The Best and Worst Moments of the 2024 Golden Globe Awards

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The 81st Golden Globes ushered in the 2024 awards season on Sunday, with all eyes locked on the battle between the biggest box office hits of the past year: Barbie and Oppenheimer. The Margot Robbie-led Barbie was the most-nominated film of the night with 9 nominations, making it the second most-nominated film in the award show’s history, while Oppenheimer secured eight nods. Both films were credited with helping revive a global box office that was still recovering from a pandemic-related slump, and tonight, they were rewarded for their efforts.

By the evening's end, Oppenheimer had the edge, having taken home not only Best Motion Picture - Drama while Barbie was edged out in the Comedy or Musical category by Poor Things, but also Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey, Jr., and Best Score for Ludwig Göransson. All of this gives the movie an edge as awards season looks ahead to the Oscars in March.

In TV, critical darling Succession cemented its place as one of the greatest modern dramas with its final season on HBO, becoming the most-nominated television show of the night, with nine nods. Other top nominated fan favorites include The Bear, Only Murders in the Building,The Crown, The Last of Us, and many more. Succession took home the top prize for TV drama, along with statues for Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen; Beef and The Bear both fared well, too. Television will be celebrated again in just over a week at the Emmys, postponed due to the Hollywood strikes. As voting closed back in August, tonight's results won't have any bearing on those races.

Comedian Jo Koy hosted the event with just two weeks to prepare—and made note of that in his opening monologue. Last year, Jerrod Carmichael’s monologue was a point of conversation after he called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association out on their lack of diversity in his opening monologue. Koy’s speech did not go over well on social media, with many critics posting their reactions.

Before the ceremony began, the Golden Globes red carpet prompted a bit of a mishap online when The Hollywood Reporter mistook Justin Hartley for Glen Powell in a since-deleted tweet. Powell was a good sport about it:

Read on for our highlights of the night. 

Surprise (but well-deserved) win: Da’Vine Joy Randolph

The first award of the night was for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and the nominations were stacked: Emily Blunt, Danielle Brooks, Julianne Moore, Jodie Foster, and Rosamund Pike. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who has received high acclaim for her performance in The Holdovers, took home the award. She gave a heartfelt speech and gave love to her character: “Oh Mary you have changed my life. You have made me feel seen in so many ways that I have never imagined. I hope I help you all find your own inner Mary because there's a little bit of her in all of you.”

Da'Vine Joy Randolph poses with the award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for The Holdovers during the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards.Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

A win we love to see: A Beef sweep

Netflix’s limited series Beef was an instant success, finding a large audience. The lead performances from Ali Wong and Steven Yeun were lauded by critics, so it’s no surprise the two leads took home awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made For Television, giving us a beef sweep.

Most charming acceptance speech: Ayo Edebiri

When Ayo Edebiri took the stage to accept the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy, she not only made Ireland proud—she delivered one of the most charming speeches of the night. Edebiri won her first Golden Globe with her first nomination, for her performance in The Bear and was reasonably frazzled when she got on stage. She joked as she usually does, but made sure to thank her managers’ and agents’ assistants. And as she was leaving, she apologized for leaving anyone out: “If I forgot to thank you, I’m sorry…unless you were mean or something. Okay, bye!”

Most warranted reaction to a joke: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift made an appearance at the Golden Globes as The Eras Tour movie was nominated for the show's new box office recognition category and, of course, became the most talked about person there (except, maybe, for Timothée Chalamet and Kendall Jenner). Koy made a joke about the NFL constantly cutting to Swift when she shows up to support her boyfriend Travis Kelce, a tight end on the Kansas City Chiefs at his games. “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? At the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.” The camera then panned to Swift, who seemed unamused and took a sip of her drink.

Surprise win: Anatomy of a Fall wins for Best Screenplay

Anyone expecting Barbie or Oppenheimer to take home all the awards they’re nominated for may want to think again. Justine Triet and her partner Arthur Harari won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture for Anatomy of a Fall, beating both films in the category, and Triet accepted the Golden Globe on their behalf.

Worst: Presenter banter is hard to watch

It seems like even the most seasoned actors had a tough time making onstage banter look natural. Notably, Ray Romano and Kerri Russell awkwardly presented the award for Best Supporting Male Actor in Television. But they aren’t the only ones whose jokes didn't land—while the biggest stars in Hollywood tried to be relatable and funny, their attempts fell flat. Maybe they should have stuck to the prompter and presented the awards.

Best presenters: Andra Day and Jon Batiste

After several boring presenters, Andra Day and Jon Batiste saved the night when they  presented the award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for a Motion Picture. Their natural banter and chemistry playing off each other made their moment a joy to watch—prompting many online to suggest they host the Golden Globes next year.

Worst new categories: stand-up comedians and box office achievements

The 2024 Golden Globes saw the addition of two new categories—Best Performance in a Stand-Up Comedy on Television and the award for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement—that have not gone over so well with audiences. Comedian Rickey Gervais won in the stand-up category; in response, the New York Times television critic wrote the category “feels like a weird sham; there’s just no argument that these were the best specials, only that they were the specials released by the most-famous comedians.” Barbie, the highest-grossing movie of 2023, won the award for cinematic and box office achievement, a category that seems to be rewarding a movie for… making the most money? Doesn’t really make sense, but OK. At least we got a sweet moment of the principal cast on stage.

Golden Globes
The cast of Barbie at the 81st Golden Globe AwardsSonja Flemming—CBS via Getty Images

Most deserved (almost) final send-off: Succession

Succession took home the biggest awards in the categories it was nominated for, winning four in total: Best Television Series, Drama; Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama for Sarah Snook; Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama for Kieran Culkim; and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role for Matthew Macfadyen. Going out with a bang for the show’s final season, we won’t see this group together on-stage winning awards after the Emmys later this month. 

Best historic win: Lily Gladstone becomes first Indigenous Best Actress winner

Lily Gladstone is a favorite in the Oscars Best Actress race along with Emma Stone (who won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for Poor Things—unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes divvy their movie awards up by genre). Tonight, Gladstone made history at the Golden Globes and became the first Native American woman to win an award in the Best Actress category, the New York Times reports. At the beginning of her speech, she spoke in the Blackfoot language and acknowledged the history-making win. “I am so honored to have been entrusted with this story that belongs to the Osage nation, and so deeply grateful to the Golden Globes for seeing me, and our film which means so much to Native American and Indigenous people around the world,” she said in her speech. “This is a historic win; it doesn’t just belong to me,” she added. “I am holding it right now, I am holding it with all of my beautiful sisters in the film, at this table over here and my mother [in the film] Tantoo Cardinal, standing on all your shoulders.”

Biggest boost for the Oscars: Oppenheimer

Given that the Golden Globes are the first major televised awards show of the season, they can help set the tone for what will do well at the Academy Awards. With most of the focus being on the face-off between Barbie and Oppenheimer, the latter seems to be in a better position to win big at the Oscars after this evening. The historical drama about the making of the atomic bomb took home five awards at the Golden Globes tonight, including the biggest award of the night—Best Picture, Drama. Cillian Murphy also won for Best Actor in a Drama and Christopher Nolan nabbed the Best Director prize. The Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 23, after which point the major races will come into clearer view.

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