"1917" wins the Top Golden Globe because Netflix favorites are running out

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(Bloomberg) – The Golden Globes have lived up to their reputation as Hollywood's most unpredictable awards ceremony.

“1917”, a World War I epic by director Sam Mendes and Universal Pictures, was named the best drama Sunday by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and found a prize race in cinemas just a few days before its release. Mendes also took home the Best Director Award.

That was bad news for Netflix Inc. "1917" knocked out four more pictures, including three competitors of the streaming giant: "The Irishman", "Marriage Story" and "The Two Popes". Experts had seen “The Irishman” as the front runner – not only on Sunday evening, but next month at the Academy Awards. Netflix won only two awards that night, one for its TV show "The Crown" and one for the film "Marriage Story".

The result is a race for the Oscar for Best Picture – Hollywood's most coveted prize – in which nine different films from the 14 Golden Globe categories have been awarded and no film won more than three.

If a film turned out to be the front runner for the Oscars, it was Quentin Tarantino and Sony Corp., the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" that won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy. Tarantino also won the best script for his ode to Hollywood in the 1960s, while Brad Pitt won the best supporting actor for his stunt double performance for the film's main character, Leonardo DiCaprio.

"Thanks to the eclectic and always loud Hollywood Foreign Press Association," said Pitt as he accepted his award.

Foreign journalists

While the Oscars reflect the tastes of the people who work in Hollywood, a few dozen international journalists decide on the Globes. They have always shown a preference for big names, which has led to surprising winners.

"1917", which opened in selected cinemas in December, will be released on January 10. Three of the last four Oscar winners – "Green Book", "Moonlight" and "The Revenant" – were Golden Globe award winners.

Complete list of Golden Globe winners

And although the Golden Globes have never been the best predictor of Oscar fame, the highest awards can extend the life of a movie at the box office, and a growing squad of streaming services sees them as an important way to attract subscribers and talent to win for projects.

Netflix chased awards with particular enthusiasm and spent tens of millions of dollars on campaigns and upset competitors. The voters of the awards initially hesitated to recognize Netflix, which has burdened Hollywood's economy.

Large theater chains refuse to show Netflix movies because they will be available for streaming so soon. Some large media companies no longer sell their television programs and films to the streaming giants.

Filmmaker Resistance

But the filmmakers' resistance melted in the face of funding their projects. A true who's who of filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuaron, Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach and Ava DuVernay, has now made films for the company. The imprimatur of these lions of the cinema has helped Netflix to honor the voters for Charm Awards. The company received more Globes nominations than any other studio, and Cuaron won the Oscar for Best Director last year.

"Nobody cares about cinema and nobody watches television on the network," said moderator and comic actor Ricky Gervais in his opening monologue on the NBC program. "Everyone is watching Netflix."

Except for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The wasteful spending of Netflix and the plethora of nominees didn't lead to many victories.

Korean victory

"Parasite" was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the first South Korean film to receive this award in the event's 77-year history. Directed by Bong-Joon Ho, “Parasite” is a parable of class, family, and privileges over a poor Korean family that fits into the life of a rich family.

"Parasite" is recognized as the best foreign film by Golden Globes

The film debuted in October with rave reviews and was named best film of the year by the National Society of Film Critics.

The win increases the Oscar rate for “Parasite”, which, according to the Gold Derby, scores the third best goal in winning the best picture. Winning the grand prize is always a challenge for a foreign film, and foreign films cannot even be nominated for the best drama or comedy in the world.

Unlike the Emmys and Oscars, the Golden Globes honor both films and TV shows. HBO's "Succession" was voted the best drama, while Amazon's "Fleabag" won the best comedy.

HBO won most of a network's awards and scored four points between "Succession", a drama about a family that controls a media empire, and "Chernobyl", a mini-series about a nuclear disaster in the old Soviet Union.

Although Netflix received most of a network's nominations, it only won one award for TV shows. Apple Inc., a newcomer to the award ceremony, was unable to win a statute in the first year of its participation in the Golden Globes.

The iPhone maker received three nominations for "The Morning Show," a drama that took place behind the scenes of a television news program when one of the presenters was charged with sexual harassment.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer, participated in the program and was almost immediately barbed by Gervais, who returned as a presenter for the fifth time – and for the first time since 2016.

"Apple started the TV game with" The Morning Show, "a great drama about the importance of dignity and the right way to do a company that sells sweatshirts in China," said Gervais during a caustic opening monologue that also dealt with pedophilia , Jeffrey Epstein and the celebrities got into a college admissions scandal.

(Updates with other winners from paragraph 6)

Contact the reporter about this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.net

Contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob Golum, Linus Chua

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