Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony featured lots of surprises, but perhaps none so delightful as Awkwafina’s win for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, musical or comedy.
The actress and rapper won for her role in The Farewell, Lulu Wang’s 2019 film about a young American woman, Billi (Awkwafina), who returns with her family to China to bid adieu to their beloved matriarch Nai Nai, the only one of the bunch who has no knowledge of her terminal illness. Awkwafina is only the sixth Asian woman ever to receive nominations in this category, as CNN points out. Sandra Oh is the only performer of Asian descent to win more than once in any Golden Globes category: She won her second last year for Actress in TV Series, Drama for Killing Eve.
Awkwafina looked geniunely shocked when her name was called out, and went on to thank her own grandmother, mother and father in an endearing acceptance speech: “I told you I’d get a job, dad.”
Wang was not nominated in the Best Director category, nor was any other woman—this year’s directing slate was notably all white and all male. That means Little Women’s Greta Gerwig was also left off the ballot. Sam Mendes won for his World War I film 1917, which also won for Best Motion Picture, Drama, what’s considered to be the evening’s most coveted award. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won the award for Best Motion Picture, musical or comedy. Tarantino also won for Best Screenplay.
Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadóttir also made history last night as the first female solo artist to win Best Original Score for her Joker compositions, beating out Alexandre Desplat (Little Women), Thomas Newman (1917) and Randy Newman (Marriage Story). Michelle Williams won Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV movie for her role in Fosse/Verdon and gracefully delivered the night’s most affecting acceptance speech, in which she referenced her very personal relationship with abortion rights: “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose,” she said.
Many presenters and recipients, including Patricia Arquette (who snagged the trophy for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or TV Movie) Cate Blanchett, and Russell Crowe (who wasn’t present to receive his award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie but delivered a message by way of presenter Jennifer Anniston) also called attention to the fires raging in Australia.
Parasite, Paste’s number one movie of 2019, won for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language.
See the full list of 2020 Golden Globes winners and nominees right here.