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The 2020 Golden Globes Surprise Factory

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association kicked off the 2020 Awards season with their Golden Globes night, and it was marked by a bevy of surprises and wins that came out from far out left field

Hollywood loves to party, and that was more than evident as the Awards season for this 2020 got underway with the Golden Globes. An affair of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the night was highlighted by two very deserving individuals being honored—Tom Hanks for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and Ellen deGeneres sitting beside Carol, and taking home, the Carol Burnett Award for Achievement in Television. I loved Charlize Theron introducing Tom Hanks and making it very personal, recounting her love for Splash, and auditioning for That Thing You Do!

Hosted by Ricky Gervais for the fifth time, the night was rocked by several major surprises, big winners and unexpected losers. Coming into the night, garnering the most nominations were Netflix’s dynamic duo of Marriage Story (6 nominations) and The Irishman (5 nominations). But at the end of the night, The Irishman was heading home without a single statuette, while Marriage Story could only boast of Laura Dern taking Best Supporting Actress. Along with The Two Popes, this meant that Netflix was heavily present throughout the Awards night, but could only carve out one significant win.

The winners we saw coming from a mile away were Parasite as Best Foreign Language Film, and there were the early-front running in Best Acting in a Drama of Joaquin Phoenix for The Joker, and Renee Zellweger for Judy coming through. In television, Amazon’s Fleabag and HBO’s Succession and Chernobyl have to be declared the medium’s big winners, taking home multiple awards, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Best Actress in Fleabag, and Brian Cox as Best Actor for Succession. Again, Netflix was leaving the venue without copping a significant win.

Olivia Colman, Tom Hanks, and Renée Zellweger | @goldenglobes

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has to be regarded as another big winner; Tarantino winning for Best Screenplay, Brad Pitt is Best Actor Musical or Comedy, and the film copping the Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. This off-tangent love poem of a film to the Hollywood of 1969 obviously struck a chord with the Hollywood Foreign Press.

As for the surprises, they can be classified as minor surprises, and earth-shaking ones. The Musical or Comedy categories had their fill of surprises, as Best Actor went to Taron Egerton for Rocketman, and Best Actress was Awkwafina for The Farewell. Personally, I loved how the Globes recognized that if they had given Rami Malek the nod last year for Bohemian Rhapsody, Egerton had pulled off a more difficult act by singing as well as acting in Rocketman. Awkwafina winning was great for diversity and plurality.

In the Animated Motion Picture category, Laika’s Missing Link pulled out the rug from under early favorites and ‘biggies’ The Lion King, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Without a doubt, the Laika people will be pinching themselves in the days to come, making sure it’s not one wonderful dream win. I loved Missing Link, and it was my personal favorite just on the sheer strength of it being the only original in the list. Laika fully deserves the recognition.

And the biggest surprise has to be Sam Mendes taking home Best Director for 1917, and the film romping away with Best Picture Drama. Pitted against The Irishman, Marriage Story, The Two Popes and The Joker, I doubt any money was on 1917 to steal the prize, but it did! Watch the upcoming BAFTA try and create momentum for this British Director and Film heading to the Oscars of February 9.

Luckily for us, there is a February 5 screening date set for 1917 here in Manila. And no news yet regarding Judy. Other personal highlights include Michelle Williams talking about a woman’s choice, and the reminders about Australia and their bush fires. My fashion lowlights would have to mention Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett—designers going to town at the expense of the stars they’re dressing up. And I know not everyone will agree with me, but I really didn’t know what these two were thinking.

With the Golden Globes done and dusted, we can look forward to the SAG Awards of January 19, and the BAFTA of February 2; before the big one of the Academy Awards on February 9. And if past years are a fount of acquired wisdom, the Golden Globes have never been a real indicator of how the Oscars will behave. It’s more the Guilds that work as signifiers. Oscars nominees will be announced on January 13.

The film awards season is truly upon us.

Photos via @goldenglobes