In the 78th Annual Golden Globes — who won the seven major film categories and who was wrongfully overlooked.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner: Daniel Kaluuya in “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Rising to fame two years prior for his lead role in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” Daniel Kaluuya took home the Globe for his supporting performance in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” In this recent release, Kaluuya morphs into the real-life character of Fred Hampton, civil rights activist, revolutionist and leader of the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter throughout the late 1960s.
A lighthearted moment of the night, which was held virtually with the exception of a limited number of front-line workers who were invited to attend in-person, was when Kaluuya accidentally muted himself during his speech — something all of us know too well. The situation was quickly rectified and Kaluuya’s win opened the night off in a positive fashion.
Who should have won: Daniel Kaluuya
Though most moviegoers — myself included — have not accessed the film yet, I get the sense that the Hollywood Foreign Press nailed this selection. “Judas and the Black Messiah” opened to rave reviews, scoring a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive 86% on Metacritic. Additionally, the film performed very well at the Sundance Film Festival in January. In terms of Kaluuya in particular, a simple watch of the trailer illustrates his tangible impact on the movie and full-fledged dedication to recreating Fred Hampton. Something tells me this first Golden Globe will not be his last.
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Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner: Jodie Foster in “The Mauritanian”
The first of several upsets, which can really be chalked up as standard Golden Globe moments, was Jodie Foster’s win for “The Mauritanian.” This was the lifelong actor and director’s third Golden Globes victory out of nine career nominations. As for the movie itself, “The Mauritanian” is a legal drama that has received a steady diet of mixed reviews.
While it is an unlikely candidate for a Best Picture nomination, it is yet to be seen as to whether Foster’s win will bring the film some much needed publicity. Overall, Supporting Actress is quickly becoming the category to watch this year given its variability.
Who should have won: Amanda Seyfried in “Mank”
This category is very up in the air. I think the problem lies in the critical reviews for each movie. Nearly all of this year’s nominees for Supporting Actress originate from films that weren’t highly regarded. For instance, Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy.” While she delivers a venerable performance, the overall incompetence of the film really hurts her chances. “Mank,” however, is the exception, and I think Amanda Seyfried’s performance is worth commending.
Screenplay of a Motion Picture
Winner: Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Sunday, Aaron Sorkin tied the Golden Globes category record by notching his third win for Screenplay of a Motion Picture. His previous two came for “The Social Network,” in 2010 and “Steve Jobs,” in 2016. Yet something tells me this one is the sweetest of them all, considering that as director, producer and screenwriter, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is entirely the product of Sorkin’s great mind. Once again, his inimitable approach to character development and dialogue shines through earning him another Golden Globe.
Who should have won: Aaron Sorkin
Three things are certain in life — death, taxes and Aaron Sorkin screenplays being better than the field. Well, I guess four if you count the Badgers triumphing over the Gophers.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Winner: Andra Day in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Singer turned actress Andra Day accepted her first Golden Globe for her portrayal of American vocalist Billie Holiday in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” This was unmistakably the upset of the night. The Globes, more specifically the voters, the Hollywood Foreign Press, have a tendency to do the unthinkable when it comes to the night’s biggest awards — Bohemian Rhapsody winning Best Picture in 2019 comes to mind — but a shake-up in the acting categories was an unprecedented move.
Day surpassed household names such as Frances McDormand and Viola Davis, as well as a surging campaign for Carey Mulligan, to ultimately take home the win. In fact, GoldDerby experts gave her the smallest chance of victory — garnering just short of 15%. This was an all-around shocker, yet it begs the question whether Day can not only lock up a nomination at the Academy Awards but pose a threat to win.
Who should have won: Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman”
Despite Andra Day’s upset, I still believe it to be a three-horse race. Carey Mulligan, Frances McDormand and Viola Davis gave three equally great, Oscar-caliber performances in three very highly acclaimed films, so I think this one could come down to sensibility.
While it would be historic, does it make sense to give Frances McDormand her third Oscar and second in just a few years? And is it fair to give Viola Davis her second Oscar — potentially taking away from Chadwick Boseman who clearly overshadows her in the film?
No. That’s why I am rolling with Carey Mulligan for her work in “Promising Young Woman.” This is a 2020 early-release film that, through widespread public support, has picked up steam in recent weeks. If there’s anywhere “Promising Young Woman” could and should win — it’s with Mulligan. Though she should have won the Golden Globe, expect her to be a legitimate contender at the Oscars.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Winner: Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Chadwick Boseman was posthumously awarded his first Golden Globe for his portrayal of Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” For me, this was the moment of the night. His wife accepted the accolade on his behalf and delivered a tear-jerking speech. This was a career-defining performance by him that really showcased his great skills and dedication to the craft. I think I speak for all moviegoers when I regret his absence from the Globes, but deep down I know that he’s looking down on us with that familiar smile.
Who should have won: Chadwick Boseman
Best Director of a Motion Picture
Winner: Chloe Zhao in “Nomadland”
In another big storyline, Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao became just the second woman to win the Golden Globe for achievement in directing. Every aspect of “Nomadland” draws from Zhao’s creativity. In fact, the nascent filmmaker produced, directed, wrote and edited this Oscar frontrunner, developing a masterful piece of cinema on a modest $4 million budget.
“Nomadland” is an incredible achievement that — whether it wins the grand prize at the Oscars or not — will go down as a movie that inspires people to get out their cameras and explore their creative side.
Who should have won: Chloe Zhao
Zhao is seriously at the top of her game with “Nomadland.” Every scene seems perfectly and purposely crafted. The widespread shots of the American West are a sight to see. Moreover, Zhao’s unique style of editing worked in harmony with the film’s characters and subject matter. Given the critical acclaim for the film, the merit of Zhao’s work and the glaring opportunity to resolve controversy in the directing category, I think this was a no-brainer selection.
Best Motion Picture — Drama
As mentioned previously, the Hollywood Foreign Press tends to have a flare for the dramatic when it comes to handing out their most coveted prize. But not this year. Searchlight Picture’s “Nomadland” continued its impressive streak with a victory for Best Motion Picture.
After taking the top prize at arguably the two most prestigious film festivals, Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, “Nomadland” was vaulted into the frontrunner position and hasn’t wavered since. Adding a Golden Globes to the list of achievements only fuels its momentum as the SAGs, Critics Choice Awards, BAFTAs and the Academy Awards await.
Who Should Have Won: “One Night in Miami”
Though it was a long shot from the start, Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” feels like a film that can — and should — claim the top prize. In her directorial debut, King makes all the right choices in this play adaptation. The dialogue is extremely thought-provoking, the acting ensemble is brilliant and above all, it’s a powerful, salient film for the time we find ourselves in as a society. While it may be off to a slow start, do not be surprised if “One Night in Miami” makes a late season-push.