Top film and television stars walked a windy red carpet on Sunday at the Golden Globe awards, Hollywood’s first big celebration since twin strikes shut down most of show business last year.
The champagne-fuelled ceremony was set to honour the best of movies and TV shows selected by a new group of 300 entertainment journalists from around the world, part of reforms made after a diversity and ethics scandal among Globe voters.
Barbie, the summer blockbuster starring Margot Robbie as the iconic doll, led all nominees going into the ceremony with nine nominations. Historical drama Oppenheimer, about the making of the atomic bomb, followed with eight nods.
The Globes kick off Hollywood’s annual awards season, which culminates with the Oscars on March 10, and brings top stars together after six months of strikes by actors and writers in 2023.
“It’s such an exciting time. You can feel it,” The Holdovers star and nominee Da’Vine Joy Randolph said. “Everyone is so excited to be back.”
Barbie and Oppenheimer, the unlikely pair of films that dominated the box office and spawned countless viral memes last summer, head to the Globes as the favourites to claim the rebooted gala’s top movie prizes.
Dubbed “Barbenheimer” after they were released on the same weekend and grossed a combined US$2.4 billion, the two movies boast 17 nominations between them at the Globes, which will kick off Hollywood’s prize-giving season this year under new ownership.
“They are so different than each other, yet they were both successful,” Globes producer Glenn Weiss says. “We’re thrilled that they’re both very represented here.”
It is tipped to win awards for best comedy film and best screenplay, and boasts three of the six contenders for best song. As the year’s highest grossing movie, it is also likely to claim a newly created trophy for box office achievement.
The favourite to win awards for best drama film, best director, and best score, Oppenheimer focuses on the rivalry between a brilliant scientist and a powerful politician, played by Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. respectively.
They are strong contenders for best lead drama actor and supporting actor.
The ongoing hype surrounding “Barbenheimer,” even months after the films’ releases, is a welcome boon to the new owners of the high-profile but consistently scandal-dogged Golden Globes.
Private investors including US billionaire Todd Boehly bought the awards after years of controversy and declining audiences, and have invested heavily in resetting a night once billed as “Hollywood’s biggest party”.
The Globes – which for decades have offered huge publicity and a timely boost to Oscars hopefuls – were boycotted by the industry after allegations of corruption and racism rose to the surface in 2021.
The show was taken off air entirely in 2022, and several A-listers skipped last year’s edition.
Since then, the rowdy, obscure group of Los Angeles-based foreign journalists that created the Globes 80 years ago has been disbanded, and a wider net of overseas critics was brought in to choose this year’s winners.
“It’s been a big reset for the Globes,” said Weiss.
Presenters include Ben Affleck, Jodie Foster, Kevin Costner and Matt Damon.
“We want this to be a great opening season party that everybody feels that energy from. We all have lived through strikes together. We all are now out of that,” said Weiss.
Comedian Jo Koy hosts the 81st Golden Globes.
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