Golden Globes Analysis: The CBS Telecast May Have Gotten Mixed Reviews, But Credible Wins From ‘Oppenheimer’ To ‘Anatomy Of A Fall’ Pay Off For Revamped Group


A quick perusal of the reviews indicated tv critics weren’t turned on by what they saw in CBS’s new incarnation of the Golden Globes. Host Jo Koy in particular took some heavy criticism for a generally unfunny and unsuccessful turn in a performance hovering around Ricky Gervais-insult level material but never really getting there. I can’t really speak to how they looked on the tube, but I can say it was fun in the room and the results as they count in the race towards Oscar can only be considered as extremely significant, a collection of winners without a single embarrassment between them. That alone is a triumph considering the history.

And as for the return of the Globes themselves (under new management that included Penske Media Corporation, parent company of Deadline) it felt like I was in some kind of time machine thrust back to 2018 , (pre-pandemic, pre-scandal, pre-strikes, pre-implosion), that had taken me back to a Globes show where the audience is constantly mingling and talking amongst themselves, where nobody really takes any of it seriously, and where it was still a good time, something actually living up to the claim of being “Hollywood’s party of the year”. I was barred from the Beverly Hilton Ballroom Globes ceremony last year for reasons only they know ( so were most of my fellow pundits), but we were welcomed back this year and I have to say it was a throwback to a Golden Globes that, while rocky at times and searching for its true identity in terms of the season, was a welcome cog in the wheel of this crazy race to Oscar, one with a genuine screwy past that 81 years-in still seems oddly necessary.

Universal certainly seems to think so. Executives and stars and filmmakers of their phenominal hit, Oppenheimer, the night’s big winner with five Globes including Best Motion Picture -Drama, were partying well into the night at Tommys in Beverly Hills. The studio has been a consistent favorite with the Globes having won in the recent past several times including Green Book, 1917, The Fabelmans and more that have taken a Best Picture prize. Now with Oppenheimer they are back in the game in a big way, although one that is not terribly unexpected. Oppenheimer has been relatively quiet on the awards circuit thus far, but the Globes victories have pushed it into the stratosphere, with a quick followup expected next weekend for the film which is full of nominations from the Critics Choice Awards. In between we have the SAG nominations being announced on Wedneday and a Cast nomination would be a clear sign it is all smooth sailing until the Oscars. Their Focus Features specialty division also picked up a couple of well-deserved wins for The Holdovers’ Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph (the latter on a clear path to Oscar this season ).

Favorites like Maestro, Killers Of The Flower Moon (with only a single win of Lily Gladstone’s lead appearance), and Barbie (perhaps too pink for its own good) disappointed, clearing the way for Oppenheimer to cement its front runner status in the next couple of weeks. Perhaps the movie to look out for as competition, at least by the evidence of its GG wins, is Poor Things which took Best Picture Comedy/Musical and Actress Comedy/Musical for its star Emma Stone. Competitors can take heart though that neither Globe Best Picture winner last year – The Fabelmans, The Banshees Of Inisherin –went on to any Oscar wins.

But dependable Oscar precursor or not, The Globes, in other words, looks poised to regain its place in the season’s pecking order. I found no one really focused on its past scandals Sunday night, but rather in high spirits talking about anything but the transgressions that led to a virtual boycott and dismissal of what, until then, had always been a key stop on the circuit, and one importantly with a decades long Hollywood tradition. On Sunday instead Sony Chairman Tom Rothman was talking to us about the phenomenal holds their romcom Anyone But You was experiencing, and A24’s David Fenkel was touting a similiar growning success for their drama Iron Craw. Searchlight’s Matthew Greenfield was talking about Sundance and their upcoming film there, Suncoast.

Missing was the immediate post-Globes party scene at the Hilton that could add up to six different studios throwning bashes. This year there was just one on sight thrown by music trade publication Billboard. Netflix(which had a big night for Beef), with a swinging and packed affair at Spago down the street, and Universal across from it at Tommys with an equally crowded after-party kept the tradition alive. Both were enogh for me.

Bottom line the turnout was significant. Hollywood showed up, folks, even resistance leaders like ID publicist Kelly Bush Novak leading Christopher Nolan through the gauntlet. I mean anytime you get Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift to show up (albeit both nominated at the Globes with no chance of using it as a platform to advance to the Oscars), you have to think we have returned to the glory days, or close, considering the Golden Globes were on a suicide watch with even Tom Cruise so upset with them he returned his three statuettes (might he want them back now?). The parade of stars from Ryan Gosling to Leonardo DiCaprio to Jennifer Aniston to Margot Robbie, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon , and on and on meant few no shows.

Key among the impressive wins was the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Anatomy Of A Fall which not only took Best Motion Picture not in the English Language, but also significantly Best Screenplay against heavyweights like KIllers Of The Flower Moon, Barbie , and Oppenheimer. That indicated to me that the effort to bring in real international journalists had paid off and the selections were serious, and most importantly, credible (I had predicted that particular upset and was not disappointed, if only to demonstrate this was not your father’s Golden Globes). In fact between the movie awards and the TV awards there was not a single cringe moment – at least as far as winners were concerned.

Lee Sung Jin accepts the award for Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made For Television.for "Beef"

Speaking of the TV side, the Globes were actually downright respectable, even if a bit boring in its predictability. Succession dominated the Drama series wins, The Bear swept comedy, and Beef took all the key Limited Series honors as HBO, FX, and Netflix had a very good night. Things were back to business as usual, as witnessed also by the fact that the open bar in the back was hopping, the networking was off the charts during commercials, and the feeling that after all that came before in the past few years, at the very least this awards show , for good or bad, offered a since of normalcy Hollywood was craving at this particular moment.

The ratings on new network CBS and Paramount + will tell their own story, but for now the Golden Globes seems to be back on track, reports of its imminent demise perhaps premature?

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