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Golden Globes 2020 Recap

The 2020 movie awards season has officially kicked off with the 77th Golden Globe Awards that took place last night in Hollywood, California. In many ways it’s been a truly whirlwind year in the world of movies. Record-breaking box office numbers have often given way to a thinking of diminishing returns when it comes to mid-budget studio fare. The emergence of streaming giant Netflix from cute upstart to legitimate leading studio in the Awards season has similarly led to a shifting window of what the movie industry is currently soon to be turning into.

But above it all is this special season when we go out of our way to watch and recognize the best the art-form has to offer. The Globes traditionally have the least bearing on the rest of the Awards Season, but at their best they can serve as a head-scratchers and light-bringers to some in the field and throw a little bit of chaos into the system. Last night had it’s fair share of moments that certainly meet that criteria. Here is your recap of the biggest moments.

Credit Universal Pictures

1917’s Big Preview

In a show full of surprising winners the biggest of the night had to be Sam Mendes’ immersive war epic 1917. The film has yet to be released nationwide (it releases this Friday) but it’s hard to imagine a better show of quality proof than winning the top prizes of Best Drama and Best Director. In recent years the those two awards have been more independent than normal but the dual win certainly seem to indicated that this film is the real deal and that maybe, just maybe, we’re looking at a late surge of a film that can go all the way to the top prize. Either way, the box office haul should be much bigger for 1917 than it would have been a mere two days ago.

The Irishman Shut Out

There’s perhaps no bigger point of contention with this year’s Globes and critics than the o-fer pulled by what many consider the top dog in the movie world last year with Martin Scorcese’s three and a half hour crime epic The Irishman. Aside from star Robert De Niro being blanked from even a nomination, it was genuinely surprising to see the unreleased 1917 take the awards most had earmarked for The Irishman. Whether or not this begins an overestimation trend for Scorsese and company is still VERY MUCH to be seen as the bigger award shows would seem to skew further toward the film and it’s career affirming performances. Still, for at least one night the typical was not realized and there is a small chance it might start a chain reaction of disappointment for The Irishman.

Credit Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Best Actor Is Going To Be Packed This Year

The Globes famously split their lead performance statues into Drama and Musical/Comedy categories. This leads to some great work getting at least recognized with nominations before those seen as the leaders in the field run away with the combined nominations. But one thing is pretty clear from the Globes’ field of 10 lead actor nominees, it’s genuinely going to be hard to see which of those 10 makes it to the final 5 at the Oscars. Wins for Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Taron Egerton for Rocketman would seem to give both an inside track. But the strong field only gets more crowded with typical fare, (Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio) quirky upstarts, (Daniel Craig, Roman Griffin Davis) and sentimental comebacks (Eddie Murphy) making for some broken hearts along the way. It’s truly going to be something to see which of this incredibly strong year of lead male performances breaks through to the final show of the year.

Can Parasite Break Through?

For once, it seems like every award show is going to get Best Foreign Film correct. Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite has been the best-reviewed film of the year and it’s win at the Globes only solidifies that it’s on its way to an awards season sweep. The only question remaining is if it can do what few foreign films ever have: break through into the main categories. Nominations for Screenplay and Director at the Globes would seem to suggest it’s a possibility but the HFPA makes up the smallest block of Academy voters BY FAR meaning it’ll need a few more nods before we can call it a real possibility. Still, the quality might just win out for once in the entirety of the awards season.

Credit Annapurna Pictures

Studio Laika Takes Out The Giants

The biggest upset of the night undoubtedly went to Studio Laika’s Missing Link which pulled out the win for Best Animated Picture over animation giants Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks. Taking out the heavy hitter of Toy Story 4, Frozen II, The Lion King and How To Train Your Dragon 3 is an accomplishment that cannot be understated. The Network own Jay Hoffman called this upset in our Best Films of the Year article, but now it seems like a very real possibility of pulling some upsets this season as the Globes typically veer towards popular more than critical. Lets see how far the Cinderella story can last.

Fleabag’s Coronation Tour Continues

We truly are in the golden-est of ages when it comes to television; especially the realm of television comedy. But one show has taken over all of the award shows for the last year and it’s Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag. The Amazon Studios black comedy has racked up an impressive awards season haul that has it primed to be the show to beat for years to come (or as long as they choose to go). The show still isn’t as popular as the Mrs. Maisel’s or Barry’s of the world, but the sheer number of wins has to mean it’s about to shift into a pretty high gear of popularity moving forward.

Succession Arrives at the Drama Apex

HBO’s Succession has been at the top of every Best of the Year list, it’s performances universally seen as fantastic and its plot the kind of unpredictably fun that HBO has mastered ever since the early 2000s. Yet it still seems like the show was not primed for awards wins until this night. Taking Best Drama and collecting the Best Actor Drama award for Brian Cox signals that this power drama is not an underdog, it’s the player to beat.

Credit Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Political Messages Take Center Stage

Despite host Ricky Gervais’ pleadings in his opening monologue, it was to be expected that an election year would bring some politically charged moments. While most of these moments were typical calls for electoral participation or voicings of support for the country of Australia currently being ravaged by wildfires, two moments stood out most. Joaquin Phoenix took a slightly bizarre cadence in accepting his Best Actor Drama award in calling not only for participation but on his fellow actors to “sacrifice” more by “not taking private jets to Palm Springs” for award shows such as this. But the most poignant political moment of the night came from Best Limited Series Actress winner Michelle Williams, who eloquently voiced her support for women’s health rights while sharing her personal story of exercising those rights. Political stances aside, it was one of the most heartfelt, raw and sincere moments of the entire night.

Lifetimes of Achievement for Hanks, Degeneres

The Carol Burnett and Cecil B. DeMille Awards were again true highlights of the show as they shone their spotlights on the careers of comedian Ellen Degeneres and beloved national icon Tom Hanks. Degeneres mixed sentimentality with her typical brand of slow-building dry humor than had the audience in the palm of her hands. But it was the breadth and celebration of Hanks’ iconic career that is truly what these awards are at their best. The fact that it’s for an actor nowhere near done gives us a great sense of a biography not yet fully written.

Jeremy is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of the Front Row Network. He also hosts Network show "Are You Afraid of the Podcast?" with his wife Sara Baltusevich.
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