Golden Globe Awards 2021: Let the show begin

Laura Dern presenting Daniel Kaluuya with his award for best supporting actor
Former Globe winner Laura Dern presented Daniel Kaluuya with his award for best supporting actor

Daniel Kaluuya and John Boyega are among the early British winners at the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards. The ceremony is taking place in New York and Los Angeles, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin both won acting prizes for their performances in The Crown as Prince Charles and Princess Diana respectively. Rosamund Pike, meanwhile, was named best actress in a musical or comedy film for I Care A Lot. Kaluuya was among the early victors, winning best supporting actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah. The star plays US activist Fred Hampton in the film, the chairman of the Black Panther Party who was assassinated in 1969 at the age of 21. “I hope generations after this can see how brilliantly he fought, he spoke, and he loved,” Kaluuya said as he accepted his prize. “He taught me about myself, made me grow as a man, and I appreciate that with all my heart.”

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the Globes from New York and Los Angeles

John Boyega was named best supporting actor in a limited series for his role Steve McQueen’s BBC programme Small Axe. “I’m so shocked. I’ve got trackie bottoms on and I’m comfortable but this is exciting,” Boyega joked as he accepted the award from home. Accepting best actress in a drama series, Corrin said: “Most of all, thank you so much to [Princess] Diana, you have taught me compassion and empathy beyond any measure I could ever imagine.” The Crown won best drama series, while Corrin’s co-star Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles, was named best actor.

As he accepted his prize, he said: “I’m very lucky to be able to work in this period, and there are so many people who are unable to work, who are alone and isolated, and I hope we can all collectively put mental health at the forefront our minds.” Gillian Anderson was named best supporting actress in the series for her portrayal of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Schitt’s Creek was named best comedy series, while one of its stars, Catherine O’Hara, was also named best comedy actress.

Catherine O'Hara
Catherine O’Hara was named best comedy actress for her performance in Schitt’s Creek

The Queen’s Gambit was named best limited series, while its star Anya Taylor-Joy was also named best actress in a limited series. Other early winners included Mark Ruffalo for best actor in a limited series, and Pixar’s Soul, which won best animated film. Chloe Zhao, Regina King and Emerald Fennell are all nominated for best director at the ceremony, meaning there’s a good chance of a female winner – which would be the first in the category since Barbra Streisand in 1982. Aaron Sorkin paid tribute to the three female directors as he accepted best screenplay for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

“You are the reason my college-age daughter wants to be a filmmaker, and I’m never going to forgive you for that,” he joked. Speaking before the ceremony, King said: “This was another year of powerful work from women with strong voices, so it feels good, and I hope this is the beginning of a true shift.”

Frontline workers and first responders made up the live audience, in place of nominees
Frontline workers and first responders made up the live audience, in place of nominees

The ceremony, which recognises excellence in film and television, is being held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first major event of awards season, and often a good indicator of which films will go on to Oscar glory. While nominees dial in from home, the live audience is made up of frontline workers and first responders of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mank, Nomadland and The Father are among this year’s most nominated films.

Former Saturday Night Live stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have returned to hosting duties this year, but they are in New York and Los Angeles respectively, marking the first time the Golden Globes have been bicoastal. The nominees and winners are voted for by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of international journalists based in California. The HFPA has recently been the subject of controversy, after it was revealed the organisation currently has no black members. “Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do,” Helen Hoehne, vice president of the HFPA, said at Sunday’s ceremony. “Just like in film and television, black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organisation.”

Veteran actress and activist Jane Fonda received the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and used her acceptance speech to call for greater diversity in the industry. The 83-year-old spoke of the importance of storytelling, saying powerful stories can “change our hearts and our minds.” She said: “Let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard. Let’s be leaders.”

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