BEVERLY HILLS, California, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Historical drama “Oppenheimer” dominated the Golden Globe awards on Sunday, and gothic comedy “Poor Things” upset summer blockbuster “Barbie,” as Hollywood threw its biggest party since labor disputes shut down much of show business last year.
“Oppenheimer,” about the making of the atomic bomb, landed five honors, including the coveted best movie drama prize and acting awards for stars Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr.
Christopher Nolan won his first Golden Globe award for best director for the film, which was distributed by Comcast’s Universal Pictures.
“I am so pleased that Chris has been acknowledged because I just think that what he does is unlike anything anyone else is doing,” “Oppenheimer” producer Emma Thomas said on stage.
She said Nolan, who is her husband, “brings the best out in people by being the very best himself.”
“Poor Things,” starring Emma Stone as a deceased woman revived by scientists, won best movie musical or comedy.
Awards watchers had widely expected that honor to go to “Barbie,” the female empowerment story inspired by the iconic doll that topped 2023 box office charts and went into the night with a leading nine nominations. Stone also was named best actress in a movie comedy or musical.
“Barbie” went home with just two awards, for Billie Eilish’s song “What Was I Made For” and for a new category called cinematic and box office achievement, created for widely seen films.
The winners were chosen by roughly 300 entertainment journalists who voted on the honors as a part of a new organization created after an ethics and diversity scandal among Globe voters.
Lily Gladstone, best actress winner for her role in “Killers of the Flower Moon” began her acceptance speech by introducing herself in the Native American language she learned in school.
“This is an historic win,” Gladstone continued in English. “It doesn’t belong to just me. I am holding it right now with all my beautiful sisters.”
She thanked director Martin Scorsese as well as Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, her co-stars in the story about the murders of members of the Osage Nation in the 1920s.
“You are all changing things,” Gladstone said.
Other acting winners included Paul Giamatti and Da’Vine Joy Randolph for “The Holdovers,” a comedy set at a boys boarding school.
In television categories, “Succession” was named best drama and led all series with four wins, including a lead acting honor for Kieran Culkin. “Suck it, Pedro!” Culkin joked to competitor Pedro Pascal from “The Last of Us.”
“The Bear,” about the struggles of owning a restaurant, won best TV comedy and acting trophies for stars Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri.
Road-rage story “Beef” landed the Globe for limited series.
The glitzy ceremony at the Beverly Hilton kicked off Hollywood’s annual awards season, which culminates with the Oscars on March 10, and brought top stars together for the first time after six months of strikes by actors and writers in 2023.
The event gave performers the chance to mingle and to publicize their movies and TV shows after months when red carpets and other promotion was prohibited.
Jo Koy, a comedian hosting his first major awards show, opened the ceremony, broadcast live on CBS (PARA.O), with jabs at some of the A-list stars and their projects.
“Oppenheimer,” a historical drama running three hours long, “needed another hour,” Koy joked. “I felt like it needed some more backstory.”
Known as a boozy celebration more relaxed than the Academy Awards, the Globes nearly disappeared. A 2021 Los Angeles Times report revealed ethical lapses and a lack of diversity among the roughly 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that previously voted on the Globes. The 2022 ceremony was scrapped while the organization made reforms.
Sunday’s turnout showed Hollywood had re-embraced the Globes as a key stop on the awards campaign trail. In the crowd were several Hollywood legends from Meryl Streep to Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster, all Globe nominees vying for Oscars this year.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift joined the crowd as a nominee for her recent concert film. Oprah Winfrey presented the night’s top prize to “Oppenheimer.”
Several winners commented that the talent in the room made the crowd “intimidating.”
“I can’t believe I’m in this room with all these people I have loved so much, admired so much, for so long,” “The Bear” star White said as he accepted his award. “It’s unreal.”