The Barbenheimer Fever Continues | 81st Golden Globe Awards

The Barbenheimer Fever Continues | 81st Golden Globe Awards

Barbie and Oppenheimer, the two blockbuster hits of 2023, continued their well-deserved run at the recently concluded 81st Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles. Barbie was awarded Best Cinematic Achievement for its dream Box Office run, with the Best Original Song for Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For.” However, it was Oppenheimer who stole the show, with five awards in major categories, including the Best Motion Picture Drama of the Year. The historical drama also bagged Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr., Best Score for Ludwig Göransson, and Best Director for Christopher Nolan.

This was Christopher Nolan’s first Golden Globe win after being nominated on five occasions. “As directors, we bring people together and try to give them their best. I can only accept this on behalf of the people,” he said while receiving the award. Oppenheimer’s main rival for drama, Killers of the Flower Moon by Martin Scorsese, won the Best Actress award for Lily Gladstone, who became the first Indigenous actor to be nominated for and win the Golden Globe. She accepted her award with a speech in the native Blackfeet language, saying, “This is for every little rez kid, every native kid, who is seeing themselves represented in our worlds.”

It was an equally big night for the HBO-hit Succession, who brought home four Golden Globes. The final installment of the popular drama series was a huge success worldwide, which is reflected in its trophy cabinet, bagging Best Actor for Kieran Culkin, Best Actress for Sarah Snook, Best Supporting Actor for Matthew Macfayden, along with Best Television Series in Drama. “I just adored every second of playing the wonderful human grease stain that is Tom Wambsgans,” quipped Macfayden, while also echoing the sentiments of the show creator Jesse Armstrong, who said the win was a team effort.

The three-hour award ceremony at the Beverly Hilton was the first Golden Globes after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was disbanded in 2023. The association was criticized for lacking diversity in the members, which affected the voting process. The Golden Globes, with all its rights and assets, was acquired by Dick Clark Productions and Eldridge Industries, who, with its diverse body of 300 international members across 76 countries, looked after this year’s nominations and awardees. Seeing how the event unfolded as the body took over was interesting, with new producers, showrunners, and broadcasting agencies running the show.

Comedian-actor Jo Koy was announced as host just two weeks before the event after A-list comedians like Chris Rock declined the offer. Despite all the uncertainties, the event was a success, with star-studded attendance for the evening. Unlike the relatively edgy hosting by Jerrod Carmichael last year, Koy’s comedy was uncontroversial and simple, taking easy swings at celebrities like Robert DeNiro and Taylor Swift. Nominated for her super-hit concert film, The Eras Tour, Taylor narrowly missed her inaugural Best Cinematic and Box Office Achievement award to Barbie.

Since the new and improved judiciary committee took over, foreign features won big over the favorites. Justine Triet and Arthur Harari bagged the Best Screenplay award for Anatomy of a Fall over Barbie and Oppenheimer. The French courtroom thriller was also the Best Non-English Language Film of the year. Among other changes, The Globes introduced two new awards this year- an award for best blockbuster, which went to Barbie, and a prize for the best stand-up comic presented to Ricky Gervais, a five-time Globes host.

On the TV side, The Crown, despite being the favorite to win maximum awards following the release of its awaited final season, could only manage the Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series for Elizabeth Debicki. Known for her incredible role as Princess Diana, Elizabeth joined the list of talented Australians who rocked this year’s Golden Globes, including Sarah Snook and Margot Robbie. FX’s Bear and the Netflix revenge drama Beef cleaned up the remaining awards, with actress Ali Wong becoming the first Asian-American nominee or winner in her category.

Golden Globes occur in January every year, marking the beginning of the awards season and setting the stage for subsequent ceremonies. It honors outstanding achievements in the film and television sector for English and non-English works. This global recognition attracts celebrities and artists worldwide, often providing insights into what movies or TV shows will score big throughout the year. The 81st edition was a big hit, with some predictive winners and major surprises. The Barbenheimer fever is set to continue in other award ceremonies as well.

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