Oppenheimer Triumphs, “Poor Things” Upsets, and Historic Wins Shine at 81st Globes

In a dazzling display at the 81st Golden Globe Awards, Christopher Nolan’s biopic “Oppenheimer” emerged as the night’s big winner, securing five prestigious awards, including Best Drama. Meanwhile, Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” pulled off a surprising victory over the highly anticipated “Barbie” in the Best Comedy or Musical category.

The night saw “Oppenheimer” clinch top honors with wins for Best Director (Christopher Nolan), Best Drama Actor (Cillian Murphy), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey Jr.), and Ludwig G√∂ransson’s exceptional score. Producer Emma Thomas, accepting the final award of the night, reflected on the challenges of creating a three-hour R-rated film about a dark chapter in history.

“Poor Things,” a Frankenstein-inspired tale, not only won Best Comedy or Musical but also earned Emma Stone the Best Female Actor award for her role as Bella, a Victorian woman navigating a surreal life and sexual awakening.

Stone described the film as a romantic comedy, emphasizing Bella’s love for life itself. Lily Gladstone made history by becoming the first Indigenous winner in the Best Actress in a Dramatic Film category for her role in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The Golden Globes, now in their 81st year, faced a new chapter amid the dissolution of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Despite the challenges, the event showcased remarkable moments and diversity, with Gladstone delivering part of her speech in the language of her native tribe, Blackfeet Nation.

The ceremony’s host, Jo Koy, navigated a rocky start with humor, addressing topics like Meryl Streep’s award-winning streak and the length of “Oppenheimer.” Robert Downey Jr.’s win, his third Globe, was a highlight, denying the expected victory to Ryan Gosling.

“Barbie,” the blockbuster hit of the year with over $1.4 billion in ticket sales, faced tough competition from “Oppenheimer.” The rivalry extended to categories such as Best Director and Best Screenplay, where “Anatomy of a Fall” emerged as a surprise winner.

The awards, with no direct correlation to the Academy Awards, hold significance in shaping the awards season landscape. As Oscar nomination voting approaches, contenders like “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” are positioned as frontrunners, but other strong contenders, including “Poor Things” and “The Holdovers,” loom in the background.

On the television side, the final season of “Succession” dominated, winning Best Drama Series and individual acting awards. Hulu’s “The Bear” also secured multiple honors, including Best Comedy Series.

While questions persist about the Golden Globes’ long-term future, the event continues to play a crucial role in boosting the campaigns of awards contenders, providing a platform for recognition and celebration within the entertainment industry.