Nomadland made Golden Globes history on Sunday night as Chloe Zhao became the first female director to win the awards’ top prize for best drama, while the biting satire, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, won top film honours for comedy, in a mostly virtual ceremony that was marked by pandemic conditions and calls for more diversity.
Nomadland, a semi-fictional drama about people forced to live on the road and work menial jobs in a recession-hit United States also took the best director prize for Chinese-born Chloe Zhao. It made Zhao only the second woman to win at the Globes in that category, and the first female director of colour to win.
The late Chadwick Boseman won best actor for 1920s blues drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, six months after his death from cancer at age 43, in a night of emotional moments interspersed with technical glitches, awkward jokes and a backlash over the lack of Black members of diversity among the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the prizes.
“I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” said Beijing-born Zhao, 38, of the non-actors who live on the open road and starred alongside Oscar winner Frances McDormand.
“For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives – this is for you. We don’t say goodbye. We say see you down the road,” she added after the film won top honours.
Usually a star-packed party that draws Tinseltown’s biggest names to a Beverly Hills hotel ballroom, this year’s event was broadcast from identical sets at the Beverly Hilton and New York’s Rainbow Room, with essential workers and a few A-list presenters among the few in attendance.
The night’s most poignant moment came with Boseman’s win.
“He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifice,” said his widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, who accepted the Globe on his behalf.
“He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history,” she added.
Meanwhile, Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm from Amazon Studios, was named best comedy movie actor, while Andra Day was a surprise winner for playing singer Billie Holliday in The United States vs Billie Holliday.
British royal drama The Crown, comedy Schitt’s Creek, and chess saga The Queen’s Gambit collected the top awards for television.
Actors Emma Corrin, who played a young Princess Diana, Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles, and Gillian Anderson, who played former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, in the Netflix series were also winners.
Elsewhere, British actors Daniel Kaluuya and John Boyega, and animated movie “Soul” were among other diverse winners chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which has been lambasted for having no Black people among its 87 members.
Members of the HFPA appeared on Sunday’s show and pledged to do better.
Golden Globe winners in 2020
Best drama: Nomadland
Best comedy or musical: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best actor (drama): Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best actress (drama): Andra Day for The United States vs Billie Holiday
Best actor (comedy or musical): Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best actress (comedy or musical): Rosamund Pike for I Care a Lot
Best director: Chloé Zhao for Nomadland
Best supporting actor: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah
Best supporting actress: Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian
Best animated film: Soul
Best foreign language film: Minari (USA)
Best TV drama series: The Crown”
Best TV comedy/musical series: Schitt’s Creek
Best actor (TV drama): Josh O’Connor for The Crown
Best actress (TV drama): Emma Corrin for The Crown
Best actor (TV comedy/musical): Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso
Best actress (TV comedy/musical): Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek
Best TV movie or limited series: The Queen’s Gambit