Golden Globe Awards 2024
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The 2024 Golden Globes bring back the guillotine

The fact that the French film ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ won top important awards highlights how the gala has improved. It even elevated ‘Oppenheimer’ before an audience of pro-’Barbie’ stars

Golden Globes 2024
Justine Triet, the director of 'Anatomy of a Fall.'MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)
Gregorio Belinchón

Someone should resurrect the guillotine in France. In September, the French committee that selected its Oscar representative made a notorious decision. It passed over the Palme d’Or Anatomy of a Fall and opted for Tran Anh Hung’s clumsy movie, The Taste of Things. Even the Golden Globes — presented last night in another celebration of alcohol and sushi at the Beverly Hills Hotel — have exposed the error: Justine Triet’s courtroom drama took home the award for best non-English language film and for best script, in what was the big surprise of the night.

Nearly as surprising was the award for best comedy, which was won by Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, when it seemed to be in the bag for Barbie. What’s more, the award for actress in a comedy or musical went to its lead Emma Stone, one of today’s most daring actresses. This may be one of her last statuettes this award season though, as she will be up against Lily Gladstone for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon.

Less of a surprise was the award for best director, which went to Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer. This did not come as a shock, even though Nolan has never won the Golden Globe or the Oscar in this category. Interestingly, Oppenheimer has been re-released for the awards season. It won five Golden Globes, including best drama, but it was clear the room was pro-Barbie. The audience, however, could only applaud when it won two minor awards, and it felt that someone was guillotining the Mattel doll movie. The Oscar for best actor is shaping up to be a dual between Paul Giamatti (who won the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy for his role in The Holdovers) and Cillian Murphy (the winner in the drama category for Oppenheimer).

Director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas pose with the Golden Globes for best direction and best drama.
Director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas pose with the Golden Globes for best direction and best drama.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, as the college cook in The Holdovers, took the Golden Globe for best supporting actress. She is the fourth supporting actor to win awards from the four major American critics associations (NBR, LAFCA, NYFCC and NSFC), and is expected to take home an Oscar. But are the Golden Globes going to impact the Oscar nominations? Voting takes place between January 11 and 16, with the nominees announced on January 23. So there will be some who change their mind, but the last decade has made it clear that we must wait for the awards of the different guilds before making a guess at who will take home the sacrosanct Oscar. Winning the Oscar for best supporting actor may be a difficult feat for Robert Downey Jr., who won the Golden Globe for Oppenheimer, as he will come up against Ryan Gosling for his role in Barbie.

The Golden Globes are more of a television show — the presenters look at the camera and leave the audience behind them as a backdrop, there is no technical category and TV series are recognized (the more stars, the better) — than an actual report on the state of the audiovisual industry. And this review is manipulated. Both the Golden Globes and the magazines Variety and The Hollywood Reporter belong to the same company: Eldridge Industries. Keeping it in the family, right?

When the Los Angeles Times launched its war against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), its attacks were not so much directed at the fact it was organized like a gated community, which it was. Rather, the newspaper was fighting to obtain more access to movie stars. And really, did it achieve it?

From left, Yorgos Lanthimos, and actors Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef, the 'Poor Things' team, with their awards.
From left, Yorgos Lanthimos, and actors Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef, the 'Poor Things' team, with their awards.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

A few days ago, Matt Belloni — the former editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter who went on to found the digital medium Puck and create The Town, the most influential podcast about cinema — wrote about who had really won that battle: a group of publicists. With their complaints, they were able to get the old HFPA dismantled. These were complaints that came with vested interest, of course.

Two and a half years later we have the Golden Globes with a much larger number of journalists, who are spread all over the world, as confirmed by awards such as best script or animated film, which went to Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron — the first non-English animated movie to win in this category. The Golden Globes’ decisions are now more defendable from an artistic point of view, but they are still controlled as if those publicists and the two most powerful industry magazines had a monopoly on the ceremony. Incidentally, the Golden Globes was rebroadcast on CBS after an NFL game: a show for the whole family (hopefully those families decided to watch Ricky Gervais’ Armageddon monologue, which won him the new prize of best stand-up comedy special, on Netflix afterward).

And yes, Hollywood corrupts. The Golden Globes were rotten. Now it is the members of the Critics Choice Awards who accept gifts and cash payments for moderating event presentation roundtables. Of course, gaining access to filmmakers and performers is becoming more complicated every year, with shorter times for interviews. It’s as if we were returning to the golden years of the movie business, when every journalistic article went through the publicists’ department. Recalling Kenneth Anger’s great work on gossip and shady affairs in the basements of cinema, this is becoming less and less Hollywood and more and more Babylon.

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