Golden Globes: a bizarre and muted awards ceremony

An awards show that's become a shadow of its former self, has the Golden Globes private ceremony helped improve its status?

Jess Bradbury
10th January 2022
Image credit: IMDB and Prime Video on YouTube
A once highly-anticipated awards show with the highest profiled actors in attendance, this year's Golden Globes fizzled out into a subdued ceremony and a live-tweeted disaster.

The winners of each category were announced on the show’s website and on social media, without the usual star studded glamour and fanfare that comes during award season. It comes after the ceremony was dropped by US broadcaster NBC in 2021. The company said this decision was based on a Los Angeles Times exposé, in which it alleged the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) had a lack of diversity and corrupt practices.

Ariana DeBose celebrating her win on Twitter. Credit: @ArianaDeBose

HFPA president Helen Hoehne stated that the event had not been boycotted as a result of these controversies, but that the decision had been made to strip down the ceremony as part of the “sensitive” response to the criticism it has faced. During Sunday’s event, the body’s chief of diversity, Neil Phillips, said the show was in a “necessary phase of progress”.

Perhaps this private format may have worked if the show hadn’t been on a downward spiral for the past few years, and the recent allegations of corruption have been the final nail in the coffin. Between the cringy social media winner announcements and the desperate attempt to hold onto its former glory, the Golden Globes have truly lost their shine. More so than last year, the show feels like it’s grabbing onto relevance but the end result is an elitist mess.

As for the winners of the film categories, Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story and Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog led the accolades of the evening. The aforementioned films won best musical or comedy film respectively. Newcomer Rachel Zelger won best actress in a musical/comedy, whilst her co-star Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress, though West Side Story was a box office disappointment. Jane Campion won best director for her western film, which would also win best drama picture and best supporting actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee. Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for best drama actor for his role as Phil Burbank in the film but ultimately lost out to Will Smith. In the best actress category, Nicole Kidman took home the award for her portrayal of TV star Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos, whilst Andrew Garfield won best actor in a musical/comedy for his part in Tick Tick…Boom! 

Other winners included Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car for best foreign language film and Encanto won best animated feature. Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast won best screenplay, whilst Billie Eilish won best original song for No Time To Die. Also nominated in the sound category was Hans Zimmer, who won best original score for Dune.

Perhaps comedian Ricky Gervais outrageously summed it up best when he hosted in 2020: “if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech... You know nothing about the real world" - take note Golden Globes, particularly if you want to return to your former glory.

Ricky Gervais' full 2020 monologue. Video credit: Caruthersm
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AUTHOR: Jess Bradbury
English lit student with a very good talent for rambling. Twitter/IG @jessbradburyx

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