The Greek Presence at the 77th Annual Golden Globes

January 7, 2020

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 77th Annual Golden Globes were held on January 5 with some surprises among the winners, concern for the Australian bush fires, and a Greek presence among nominees, presenters, and attendees.

This year’s Golden Globes were meant to be a coronation for Netflix whose chief content officer is Greek-American Ted Sarandos. Instead, a pair of big-screen epics took top honors Sunday, as Sam Mendes’ technically dazzling World War I tale 1917 won Best Film, Drama, and Quentin Tarantino’s radiant Los Angeles fable Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood won Best Film, Comedy or Musical.

The wins for 1917 were a surprise, besting such favorites as Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, the leading nominee with six nods, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Both are acclaimed Netflix releases but collectively took home just one award, for Laura Dern’s supporting performance as a divorce attorney in Marriage Story. The Irishman was shut out.

1917 also won best director for Mendes. The film was made in sinuous long takes, giving the impression that the movie unfolds in one lengthy shot.

“I hope this means that people will turn up and see this on the big screen, the way it was intended,” said Mendes, whose film expands nationwide Friday.

Though set around the 1969 Manson murders, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood was classified a comedy and had an easier path to victory than the more competitive drama category. Brad Pitt won for best supporting actor, his first acting Globe since winning in 1996 for 12 Monkeys, padding his front-runner status for the Oscars. Tarantino also won best screenplay.

“I wanted to bring my mom, but I couldn’t because any woman I stand next to they say I am dating so it’d just be awkward,” Pitt said.

Pitt’s ex-wife, Greek-American Jennifer Aniston was among the nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series- Drama for The Morning Show. She was also among the presenters at the event, handing out awards with Reese Witherspoon, her co-star on The Morning Show.

Ricky Gervais, hosting the NBC-telecast ceremony for the fifth time, opened the show by stating that Netflix had taken over Hollywood, given its commanding 34 nominations coming into the Globes. “This show should just be me coming out going: ‘Well done, Netflix. You win everything tonight,” he said.

As it turned out, he was wrong. Netflix won only two awards: Dern’s win plus one for Olivia Colman’s performance in The Crown. It was a definite hiccup for the streaming service, which is aiming for its first best-picture win at the Academy Awards next month.

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

Renee Zelleweger took home Best Actress in a Drama, her fourth Globe, for the film Judy. But, as always at the Globes, there were surprises. Taron Egerton, a regular presence on the awards circuit this year, won Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his role as Elton John in Rocketman while many expected Eddie Murphy to win for Dolemite Is My Name.

In his acceptance speech, Egerton thanked Greek-American Paramount Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos.

Best actor in a limited series went to Russell Crowe for the Showtime series “The Loudest Voice.” He wasn’t in attendance because of raging wildfires in his native Australia. “Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-changed based,” Crowe said in a statement read by presenters Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Tom Hanks, now an honorary Greek citizen, and also a nominee for his supporting turn as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Hanks’ speech had its own emotional moment when he caught sight of his wife, Greek-American Rita Wilson, and four children at their table near the stage and choked up.

“A man is blessed with the family’s sitting down front like that,” Hanks said.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin won the evening’s most heavyweight battle, besting Beyonce and Taylor Swift, with their I’m Gonna Love Me Again which won best song. “It’s the first time I’ve ever won an award with him,” Elton said of his longtime song-writing partner. “Ever.”

Greek-French composer Alexandre Desplat was also nominated for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture for Little Women, but Hildur Guonadottir took home the award for Joker.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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