LOS ANGELES – In a night of upsets, the stars were not all in alignment on Sunday (Jan 6) at the Golden Globes ceremony for early favourite A Star Is Born.
While its song Shallow picked up Best Original Song (Movie), its director Bradley Cooper and star Lady Gaga were snubbed for Best Director and Best Actress honours.
Cooper also could not prevent Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) from being the champion in the Best Actor in a Movie (Drama) stakes.
Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, pulled off another major surprise, walking away with Best Drama Film, besting A Star Is Born, box office superhero hit Black Panther, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and romantic drama If Beale Street Could Talk.
Alfonso Cuaron was also on song, picking up his third Globe for directing Roma, a deeply evocative, semi-autobiographical paean to growing up in 1970s Mexico.
He had won earlier in the night for Best Foreign Film.
It was a big night too for Sandra Oh, who as well as hosting her first Globe ceremony was named Best TV Drama Actress for BBC America thriller Killing Eve.
Oh, who was born in Canada of Asian descent, had earlier paid tribute to a plethora of nominated films and TV shows featuring black and Asian actors and directors, including Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman.
“I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change,” said Oh, who also won a Globe in 2006 for best supporting actress for her role in TV series Grey’s Anatomy.
“Right now, this moment is real. Because I see you… all these faces of change. And now so will everyone else. Crazy Rich Asians is nominated tonight. It is the first studio film with an Asian lead since Ghost In The Shell (2017) and Aloha (2015).”
The joke was aimed at white actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, who have been slammed for playing characters of Asian descent.
After Oh’s joke, Stone cheerfully screamed “I’m sorry” from the audience.
Oh’s hosting gig is itself a barrier breaker. She is the first Asian woman to front a major awards show in the United States. But she did not get carried away, noting: “I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different. It probably will be.”
Oh and co-host Andy Samberg opted for a positive vibe, in contrast to the political barbs and sharp jokes, often directed at American President Donald Trump, that have marked recent awards shows.
Samberg also paid tribute to the diversity among the films up for awards.
“And they are not just here tonight because they resonated with audiences Hollywood often ignores,” he said. “They are here because they told stories that resonated with everyone. And that is truly a beautiful thing.”
Globes for supporting acting in movies went to two African-Americans – Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Mahershala Ali (Green Book).
But there were no prizes for hit romantic-comedy Crazy Rich Asians, the first Major Hollywood film in 25 years with an all-Asian principal cast.
Its leading actress Constance Wu and three other nominees were edged out by Olivia Colman for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) while it lost to Green Book for Best Movie (Musical or Comedy) in a field of five entries.
The Globes, organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are the first major showbusiness awards in the countdown to the Oscars on Feb 24.
In television, the big winners were Cold War spy thriller The Americans, new comedy The Kominsky Method and limited series The Assassination Of Gianni Versace.
Comedian Carol Burnett proved her wit was still razor-sharp at 85 when she received an award – named after her – for lifetime achievement in television.
“Does this mean I get to accept it every year?” she joked.
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