A chastened Golden Globes unveils a more diverse winners' list
At the stripped-down 79th Golden Globes event on Monday morning (Singapore time), it seemed that the hosts had learnt lessons from the industry drubbing it received in 2021.
A significant number of the prizes went to women and American racial minorities.
Among them were Best Actress (Musical Or Comedy) winner Rachel Zegler, who is of Colombian-Polish descent. Zegler's West Side Story co-star, Ariana DeBose, who is of African, Puerto Rican and Italian heritage, picked up Best Supporting Actress in Any Motion Picture. Squid Game's Oh Young-soo, a 77-year-old South Korean, beat Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso), Kieran Culkin (Succession), Billy Crudup (The Morning Show) and Mark Duplass (The Morning Show) to win Best Supporting Actor (Series, Miniseries or Television Film).
The wins come after a series of news reports last year (2021) alleging the absence of black voters among the 80-plus voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organisers of the Globes, in addition to allegations of financial impropriety.
This led to one of the most racially diverse nomination lists by the Globes, when the previous year it had mostly snubbed critically acclaimed black-represented shows such as the drama series I May Destroy You and the musical film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
On Monday, New Zealand director Jane Campion walked away with the Best Director prize for her work on the Western drama The Power Of The Dog.
Campion is the third woman to win the prize, after Barbra Streisand (the romantic musical Yentl, 1983) and Chloe Zhao (the drama Nomadland, 2020).
Campion's film is one the shows which dominated the awards, which were not televised. It picked up the prestigious Best Film (Drama) award while Kodi Smit-McPhee picked up Best Actor (Supporting Role, Motion Picture).
One of the biggest surprises is the win by Oh, who is the first South Korean actor to win a major award at the Golden Globes. The action thriller series Squid Game, while wildly popular, lacks critical acclaim and was among seven shows with a middling three nominations each, behind front runners such as drama series Succession (five nominations, the most of any show), the drama The Morning Show (four) and comedy Ted Lasso (also four).
Oh's win comes after allegations of racism pointed at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards when the cast of the South Korean black comedy Parasite (2019) failed to secure acting nominations at either event, despite the film receiving critical acclaim for its performances.
A year later, in 2021, the Academy gave South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as the grandmother in the Asian-American drama Minari (2020). The Globes, meanwhile, continued to receive flak for withholding acting nominations for Minari, though the film did win a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film.
So Oh's win, at age 77, could be seen as a better late than never attempt by the Globes to stay relevant at a time when it desperately needs all the support it can get.
Here are some of the winners at the 79th Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama: The Power Of The Dog
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: West Side Story
Best Director, Motion Picture: Jane Campion, The Power Of The Dog
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Nicole Kidman, Being The Ricardos
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Will Smith, King Richard
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick... Boom!
Best Motion Picture, Animated: Encanto
Best Drama Series: Succession
Best Musical/Comedy Series: Hacks
Best Television Actress - Drama Series: Michaela Jae Rodriguez, Pose
Best Television Actor - Drama Series: Jeremy Strong, Succession
Best Television Actress - Musical/Comedy Series: Jean Smart
Best Television Actor - Musical/Comedy Series: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso