By Erin Free

“If ISIS had a streaming service, you’d all be calling your agents!” Ricky Gervais was back, and he was taking no prisoners. In his opening monologue, he emphasised that this was his last time hosting The Golden Globes, and he was obviously looking to burn all of his bridges in one fell swoop. “I don’t care,” he sighed, and hilariously delivered an awards show host’s version of carpet bombing.

He called out, well, just about everything: the rise of Netflix and streaming (“This show should just be me coming out, going, ‘Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night.’ But no, we got to drag it out for three hours”); Hollywood executives’ fear of Ronan Farrow; companies like Amazon and Apple for running sweatshops; celebrities for working for those companies despite their woker-than-woke political positions; the fact that most people in the room were friends with late Hollywood player, pervert and human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; Leonardo DiCaprio’s fondness for much younger women (“Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere [of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood] and by the end his date was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew was like, ‘Come on, Leo, son. You’re nearly 50-something’”); Martin Scorsese’s short stature (“What are you doing hanging around theme parks?,” he jibed in reference to the director’s slating of Marvel movies as being more theme parks than films. “You aren’t tall enough to get on any of the rides”); and the success of “paedophile movies this year” (“Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving NeverlandThe Two Popes”), amongst many others. He then implored the room’s assembled nominees to not use their acceptance speeches as a platform for politicised speechifying. “Thank god and your agents, and then fuck off,” he suggested. His barbs then continued to bite brilliantly for the whole show. “Here’s a short clip from The Irishman…it runs for 88 minutes.”

Always the loosest of awards ceremonies, the mood of The Golden Globes usually encourages most of its winners to not take themselves too seriously, and this year was no exception. “It’s okay, I know most of you haven’t watched the show,” said Ramy creator Ramy Youssef. “You’re all like, ‘Is he an editor?’” Brian Cox apologised to his fellow nominees for winning; Stellan Skarsgard thanked his makeup artist for giving him eyebrows in Chernobyl; Olivia Colman admitted to being a bit tipsy before going all fan-girl; Brad Pitt noted his gossip mag bait status (“I was gonna bring my mom, but any woman that I stand next to, they say that I’m dating, and that would be awkward”) during a very touching speech where he tipped his metaphorical hat to the mega-titans with whom he shared the Best Supporting Actor category.

There were moving moments too, with Kate McKinnon offering up a heartfelt intro for Carol Burnett Award winner, Ellen De Generes (talking of her own difficulties growing up gay), who then delivered a very funny speech that was equal parts amusing, goofy self-deprecation and sincere thanks. Tom Hanks’ acceptance speech for his Cecil B. DeMille Award was a masterclass in humility and humour (“Who else in this room would have a clip package that includes The Love Boat?”), and would have prompted two simple and well deserved words from most watching: top bloke.

A number of celebrities (Pierce Brosnan, Ellen, and Patricia Arquette, who ignored Ricky Gervais with the most political speech of the ceremony) sent their thoughts our way by mentioning the horrors of the Australian bushfire crisis. Absentee winner Russell Crowe (via an acceptance speech bizarrely and awkwardly read out by appeared-to-be-punked presenter Jennifer Aniston) and presenter Cate Blanchett, meanwhile, courted the malicious ire of Alan Jones and the other ghouls at Sky News “after dark”, meanwhile, by boldly blaming said bushfires on – What? No! – climate change. Joaquin Phoenix also went balls-to-the-wall in his Best Actor speech, dropping F-bombs aplenty, admitting his own failings (“I’m such a pain in the ass”, “I haven’t always been a virtuous man”) and imploring everyone to make personal changes (“Maybe don’t take a private jet to Palm Springs for an awards show”) for the betterment of the world at large.

And some random shout-outs: Aquaman legend Jason Momoa for wearing a singlet under his suit jacket; Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez for (we don’t usually give a shit, but hey) wearing those absolutely wacked out dresses; whoever the person was in the control room with the Olivia Colman obsession; Quentin Tarantino for prompting amusingly minimal clapping when he thanked master screenwriters, Robert Bolt and John Milius (you could practically hear everyone in the room Googling) during his Best Screenplay acceptance speech; everyone who hit the piss…hard; Jay Z and Dexter Fletcher’s hair; Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro just for being Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro; Tiffany Haddish/Salma Hayek and Will Ferrell/Pierce Brosnan for being the funniest presenters of the ceremony; and for all the celebrities who seemed to spend the whole night on their phones.

Thankfully, after a groan (“Kill me…it’s nearly over”), and then a room-rocking, too-soon, hilariously close to the bone joke (“Our next presenter is the star of Bird Box, a movie in which people survive by not seeing anything, which is what you lot did for years with Harvey Weinstein”), Ricky Gervais (who entertainingly really seems to genuinely hate Hollywood and pretty much everything that it stands for) ended the ceremony just as he began it, throwing down a brilliant send-off for the ages. “Please donate to Australia…get drunk, take drugs…fuck off.”

Ricky Gervais…please, please, please come back next year.

Click here for a full list of Golden Globe winners.

1 Comment
  • Pauline Adamek
    6 January 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Damn, Erin! What a perfect summation of a bat-shit crazy event. I just finished watching it and here’s your insightful take on all the screamingly funny highlights. I loved Patricia’s speech (did her air-bags deploy on the ride over, tho?) and loved Hanks’ emotionality. Salma was a hoot. Bloody hell, Ricky really was merciless with his savage barbs. Great show, clever review. “Love your work.”

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