Golden Globes: Host Ricky Gervais opens show, not afraid to make fun of big names

Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan 5, 2020. PHOTO: AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) - True to his reputation, host Ricky Gervais opened the 77th Golden Globes with a mix of evisceration and exasperation, pretending to confuse Joe Pesci for Baby Yoda, calling the Hollywood Foreign Press Association racist and declaring Netflix's takeover of Hollywood.

Gervais, who has a series on Netflix, said he could summarise the three-hour awards show with a simple phrase: "Well done, Netflix. You win."

The streaming giant came into the Globes with a commanding 34 nods: 17 in film categories and 17 in television categories.

Hosting the Globes for the fifth time, Gervais did not mince words, lampooning Leonardo DiCaprio's dating life and joking that Martin Scorsese is not tall enough to ride the attractions at a theme park - the metaphor The Irishman film-maker has used to describe today's Hollywood.

The first award of the night went, fittingly, to a streaming service series.

Ramy Youssef won Best Actor in a TV Series Comedy or Musical for his Hulu show Ramy.

Best Actor in a Limited Series went to Russell Crowe for Showtime series The Loudest Voice.

The Golden Globes could be unusually influential this year. The roughly 90 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have traditionally had little in common with the nearly 9,000 industry professionals who make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

But the condensed timeframe of this year's award season (the Oscars are on Feb 9) brings the Globes and the Oscars closer. Balloting for Oscar nominations began on Thursday (Jan 2). Voters were sure to be watching.

Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story leads all movies with six nominations, including best film, drama. Scorsese's The Irishman, with five, is up for the same category.

The box-office smash Joker is a wild card.

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The path is more certain for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which is competing in the comedy or musical category.

It could easily take home more trophies than any other movie, with possible wins for Brad Pitt, DiCaprio and Tarantino's script.

Tarantino is also up for best director, though he faces formidable competition in Scorsese and Parasite's Bong Joon-ho.

The dearth of nominations for female film-makers stoked more backlash than anything else at this year's Globes.

Only men were nominated for best director, and none of the 10 films up for best picture is directed by a woman.

On the TV side, series like Fleabag, The Crown, Succession and Chernobyl are among the favourites.

Tom Hanks, also a nominee for his supporting turn as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Carol Burnett Award, a similar honorary award given for television accomplishment, will go to Ellen DeGeneres.


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