Prior to the airing of the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 5 I revealed my picks and bracket for the winners and losers of the night in the world of cinema. Now that the statuettes have been handed out it’s time to see just how I did.
The 2020 edition of the Golden Globes brought with it some great excitement as several categories saw relative underdogs lay their claim to history as Golden Globe winners. Some winners even admitted their shock over their unlikely victories while others were pretty much predetermined from the start based purely on hype alone. While I know there was a lot that went on at the Globes show, from divisive speeches to Rickey Gervais controversial opening monologue, this post is not about the highs and lows of the night. My focus today is looking at whether or not I made the right call and how this might reflect on the upcoming Oscars in February. So let’s take a look at how I did. Here are the winners of the 77th annual Golden Globes for film.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“The Irishman” *MY PICK*
“Marriage Story” *DARK HORSE*
“The Two Popes”
Boy did this one shock me. Almost everyone I talked to and everything I read had “1917” counted out as an unlikely winner. It wasn’t wide released yet (having qualified with a five theater run over the Christmas holiday) and “The Irishman” seemed destined to be the film to beat from 2019. War movies also don’t tend to do well in this category. “Atonement” was the last film categorized as a “war” movie to win back in 2007 and the last true war movie to earn the honor was way back in 1998 with “Saving Private Ryan”. Considering the merit of the THAT movie it shows a lot of promise for “1917” leading into it’s release this weekend…that is if you buy that Globe voters take film quality into account and not just lobbying which is an unfortunate truth of these shows. Regardless “1917” just leapfrogged over “The Irishman”, “Marriage Story” and “Joker”, three of the best films of 2019, as a leading Best Picture contender and that is truly impressive.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Knives Out” *DARK HORSE*
“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” *WINNER and MY PICK*
This was a category I pretty much knew I had right from the start. While “Knives Out” wouldn’t have been a surprising winner, “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” would have been a surprise loser. It’s the first time Quentin Tarantino has won a Best Motion Picture honor from the Globes. In fact it was his first nomination in either of the categories and it felt overdue that his tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood would succeed. In fact it had a huge night earning three wins in total, the most of any film but we’ll get to the other two soon enough. “Once Upon A Time…” is now poised to make Tarantino a true threat for a Best Picture win and rightfully so.
Best Director – Motion Picture
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite” *DARK HORSE*
Sam Mendes, “1917” *WINNER*
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman” *MY PICK*
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
This should have been a tell-tail sign that it would be a big night for “1917”. While it’s not uncommon (actually it’s pretty common) that the Best Director winner doesn’t always match either of the Best Motion Picture winners Sam Mendes, who earned his only other Globe and an Oscar twenty years ago for “American Beauty”, beat out Tarantino, Scorsese, and Bong Joon Ho…all considered the top contenders for the honor. To me this is an underdog win and set the stage for “1917” to earn Best Motion Picture – Drama less than an hour later. It could also be a good result from heavy lobbying especially with the understanding that “1917” is being release the weekend after the Globes and Best Director and Best Motion Picture wins could stir up some heavy buzz. But, as with the Best Motion Picture victory, to beat who he had to beat to get to the stage…”1917″ had got to be an excellent film to earn that kind of respect over the leaders of some of the greatest films of the last twelve months.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women” *DARK HORSE*
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy” *WINNER and MY PICK”
The Best Actor and Best Actress awards for drama were both very easy to predict. I’ll get to the former in a moment but with Best Actress in a Drama this was Zellweger’s award hands down. While the competition was made up of some very deserving actresses and you can never count out Saoirse Ronan as a favorite, Zellweger has been a Golden Globe darling for most of her career have won three times prior. While her performance as Judy Garland in “Judy” wasn’t a real career comeback it proved that she is still a very capable and committed actress to her craft. Even the hardest lobbying wasn’t going to strip this win from her. Speaking of which…
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Christian Bale, “Ford v. Ferrari”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” * DARK HORSE*
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” *MY PICK and WINNER*
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Probably no win of the night was more telegraphed than this one. Phoenix’s performance was referenced and praised by many, even other winners, over the course of the night so it felt like a foregone conclusion he would win this award. Hell, it felt guaranteed from the moment he appeared in “Joker’s” trailer. While he will have much stiffer competition for the Oscar he is pretty much certain to contend for, Phoenix followed in the footsteps of Heath Ledger to become the first pair of actors portraying the same character (albeit different versions of the same character) to both win acting awards at the Golden Globes. Now we’ll see if they become the first such duo to win Oscars as well.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”
Awkwafina, “The Farewell” *WINNER and MY PICK*
Cate Blanchett, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart”
Emma Thompson, “Late Night” *DARK HORSE*
Hands down the best and most deserving performance was Awkwafina and the Globes voters got it right. Her turn in “The Farewell” was sincere and helped her escape the comedic typecasting she has endured for most of her young career to prove herself a multilayered actress. While “The Farewell” is considered to be a comedy, it’s the different layers worked into her performance that earned her this honor on merit and the fact that her performance was the most critically respected in this category didn’t help either. No lobbying needed, few could deny her this win.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” *DARK HORSE*
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman” *DARK HORSE and WINNER*
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name” *MY PICK*
I had two Dark Horses picked for this category and one of them took it home. I really did think Eddie Murphy had a good shot to win it but I underestimated the respect Taron Egerton earned for “Rocketman” and I’m glad I was wrong. Egerton was absolutely mesmerizing as Elton John and definitely earned it even going so far as to sing on the soundtrack. It was his first nomination and he walked away with the statuette beating some of the best and most influential actors in the business today in the process. He’ll provide some fun competition at the Oscars for Phoenix most likely but I find it hard to see the Academy denying Phoenix his rightful win even in favor Egerton’s amazing work.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Annette Bening, “The Report”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” *DARK HORSE and WINNER*
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers” *MY PICK*
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Laura Dern winning isn’t a surprise and I’m glad “Marriage Story” got something from the night. This went on to be the only honor the film would win but to me it was a bit of a shock that Jennifer Lopez, whose performance in “Hustlers” was considered career defining by many, didn’t get the call to the stage. It might turn out differently at the Oscars if both women do get nominated (and they likely will) but with the Globes I’m kinda glad Dern got the victory. Her character, a charming but aggressive divorce lawyer, was a fun one to watch and always had her in the conversation even if she wasn’t always the favorite.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” *DARK HORSE*
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” *WINNER and MY PICK*
I’m really happy I was right on this one just for my pride but I am a little shocked that Tom Hanks, who was honored with a career achievement award at the ceremony, didn’t actually win it. Still Pitt was one of the best things about “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood” even outshining his costar Leonardo DiCaprio in many scenes. It just felt like a perfect role for him and nobody seemed to doubt his inevitable victory. Clearly everyone was on to something as he just became and Oscar favorite as well, an award he has yet to receive as an actor in his lengthy career despite three previous nominations.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story” *MY PICK*
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, “Parasite” *DAKR HORSE*
Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood” *WINNER*
Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”
I was way off on this one and should have never been. It was Tarantino’s fifth nomination for this category in his career and he had won twice prior. This is essentially his signature category…how could I have bet against him? Well I was putting way to much stock in “Marriage Story” and “Parasite” earning their due respect at the ceremony I guess. Looking back at it now this is one of the biggest misses I could have ever made on my bracket. I was foolish to think Tarantino wasn’t even in the mix here. The Oscar will be a little different as that show splits screenplays into adapted and original. That expands the pool of competitors that will face this film next month so we’ll see if Tarantino’s ninth movie will get the job done again.
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
“Joker” *DARK HORSE and WINNER*
“Marriage Story” *MY PICK*
While I thought and wanted “Marriage Story” to win this honor I was ecstatic to be wrong as “Joker’s” score was absolutely haunting in all the best ways. While “Marriage Story’s” music was brilliant “Joker’s” set a mood and tone like few others could accomplish in 2019. In fact “Marriage Story” might be the only one that did it better. It also proved that the Hollywood Foreign Press did respect the work of art that “Joker” is by giving it two wins on the night even in spite of the controversies and naysayers that targeted the film. A lot of people are overlooking the historic significance of this win though. Until 2020 Lisa Gerrard was the only woman to win a Best Original Score Globe and did so as part of a two-person team. Hildur Guðnadóttir however is the first woman to ever win this award as the sole composer of a movie score.
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Beautiful Ghosts” – Cats
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman *DARK HORSE and WINNER*
“Into the Unknown” – Frozen 2 *MY PICK*
“Spirit” – The Lion King
“Stand Up” – Harriet
I knew I had this one wrong but I went with my gut that Disney might have a good night with “Frozen II”. It’s not the first time that Disney’s “Frozen” franchise has been snubbed in this very category as “Let it Go” also didn’t win despite going on to earn the Oscar. “Into the Unknown” could pull off the win in February though as this is a category where the two major award shows seems to differ just as much as they agree in recent years. Throughout the 2010s four out of five years the shows took different routes in their choice of winners. However I foresee the Academy agreeing with the Globes on this one and somewhere in my heart always knew this would be the song that would stand out all along.
Best Motion Picture – Animated
“Frozen 2” *DARK HORSE*
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“The Lion King”
“Missing Link” *WINNER*
“Toy Story 4” *MY PICK*
This was the winner that officially broke my ballot damnit. I don’t think anybody saw this coming. Even Laika didn’t see this coming…and yet the studio pulled off the biggest underdog win of the night in the film categories by defeating three Disney films and a DreamWorks film to win their first EVER Golden Globe in their fourth nomination. I don’t at all expect the Oscars to follow suit although Laika has five previous nominations from the Academy so betting against them might be a huge mistake at this point. This was a truly unexpected win and possibly a statement victory denying sequels and CGI animation their right to shine seeing as three of the other four contenders were looking to become the first sequels to a previous winner to earn the award. This was the shocker of the night for me and completely changes up what we should expect from this category next month. Congrats to Laika. An overdue win in my book if I’m being honest.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“The Farewell” *DARK HORSE*
“Pain and Glory”
“Parasite” *WINNER and MY PICK*
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
Really there was no contest. “Parasite” was always winning this award although I’m surprised it’s the ONLY award this film won. This was poised to be the rare true contender for Golden Globe supremacy. Last year “Roma” earned both this award and Best Director establishing itself as an Oscar favorite and “Parasite”, and arguably better and more praised film, looked headed in the same direction. Does it’s lack of dominance at the Globes mean it won’t shine at the Oscars? Doubtful. It will still likely get this very honor from the Academy and will probably be in the running for several categories including Director, Best Picture and probably Cinematography and Best Screenplay. At least it walked away from the Globes with SOMETHING to back up all that “best movie of the year” buzz that made it a must see in 2019.