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The Winners and Losers of the 2019 Golden Globes

It was a great night for the United Kingdom, old people, Amy Poehler, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Alfonso Cuarón—you know, basically anyone not named Bradley Cooper

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

While Sunday night’s Golden Globes aren’t the greatest precursor for who and what will be draped in Oscars glory next month (remember when Aaron Taylor-Johnson beat out Mahershala Ali in the year of Moonlight?!), the ceremony is consistently one of awards season’s most entertaining evenings. The booze flows, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association makes quirky picks, and viral moments are spawned; last year, Oprah gave a speech so timely and compelling people assumed she’d just covertly unveiled a presidential bid. And this year, while Bradley Cooper did not pee his pants in a drunken stupor Jackson Maine–style, it was an entertaining night regardless. Here are your Golden Globes winners and losers. (And here’s a full list of the night’s actual winners.)


Winner: The FIJI Water Lady?

Does anyone else suddenly have a craving for natural artesian water bottled at the source of an idyllic Melanesian island?

Loser: Glenn Weiss

Academy Awards director Glenn Weiss was probably expecting a quiet night at home and what he got was FUCKING BURNED. During what was supposed to be the presentation of the award for Best Screenplay, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph savagely spoofed Weiss’s engagement proposal at the Emmys. Oh also, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh opened their monologue with a joke about what a mess the upcoming Oscars are. Weiss got burned twice for no apparent reason. He delivered a uniquely touching and idiosyncratic proposal and it got ripped to shreds by two of the funniest women in Hollywood. Rough night for Glenn!

By the way, if the Oscars aren’t resigned to one of two potentially terrible fates—either a host-less ceremony or retaining Kevin Hart—Poehler and Rudolph would make for ideal hosts. It’s the lowest possible bar to clear, but Poehler and Rudolph have the chemistry for the biggest awards show of the year. If nothing else, time is quickly running out for a better alternative.

Winner: The Shows Nobody Watched

With Game of Thrones being perhaps the final vestige of TV monoculture, it’s difficult to find shows that casual viewers can root for en masse at awards shows. (A small but incomplete list of series that at least carry a significant fandom that vaguely rivals Thrones at its peak: Stranger Things, This Is Us, and … uh, Westworld?) (Not all of these shows are even that good.)

So with the Golden Globes in this year’s television categories falling to shows like The Americans—a great series that nevertheless holds a minuscule audience outside of ardent TV critics—The Kominsky Method, A Very English Scandal, and Escape at Dannemora, it’s no surprise that the general reaction was “Uh, what?” (The only exception here might’ve been Richard Madden’s win for Bodyguard, if only because of its astronomical ratings in the U.K., but even that award drew a fair amount of skepticism online.) We’ve officially made so much good TV (though this year, not necessarily great TV) that a large fraction of it goes completely unacknowledged until it confoundingly wins mildly prestigious awards. Good job, us?

Perhaps, once Thrones wraps up its highly anticipated final season in April, this will be the new normal—something that does not bode well for the perpetually declining ratings of awards shows like the Globes and the Oscars.

Winner: The Movie Nobody Watched

I’d just like to point out: Glenn Close’s performance in The Wife (box office total: $8,200,420) beat out Lady Gaga’s performance in A Star Is Born for Best Actress in a Drama. God bless the Golden Globes’ insistence on doing the least predictable thing possible in every scenario.

Loser: The Green Book Optics

Green Book is the type of movie that’s traditionally been Oscars bait: A biographical dramedy that touches on race in a safe, comfortable manner while reflecting on the “progress” we’ve made. But the film has been criticized for fumbling its racial messaging—oftentimes it’s Jamaican American pianist Dr. Don Shirley (played by Golden Globe winner Mahershala Ali) who’s the butt of the jokes—and its one-sided perspective of the real-life relationship between Shirley and Anthony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (played by Viggo Mortensen). Worse, the family of Dr. Shirley has criticized Green Book’s portrayal of the late musician, stating that he wasn’t as friendly with Vallelonga as the film implies, and condemning the way that the film depicts Dr. Shirley as separated from his family.

All of that context made for a troubling moment on Sunday night when Green Book’s Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly won the award for Best Screenplay–Motion Picture, followed by a win for Best Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy later in the ceremony. Whether or not you’ve had the opportunity to see Green Book, the optics of three white men accepting the screenplay award—and a primarily white ensemble accepting one of the biggest awards of the evening—was an apt summation of the problem with the movie. It was a tough look even before Vallelonga spent the majority of his speech honoring his father, with nary a mention of Dr. Shirley.

Winner: The United Kingdom

The HFPA couldn’t get enough of actors from the United Kingdom, with trophies being handed out to the extremely British movie Bohemian Rhapsody (it won best drama somehow!), Richard Madden (Bodyguard), Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal, appropriately), and most entertainingly, Olivia Colman (The Favourite). Colman gave shout-outs to her director, Yorgos Lanthimos, as well as … the sandwiches being handed out at the ceremony, “my bitches” Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, and the general elation of being alive.

The Globes certainly had a predilection toward folks from the U.K., but thank god they did: a reddening Madden, a poised Whishaw, and a foul-mouthed Colman were the most delightful, non–Stoned Jeff Bridges recipients of the evening.

Loser: A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born seemed destined to dominate awards season as a universally acclaimed blockbuster starring one of the biggest pop stars on the planet and Bradley Cooper doing The Most as its costar-writer-director-producer extraordinaire. But apparently the HFPA couldn’t care less about good reviews, massive box office numbers, and the song where Gaga sings about “an ass like that.” A Star Is Born was almost completely snubbed at the Golden Globes, notching only an unsurprising Best Original Song win for “Shallow.”

Lady Gaga lost out to Glenn Close in The Wife, Cooper lost to Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody, Alfonso Cuarón took Best Director for Roma over Cooper, and Bohemian Rhapsody beat the film for Best Motion Picture–Drama. Now, the Globes—thanks to the erratic decision-making of the HFPA—isn’t always the best precursor for what’s going to happen at the Oscars, but A Star Is Born’s momentum has been undeniably slowed. Heading into the Oscars, it appears the movie could face stiff competition from Bohemian Rhapsody as well as Roma, which didn’t really get a fair shake at the Globes, since it had to compete in the Best Foreign Film category (which it won). Face it: We’re far from the shallow—or anything close to awards season normalcy—now.