Golden Globes 2024 overview
The red carpet was nicely starry with big guns, old and new, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Dame Helen Mirren, Jennifer, Lawrence, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone, Timothée Chalamet gracing it. The director presence was high level too with the likes of Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Greta Gerwig bringing the films of the year to prominence again. In Bradley Cooper the A list stardom and director talent merged as he championed Maestrowhich was produced by both Spielberg and Scorsese.
The Fashion was the usual mix of hits and misses. Hits included the evergreen JLo in a rose strewn, pink blush number, Margot Robbie resplendent in 1977, ‘Superstar Barbie’ hot pink. Rosamund Pike, staying in Saltburn character, straddled the hit and miss line in the same ensemble; an elegant 1950s vintage black dress topped by a headpiece that resembled an upside down fishbowl.
Misses included several desperately unsexy half dresses with weird shapes cut out of the fabric in strange places or at the other end, dresses with mountains of fabric on already substantial bodies. Da’Vine Joy Randolph ultimately took home the Supporting Actress award but her very low cut dress displayed her own two Golden Globes almost to the point of indecency. Billie Eilish added another gong to her packed mantelpiece, winning the best song for What was I made for from Barbie and accepted it wearing what can only, charitably, be described as Billy Bunter’s cast offs.
(You will note that I refer to the wins as being for the ‘best’ in a category. Officially the Globes did not use that term but let’s face it, if you win out of a shortlist group of contenders you are being selected as the best of the bunch).
The host, Jo Koh flopped hard. He’s not exactly a household name and with this appearance is unlikely to be one anytime soon. His delivery was nervous and apologetic and therefore his, already weak, jokes fell flatter than a French crepe. There were a couple of jabs at Harry and Meghan Markle (Imelda Staunton was so good playing the Queen the Netflix series The Crown Harry called her up asking for money! And later, ‘Harry and Megan are being paid millions by Netflix for doing absolutely nothing’ – the latter led to the camera panning straight to the Netflix CEO). The tame hits did land because there’s an element of truth in such jokes but they were nothing as brutal or memorable as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s blows against James Cameron and George Clooney or Ricky Gervais’ body whacks against the entire packed room. Fey, Poehler and Gervais were badly missed.
The ceremony itself was the expected mix of funny presenters (take a bow Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell) and those with absolutely cringeworthy lines they delivered badly (pretty much everyone else). As an aside, can I say, if I never hear another “joke “relating to race, it will be too soon.
Oppenheimer was the big winner of the night and is now the film to beat. Robert Downey Jr. started its victory lap by winning best Supporting Actor, deservedly so. His funny winner’s speech and general wit will stand him in good stead over the season. Awards are won almost as much on great speeches and likeability on stage at these events as anything the star has done on screen– how else can we explain certain Oscar wins last year? Ouch!
Cillian Murphy started his Oscar bid by winning best Actor (drama). His iconic Thomas Shelby inexplicably garnered him no television awards, so this film awards season will be a sweet reward. His wife frantically trying to wipe the congratulatory kiss lipstick off his face, before he went up on stage, was a cute moment.
Christopher Nolan finally got to climb the podium for his best Director award. He pointed out the only other time he’d been up on that stage was to collect a posthumous award for Heath Ledger when the latter won best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, which had been a bittersweet moment.
This evening proved happier for him when Oppenheimer was crowned best Motion Picture (drama). It must now be in prime place to take the Bafta and the Oscar for best film. Oppenheimer is become death. The killer of the hopes of other films of winning the big awards.
Killers of the Flower Moon, however, will be hoping that all is not lost yet. It will seek to mount a challenge by building momentum via the upcoming guilds awards and by relying on Lily Gladstone to continue her run of Actress awards. She has been campaigning hard and her representation narrative will help her, certainly at the US awards shows. Bafta, meanwhile, may well prefer to reward Carey Mulligan or Sandra Huller for their respective superb turns in Maestro and Anatomy of a Fall.
Barbie won the inaugural Cinematic and Box Office achievement award. Rightly so. The film made over $1 billion at the box office and was a cultural phenomenon. It was a genuine event movie with millions making the effort to go to screenings in pink in homage to a plastic doll brought to life by Margot Robbie and a stellar supporting cast in the shape of America Ferreira, Ryan Reynolds and Kate McKinnon.
The Barbenheimer double bill, too, was marketing genius. How else would a three hour, talky film about physics have also almost made a billion?
Taylor Swift’s Eras tour film, also nominated in this category, ran Barbie a close second, if not with total box office, then certainly with similar cultural impact. Her unimpressed reaction (taking a stern sip of her drink) to a weak joke by the host about her, has already become an internet meme.
It was good to see the ever excellent but often overlooked Paul Giamatti win best Supporting actor in a comedy or musical. Meanwhile Bradley Cooper must be wondering what he has to do to win an award.
But overall, the Globes have set us up for an interesting trophy season.