Golden Globes 2020


Aaron Michaels, Contributor

What do you get when Judy Garland, Elton John, a Divorce Lawyer, and the Joker are all placed on stage after being introduced by an angry Ricky Gervais? The usual awkwardness and spurts of unbridled laughter and pride in the arts that come from the annual Golden Globe Awards. This year’s ceremony was… a lot. Much like the film industry, there are genuine moments of gold, and with them come the box office flops. For every Knives Out, there is a Cats.
The brightest gems of the night came when the recipients used their speeches to reflect on the past and to invoke a better future. For as many speeches aimed towards the pursuit of artistry and “why we do what we do”, far more were directed towards the Australian bushfires that have destroyed over 22,000 square miles. Joaquin Phoenix used a majority of his acceptance speech for Joker to draw attention to inattention towards tragedy, “…we need to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives. We don’t have to take a private jet to Palm Springs after the awards. I’ll try to do better and I hope you do too.” Russel Crowe’s win for The Loudest Voice was met with a pre-written message that could not make the ceremony because he was at his home in Australia protecting his family. Cate Blanchett used her introduction for an award to raise awareness as well. Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is showing her support by auctioning off her suit from the awards show and the proceeds are going to relief funds for the wildfires
One of the best moments of the evening came from Kate McKinnon’s beautiful and heartfelt speech about Ellen’s legacy on television and her impact at large. “[Ellen has given me…] a way to be funny that is grounded in an expression of joy, a desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things that we have in common, and a sense of self.” Her speech continues with how Ellen inspired her to come out and continues to unite people in divisive times through comedy. Ellen is the second person to receive the Carol Burnett Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television (following only Carol Burnett herself). The Carol Burnett Award debuted during last year’s telecast of the Golden Globes as a response to the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film, which went to the legendary Tom Hanks. His recipient speech was both inspiring and moving as he teared up with pride at the sight of his family cheering him on. Tom Hanks shares on his experience in the industry and recounts words of wisdom he heard in his youth, “The best advice a young actor could have heard is be on time, know the text, and come with a head full of ideas. You have to hit the marks, and you have to go there.”
The Best Animated Feature category faced some confusion this year as Laika Studios’ Missing Link brought home the award against the juggernauts of Frozen II, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World. The acceptance speech proves the filmmakers were just as shocked by the results as the audience was. The looks shared between the two recipients expressed equal amounts of confusion and sheer and utter joy. They were played off before any valiant words of wisdom were shared, but Missing Link’s impact on the Golden Globes was felt (in whatever capacity that is).
The ceremony had a few D.O.A. moments sprinkled throughout the evening (involving Ricky Gervais’s pessimism and joylessness), but nothing breathed new life into the atmosphere like the iconic duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. When they went on stage together to introduce Rocketman, each and every member of Hollywood’s elite gave them a standing ovation. Rocketman details the long and treacherous past between the two artists and seeing them stand together to a bright and loving applause was a truly special moment. That energy returned when the pair won an award for Best Original Song for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman.
Awkwafina made waves tonight, becoming the first Asian actress to win a Golden Globe for film. There has been an overwhelming amount of support for her recognition for her work in The Farewell, social media has unanimously said “We love you, Nora!”. Alongside her in the acting categories are Laura Dern for her role in Netflix’s Marriage Story, Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, and Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in Judy. The two Best Picture films went to Sam Mendes’s World War I film 1917 (which opens in theatres this Friday!) and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The 77th Annual Golden Globes came with its highs and lows and even higher highs that make it stand apart from the EGOT ceremonies. The Globes always have a seperate caliber to them that makes it as fun for the audience at home as it is for its ballroom full of stars. Be sure to check out the winner for Best Picture (Drama) when 1917 comes to theatres this Friday.