Last night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their picks for the best film and television of the year. The biggest surprise was just how much they agreed with the Emmys. Fleabag and Chernobyl continued to win the top awards while Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Patricia Arquette, and Michelle Williams all repeated with Golden Globe wins.
Usually HFPA voters like to distance themselves from past Emmy winners and create new narratives. Instead, the big stories we all expected to happen didn’t come to fruition. The Morning Show went home empty handed, Helena Bonham Carter didn’t begin an awards sweep, and Ben Platt did not become the ingenue of the year.
In fact the biggest surprises of the night might be the wins that didn’t happen. 2019 was supposed to be the year of Netflix both in film and television. In the end the streaming giant only took home two acting awards for Laura Dern (Marriage Story) and Olivia Colman (The Crown). Instead, none of their prestige projects took home the top prizes, and major projects like The Politician, Russian Doll, and Unbelievable all went home empty handed.
The other streaming services had much better nights with Amazon Prime winning its fourth comedy/musical series award in six years. Hulu also had a great night picking up two surprise acting wins.
There were some surprises that will hopefully convince audiences (and Emmy voters) to branch out. Ramy Youssef won the competitive comedy lead actor race after being shut out of the Emmys. Russell Crowe won his first major award in 18 years for his work in The Loudest Voice.
It was also a big year for a trio of major stars. Both Patricia Arquette and Olivia Colman won their third Golden Globes in under ten years. Over on the film side Laura Dern won her fifth Globe
The big story coming out of this year’s Golden Globes was the big night Succession had. The second season of the critically acclaimed series won the top award of the night and the lead actor prize for Brian Cox. It’s the first mid-run season to win the top award in seven years and is proof that audiences are finally catching up with one of the best dramas on television. Heading into Emmy season, it finally has the momentum it needed to standout, and Cox will probably become the face of the ensemble.
Olivia Colman won the lead actress award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown. The Oscar-winning actress is now 3/3 at the Globes with awards for The Crown, The Favourite, and The Night Manager. The upcoming lead actress race is going to be the most competitive category of the year, and right now Colman has solidified herself as the early frontrunner. But what about The Crown in general? It was interesting to see it lose the top award as well as Helena Bonham Carter.
The other big story coming out of this year’s ceremony was the disappointing (and at times down right uncomfortable) night for Apple TV+. The Morning Show lost both the drama series and lead actress race even though it entered the night as the perceived frontrunner. The lack of awards attention is a major blow to an already bumpy roll-out for the new streaming service. On top of that the night began with Gervais blatantly calling out Apple and Tim Cook for their use of sweatshops.
The second and final season of Fleabag continued its award season streak winning both Outstanding Comedy Series and the lead actress award for Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Fleabag entered the night as the clear frontrunner, and the only surprise is the fact that six months ago we were all questioning whether or not it would even be nominated.
Maybe the biggest surprise of the night was the upset in Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Ramy Youssef won for his Hulu auteur comedy Ramy. He beat out major competition including frontrunner Ben Platt, Emmy-winner Bill Hader, and last year’s winner Michael Douglas. Usually HFPA voters award performances with correlating series nominations, so the fact that he was able to pull off an upset in such a heavy category without a series nomination shows just how strong his performance was.
Personally, Youssef’s win was my favorite moment of the night. Ramy was one of the most underrated shows of 2019, and I’m ecstatic to see people start paying attention. If there’s any justice in the world this win will propel him all the way to the 2020 Emmys.
For the most part, HFPA voters rubber stamped the Emmy winners from earlier this year. Chernobyl won the top award. Michelle Williams won in another crowded lead actress race. Patricia Arquette pulled off another upset in the supporting actress race. Even though he didn’t win the Emmy, Stellan Skarsgård won the supporting actor award at the Golden Globes, riding the insane popularity of Chernobyl.
It’s hard to argue with any of these wins but it is a little disappointing to see the same winners repeat in a year with some incredible limited series including Netflix’s Unbelievable.
The one winner eligible at next year’s Emmys was Russell Crowe for his acclaimed performance as Roger Ailes in the Showtime limited series The Loudest Voice. The Oscar-winning actor wasn’t even at the ceremony, and he still had one of the most memorable “speeches” of the night. Sending a note from Australia read by Jennifer Aniston, the actor let everyone know that he was busy protecting his home and family and stressed that these disastrous fires were the result of global warming. He’s solidified himself as the early frontrunner at the Emmys, and it will be interesting to see if voters remember him six months from now.