A recap of the unconventional 2021 Golden Globe Awards

This combination photo shows, from left, Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, Joaquin Phoenix, Kristen Wiig and Renee Zellweger, who are among the first presenters announced for the Golden Globes awards ceremony. (AP Photo)

Sunday night saw the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) attempt at a COVID-19-style soiree for the 78th Golden Globe Awards. Hosted by comedic legends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the ceremony was bi-coastal, with Fey coming in from the Rainbow Room of New York City and Poehler stationed in Los Angeles at the Globes’ traditional home, the Beverly Hilton. 

Fey and Poehler, long-time veterans of the award show circuit, once again proved their comedic genius, playing off each other despite being thousands of miles apart. They did not hold back slamming the HFPA for its lack of diversity, as the Los Angeles Times revealed last week that the HFPA has lacked any Black membership for the past few years. Fey and Poehler even denounced the entire awards season as ridiculous and unnecessary. 

“Emily in Paris” and “The Prom” received some heat in the opening monologue as well, and while I supported everything Fey and Poehler were saying, it was slightly uncomfortable watching Lily Collins and James Corden awkwardly laugh as their performances were shredded to pieces on live television. 

Even the glamour and wealth of the entertainment industry was not immune to poor internet connection and technical difficulties as the first award of the night, Best Supporting Actor — Motion Picture, left Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech without sound and nobody but Laura Dern to apologize until sound was restored. 

In the world of television, the royals reigned supreme with “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” nabbing several well-deserved awards. In addition to the top prizes of Best Drama Series and Best Television Motion Picture, Anya Taylor-Joy took the throne as Best Actress in a Television Motion Picture while Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor and Gillian Anderson swept the television acting category for their respective roles as Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown.”  

This combination photo shows Golden Globe nominees for best actor in a motion picture drama, from left, Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal,” Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins in “The Father,” Gary Oldman in “Mank,” and Tahar Rahim in “The Mauritanian. (Amazon Studios, from left, Netflix, Sony Pictures Classics, Netflix and STXfilms via AP)

While all these individuals were more than deserving of their awards, this was the most predictable part of the evening as Netflix was banking on big wins for the crown jewels of its collection (Sorry, I promise that was the last royal pun). 

The comedy category belonged to “Schitt’s Creek,” though not with the same dominance it had at the 2020 Emmys. While Catherine O’Hara took home (or rather will be mailed her Globe in the coming days) Best Television Actress — Musical/Comedy Series, Eugene Levy lost Best Television Actor — Musical/Comedy Series to Jason Sudeikis, which shocked nobody more than Sudeikis himself, as evident by his stunned expression and rambling thank you’s. Of course this speech did make his tie-dye sweatshirt look go viral and redefine award show attire for the COVID-19 era. 

The most emotional moments of the night had to be the acceptance speeches of Andra Day and Chadwick Boseman, the respective winners of Best Actress and Best Actor in the Motion Picture Drama category for films shut out of the Best Picture Drama race. Day expressed her gratitude to the incomparable icon, Billie Holiday, whom she was able to portray. Boseman’s wife accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf, delivering a tear-filled message of what she believed Boseman would have said had he been able to accept it himself. 

In the end, the top prizes went to “Nomadland” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” for Best Picture Drama and Best Picture Musical/Comedy. Chloé Zhao made history as the second female director to ever win a Golden Globe, and Sacha Baron Cohen thanked Rudy Giuliani for his vital role in the film’s final cut.  

What can I say? The Golden Globes have always been a wacky affair with far too many accolades thrown into a three-hour time slot. Now that award season is underway, only time will tell how the remaining events will fare. 

For a complete list of this year’s Golden Globe winners, check out the HFPA website. 

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