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Photo: Joaquin Phoenix wins the Golden Globes for Best Actor in Joker/Eric Charbonneau/Warner Bros

The 77th Golden Globe Awards took place on January 5, 2020. The annual award ceremony honoring the best in film and television was broadcast live by NBC from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. The ceremony recognizes achievements in 25 categories, 14 in film and 11 in domestic television. As with many award shows, this year’s broadcast didn’t shy away from political gripes and controversial jabs at Hollywood’s Elite. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association coaxed British comedian Ricky Gervais to host for a record-setting fifth time. The coarse comedian known for his crude humor had made it very clear-this would be his final time hosting the ceremony. Going into this gig with the finish line in sight may be the reason for his offhand jokes and impudent punchlines riddled throughout the evening, most notably during the opening monologue. The latest trend in producing award shows has been to forego appointing a host altogether, leaving the show at the helm of presenters and perfectly-timed video transitions. The Oscars left the host position vacant in 2019 and saw a healthy 12% increase in viewership. The Emmys followed suit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the Oscars will go host-less again in 2020. With Gervais candidly vacating the Golden Globe host seat, will the ceremony air host-free in 2021? What’s to come for the future of award shows? 

Winners and Upsets

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was awarded the best picture in the comedy/musical category. The film earned three awards at this year’s ceremony. Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker, aka the Clown Prince of Crime earned the actor an award for best actor in a motion picture-drama. His speech at the podium while accepting his award called attention to the hypocrisy of Hollywood- to the bemusement of his peers. Phoenix called for less private jet use and more climate change awareness, but was he being hypocritical as well? His saving grace is that he included himself in his takedown, saying that he will try to do better himself. During his scathing opening monologue, Host Ricky Gervais slammed celebrites for advocating for certain causes but not actually knowing much about them. Could he have been referring to speeches made by actors in the past, such as those similar to Phoenix’s winner’s speech? 

Related: A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Marlon Brando & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond

Aside from the somewhat awkwardly received speech, Joker earned two awards during the evening. If critics are correct, Joker will have another big night at the Oscars ceremony on February 9, 2020. Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker was easily the most acclaimed and beloved lead performance of 2019. It will be interesting to see if the Oscar winners will mirror those who won at the Golden Globes. Though its nominations still underscore the changing Hollywood landscape, Netflix only earned two of the seventeen awards it was nominated for. Netflix has the single-most award nominations of all film studios. Sony Pictures was the top winning film studio of the night, picking up three awards for its film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. HBO was the top winning TV studio of the night, picking up wins for Succession, including best drama, and Chernobyl. With Netflix winning only 11% of the awards they were nominated for, the evening served as a symbolic pushback from traditional Hollywood against the newer streaming studios threatening their turf.  

2020 Award Season: What’s To Come?

The Golden Globes are the unofficial kickoff for Hollywood’s rounds of award ceremonies. Since they air at the very beginning of the year, the Globes set a tone for the rest of the ceremonies to follow. If any message can be pocketed from this year’s show, it is the message that Hollywood is just as controversial, unpredictable, and entertaining as it has always been. With award shows pursuing the non-host approach, the broadcasts are sticking closer to their allotted times and focus more energy and time on the films they are celebrating. When it comes to award shows, it’s a guarantee the evening will feature political commentary, calls for climate change reform, and some good ol’ fashioned teasing. A surefire guarantee is that award shows will continue to entertain the masses with a quantifiable measurement of success- ratings. Here’s to a success, fun, a profitable 2020 award show season. We hope to see a plethora of females in Hollywood earning the praise and recognition they deserve. A special congratulations is in order for Awkwafina, the first Asian American female to win the best actress award in Golden Globes history. The film and television industry is full of some of the most talented, artistic individuals on the planet. Pass the popcorn and let’s keep Hollywood thriving by celebrating those who bring the magic of cinema to life. Congratulations to all of 2020’s nominees and winners! 

Now let us see what BAFTA and the Oscars have for us.

​By Raquel Kokkoros

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