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Golden Globes 2021: a retrospective

The Golden Globes took place on 1 March, ushering in the 2021 awards season. A period usually full to the brim with chat show appearances, red carpet appearances, and theatres packed with celebrities. However, this year, we just got a lot of Zoom calls. But I for one was thrilled that this event would go ahead in some form or another, partly to add a little showbiz to my life, and to give the artists who’ve kept me going for the past year some recognition for entertaining a world locked in place.

However, like anything that comes with a winner, the Golden Globes came with its controversy from the moment they were announced. From the lack of diversity in nominees to Sia’s highly offensive Music gaining a best picture nod, people were bound to have a strong mix of emotions come awards night. I shall share my highlights of the ceremony, attempting to find the best in a less than ideal situation.

A highlight of this for me was how they directly addressed controversy within nominations, openly expressing their disdain at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who vote on the awards

The show was hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who somehow managed to maintain their chemistry despite being on opposite coasts of the USA, presenting to groups of first responders of the pandemic. The opening monologue was fun and, as expected, full of quarantine references. A highlight of this for me was how they directly addressed controversy within nominations, openly expressing their disdain at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who vote on the awards.

As my latest binge-watch, I was proud to see royal drama The Crown take home an award in every category it was nominated in. I was particularly pleased to see the incredibly deserving Josh O’ Connor and Emma Corrin take home best acting awards for their electrifying performances as Prince Charles and Princess Diana respectively, which were truly some of the highlights of the latest season. 

Another highlight would be Jason Sudeikis’ reaction and speech after winning Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Styled in a casual, tie-dye hoodie (not unlike the majority of the audience likely were, still in the loungewear they bought to celebrate this “two-week lockdown”), the actor delivered a rambling, slightly confusing speech about his role in Apple TV + show Ted Lasso. In response to this, fellow nominee Don Cheadle jokingly gestured for him to finish up his speech, creating a nice sense of solidarity and humour in times in which everyone feels so separate and isolated. 

The most emotional moment of the night was, without a doubt, Chadwick Boseman’s posthumous win for Best Actor in a Drama for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. After the inspirational Black Panther actor lost his private battle with colon cancer in 2020, his widow accepted the award, giving an emotional and resonant speech, and reminding us all what a talented and kind individual Boseman was. 

Overall, the Golden Globes was an enjoyable night, and the most controversial nominations ended up walking away empty-handed – to most of our relief

Of course, being online, it was only a matter of time until someone found themselves muted. This unfortunate incident occurred to actor Daniel Kaluuya who couldn’t be heard as he accepted his award for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah. Thankfully, the problem was fixed just as the ceremony was about to move on, and Kaluuya managed to get a few words in. 

Overall, the Golden Globes was an enjoyable night, and the most controversial nominations ended up walking away empty-handed – to most of our relief. Whilst we’re never going to have the best night of our lives on video chat, the world is getting better at making it a little more interesting, making me hopeful for the rest of awards season. Here’s to next year, and hopefully a chance for the presenters to be in the same room as one another!

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