76th Golden Globe Awards serves up surprises, snubs

“Bohemian Rhapsody” star Rami Malek (center) is joined by Queen members Brian May (left) and Roger Taylor (right) after Malek won Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury, and the Queen biopic took home Best Motion Picture Drama. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Hollywood was in a good mood Sunday evening as the 76th Annual Golden Globes kicked off the 2019 award show season. Hosts “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Andy Samberg proved to be a formidable comedy duo for “Hollywood’s party of the year.”

The opening monologue featured one of Samberg’s signature acts, the “compliment roast,” in which he praises people in an insulting tone.

In the vein of Samberg’s awkward and unexpected comedic style, Oh and Samberg delivered some of the strangest highlights of the evening as they poked fun at Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza-giving moment at the Academy Awards years ago by giving out flu shots to the audience.

Political discussions were not as ubiquitous as in previous years; yet, stars still donned pins and bracelets to pay homage to the #TimesUp movement and used their platforms to push for diversity in Hollywood. Oh became the first Asian woman to host a major American award show and deemed the evening “a moment of change.” Referring to this year’s Globes nominations being the most diverse ever, Oh said, “trust me [this moment is] real because I see you … all these faces of change, and now, so will everyone else.”

The first big prize of the night came in the animated film category. Usually dominated by Disney, Sony pulled out a win for its universally-lauded “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which has received acclaim for its Afro-Latino protagonist.

Although the evening did not see as many awards for “A Star is Born” as many fans had hoped, Lady Gaga and her co-writers were awarded Best Original Song for the chart-topping “Shallow.” She performs the song alongside director and co-star Bradley Cooper in his latest remake of  the classic Hollywood tale, which picked up no other awards for the night even though it was expected to sweep several categories.

Netflix, however, nabbed some big wins throughout the evening, especially for the critically acclaimed “Roma,” which won Best Foreign Language Film, with its director Alfonso Cuarón taking home Best Director.

Damien Chazelle’s latest film, “First Man,” pulled out a win last night in the Best Original Score category, despite the film’s absence from mainstream award show conversations.

One of the night’s most memorable events was Regina King taking home her first Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In her speech, she vowed that everything she produces going forward would be composed of at least 50 percent women and challenged others to follow suit. The night was topped with Sandra Oh’s historic victory as the first person of Asian descent to win multiple Golden Globes, including a win as Best Actress in a Television Series Drama, making her the first woman of Asian descent to win the award since 1981.

As the evening went on, Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting actor for his role in “Green Book.” Ali was expected by most to take home the Golden Globe this year after the HFPA failed to recognize him for his Academy-Award winning role in 2016’s “Moonlight.” However, the film “Green Book” fared better than most expected, also taking home Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, despite widespread criticism that it contained a clichéd racial plot.

Other notable snubs included the Globes’ failure to recognize “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Vice” and Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” his most celebrated work in recent years.  

Then there were the true shocks of the night, such as Chuck Lorre’s “The Kominsky Method” winning Best Television Comedy Series over “The Good Place.” Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was “Bohemian Rhapsody” winning Best Motion Picture Drama, stunning critics and fans alike due to its association with its credited director and accused child abuser, Bryan Singer. The win left many people wondering how the HFPA could award that film over others like “A Star is Born,” and left others to ponder whether Hollywood has truly changed at all.   

Despite all the shocking upsets, newcomers — often favored by the HFPA — made out well, such as Richard Madden who won for his role in the television series “Bodyguard.”

Still, in all this, there was nothing about the ceremony itself to be remembered the next day. Perhaps, with all the controversy, scandals and purging Hollywood has been dealing with for the past two years, basic is exactly what they were looking for.