We have this conversation every year, but that doesn't mean it's not true: It's hard to know what to make of the Golden Globes telecast. We—and by "we" I mean most awards-watchers—hold a few truths to be self-evident: that the Globes are silly, that it's nice to see people be praised for good work, and that the Globes (like most awards, unfortunately) do a pretty terrible job of rewarding people who do good work in an equitable way, which means even deserved wins can feel bittersweet.
What's more, Sunday night's awards didn't do much to narrow down the Oscar contenders, if that's your angle. In fact, the film awards were spread around among a lot of contenders that are expected to be kicking around when the nominees are announced on January 13. The best motion picture drama, generally considered the top prize, went to 1917, a film that's not even widely available in theaters until this Friday. It's a World War I epic made by best director winner Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins to resemble one long and continuous shot, and while it's on awards radar and has been for a while, it's only in about 10 or so theaters nationwide right now. It can only feel strange to win your big award before your real opening day.
Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood started what could be a 2020 awards roll with wins for its screenplay, supporting actor Brad Pitt, and then the award for best musical or comedy film. Best actor in a drama went to Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, and best actress to Renee Zellweger in Judy. Best actor in a musical or comedy went to Taron Egerton, who played Elton John in Rocketman, while best actress in a comedy (or a comedy-ish?) was Awkwafina in The Farewell. Best supporting actress in a film was Laura Dern for Marriage Story. And Bong Joon-ho's stunning tale of class and family, Parasite, was named best foreign language film—which it could very well pick up at the Oscars, too, along with a best picture nomination. That's a lot of noise to sort through if you're looking for a predictive signal. (Which you shouldn't, really, since the Globes are given out by a bunch of journalists, none of whom are Oscar voters.)
The television haul was similarly scattered: HBO's buzzy Succession was best drama series, and Fleabag was best comedy series. Honored actors included Succession's Brian Cox, The Crown's Olivia Colman, Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and—delightfully—Ramy Youssef of the Hulu series Ramy. (If you want a reason to root for the Globes, every now and then, they give an award to a new face on an underdog show precisely like Ramy, and whether that should be a source of publicity or not, it generally is one.) Supporting winners in TV were Chernobyl's Stellan Skarsgard and The Act's Patricia Arquette. There were limited series wins for Russell Crowe in The Loudest Voice and Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon, and Chernobyl was best limited series or movie.