A Golden Globes like no other sparks hopeful change for the award show’s future

Elizabeth Conneely, Staff Writer

The 78th annual Golden Globes Awards aired on Feb. 28, 2021.  Although the typically luxurious ceremony was held remotely because of the pandemic, it still gained worldwide attention.  A virtual ceremony does not take away the honor and notable achievement that comes with being nominated for the award.

The 2021 ceremony was co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  They were in different locations across the country–Fey was in New York City’s Rainbow Room and Poehler was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Instead of an audience filled with nominees, the show hosted only first responders and essential workers who have been working so hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Nominees joined the ceremony through video links from their homes and hotels.

Many films and individuals had big wins.  The Best Picture Drama nominees were The Father, Mank, Promising Young Woman, Nomadland, and The Trial of the Chicago 7Nomadland, which stars Frances McDormand, won the award.

“I saw Nomadland and thought it was an amazing film.  It definitely deserved the award,” said junior Jae Longaro.

In the category for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, the nominees were Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand in Nomadland, Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman.  In the end, Andra Day won among the talented group of nominees.

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy continued as he posthumously took the prize for Best Performance by an Actor in Motion Picture – Drama in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.  Other nominees for this award were Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal, Anthony Hopkins in The Father, Gary Oldman in Mank, and Tahar Ramin in The Mauritanian.

The five nominees for Best Director – Motion Picture were Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, David Fincher for Mank, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland, Regina King for One Night in Miami…, and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7.  While all films were captivating, Chloé Zhao took home the award.

For Best Motion Picture – Animated, the nominees were The Croods: A New Age, Soul, Over the Moon, Wolfwalkers, and OnwardSoul, which features the voices of Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx, won.

“I loved Soul, but I was surprised Onward did not win Best Animated Film,” said junior Nicole Meehan.

The award show had an audience of 6.9 million viewers, 64% lower than the 18.4 million who tuned in for last year’s show.  The low turnout was due to a number of factors, including the fact that 60 Minutes and The Equalizer were aired on the same night.  In addition, many regular viewers skipped the award show to boycott the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).  The HFPA is the non-profit organization that selects Golden Globe winners.  The group consists of 87 journalists from around the world, but it does not include any person of color.  The protesters hoped to raise awareness of the lack of diversity in the organization. 

“We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV, and the artists inspiring and educating them.  We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible,” said HFPA in a statement on Feb. 26.

The 2021 Golden Globes Awards this year may have looked different than in previous years, but the show still managed to be a fun and exciting evening.