2021 Golden Globes: Nomadland, Chadwick Boseman, And Anya-Taylor Joy Win : Pop Culture Happy Hour This year's Golden Globes ceremony took place under a cloud, following fresh reporting on accusations that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is too small, too secretive, and not remotely diverse enough. Still, even during the pandemic, a hybrid part-live, part-remote telecast went on. It honored actors like Chadwick Boseman, Jason Sudeikis and Catherine O'Hara, films including Nomadland and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and television projects like The Crown and The Queen's Gambit. And it even managed a couple of genuinely memorable moments.

We Recap The 2021 Golden Globe Awards

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It's 12:19 a.m. And we are recapping last night's Golden Globes. This year's ceremony took place under an even bigger cloud than usual following fresh reporting on accusations that the group that hands out the awards is too small, to secretive and not remotely diverse enough.


Still, even during the pandemic, a hybrid - part-live, part-remote - Golden Globe ceremony went on. It honored actors like Chadwick Boseman, Jason Sudeikis and Catherine O'Hara, films including "Nomadland" and "Borat," television projects like "The Crown" and "The Queen's Gambit." And it even managed a couple of genuinely memorable moments. I'm Glen Weldon.

HOLMES: And I'm Linda Holmes. And we are recapping the Golden Globes on POP CULTURE HAPPY HOUR from NPR. So don't go away.


HOLMES: Welcome back. You just met Glen Weldon. Also with us from her home in Oakland where it's not nearly so late is Aisha Harris. Hi, Aisha.


HOLMES: Hello. So the Golden Globes have always been among the silliest awards of the season. But it's important to note that the tone of the criticism has been pretty serious in recent weeks. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the Globes, was recently the subject of some investigative reporting by the LA Times. One piece reported that the HFPA includes zero Black people, has not for some time, and some people who don't really seem to be working much as journalists. And the HFPA is a very small group. It's roughly 90 members. To compare that, the group that gives out the Oscars has around 10,000 members. So that's a very different proposition.

There are also a lot of questions raised in that reporting about how the HFPA receives and gives out money and goodies, basically. The LA Times reported, for example, that members of the HFPA went on a lavish junket to hang out on the set of "Emily In Paris," paid for by the show. And that's a show that they wound up treating more favorably in their nominations than a lot of people expected. There are more questions about the way money, including a lot of money that comes from NBC to air the ceremony, is paid out to members of the group for sitting on committees or doing other things that are part of the operation of this organization that is supposed to be a non-profit.

So we think of the Globes as an entertainment event that a really big audience still watches, in part, because a lot of people see it as the kickoff for Oscar season. Let me just say, if you are queasy about these awards being granted any weight at all, you will get, I think, no argument from us. That is certainly not our position. So to the degree that they mean much, there certainly were some good properties, some good movies and television that were honored. We're going to start with "Nomadland," which won sort of the top-top movie prize, Best Motion Picture Drama, and also Best Director for Chloe Zhao. We just covered this recently on POP CULTURE HAPPY HOUR. So we don't necessarily need to rehash that whole thing. But we were big fans of it. I loved seeing Chloe Zhao win, yeah?



HOLMES: The top prize for a motion picture musical or comedy went to "Borat Subsequent Movie Film," a movie that I like to say, not for Lindas. But I know people who love it really love it. Also winning for that was Sacha Baron Cohen, who won Best Actor for a musical or comedy. The best actor in a drama, I think this one delivered one of the best moments of the night for sure. That award went to Chadwick Boseman for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Boy, that was quite a moment.

WELDON: Yeah. Accepting the award on his behalf was his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward. And, look; the Globes are trashy and meaningless. And then something real happens out of nowhere. And that was a really effective speech and a really effective moment in an evening that felt shambolic and chaotic otherwise.


TAYLOR SIMONE LEDWARD: He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you were meant to be doing at this moment in history. He would thank...

HARRIS: It kind of felt similar to the moment of that whole series of Heath Ledger getting his posthumous awards for his role in "The Dark Knight." And it felt really earned. And it didn't feel like it was just because he had passed away. Like, this was the role of a lifetime for him. And I'm really glad to see him being honored in that way.

HOLMES: Yeah. It was a very, very moving speech. If you didn't see it, I encourage you to seek it out. It's all over the place. That award, I think, was wonderful to see, not too surprising. One that I think was surprising was Andra Day for "The United States Vs. Billie Holiday." Aisha, you saw this. Did this surprise you?

HARRIS: Not too much. I think that there was a lot of buzz for her. And I think that it was more likely she was going to win award for this than she might be to win for an Oscar if she were to get an Oscar nomination. But she does a really great job of sounding like Billie Holiday without sounding too much like her, like it's feeling like mimicry. And she is, by far, the best thing about that movie. And we'll actually be covering it in our episode tomorrow. So everyone can check it out.

HOLMES: Fantastic. I'm extremely excited because I haven't seen it yet. In addition to that, the first award of the night, actually, in order of presentation, was Daniel Kaluuya for "Judas And The Black Messiah." They had a little glitch with his audio. You know, they were figuring it out. We've all had that. Glen said the motto of the pandemic was going to be, mom, you're muted.


HARRIS: (Laughter).

HOLMES: It was a little bit of a mom-you're-muted kind of moment. But I was not surprised that he won that because he's wonderful in that movie, I think.


DANIEL KALUUYA: You did me dirty. You did me dirty. You did me dirty. You did me dirty. Am I on? Is this on? Is this on? All right, cool.


KALUUYA: Can you hear me now? All right, cool. I'm on. We've got this. We've got this. We're cool.

WELDON: He really is. And it's a solid win. I mean, like, he started speaking. And you heard millions of voices crying out, you're on mute, Dan. You're on mute.



WELDON: And I think that moment should make the montage in years to come if there is still a Golden Globes (laughter) in years to come because, who knows? But, like, that will be the most emblematic acceptance speech of 2021, (laughter) easily. That will crystallize this moment in time.

HARRIS: I'm just glad that he was able to get back in there...


HOLMES: (Laughter).

HARRIS: ...And give the speech that he did.

HOLMES: Poor Laura Dern was about to move on.


HOLMES: She was. She's like, let's get it going. He's like, you did me dirty. And I was like, yay.

HARRIS: He did say you did me dirty.

HOLMES: Oh, that was a wonderful way to start. And the other one that I want to shout out for just the pure presentation of it is Jodie Foster, who won for a movie called "The Mauritanian," which I don't think very many people have seen yet. I certainly haven't.


HOLMES: But she won for that. And she was on her couch at home with her wife and her dog. Glen, iconic moment, yes?

WELDON: Iconic moment, not just the jammies, but, like, if she accepted that award sitting in a tight dress, you know, at the Beverly Hilton or whatever, there'd be one thing. But there's another thing to see her in her jammies on her couch with her wife, Alex, and her dog, Ziggy, and having a kiss. Like, that's - after years of coding and coyness and sidling up to the topic of her sexuality, it's - just to see it there so plainly, so matter-of-factly, it was a big moment.

HOLMES: She looked really happy.

HARRIS: She did.

WELDON: Yeah, she looked really happy.

HOLMES: She looked really happy and chill, which is not always the way I think of her, like, at public events.


HOLMES: But maybe it's more fun when you're at home with your wife and your dog. Other winners, Rosamund Pike won Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for "I Care A Lot," which we talked about on the show recently. That's a divisive movie. I think she's very good in it. "Minari," which we also just covered...


HOLMES: ...Whoo, indeed - won for foreign language film, which has been a controversial designation, to say the least, because it's an American movie. And "Soul" won for animated film. "Schitt's Creek" won for TV series, musical or comedy, and Catherine O'Hara, the great Catherine O'Hara. Glen, I can't believe you didn't whoo at that one.

WELDON: Well, I mean, you know, as she did a bit.

HARRIS: She did.

WELDON: And she had her husband try to play her off.

HARRIS: Oh, boy.

HOLMES: Are we sure it was a bit, because I thought it might have been a not-bit turned into a bit by accident?

HARRIS: (Laughter).

WELDON: No, that's because Catherine O'Hara is a consummate professional. It was a bit. And it didn't work because - ask any comedian who's been trying to do shows on Zoom over the past year, bits don't work on Zoom. It's tough.


WELDON: And the power of "Schitt's Creek" cannot be denied.

HOLMES: Speaking of things that other folks have recognized, they also gave a bunch of Golden Globes this year to "The Crown." The Netflix series won TV series drama, also actress in a TV drama, Emma Corrin, actor in a TV drama, Josh O'Connor. So those two actors are your Charles and Diana. Also, the supporting actress in a drama was Gillian Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher. That's a controversial performance.


HOLMES: I'm anti, many people are pro. I'm not anti-her. I love her.


HOLMES: But "The Queen's Gambit," which was a big - got a lot of talking up this year, limited series, anthology, series or TV movie, it won that. And also, the actress in a similar limited series, anthology series, TV movie was Anya Taylor-Joy, also from that. Did that one surprise you, Aisha?

HARRIS: (Laughter) Well, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that something as ambitious and amazing and wonderful as "Small Axe" would lose to something (laughter) like "The Queen's Gambit" at the Golden Globes. So not surprising, but still, nevertheless, disappointing. Although, I am very glad to see that John Boyega won for his role in "Red, White And Blue," which was one of the films in the "Small Axe" series. So there's a little justice for that, but still disappointing.

HOLMES: Yeah. I hear that. Let's talk a little bit about Jason Sudeikis, who won for...


HOLMES: ..."Ted Lasso," which we love. I mean, that's a show that we have loved. He was in a hoodie...

HARRIS: (Laughter).

HOLMES: ...Seemed like he hadn't shaved. People were wondering what he was, you know, enjoying in his evening, maybe. But he seemed a little zoned out.


JASON SUDEIKIS: I read this book to my son, Otis, called "The Three Questions" by Leo Tolstoy. And he has these three questions like, when's the best time to do things? When's the right thing to do? What is the right thing to do? And then, who is the most important one? And that last question - who is the most important one? - is, like, whoever the person you're with. So I kind of reject the premise of being the best actor because, in my humble opinion, the best actor is the person you're acting with.

WELDON: A little chill. Yeah, definitely some chill there. But if we define best dressed as not, like, most ostentatiously or most expensively dressed, but most ideally suited to the cultural moment, that hoodie was best dressed of the evening, as far as I'm concerned.

HARRIS: Yes. If Daniel Kaluuya was the most 2021 moment technically, then Jason Sudeikis was the most 2021 moment fashion wise (laughter).

WELDON: Sardonically, yes.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.


HOLMES: Fair point. And I was going to be anti-that-look. But I'll take it. And it's the - the bonus is that if you watch that speech now, you'll feel like you're on a Zoom call with Jason Sudeikis because...


HOLMES: ...It just looks like it could be any Zoom call between any people. Also, we should mention actor in a limited series, anthology series or movie, who was Mark Ruffalo in "I Know This Much Is True," which was on HBO. And also, as we mentioned, John Boyega, supporting actor in "Small Axe." We do want to talk about the two kind of honorary awards, the noncompetitive awards, as it were. They honored Norman Lear with the Carol Burnett Award. Boy, I could watch Norman Lear talk all day about his long career in television.

WELDON: Yeah. That was a joy.

HARRIS: Yeah. He's just such a pleasure. And he kept it short and sweet. And (laughter) unlike many of the other celebrities who were calling in remotely, he had the best lighting and sound setup by far.

HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah.

HARRIS: It was great.


NORMAN LEAR: At close to 99, I can tell you that I've never lived alone. I've never laughed alone. And that has as much to do with my being here today as anything else I know.

HARRIS: Yeah. I agree. And I think he really spent some time in that speech directing attention kind of away from himself and to his various collaborators over the years, mentioned tons and tons of people that he had worked with. And then kind of going in a different direction with that kind of refocusing, the Cecil B. DeMille Award went to Jane Fonda, who spent a lot of her speech talking about all the, like, cool new stuff she wanted people to see and pay attention to.


JANE FONDA: "I May Destroy You" has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way. The documentary "All In" reminds us how fragile our democracy is and inspires us to fight to preserve it. And "A Life On Our Planet" shows us how fragile our small, blue planet is and inspires us to save it and ourselves.

WELDON: Including "I May Destroy You," which, if she hadn't given that speech, that show would not have been mentioned all night long. So I really love that.


HARRIS: Yeah. I just appreciate all of the attention that she has given and the fact that she has always kind of been like this. At least for decades, she has been willing to see the spotlight. And I think that was especially evident in this speech tonight.

HOLMES: Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about the telecast itself now that we've kind of done all the boring (laughter) awards. So Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted. They've hosted the Golden Globes several times. What did you think about the hosting, Aisha?

HARRIS: I mean, look; they're always game. I feel like they're always giving a lot of energy. I also feel like there was only so much they could do.


HARRIS: And the jokes were kind of the same jokes we see every year where it's like, OK, we're going to mock these awards even though the entire night is dedicated to celebrating these awards and these people.


HARRIS: And, of course, there were these straight up admissions about the fact that there were no Black people, are no Black people in the HFPA. And at one point, they got sort of serious and were like, you need to change that. And I was like, oh, yeah. I mean, yeah, I'll clap for you. But, I mean, duh (laughter).


HOLMES: Right. Right.

HARRIS: It's like - it's just kind of preaching to the choir. So - you know, it was interesting to see them attempt to do this bicoastally and with a split screen in the middle of it. But overall, the only highlight of all of these bits was definitely Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph...


HARRIS: ...Doing some weird, French-accent sketch (laughter). It was perfectly weird, I think.


MAYA RUDOLPH: (As Beverly) Francois and I, we're so blessed to have several songs in the mix this year. We wrote the theme for "The Crown."

KENAN THOMPSON: (As Francois, beatboxing).

RUDOLPH: (As Beverly, rapping) The Crown. The Crown. The Crown. The Crown. The Crown. The Crown.

MAYA RUDOLPH AND KENAN THOMPSON: (As Beverly and Francois) You know it.

HOLMES: What were they doing (laughter)?

WELDON: They were trying to be an acceptance speech that went off the rails, that is just deep - they were doing the 12:50 sketch on "SNL."

HOLMES: Oh, I see.


WELDON: It's just weirder than everything around them. I do think that Tina and Amy did what they could. There was something off about their presentation. It had nothing to do with their delivery. It had to do with the staging because Tina was on the left of the screen and Amy was on the right. And Tina was broadcasting from the Rainbow Room. And Amy was broadcasting from the Beverly Hilton. And they should have switched. All night, it bugged me that...

HARRIS: (Laughter).


WELDON: ...That the coasts were switched on my screen. They were active participants, which is the most important thing. You respond to things going on during the show. You want them to recognize when something weird happens, like when Jack Palance dropped and did one-arm push-ups when he was accepting the Best Supporting Actor for "City Slickers" in 1992.

HOLMES: Right.

WELDON: That became a thing because Billy Crystal and his writers knew this - we have to talk about this. So now, you could argue that Amy and Tina had it a little bit easier because they can just watch Twitter and see what's happening. And they can see that when Don Cheadle is motioning for Jason Sudeikis to wrap it up, that becomes a thing.

HOLMES: Yeah. I felt like compared to the Emmys, this was very, very shabbily produced. There were a couple times when I felt like, you know, the tech was not good. The sound was not good on a lot of the remotes.


HOLMES: They also tried a little telemedicine gag that was about the hilarity of celebrities getting special treatment for medical care during a pandemic. And Glen gave it a B+ on Twitter and is fired.

HARRIS: (Laughter).

WELDON: No, no, no, no. Look, look; when the celebrities play into their narcissism and make that the bit, I'm all for it. It's when they adopt this kind of mock-serious, dreams of shadows and light that I just turn off. But so I was all in on that B+, A-.

HOLMES: How did you feel about telemedicine, Aisha?

HARRIS: Oh, God. I gave it a D. I was...


HARRIS: As soon as it started, I was like, I don't care about this. Who are these - these doctors don't - they're not actors, so it's awkward. Oh, God, no (laughter).

HOLMES: See; Aisha's my real friend.

WELDON: Oh, but the doctor reacting to just talking to Glenn Close? Come on. (Laughter) That was a thing. The way he clutched his chest before he addressed Glenn Close, I feel that.

HARRIS: (Laughter).

HOLMES: It's fair. It's fair. Well, so in sum I would say, a poorly produced Globes under a cloud of suspicion, but nevertheless provided a couple of nice moments, because who doesn't like to see "Minari" and Jason Sudeikis and Daniel Kaluuya win awards?

WELDON: Sure. We've tossed around the word shambolic on this show before about award shows. It was not earned until tonight.

HARRIS: (Laughter).


WELDON: This was shambolic.

HOLMES: It's true, shambolic. All right. Well, we want to know what you think about this year's Golden Globes. Find us at facebook.com/pchh and on Twitter at @PCHH. That brings us to the end of our show. Thank you both for staying up late to be here.

WELDON: Thank you.

HARRIS: Thank you.

HOLMES: And, of course, thank you for listening to POP CULTURE HAPPY HOUR from NPR. And if you have a second and you're so inclined, subscribe to our newsletter. That's at npr.org/popculturenewsletter. We will see you all right back here tomorrow. And as Aisha mentioned, we will be talking about "The United States Vs. Billie Holiday."

WELDON: And happy birthday, Tommy Tune.


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