Golden Globes 2024: ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Succession’ once again fill Hollywood with glitz and glamour

After being hit by scandal, the award ceremony has returned in force. Christopher Nolan’s film took home five awards, ‘Barbie’ just two, while the miniseries ‘Beef’ was the other big winner

Golden Globes 2024
Succession's Jesse Armstrong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Kulkin, J. Smith Cameron, Alan Ruck and Nicholas Braun at the 2024 Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on January 7, 2024.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)
María Porcel

Glamour is back. The Golden Globes have historically been Hollywood’s second major award ceremony, filled with glitz, where the biggest names in the entertainment world strutted down a long red carpet. But two years ago, the Golden Globes lost some — if not all — of its glamour due to a scandal that hit not only the awards ceremony, but the entire foundations of Hollywood.

Amid accusations of racism and lack of diversity, as well as controversy over the perks given to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 2022 Golden Globes were held behind closed doors and major stars including Tom Cruise handed back their awards. The scandal also rocked the structure of the Hollywood award ceremony.

Last year, with certain changes and a degree of discretion, the awards returned. And this year, the Golden Globes at The Beverly Hilton have finally recovered its splendor, very long red carpet and big name stars. In the competition between the movies Barbie and Oppenheimer, the latter was the clear winner. While in TV series, Succession triumphed, along with The Bear and the limited series Beef.

Margot Robbie attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.
Margot Robbie attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

Before the gala, there was the much-awaited red carpet, which recovered its glitz and glamour thanks to Hollywood stars such as Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Martin Scorsese, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Emma Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, Amanda Seyfried, Nicolas Cage, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Cooper (hand in hand with his mother) and Taylor Swift.

The award ceremony itself played it safe: there were no surprises or jokes that pushed the boundaries. As the United States enters an election year, there was no mention of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The host of the ceremony, Jo Koi, kept it clean with harmless jokes. While the war in Ukraine was discussed last year, there was no talk of it on Sunday. And of course the war in Gaza was completely avoided.

Instead, Elizabeth Banks and Dua Lipa joked about accents, while America Ferrera bantered with Kevin Costner. She expressed her admiration for the actor, while he recited her one of her key lines in Barbie. A stunned Ferrera replied, “Did you, Kevin Costner, memorize my monologue about womanhood from Barbie?” He responded, “No, but it’s an important message, and it always serves to remind me what’s possible in films.” Will Ferrell, after doing a little dance on stage, was the only one who mentioned the elephant in the room. “The Golden Globes have not changed,” he jokingly exclaimed.

Irish actor Cillian Murphy (l) and U.S. actor Robert Downey Jr.
Irish actor Cillian Murphy (l) and U.S. actor Robert Downey Jr. ALLISON DINNER (EFE)

In terms of awards, Oppenheimer won the Barbenheimer battle against Barbie. The film about the creator of the atomic bomb took home the night’s big prizes: best drama film, best director for Christopher Nolan, best actor (Cillian Murphy) best supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr) and best soundtrack. Barbie, surprisingly, didn’t even win best comedy or musical, which went to Poor Things, while its star Emma Stone beat Margot Robbie for best actress. Greta Gerwig’s feature film had to settle for winning the best song — What Was I Made For? by Billie Eilish — and the newly created category of best box office achievement, which it took home after making $1.3 billion globally.

Anatomy of a Fall also made a splash, winning two of the three awards it was up for: best non-English language film and best script. While Paul Giamatti won best actor in a comedy (his sixth nomination and third award) for The Holdovers. “Surely this is the first time this award has been given to an actor who has played a man who smells like fish,” he joked while accepting the honor. In the drama category, Lily Gladstone won best actress in a drama for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon. She is the first Indigenous person to win the award in that category.

‘Succession’ and ‘Beef’

In the category of TV series, Succession was the big winner as expected. It took home the prize for best drama, while Matthew Macfadyen in his role as the insufferable Tom Wambgans won best supporting actor award. The race for best actor was closer, with Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin all nominated for the prize. In the end, it went to Culkin, who was the only one of the three who attended the gala. “This is a nice moment, suck it Pedro! Sorry!” he joked, in reference to Pedro Pascal, who smiled in the audience, with his arm in a sling. Sarah Snook, the manipulative Shiv Roy, took home the award for best actress. “This room is so intimidating,” she laughed, as Culkin applauded her non-stop from the audience.

The Netflix series Beef, which is about two people who set out to make each other’s lives bitter after a traffic accident, won the three awards it was nominated for: best limited series, best actress (Ali Wong) and best actor (Steven Yeun).

The Crown also picked up an award, with Elizabeth Debicki winning best actress in a series drama for her portrayal of Princess Diana. “The thing that stuck with me the most when I did my research and started to play this part as well was the combination of the sort of isolation and emergence from it; the desire to recreate the self and to control the narrative of one’s life,” she reflected to the press after winning the award.

The Bear won three awards in the category of a comedy series. Jeremy Allen White once again took home the award for best actor for his role as a down-on-his-luck Chicago cook. Between jokes, he admitted to being very proud of the award, more so than his highly talked-about Calvin Klein campaign. His co-star Ayo Edebiri won the award for best actress, while The Bear beat Abbott Elementary, Only Murders in the Building, Barry, Jury Duty and Ted Lasso to win best comedy TV series.

Ayo Edebiri, winner of the Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy award for 'The Bear,' and Jeremy Allen White, winner of the Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Series.
Ayo Edebiri, winner of the Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy award for 'The Bear,' and Jeremy Allen White, winner of the Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Series.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

This year, there were two new awards, which both had created high expectations, but for different reasons. The first prize was best performance in stand-up comedy, which was won by Ricky Gervais, who was expected to give a biting acceptance speech, as he did in 2020, when he did not hesitate to talk about Jeffrey Epstein and attacking the entire industry. But the British comedian did not attend the event.

The second new award was for cinematic and box office achievement. This prize had generated excitement as it put Time person of the year, Taylor Swift, in the running. Her concert movie The Eras Tour made more than $250 million at the box office. The cameras were on the singer throughout the ceremony, especially during the intermissions, where she was photographed chatting, taking photos and confiding with her good friend Selena Gomez. It was clear that an entire ecosystem of stars has been restored. As Jo Koy exclaimed at the end of the gala: “Hollywood is back!”

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