Highlighting only motion picture categories

Gervais’ Final Punch

There never truly is a line in which five-time Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais cannot cross. Did he go too far with his insulting jokes? Was the beer on the lectern any indication that Gervais was just a little buzzed and spewing honest comments on the night’s nominees?

After Gervais claimed continuously that he would not return as host of the coveted awards show, he returned for his fifth and final time. 

Carrying a “I-don’t-care” attitude during his opening monologue, absolutely no one was safe from the comic. Not even James Corden, Dame Judy Dench, or Joe Pesci, who weren’t even in attendance. Surely the jokes were all for fun; after all, Gervais said, “They’re just jokes, we’re all gonna die soon, and there’s no sequel.” 

Clearly it is easy to understand the controversy surrounding his jokes. From innocent playful banter of mocking Martin Scorsese for being too short for rides to Joe Pesci’s comparison to Baby Yoda and Leonardo DiCaprio’s date, there was obviously a blend of “laugh out loud” moments to “Oh, that’s going too far” cringe. 

Was it too soon to talk about the Jeffrey Epstein death mystery? Are we allowed to comment on the Felicity Huffman college scandal yet? Can be insult the lack of diversity from the same company that hired him for the gig? Is my television glitching or are they simply bleeping out every other joke? 

Either way, with Ricky Gervais it is always expected that he will pull off a show with or without the controversy, but certainly at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, it was proven that Gervais does not hold back.

The American Monolingual Parasite 

Once Alfonso Cuaron took home the Golden Globe for his film “Roma” at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, there has been a strong push, in terms of ad campaigning from critics in the Foreign-Language film department. 

Sending a powerful message about class discrimination and the greed amongst society; Bong Joon Ho’s film, “Parasite” was definitely going to infect any chance the other nominees in the category had in the eyes of critics.

 Unsurprisingly, it did.

It’s only true competitor being Lulu Wang’s film “The Farewell” which went on to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture for first-time attendee and winner, Awkwafina. 

The only surprise from “Parasite” was Ho’s brutally sincere and impactful speech with the help of his translator and fellow filmmaker, Sharon Choi: “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

Voting Members’ Missing Link 

The animation game from the perspective of moviegoers and critics see it is a “no-questions-asked” Disney win when it comes to their success. 

But while scoring three films: Jon Faverau’s, “The Lion King,” “Toy Story 4,” and “Frozen 2,” in the category of Best Animated Motion Picture, Laika’s box-office failure, “Missing Link” took home the Golden Globe.

It would certainly be acceptable if the category was called “Best Original Motion Picture- Animated,” but it is not.

Talk about a jaw-dropping, “what-the-heck” moment from everyone, even the winners themselves were at a loss for words during their acceptance speech. It was kind of expected that some official HFPA member with an envelope would run out on-stage and pull a “LaLaLand” and “Moonlight” switcheroo.

A very anti-Disney move from the critics, especially after their loss in the category of Best Original Song. The ridicule of Netflix being the top nominated studio and Disney’s global domination seems to be biting them in the rear right about now.

This is Disney’s second year without a Golden Globe win. “Into the Spider Verse” from Sony beat out “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Incredibles 2” at the previous Golden Globe Awards.

I guess the HFPA voting members sure like experimental animated films over the widely admired successes; let’s see if the Academy voters think alike.

Elton John Still Got it

Music itself is a crucial part of cinema. It is through cinema in which songs and musicians gain their popularity. For example, “My Heart Will Go On” in “Titanic,” or “Beauty and the Beast” for the film of the same name. These have become anthems in cinematic history. 

When it comes to award season, many would consider the category of Best Original Song and Best Motion Picture to be the more fun ones. 

You know, the kinds of awards that remind you how award shows truly keep ratings up since several people find the other categories to be boring or not as entertaining. Especially considering that most of the public has not seen most of the nominated films.

This year’s nominees were full of great contenders. A mix of legendary talent such as Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, EGOT winning duo Kristen Anderson and Robert Lopez, and modern pop culture icons such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift. 

The eyes were mostly on Disney’s side as they had two nominations in this category: “Spirit” written by Timothy McKenzie, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Beyonce, and “Into the Unknown” by Kristen Anderson and Robert Lopez. 

So it was certainly a delightful surprise when the winner was announced, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. 

How can you be mad when Elton John has won? It is shocking though that “Frozen 2” did not earn any wins at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.

Lee and Tate Did Not Kill Tarantino’s Shot 

In a time in which almost every statement or subliminal message is offensive and misconstrued, Quentin Taratino uses that societal dispute and turned it up to eleven. 

While many would consider Taratino’s filmography to be quite extraordinary, his ninth film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” was a bump in the road due to the controversy surrounding the film. 

From the humiliation and mockery of Bruce Lee as pointed out by critics as well as Lee’s own daughter, Shannon Lee to the Margot Robbie situation at Cannes when Tarantino was quick to shut down a “hypothesis” made by a reporter of how under written the Sharon Tate character was, I find it very odd that he would win for Best Screenplay- Motion Picture. 

Tarantino is notorious for his intense but also highly comedic dialogue and well constructed scenes, but when most issues surrounding the film are mainly based in the script, it would have been a safer and wiser decision to give the Golden Globe to either “Marriage Story” or “Parasite.” 

“Marriage Story,” written by the director Noah Baumbach was definitely the frontrunner in many eyes, and it is a huge disappointment he did not win in this category. It was the script that truly made “Marriage Story” an incredibly moving film. 

Additionally, I would add “The Irishman” written by Steven Zaillian. 

Nolan 2.0 Wins Best Director

Wildcard, after wildcard. What a shocking turn of events. 

To be nominated for a Golden Globe is an exciting feat in one’s career, but to be nominated in a category in which the names Scorsese and Tarantino are in, it is an honor. 

Many critics and analysts have been claiming for months that the Golden Globes were going to be the battle between “The Irishman,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” and “Marriage Story.” 

With the possibility of the “Joker” and “Parasite,” being wildcards, absolutely no one foresaw Sam Mendes for “1917” snagging the award for Best Director- Motion Picture. 

Out of all the nominees in this category, Mendes was the first to be crossed off the list when it came to guess who was going home with the gold. 

It is shocking that Mendes, following the footsteps of director Christopher Nolan, would win the Globe for Best Director after many noted that his film, “1917” was a carbon copy of the nominated, not won, “Dunkirk.” 

Many championed for Scorsese (“The Irishman”) or Phillips (“Joker”)  to win.

The shocking turn of events at the Golden Globes has spiralled into many theorizing that the NBC-owned Comcast Company which also runs Universal,  was behind “1917” winning.

There is a second chance for the other nominees as the Oscars are less than a month away, even if the Globes often dictates the Oscars. 

There is even a possibility Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) could be included in the Best Director category at the 2020 Oscars. 

Changing the Tone in the History Books

The same way music and song changes cinematic history, so does the score. The iconic “Star Wars” scroll, the Michael Myers’ haunting theme or even the calling in “Frozen 2,” are known as score. 

They add identity and shape to the film. Without a score, there is not really a film. It is one of those categories that is hardly talked about until now. 

Out of the many great contenders (Randy Newman, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, Daniel Pemberton, Hildur Guðnadóttir) it is quite impossible to pick one, but there is certainly a nominee who truly transformed a film is such a dramatic way to the point in which if there was not any score or at least done in her style, I doubt it would even be a contender this award season. 

Of course, I am talking about the score for “Joker.” 

The Golden Globe was given to Hildur Guðnadóttir, the first solo female composer to win in the category of Best Original Score- Motion Picture in history. 

Her desire to create something original and unique and before the film was even finished  stands as one of the multiple reasons why she deserved the win.

Farewell Actress Stereotypes 

This year’s nominees amongst the various categories are quite great contenders and when paired together it is hard to simply choose one as the “winner.”

Strangely enough, the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy was quite weak: Cate Blanchett for “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” Emma Thompson for “Late Night,” Beanie Feldstein for “Booksmart”, Awkwafina for “The Farewell,” and Ana De Armas for “Knives Out.”

All being superb films were deserving of awards at other organizations/associations, except for Lulu Wang’s, “The Farewell.” 

An emotional film depicting the final moments of one’s life, “The Farewell” was led by the overly comedic and relative Hollywood new-comer, Awkwafina. 

Best known for roles in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “Ocean’s 8,” Awkwafina was truly one of the only actresses who went out of their way to redefine the stereotypical image she has built. 

Awkwafina won the Globe and became the first Asian woman to win in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy. 

The only true contender in the category being Ana De Armas for “Knives Out,” which although is not rewarded with any wins at the Globes, could possibly earn itself a sequel at the studio. 

Awards like the Golden Globe boost the status of the stars who have won them and surely Awkwafina has a bright and successful future, especially amongst the Disney family as she has already signed aboard Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “The Little Mermaid,” and their 2020 animated release, “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Dinosaurs to Divorces

Out of the many categories at the Golden Globes, the one practically everyone, especially women were talking about were the nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture which included: Laura Dern for “Marriage Story,” Margot Robbie for “Bombshell,” Kathy Bates for “Richard Jewell,” Annette Bening for “The Report” and Jennifer Lopez for “Hustlers.”

This was the Dern, Robbie and Lopez showdown. Who was going to win? 

Robbie earned the nomination over her work on Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,”- strangely so as Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman were the main duo for the film, “Bombshell.” 

Robbie was simply playing the third wheel, but either way she earned her respected spot and had the nomination alone as a congratulatory victory. 

Lopez, on the other hand, had it in the bag, so we thought. 

After having an incredible 2019 (turning 50, announced for the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime show, a brand-new world tour, the nomination for her role in “Hustlers,” seemed to be a win-win situation. But, unfortunately, it had not been the case. 

The upcoming SAG awards will determine whether or not Jennifer Lopez is even up for an Oscar as that seems to be the word on the Hollywood streets. 

So for now, this is Laura Dern’s lane and she is without a doubt, a rightful contender. 

Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” was the film that demonstrated the acting merits of the entire cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern and Ray Liotta- all nominated except Ray Liotta who was snubbed.

From “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Rocketman”

“Rocketman’s” win for Best Original Song- Motion Picture seemed to be the only win for the film. Elton John was happy with just one win, especially since he himself won it- deservingly so. 

But two? 

When announcing the nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy (Taron Egerton, Daniel Craig, Roman Griffin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Murphy), surely soon-to-be former Bond spy and LDC had it in the bag, but after 2019’s Golden Globe win for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” there was hope for the “Kingsman” star, Taron Egerton. 

Without skipping a beat, he had won the Globe. 

Whether or not it actually discredits Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” we will never know, but the transformation Egerton had to go through in reimagining the musical life of Elton John in “Rocketman” was deserving enough of the nomination. 

After the win for Brad Pitt in “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” it would have been a picture perfect headline to say that the film duo had both won Globe. But certainly it was not the case, possibly could be in upcoming award shows. 

Holy Pitt!

The category that was even a tighter race than the nominations in the category for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture was the nominations for the actors in a supporting role. 

The nominees for this category were legendary: Brad Pitt for “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for “The Irishman,” Tom Hanks for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and Anthony Hopkins in “The Two Popes.” 

This was “The Irishman,” Fred Rogers and Pitt game and clearly many had eyes on the lucky pot of gold for Scorsese’s “The Irishman” since Robert DeNiro was embarrassingly snubbed in any category- even for the “Joker.” 

But clearly, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” led to the win for Pitt. 

Many industry people believed he would get nominated for his other 2019 release, “Ad Astra” but luckily for fans, Tarantino found him a spot. 

Although, personally I find many problems with the film, Tarantino sure does an incredible job at finding talent in actors who we already know their merit but rather elevates it and creates an amazing standout performance. 

Even if “The Irishman” took home zero wins for Netflix, I sure do hope Pacino and Pesci earn praise in other places. The Oscars are still very much in their reach. 

And one cannot be shocked Hanks did not win, he won an even greater award and recognition with the Cecil B. Demille Award- side note: what a speech!

Somewhere Over The Rainbow 

After the missing link between critics in the category for Best Motion Picture- Animated, many truly were hoping for another “LaLaLand” and “Moonlight” mess up. 

Let us be serious for a moment, this was definitely not Renee Zellweger’s award.
The nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama were filled with immense talent, Zellweger from “Judy” included. Her fellow nominees included: Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet,” Scarlett Johansson for “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan for “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

To claim that Zellweger’s performance was transformative and incredible is definitely understandable but when it comes to awarding the quote-on-quote “best;” this category was filled with other opportunists who deservingly so earned the award. 

After returning to the Golden Globes 17 years later and being nominated is great recognition for Zellweger but the true winners should have been amongst the trio: Ronan, Johansson or Theron. 

Ronan’s fourth nomination could have been a win, but knowing how the voters think, especially since winning for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for “Lady Bird” in 2018, her nomination certainly seemed like a cover up for Greta Gerwig’s (director of “Little Women”) snub for Best Director. 

Theron on the other hand literally transformed into Meghan Kelly and was able to respectfully immerse herself into a quite controversial film, “Bombshell” which depicts the recent sexual allegations at Fox News. 

The same argument can be made for “Judy” but let’s be honest, “Judy’s” awards campaign was weak and the box office numbers certainly prove there was an audience viewing difference. 

It should have been Scarlett Johansson who won the Globe- if I had to pick one.

Unlike her role in the Marvel cinematic universe, “Marriage Story” should have been a lead winner at the Globes and it is very disappointing that it did not. 

But credit should be given to Zellweger as she very much could take home an Oscar as well. 

“You Get What You F***ing Deserve” 

All anti-Scorsese fans and moviegoers alike are possibly quoting in their head the infamous “Joker” line, “You get what you f***ing deserve.”

Many believed the nominations for the “Joker,” much like “Black Panther” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” were going to be all the recognition they earned in their awards campaign, but one cannot beat against a critically beloved actor such as Joaquin Phoenix. 

Phoenix was nominated for “Joker” in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama alongside Christian Bale for “Ford v. Ferrari,” Antonio Banderas in “Pain and Glory,” Adam Driver in “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce in “The Two Popes.”

To put it simply, this was either going to go the Driver route or it would fly towards the side of Phoenix. The rest of the nominees never had any push behind them and can claim the nominations as wins alone but this was a two way race. 

Driver’s performance in “Marriage Story” is one of the best roles in his career, beating out his inclusion in the “Star Wars” franchise. Driver was definitely a contender and the opposite of a wildcard as many had predicted before the film’s release on Netflix. 

Phoenix’s win for the Globe was a massive industry move. 

Superhero genre film or societal message set narratives, either way this is a win-win for all fans as finally successful box office wins are being integrated into the award season. 

Now although this is not a clear indication that Phoenix will take home the big gold, the Oscar, it is without a doubt a glorious triumph that should be respected and seen as more than a HFPA’s gift to fans of the genre. 

The Phoenix and Driver race continues but it is a victory that many will root for. 

Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood

Not even Lee’s or Robbie’s character controversy can sway the HFPA’s vote on the Quentin Tarantino film, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” which won Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy. 

Certainly a middle finger to those in attendance at Cannes, the film surpassed expectations not only in the box office but in the category in which it won. 

It was a close race between a few of the nominees which included “Rocketman,” “Dolemite is My Name,” “JoJo Rabbit,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” and “Knives Out.” 

The Elton John flick and Taika Watiti Nazi Fantasy, “JoJo Rabbit” alongside the Tarantino film were true competitors and despite personal thoughts it seemed to be a clear winner. 

Past winners and nominees include “The Hangover,” “Lady Bird,” “Bridesmaids,” “Deadpool,” and Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” With those in mind, it is quite obvious why many would think Elton John’s biopic would follow the same fate. 

Either way, not a bad win for Tarantino and could certainly be a battling contender come Best Picture at next month’s Academy Awards. 

A Battle Cry Of Shock

The big one finally is being announced at last after three hours of awards. The tension builds up. The presenter Sandra Bullock steps out in an orange and goldish gown and the clip reel of the nominees plays and when the name is announced it ends in a dud and total shock. 

The nominations for Best Motion Picture- Drama were announced and it was instantaneous that many were behind the “Joker” train and supporting it in hopes that it would win, beating out the other nominees which included “The Irishman,” “The Two Popes,” “Marriage Story,” and “1917.” 

But clearly the HFPA had other plans. 

Although the voting poll is less than a hundred voters in the HFPA, it is clear many of them favored Sam Mendes and his film, “1917” which won the Globe. 

It is highly unfortunate the nothing was heading in the way for “The Irishman” which for many seemed to be a leading contender for months especially as the night progressed and nothing was swayed their way.

The three hour long Scorsese film seemed to be knockout hit amongst critics and Netflix consumers and it is truly an insult towards the technical and overall outstanding achievement of the filmmakers and crew. 

The “Dunkirk” carbon copy, “1917” are off to the races with Quentin Tarantino’s  “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 

It will be an exciting road to the next gold. 


As always the Golden Globes is a highly entertaining awards show that commences the awards season after the film festival circuit and sometimes influences other voters- sometimes being the key word.

The poll for other award academies/associations are massive compared to the HFPA.

Many nominations can be altered. It would be nice to see upcoming nominations for A24’s “Uncut Gems” with nominations for Adam Sandler and more female nominees amongst directors such as Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”), Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), and possibly even Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”). 

In addition, a possible promotion for Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story” in the directing category and Todd Phillips for “Joker” in the category of screenplay. 

Although it was not mentioned at all, on the television side of things, it is very surprising to see absolutely zero nominations for Ava Duvernay’s Netflix docuseries, “When They See Us.” Truly an incredible show and a surprise hit for Netflix and the young adolescent demographic. 

Overall, definitely a great start to the new decade and into a new decade of films.

Sebastian Guzman