An awards ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is up there with raindrops on roses as one of our absolute favourite things.
But there was plenty more to enjoy about Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards than the comedy duo’s excellent bicoastal hosting.
Nomadland and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm were the big winners of the night, while The Crown dominated the TV categories.
Meanwhile, there were three significant surprises in the film categories – with Andra Day, Rosamund Pike and Jodie Foster all beating the favourites in their respective acting groups to claim victory.
Mank was the most nominated film of the night and yet went home empty handed, which may not bode well for its Oscar chances next month.
But the biggest surprise was that the Golden Globes almost finished on time, running only a few minutes late (it’s usually at least half an hour).
Here are eight highlights from the ceremony:
1. Ben Stiller can bake you a Golden Globe
“It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since the last Golden Globes,” said Ben Stiller as he took to the stage to present the award for best actress in a musical or comedy.
“But, like many of us, I’ve used that time to look inward and grow. I’ve come to fully understand the nature of crypto-currency. I read a book. I finally got around to dying my hair grey.”
It turns out the actor’s biggest lockdown achievement, however, has been sculpting awards trophies out of cake.
“Like so many other resilient Americans, I learned to bake. A delicious banana bread, in the form of a Golden Globe.”
2. Tina and Amy roasted the nominees
Without having a full live audience or even being in the same room, the pair couldn’t quite match their usual high standards – but they certainly gave it their best shot.
The former Saturday Night Live stars poked fun at several of the nominees. Here are some of their best one-liners:
- “Mank is short for Herman J. Mankiewicz, the name of the screenwriter of Citizen Kane. And that’s the only thing they shortened.”
- “The Undoing was a sexy, dramatic mystery, where Nicole Kidman’s coat is suspected of murdering her wig.”
- “The Queen’s Gambit is whatever James Corden was up to in the Prom, I guess.”
- “I think The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the best of all the Trial of the Chicago movies, but it’s still not as good as Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow.”
- “The thing I love about Aaron Sorkin’s writing, is he can have seven men talking, but it feels like 100 men talking.”
- “Normal People is an emotional show about two young lovers in Ireland, and is best viewed in bed with your hot laptop right on your crotch.”
- “One Night In Miami is a fictionalised meeting of Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, where I assume the topic of discussion was ‘how the hell do we get out of Florida?'”
- “Emily Paris is nominated for best TV series: musical or comedy TV series – and I for one can’t wait to find out which it is.”
- “French Exit is the first thing I did after watching Emily in Paris.”
- “Sia’s controversial film Music is nominated for best international Flop-a-rooni. It’s really problematic, and Twitter is saying it’s the most offensive casting since Kate Hudson was the WeightWatchers spokesperson.”
3. The virtual ceremony had a few hiccups
The recurring theme of the night was winners spending half their acceptance speech asking: “Am I on? Do I speak now? Can you hear me?”
There were numerous technical glitches, including the first winner of the night, Daniel Kaluuya, being muted (it wasn’t clear if this was because of him or the Globes sound engineer).
After being announced as the winner of best supporting actor, he began delivering a silent acceptance speech. Category presenter Laura Dern cut in to apologise for the sound problems and started to wrap up.
“As you can see, we unfortunately have a bad connection, we apologise for that technical problem, and send all our congratulations to Daniel.”
But the British star was not to be silenced and he suddenly sprung to life. “Wait! You’re doing me dirty, you’re doing me dirty!” the British star shouted, suddenly audible. “Can you hear me now? Alright, cool.”
Kaluuya is normally one of the smoothest, most unflappable men in showbiz, so it was quite something to watch him refuse to be defeated by a dodgy Zoom connection.
4. Catherine O’Hara was played off (by her husband)
Schitt’s Creek couldn’t quite equal the success it enjoyed at the Emmys, where it swept up in every category it was nominated, but it still picked up a couple of Globes.
One was best comedy series, which was accepted by Dan Levy, while his co-star Catherine O’Hara won best comedy actress.
Her acceptance speech started out normally enough – she thanked the HFPA, her fellow nominees and the Schitt’s Creek cast and crew.
Now, usually when a winner starts to drone on a bit too long, they’re not-so-gently played off by the orchestra.
But without anyone prompting her to wrap up, O’Hara’s husband Bo Welch was standing by with a series of sound effects on his phone.
He used an applause sound effect after she was announced as the winner, but after she had been speaking for a full minute, Welch started playing loud music to remind his dearly beloved wife to wrap it up.
O’Hara dealt with this beautifully and began actually singing along with the iPhone orchestra as she drew her acceptance speech to a close.
5. Chadwick Boseman’s wife gave an emotional speech
Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came from Taylor Simone Ledward, who accepted an award on behalf of her late husband, Chadwick Boseman.
The Black Panther star, who died last year, won the prize for best drama actor for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Ledward took the opportunity to imagine the speech he would have given, as category presenter Renée Zellweger became emotional as she watched from the studio.
“He would say something beautiful, something inspiring,” Ledward said. “Something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you’re meant to be doing at this moment in history.
“And I don’t have his words, but we have to take a moment to celebrate those we love. So thank you HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that.
“And, hun, you keep ’em coming. Thank you.”
6. Barb and Star have stocked up on merchandise
Our two favourite tourists, Barb and Star, were extremely excitable to be presenting best comedy and musical film.
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, stars of Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar, turned up in their sparkly outfits with plenty of LA souvenirs in their bags.
“We have been in Hollywood for two weeks, and Hollywood Boulevard is the place to be, so many LA shops,” said Barb. “My favourite was the Hollywood trinket zone.”
“My favourites were Hollywood T-shirt store, and Hollywood souvenir and T-shirt,” offered Star.
“You know what I got? And oversized $1 bill with Darth Vadar as the president,” concluded Barb, who was possibly more excited than any of the night’s winners.
7. Aaron Sorkin got a lot of emails from Sacha Baron Cohen
The writer and director of The Trial of the Chicago 7 expertly managed to roll humour and politics into his acceptance speech for best screenplay, while also referencing the film’s star Sacha Baron Cohen.
The actor, who also won prizes for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm at Sunday’s Globes, played political activist Abbie Hoffman in Sorkin’s film.
“While we were shooting, every night after wrap when I’d get back to my hotel room, there’d be an email from Sacha with a quote from Abbie Hoffman,” Sorkin explained. “None of them ever made it into the film, but I saved the emails.”
Sorkin clarified he doesn’t always agree with everything his characters do or say, but went on to quote one particular speech from Hoffman. “Democracy is not something you believe in, or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.”
Linking Hoffman’s speech to the deadly Capitol riot earlier this year, Sorkin concluded: “I don’t need any more evidence than what happened on 6 January to agree with this.”
8. Tracy Morgan is off to order a pizza
There’s a small chance Fey’s former 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan didn’t properly prepare for his job presenting best original score.
While most people would practice the pronunciations of all the the possible winners to make sure they didn’t trip up, Morgan took a stab in the dark.
And not even with a particularly complicated name. He pronounced Pixar’s animated movie “Soul” as “Sal.” You kind of have to see it to believe it.
He did at least offer some form of explanation on Twitter afterwards.
Sorry SOUL. I was thinking about the pizza I was going to get from my guy SAL on the way home!!
— Tracy Morgan (@TracyMorgan) March 1, 2021