Nomadland, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and The Crown were among the big winners at the 2021 Golden Globes.
Nomadland picked up Best Motion Picture Drama, while fillmmaker Chloé Zhao won Best Director, becoming the first woman to win that prize since Barbra Streisand in 1983 for Yentl. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm also won two trophies, Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for star Sacha Baron Cohen.
Other big film prizes went to Andra Day, who won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and Chadwick Boseman, who was posthumously awarded Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
In the world of television, The Crown, Schitt’s Creek and The Queen’s Gambit carried the night. The Crown won Best TV Series Drama for the second time, while stars Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin won Best Actor and Actress in a TV Drama for their portrayals of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Gillian Anderson won Best Supporting Actress for playing Margaret Thatcher. Schitt’s Creek, meanwhile, won Best TV Musical or Comedy, while Catherine O’Hara picked up Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy. And The Queen’s Gambit won Best Limited Series, while star Anya Taylor-Joy upset the likes of Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett for Best Actress in a Limited Series.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the primarily virtual Golden Globes, broadcasting live from New York City and Los Angeles, respectively. Despite the distance, the comedians’ chemistry was on point as ever as they breezed through a monologue that lightly roasted the nominees (save the controversial Music, which was given the scorched-earth treatment), while saving the sharpest barbs for the Globes themselves. Along with stressing the disclaimer that all awards shows, to some extent, are scams — “Invented by Big Red Carpet,” Poehler joked — they highlighted the recent revelation that the 87-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association has no black members.
“The point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important,” Fey said. “And there are no black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize HFPA maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonalds, but you gotta change that.”
(The HFPA, for its part, made a big show later on of promising to rectify its diversity problem, though it remains to be seen exactly what changes will be put in place.)
Perhaps more than any other awards show, the Golden Globes rely heavily on the live audience factor: While awards are nice, few things are more engaging than the possibilities that arise when hundreds of celebrities are stuck in a room together with an open bar while the whole thing is broadcast live on national television. There were, however, some inspired Zoom moments that captured a bit of that feel: Olivia Colman oohing and ahhing over Sarah Paulson’s dog and Emma Corrin’s cat; Cynthia Nixon appearing with a life-size cut out of Bernie Sanders at the inauguration behind her; and David Fincher throwing back shots after Mank lost Best Screenplay and he lost Best Director.
And of course there were bits as well that tried to make the whole occasion feel a bit less surreal. O’Hara had her husband play wrap-it-up music on his phone while she accepted her award. And to capture that classic, inebriated, going-on-way-too-long Golden Globes vibe, Keenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph stepped in to play a pair of deranged songwriters accepting the award for “Least Original Song in a Telefilm Dramedy or Comma.”
As for actual awards, and actual award winners, Daniel Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah (in the show’s one technical hiccup, Kaluuya appeared to be on mute when he began to give his speech but was ultimately able to deliver it successfully). Other top film winners were Rosamund Pike, who won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for I Care a Lot, and Jodie Foster, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for The Mauritanian.
Disney and Pixar’s Soul picked up a pair of trophies, Best Animated Film and Best Original Score for Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Diane Warren won her second Golden Globe for Best Original Song, sharing the award with Niccolò Agliardi and Laura Pausini for “Io sì (Seen)” from The Life Ahead. The Trial of the Chicago 7 won Best Screenplay, while Threatening was awarded Best Foreign Language Film
Jason Sudeikis notched probably the most unexpected win of the night, picking up Best Actor in a TV Musical or Comedy for Ted Lasso (his incredulous reaction was topped only by his tie-dye hoodie). Elsewhere, John Boyega won Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for his turn in the Small Axe installment, Red, White and Blue, and Mark Ruffalo won Best Actor in a Limited Series for This Much is True.
The night also featured two honorary prizes for television and film. The Carol Burnett Award went to television legend Norman Lear, while the Cecil B. DeMille Award was given to actress and activist Jane Fonda.