With pull-no-punches Ricky Gervais hosting for a fifth time, the 77th annual Golden Globes was guaranteed to be a rollercoaster ride. Here are the best and worst moments of the night.
Taron Egerton, Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Beating out heavily favored competition such as Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”), Egerton gave a humble and warm acceptance speech for this richly deserved prize that should go a long way to boosting his chances for an Oscar nomination. The guy not only did a great job singing Elton John’s hits but also wearing his outrageous costumes.
Tom Hanks’ acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award
Despite his vast wealth and long career of hits, Hanks came across as a humble guy who learned from all the great actors he worked with over the years. He choked up during his speech and even had time for a great joke: “How many of you have a clip from ‘The Love Boat’?” Everyone has to start somewhere.
Ricky Gervais’s monologue
Gleefully tasteless, Gervais’ monologue targeted pedophile movies, the Hollywood Foreign Press, the dominance of Netflix and the current diversity craze, saying that the In Memoriam segment was canned because the list of the dead was “mostly white people.” He also cautioned the starry crowd: “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”
The host reserved special vitriol for the misbegotten film adaptation of “Cats,” but knew he was crossing the line with a particularly vulgar reference to Dame Judi Dench. Still, everyone in the audience seemed to be a good sport about his barbs — or they really are very good actors.
Renée Zellweger’s win for Best Actress, Movie Drama
Although “Judy” opened in September and has been overshadowed by movies that opened later in the year and with much bigger publicity budgets, Zellweger’s raw and touching performance as the legendary singer/actress was unforgettable. Her win now cements the actress’ status as Oscar frontrunner. It’s the comeback story of the year and offers Hollywood a way to atone for the monstrous treatment studio head Louis B. Mayer gave to eternal star Garland.
Best Original Score Winner
Hildur Gudnadóttir was the first woman to win the Best Original Score as a solo nominee, for the score of “The Joker.” She beat out Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”), Randy Newman (“Marriage Story”), Thomas Newman (“1917”) and Daniel Pemberton (“Motherless Brooklyn”). The last time a woman won the award was in 2001, when Lisa Gerrard shared the honor with Hans Zimmer for “Gladiator.”
Joaquin Phoenix’s acceptance speech
Phoenix’s performance in “The Joker” has been universally praised — so it wasn’t a surprise that the controversial actor won the top prize. But what was he on? He was incoherent, babbling and mostly bleeped-out. He must have picked up on the audience’s confusion because he hurriedly said he was grateful and honored to win, but it was still a bit too late. Here’s hoping Phoenix doesn’t plan to sound like he’s doing outtakes from “The Iceman Cometh” at the Oscars.
The Hollywood Foreign Press must have been awfully pleased with itself when it gave multiple nominations to “Fleabag,” “The Act” and “Fosse/Verdon,” but when personnel from those series — Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Patricia Arquette and Michelle Williams, respectively — won Globes to match the Emmys they won in September, the awards had absolutely no dramatic impact. They were just copycats. The Golden Globes used to be at the forefront of the awards season when it came to television. Now, it’s the caboose.
When Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston presented their Golden Globe, they had to walk up to the stage in a room of very tightly positioned tables. The trek felt like it took forever. Why weren’t they backstage, like presenters usually are at these shows? Nominees heavily favored to win, such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Brian Cox and Michelle Williams, were seated in the rear of the Beverly Hilton ballroom, no doubt so the camera could gaze longingly at more famous nominees who were never called to the stage. At least at the Oscars the nominees with good odds are seated in the first few rows. Makes for a smoother, more professional production.