Chinese-born Chloe Zhao makes history at Golden Globe Awards


This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Frances McDormand (left) and director Chloe Zhao on the set of "Nomadland". - Searchlight Pictures via AP

LOS ANGELES, March 1 (Reuters): Drama Nomadland and satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won movie honors at the Golden Globes on Sunday in a mostly virtual bicoastal ceremony that was marked by impassioned calls for more diversity and the dominance of Netflix.

Nomadland, a moving drama about van dwellers in recession-hit America from Searchlight Pictures, won best drama movie while Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was named best musical or comedy film.

Nomadland also took the best director prize for Chinese-born Chloe Zhao. It made Zhao only the second woman to win at the Globes in that category, and the first woman director of Asian descent to win.

The two wins for Nomadland increased the profile of the film ahead of nominations in March for the Oscars.

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm from Amazon Studios was named best comedy movie actor, while Andra Day was a surprise winner for playing singer Billie Holliday in The United States vs Billie Holliday.

An empty ballroom during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Feb 28, 2021. Usually a star-packed, laid-back party that draws Tinseltown's biggest names to a Beverly Hills hotel ballroom, this pandemic edition is broadcast from two scaled-down venues, with frontline and essential workers among the few in attendance. - AFPAn empty ballroom during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Feb 28, 2021. Usually a star-packed, laid-back party that draws Tinseltown's biggest names to a Beverly Hills hotel ballroom, this pandemic edition is broadcast from two scaled-down venues, with frontline and essential workers among the few in attendance. - AFP

The Korean-American movie Minari, about an immigrant family starting a farm in rural America in the 1980s, won best foreign language movie.

Netflix Inc’s period drama Mank, about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, had gone into Sunday’s show with a leading six nods but ended the night empty-handed.

Nevertheless, the streaming service was the biggest winner on Sunday, with four wins in the movie field and six for television, including best TV drama series The Crown and limited series chess saga The Queen’s Gambit.

Actors Emma Corrin, 25, who played a young Princess Diana, Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles, and Gillian Anderson, who played Margaret Thatcher, in the Netflix royal series were also winners.

“I’m just sorry I am sitting here in my tragic little office and not surrounded by the people who make this show so lovely, ” said Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown, who appeared on a webcam.

A surprised Corrin said, “Thank you so much to Diana. You taught me compassion and empathy.”

This image released by Netflix shows Emma Corrin in a scene from This image released by Netflix shows Emma Corrin in a scene from "The Crown". Corrin was named best actress in a television drama series at the Golden Globe Awards. - AP

Comedy Schitt’s Creek won best comedy series. Dan Levy, the co-creator of Schitt’s Creek, called thewin a “lovely acknowledgement” of the show’s message of inclusion.

The usual chummy gathering of A-listers at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills, California, was replaced by webcams in the homes of celebrities that were either dressed up or, like Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, in casual garb.

Hosted by Tina Fey in New York and Amy Poehler in Beverly Hills, the small physical audiences were made up of masked frontline workers.

Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown said he missed being together. “I’m just sorry I am sitting here in my tragic little office and not surrounded by the people who make this show such a pleasure,” Morgan said, appearing by video.

However Jodie Foster, a best supporting actress winner for the Guantanamo prison legal drama The Mauritanian, told reporters backstage that she felt it was one of the best Golden Globe shows ever.

“It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice,” said Foster.

Emotional high points included a posthumous best actor award for Chadwick Boseman, who died at age 43 last August from an undisclosed battle with cancer.

“He would say something beautiful,” said his widow Simone Ledward Boseman, as she fought back tears. “I don’t have his words.”



British actors Daniel Kaluuya and John Boyega were among other Black winners chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which has been lambasted in recent days for having no Black people among its 87 members.

Soul, the first Pixar movie to have a Black character in the lead, was named best animated movie and won best score.

The HFPA was the target of jokes and comments throughout the night. “We all know awards shows are stupid,” said Fey. “Even in stupid things, inclusivity is important and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”

Members of the HFPA appeared briefly on Sunday’s show and pledged to do better.

Jane Fonda, 83, used her lifetime achievement acceptance speech to make the case for elevating all voices in Hollywood, saying that stories “really can change people.” - Reuters

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