January 8, 2024, saw an outstanding, historic year in both film and television celebrated at the Golden Globes ceremony. Actors, directors and writers alike gathered at The Beverly Hills Hotel in California to award astounding, and career-defining performances in film and television.

With films such as Poor Things, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, and of course the cinema event of the year (if not decade), Barbie and Oppenheimer, many fans were conflicted in what movies and actors were predicted to win, as all nominations were equally deserving.

Prior to the event, audience predictions believed both Barbie and Oppenheimer to be front-runners for the event, primarily because Barbie became the second most nominated film in Golden Globes history after receiving nine nominations in total. However, once the anticipated night finally arrived, Barbies and Kens across the world were met with major disappointment when the only categories the film saw success in were Best Cinematic Box Office Achievement, and Best Original Song for Billie Eilish’s ‘What Was I Made For?”.

Barbie – directed by Greta Gerwig.

The most awarded films of the night were Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. Nolan’s tense and thrilling historical biopic on J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of the atomic bomb”, took home five trophies, winning in categories such as Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Original Score, and Best Director, while actors Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. took home the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor titles for their portrayals of Oppenheimer and Lewis Strauss respectively. Lanthimos’ genre-bending, visually stimulating Frankenstein-esque tale of liberation Poor Things received Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), while lead Emma Stone won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role as Bella Baxter, a role in which fans and critics alike are considering to be Stone’s best work yet, making this a “career-defining role”.

Another standout win includes Lily Gladstone’s Best Actress in a Drama for her role as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. This win makes Gladstone the first Native American to win a Golden Globe, and the second to be nominated after Irene Bedard’s nomination in 1995. Gladstone’s historic feat is one to be recognised and celebrated for years to come, with the acclaimed actress herself opening her acceptance speech with: “This is an historic win, it doesn’t belong to just me.” The actress spoke in her native Blackfoot language, making this speech one of the most moving and heart-warming in film history.

Lily Gladstone at the Golden Globes.

The gripping French court-drama Anatomy of a Fall won Best Screenplay alongside Best Non-English Film, as this emotionally driven film features complex relationships, disability and infidelity, all in the midst of an intensive court case reported on heavily by the media. Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Best Supporting Actress while Paul Giamatti won Best Actor in a Comedy or Drama, both for the underdog hit The Holdovers, which follows a university professor and his remaining student over the course of a turbulent and moving holiday season on campus. This vintage academic comedy took the box office by surprise, featuring exhilarating performances from both Giamatti and Randolph, as well as debut actor Dominic Sessa, who has also received immense appraisal for his performance in the film. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and The Heron received Best Motion Picture (Animated) following its global success and staggering voice-over work, in this fantastical animated landscape which mixes themes of grief and sadness into a world of magic and utopia.

In television, A24’s ‘Beef’, FX’s ‘The Bear’ and HBO’s ‘Succession’ and their respective casts completely dominated in almost all television categories.

‘Beef’, which is the acclaimed studio A24’s first television project, captures the consequences of our actions and road rage, in a surprisingly delicate and moving manner, making many viewers overwhelmed with empathy for the unique and complex roster of characters featured in this series. While ‘Beef’ won Best Limited Series, both lead actors Ali Wong and Steven Yeun won Best Actor and Actress for their respective roles as Amy and Danny in the series. FX’s ‘The Bear’ has a similar winning streak to ‘Beef’, with the darkly funny and sensitively emotional chef series winning Best Comedy Series, with its lead actor Jeremy Allen White as head chef and titular ‘Bear’ winning Best Actor in a Comedy Series, and the utterly hilarious and incredibly talented Ayo Edebiri winning Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal as the immensely gifted chef Sydney.

Ayo Edebiri at the Golden Globes

HBO’s ‘Succession’ also makes a spectacular sweep in the television categories, as the darkly comedic drama centred on family trauma amidst family business won Best Drama Series, with lead actors Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin winning Best Drama Actor and Actress for their portrayals as Siobhan “Shiv” and Roman Roy respectively, while Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox, who play Kendall and Logan Roy, also being nominated for Best Actor, to make the family rivalry storylines repeat themselves on the Golden Globes mainstage.

Matthew Macfadyen took home yet another win for ‘Succession’ following his Best Supporting Actor win for his role as Tom Wambsgans, making the HBO drama’s winning streak that much more impressive.

While ‘Beef’, ‘The Bear’ and ‘Succession undoubtedly took over the television categories, Elizabeth Debicki’s portrayal of Princess Diana in ‘The Crown’ won her Best Supporting Actress, being the only television category not awarded to one of the three previously mentioned series. Debicki’s uncanny portrayal of the late Princess of Wales left audiences in awe of her near identical look and performance of the beloved monarch.

With such a ground-breaking list of films and television series released this year, it was an inevitability for incredible projects to receive no awards, such as Bradley Cooper’s self-directed ‘Maestro’, Greta Lee’s emotionally jarring ‘Past Lives, Emerald Fennell’s chaotic and gothic ‘Saltburn’, Sofia Coppola’s gut-wrenching ‘Priscilla’ among many more truly unforgettable films.

In television, Quinta Brunson’s hilarious and dry ‘Abbott Elementary’, Amazon’s electric adaptation of ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ and HBO’s critically acclaimed ‘The Last of Us’ are among many praised series returning empty handed.

With one fantastic year of cinema behind us, I believe it is safe to say that the film and television industry has completely outdone itself recently and will continue to do so with countless anticipated films already being released as we move into 2024.



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