In a written speech sent to the awards from Australia, and read on stage by actress Jennifer Aniston, Crowe said: “Make no mistake, the tragedy happening in Australia is climate-change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is so we all have a future.”
Things rarely go quite to plan at the annual journalist-voted film and television awards, in part because they are quicker than most awards to react to emerging trends, but mostly because they are – like the Logies – one of the few gigs where alcohol is served during the telecast. Such a mixture of unpredictability and booze is hard to equal.
Australia entered the fray with five nominations: Cate Blanchett, for the film Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Margot Robbie (Bombshell), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), Russell Crowe (The Loudest Voice) and Toni Collette (Unbelievable). When the final accounting was done, we had just one win and it went to Crowe.
The Carol Burnett Award, a lifetime achievement award for television which was introduced last year, was given to Ellen DeGeneres. “You never know where life takes you, huh?” the 61-year-old comedian said.
DeGeneres praised the power of television to introduce us to the truth about one another. “That’s what it was like for me with Carol Burnett, I felt like I knew her, I felt like she showed us who she was,” she said. “Every week I felt like she was larger than life. We counted on her to make us feel good and she delivered.
“Television inspired and influenced everything that I am today. All I have ever wanted is to make people feel good and laugh. The real power of television for me is not that people watch my show, but they watch my show and they are inspired to go and do the same thing in their own lives, [to] make people laugh.”
Broadly, despite Gervais’ warning during his opening monologue, many of the night’s winners came to the stage with something to say. And some were truly visceral moments. “We are the largest voting body in the country, let’s make it look more like us,” said best actress in a limited-series, Michelle Williams, in a powerful and moving call to action for women.
As a predictor of Oscar victory, the Globes are the equivalent of a punter’s each way bet: they crown a film in both the “drama” and “comedy or musical” genres. Even doubling their own odds, they have managed only to sync with the Oscar best picture winner about 10 times in the past two decades.
Their biggest hindrance as a measure of trends is their small voting pool – less than 100 journalist members of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, compared with some 7200 voting members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who vote for the Oscars – and the fact that they are more easily swayed by a film’s “star” power.
And yet, the Globes surprise as often as they disappoint. There was no director nomination this year for Greta Gerwig – leaving an all-male director category which arched eyebrows in Hollywood and drew a stinging barb from Gervais – and no nomination for best film for Little Women. Another masterpiece, Jordan Peele’s Us, also came up empty-handed.
Add to that the increasingly nonsensical problem of award categories: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and The Farewell (both dramas) were nominated in the musical/comedy category, Judy (a musical), was nominated in the drama category and Uncut Gems, originally submitted as a comedy, was switched to drama.
On the flipside, Netflix’s brilliant Unbelievable made a strong showing, with nominations for the show and its two leads, Merritt Wever, Kaitlyn Dever and Toni Collette, plus there were standout nominations for Jojo Rabbit star Roman Griffin Davis and comedian Ramy Youssef (who won).
Indeed, one of the key industry trends out of the telecast was the emergence of streaming as an aggressive player in the awards space. The algorithm itself is disingenuous – made-for-television films are given brief theatrical windows in order to qualify in the film categories – and somewhat exposes new players like Netflix and Amazon for a big case of old school envy.
Nevertheless the impact has been substantial: the nominations for The Irishman, The Two Popes and Marriage Story mean that Netflix went into the night with three out of the five nominees in the drama motion picture category.
Trying to use the Golden Globes as a more literal crystal ball to the Oscars is a fraught science, however. The so-called “awards season” kicks off in December with the Gotham independent film awards and includes the National Board of Review awards, the New York and Los Angeles critics awards, the Satellite awards, Australia’s International AACTA awards and the Golden Globes.
So far to have emerged are two leading titles, The Irishman and Parasite, with two wins from a possible six, and two contenders for the lead actor Oscar in Adam Driver and Antonio Banderas, also with two wins from a possible six. Best actress has just one leading contender, Awkwafina, with two wins from a possible six.
Clearer are the director and screenplay categories: Quentin Tarantino, who directed Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, holds two out of six possible wins and Noah Baumbach, who wrote Marriage Story, who is riding three out of seven possible wins.
Still to come in “awards season”: the Producers, Screen Actors, Directors and Writers Guild awards, the BAFTAs, the Independent Spirit awards and the Oscars themselves.
Voting for the Oscar nominations closes on January 7; the Oscar nominees will be announced on January 13. Final Oscar voting opens on January 30 and closes on February 4; the 92nd annual Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 9, in Los Angeles.
LIST OF WINNERS, FILM
Best Motion Picture, Drama: 1917
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Renée Zellweger, Judy
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Awkwafina, The Farewell
Best Director, Motion Picture: Sam Mendes, 1917
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Best Foreign Language Film: Parasite
Best Animated Motion Picture: Missing Link
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Original Score, Motion Picture: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
Best Original Song, Motion Picture: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, Rocketman
The Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Hanks
LIST OF WINNERS, TELEVISION
Best TV Series, Drama: Succession
Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama: Brian Cox, Succession
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama: Olivia Colman, The Crown
Best TV Series, Comedy: Fleabag
Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy: Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Best TV Movie or Limited-Series: Chernobyl
Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie: Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie: Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie: Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie: Patricia Arquette, The Act
The Carol Burnett Lifetime Achievement Award: Ellen Degeneres
Michael Idato is the culture editor-at-large of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.