was jarring for the actors who participated in the scene.
"The two workers, they hadn't read the script, they'd just read the scene and they were hired," he recalled. "They were like, 'What the hell kind of movie is this?' And they quite literally pulled me aside and were like, 'Isn't he the hero?' I was like, 'Yeah' and they said, 'Why would he do that?' "