The Power of the Dog and Succession were the big winners at an unusual, stripped-back Golden Globes.
Traditionally, the ceremony is a glitzy telecast with A-listers in attendance but after a year of controversies surrounding diversity and amoral practices, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association lost its footing in the industry, with publicity firms, studios and celebrities choosing to distance themselves.
Sunday night’s event took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, with no stars or audience, and just select members and grantees. Results were announced via social media.
The acclaimed Netflix drama The Power of the Dog was named best picture – drama, while Jane Campion became the third woman to win best director. Kodi Smit-McPhee also won best supporting actor for his performance in the film.
Will Smith was named best actor in a drama for King Richard, while Nicole Kidman won best actress in a drama for playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. It was Kidman’s fourth win from 16 nominations.
Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed remake West Side Story dominated the musical/comedy categories, winning best picture, best actress for Rachel Zegler and best supporting actress for Ariana DeBose. Andrew Garfield was also named best actor in a musical or comedy for Tick, Tick … Boom!.
On the television side, HBO’s hit drama Succession picked up awards for best drama, best actor for Jeremy Strong and best supporting actress for Sarah Snook. The network also saw freshman series Hacks named best comedy and its star Jean Smart win for best actress in a comedy series. Jason Sudeikis was named best comedy actor for Ted Lasso, while O Yeong-Su won best supporting actor for Netflix’s breakout hit Squid Game.
MJ Rodriguez became the first trans woman to win the award for best actress in a drama series for Pose.
Kate Winslet was named best actress in a limited series for the acclaimed crime drama Mare of Easttown while Michael Keaton was named best actor in a limited series for Hulu’s opioid drama Dopesick. Barry Jenkins’ period drama The Underground Railroad also won for best limited series.
Other winners included Japan’s Drive My Car as best film not in the English language, Encanto for best animated feature, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast for best screenplay, No Time to Die for best original song and Dune for best original score.
Staff members representing various non-profits supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were on hand to announce winners. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis appeared via video to talk about the HFPA’s philanthropic efforts. “I am proud to be associated with them in this venture,” Curtis said, while Schwarzenegger praised the organisation’s support of diverse voices.
The event required proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test. Attendees were also required to be masked and socially distanced at all times.
After a series of Los Angeles Times exposés revealing a lack of diversity in the HFPA’s voting membership and a number of “ethical lapses”, the past 12 months have seen high-profile actors including Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson speak out against the association, as well as NBC deciding not to broadcast this year’s ceremony.
Attempted repair work has included “overhauling” previously restrictive bylaws, implementing changes with regards to code of conduct and ethical practices, and bringing in a diverse set of 21 new members.
“Last year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was challenged to change – and we did,” said Helen Hoehne, its president. “Both internally, within the Association, as well as adding 21 members to bring fresh perspectives.
“We are on a journey of change and we’re not going to rest. We are going to be outspoken about what we’re learning and challenge others to join us.”
Kyle Bowser, senior vice-president of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, spoke of a joint five-year initiative to increase diversity, equity and inclusion. “Imagination is the currency that sustains and propels the entertainment industries,” he said during the ceremony.
Last year’s televised ceremony suffered a catastrophic 60% drop in viewers.
Sunday’s Critics Choice awards had been expected to act as an unofficial replacement, with celebrities in attendance and a televised ceremony, but the event was postponed as a result of an increase in Covid-19 cases.
This year’s Oscar nominations are due to be announced on 8 February, with the ceremony taking place on 27 March.