Golden Globes: Honours widely spread around, overturning predictions of Netflix domination

(Clockwise from top left) Director Sam Mendes, actress Awkwafina, actor Brad Pitt and musicians Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who picked up awards at this year's Golden Globes.
(Clockwise from top left) Director Sam Mendes, actress Awkwafina, actor Brad Pitt and musicians Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who picked up awards at this year's Golden Globes.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AP) - There was good news for Asia at the 77th Golden Globes.

Bong Joon-ho's Parasite was named Best Foreign Language Film, the first South Korean movie to win that accolade at the Globes, while Awkwafina, star of hit indie family drama The Farewell, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best actress in a comedy or musical.

Awkwafina said of her historic win: "If anything, if I fall upon hard times, I can sell this."

She also added: "It feels incredible. There’s also another feeling that you are going to do more. I hope this is just the beginning."

And Bong said in his acceptance speech: “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” 

The 77th Golden Globes were meant to be a coronation for Netflix.

Instead, a pair of big-screen epics took top honours on Sunday (Jan 5), as Sam Mendes' technically dazzling World War I tale 1917 won best picture, drama, and Quentin Tarantino's radiant Los Angeles fable Once Upon A Time In Hollywood took best film, comedy or musical.

The wins for 1917 were a surprise, besting such favourites as Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story (the leading nominee with six nods) and Martin Scorsese's The Irishman.

Both are acclaimed Netflix releases but they collectively took home just one award, for Laura Dern's supporting performance as a lawyer in Marriage Story.

The Irishman was entirely shut out.

Once Upon a Time had an easier path than the more competitive drama category.

Brad Pitt won for best supporting actor, padding his front-runner status for the Oscars.

"I wanted to bring my mum, but I couldn't because any woman I stand next to, they say I am dating, so it'd just be awkward," he said.

Ricky Gervais, hosting the ceremony for the fifth time, began the evening with an expletive-laden plea against hypocrisy, telling winners to stick to thanking their agent and their god. But throughout the night, those who took the stage used the moment to speak on matters including the currently raging Australian wildfires, destabilisation in Iran, women's rights, and even the importance of being on time.

Gervais also argued that Netflix had taken over Hollywood, given the streaming service's commanding 34 nominations, in film and TV, coming into the Globes.

But the awards were widely spread around among traditional Hollywood studios, indie labels like A24, cable heavyweights like HBO and relative newcomers like Hulu.

 
 
 
 

As always at the Globes, there were surprises.

Mendes took best director ahead of Scorsese, Tarantino and Bong. "There is not one director in the world who is not in the shadow of Martin Scorsese," a plainly surprised Mendes said.

No other category has been more competitive this year than best actor.

On Sunday, Joaquin Phoenix won for his loose-limbed performance in the divisive but hugely popular Joker.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin won the evening's most heavyweight battle, besting Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Their composition - I'm Gonna Love Me Again - won best song.

"It's the first time I've ever won an award with him," said John of his songwriting partner. "Ever."

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