2020 Golden Globes: From Elton to Ellen, Our Favourite Moments
Lyricist Bernie Taupin, left, and Elton John won the first major award of their celebrated five decade collaboration at the 2020 Golden Globes — Best Original Song for "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from the biopic Rocketman. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
People love the Golden Globes because they’re the less predictable, more fun sibling of the Oscars. And Sunday’s 2020 Golden Globe Awards offered the unpredictability, good times and, yes, even drunkenness that fans who tune in adore.
Comedian Ricky Gervais, 58, took on hosting duties for the fifth and (supposedly) final time, skewering celebrities for their hypocrisy at the same time complaining about having to host the show when in reality he had no obligation to agree to do so. He did, however, have a few good quips, including likening actor Joe Pesci to Baby Yoda and joking about how director Martin Scorsese controversially likened Marvel movies to theme park attractions, adding, “Although I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s too short to go on the rides.”
From there, our favourite moments of the evening followed.
Biopics Win Big
Rock legend Elton John proved one of the big winners at the 2020 Golden Globes. The 72-year-old had previously won his only Golden Globe in 1995 for Best Original Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King and now, 25 years later, he found himself nominated in the same category against a song from the remake of The Lion King — Beyoncé’s “Spirit.” John and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, 69, took home the award for their tune “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the biopic Rocketman.
After taking the stage earlier in the show to an extended standing ovation, John and Taupin accepted the award with the latter noting, “This is a song that we wrote for a movie that deals with our relationship. And it’s a relationship that doesn’t happen very much in this town. It’s a 52-year-old marriage.” John added, “This is the first time I’ve ever won an award with him. We’ve never won a Grammy. We’ve never done anything together but this. So thank you.” In fact, all of John’s five Grammy awards were either solo honours or for works with other collaborators. Taupin, meanwhile, won a 2005 Golden Globe for Best Original Song for penning the lyrics to “A Love That Will Never Grow Old,” a song performed by Emmylou Harris in the film Brokeback Mountain.
Actor Taron Egerton also won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for playing Elton John in Rocketman, thanking the rocker in his acceptance speech “for the music, thank you for living a life less ordinary and thank you for being my friend.”
Egerton, however, wasn’t the only person who won for portraying a show business legend. Renée Zellweger, 50, returned to the Golden Globes 17 years after her last win to take home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for portraying Judy Garland in Judy.
“The conversations that I have had with people internationally, they just want to express their love of Judy Garland and tell [me] about the great personal significance of her legacy,” the actress said when accepting the award. “Her humanity has been a great reminder that the choices we make matter. What we make matters and how we choose to honour each other in our lifetimes can matter a great deal down the road.”
Australia and Activism on Our Minds
Russell Crowe, 55, won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for playing former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice, and sent a statement from his native Australia, where he and his family are among the countless people dealing with the raging wildfires across the nation.
“Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-changed based,” the statement said. “We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is.”
In fact, the Australian wildfires were referenced multiple times throughout the evening, along with acceptance speeches that dealt with politics, war, activism and a rousing monologue from actress Michelle Williams, 39, who won the award for Best Actress in a Limited Series for Fosse/Verdon. In her acceptance speech, she spoke about a woman’s right to choose what they do with their bodies and the importance of getting women to vote and shape the world they want to see.
“So, women 18 to 118,” she said, “when it is time to vote, please do so in your self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them, but don’t forget we are the largest voting body in this country. Let’s make it look more like us.”
Two showbiz legends also received honours on the evening, with Ellen DeGeneres, 61, receiving the Carol Burnett Award and Tom Hanks, 63, taking home the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon introduced DeGeneres, noting that, “In the 1990s, when Ellen’s sitcom was at the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights and thinking, ‘Am I gay?’ And I was. The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV.”
DeGeneres accepted the award with humour, thanking her “husband” and “two children” before getting serious about being grateful for the opportunity to inspire others to make their lives and the world better. “It’s a prestigious award,” she also noted, “and what I like most about it is that I knew I would win.”
Actress Charlize Theron, meanwhile, introduced Hanks, declaring that, “This is why we love Tom. He stands for all the qualities we aspire to on screen and off.” The actor delivered an emotional acceptance speech, thanking his family and people he’s worked with before taking a poll of the celebrities in attendance by asking, “How many people in this room have a clip package that includes The Love Boat?”
The Lighter Side of the Globes
The 2020 Golden Globes also contained a number of lighter moments, like Olivia Colman enjoying a few too many cocktails before accepting the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for playing Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of The Crown.
“I don’t know what else to say because I already got a little bit boozy because I thought this wasn’t gonna happen,” the 45-year-old quipped. She added, “For the last year I feel like I’ve been living someone else’s life, and now I’ve won someone else’s award.”
Actor Stellan Skarsgård, 68, joked that the prosthetic eyebrows he wore in the HBO series Chernobyl helped lead to his win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television; actor Brad Pitt, 56, quipped that “I wanted to bring my mom but I couldn’t because any woman I’m seen next to, they say I’m dating” when accepting his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood; and South Korean director and screenwriter Bong Joon-Ho, 50, accepted the award for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language for Parasite, adding through a translator, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many amazing films.”
Netflix (Nearly) Goes Bust
As far as unpredictability, Netflix was expected to take centre stage at the 2020 Golden Globes, with films like Marriage Story, The Irishman and The Two Popes and TV series like The Crown wracking up a total of 34 nominations. But by the end of the evening, the streaming service nabbed only two awards — Laura Dern, 52, winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for Marriage Story and Colman’s win for The Crown, while Amazon Studios took home two awards for the hit British series Fleabag. The First World War drama 1917 won Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Director for Sam Mendes, 54, who dedicated the win to his grandfather who served in the war, while Quentin Tarantino, 56, saw his film Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood nab three awards, including Pitt’s, Tarantino for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture and the Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy honour.
The biggest upset of the night, however, came in the Best Motion Picture – Animated category, with the film Missing Link beating out three major Disney films including The Lion King, Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2, which this weekend became the highest grossing animated film in history.
The Over-45 Winners
Russell Crowe, 55, Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, The Loudest Voice
Stellan Skarsgård, 68, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Chernobyl
Bong Joon-Ho, 50, Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, Parasite
Ellen DeGeneres, 61, 2020 Carol Burnett Award
Brian Cox, 73, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, Succession
Quentin Tarantino, 56, Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
Laura Dern, 52, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture, Marriage Story
Elton John and Bernie Taupin, 72 and 69, Best Original Song – Motion Picture, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”
Patricia Arquette, 51, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, The Act
Olivia Colman, 45, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, The Crown
Tom Hanks, 63, Cecil B. DeMille Award
Sam Mendes, 54, Best Director – Motion Picture, 1917
Brad Pitt, 56, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
Joaquin Phoenix, 45, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Joker
Renée Zellweger, 50, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Judy
Click here for a full list of 2020 Golden Globes winners.