Ten Golden Globe-Winning Films and TV Shows to Add to Your 2020 Must-Watch List
If you're going to binge watch something this year, make sure it's one of these top-notch titles.
January 06, 2020
It started with terrible jokes, poor attempts to shock and the usual cynical attitude from Ricky Gervais. Thankfully, this year's Golden Globes got better from there. Forget the host — in the 2020 ceremony's first hour, Ramy Youssef advised the celebrity crowd that he knows they haven't seen his TV series, Kate McKinnon got tearful and personal talking about queer representation in the industry, and Bong Joon-ho rightfully told the world that "once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films". Also, as read by Jennifer Aniston in Russell Crowe's absence, ol' Rusty used his acceptance speech to not only call attention to Australia's current bushfire crisis, but to address climate change denial.
As always proves the case when it comes to these kind of events, the on-stage antics were just the window dressing. There were more highlights, such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge stealing yet another awards show, Charlize Theron's ode to Tom Hanks, Michelle Williams once again crusading for women's rights, Amy Poehler's disdain for animated movies and the repeated references to Australia's current plight — but there were also a whole heap of winners. On the TV side, Chernobyl scored big, while Emmy-winners The Act and Fosse/Verdon picked up awards as well. In the cinema realm, everything from Rocketman and Joker to Marriage Story and Judy nabbed gongs. Plus, the below ten movies and shows also took home something shiny — and if you haven't seen them already, you should add them to your 2020 must-watch list.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
If Once Upon a Time in Hollywood really does end up being Quentin Tarantino's penultimate film — the writer/director has always said he'll only make ten movies, and he counts Kill Bill as one feature — then he's beginning to wrap up his career in style. Helming a more mature and laidback affair than he's best known for, the great filmmaker steps back half a century in time to ponder what happened in Los Angeles in the summer of 69, wonder what might've been if things had turned out differently, and then combine the two into one glorious package. Leisurely but thrilling, the result is a sun-dappled showbiz tale that's exceptional when it's watching its talented cast shoot the breeze, but proves just as engaging and immersive when it's in quiet, observational mode. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt hadn't made a movie together before this, and their collaboration was worth the wait, but this is an outstanding film filled with many, many highlights — including Margot Robbie's textured turn as actor Sharon Tate.
Won: Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy; Best Screenplay — Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino); Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture (Brad Pitt).
Nominated: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Leonardo DiCaprio); Best Director — Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino).
Available to stream on Google Play, iTunes and YouTube — read our review here.
She came to fame via YouTube, then stole the show in Crazy Rich Asians — and now Awkwafina is a Golden Globe-winner. She's actually the first woman of Asian descent to pick up the ceremony's award for Best Actress — Musical or Comedy, all thanks to her nuanced and sensitive work in The Farewell. In a film partly based on writer/director Lulu Wang's own experiences, Awkwafina plays a Chinese American writer who heads back to Changchun with her family when she learns that her beloved grandmother (the also wonderful Zhao Shuzhen) is terminally ill. The catch: her beloved Nai Nai hasn't been told that she's dying. It's an especially thoughtful performance in a movie that earns the same description. In every frame, and in every note of Awkwafina's fine-tuned portrayal, The Farewell truly understands the experience of dealing with such a heart-wrenching situation — and obviously that's no easy or straightforward feat.
Won: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Awkwafina).
Nominated: Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language.
Available to stream on Google Play, iTunes and YouTube — read our review here.
The Golden Globes might be run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — aka a select group of entertainment journalists who report on the industry for media in countries other than the US — but the awards stick to a rather antiquated rule. If a film isn't in English, it isn't eligible for the Best Picture categories. So, if you're wondering why Parasite didn't score a nomination for the top category, now you know. Bong Joon-ho's exceptional thriller has been picking up every other award there is over the past year and, even if it couldn't nab the Globes' most prestigious prize, this twisty tale of two families from opposite sides of South Korean society didn't go home empty-handed. Of course it didn't — it's 2019's best film. The idea that movies in other languages can't compete for the same prizes as Hollywood's big hits remains blatantly ridiculous, but Parasite is still a very worthy winner in the Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language category.
Won: Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language
Nominated: Best Director - Motion Picture (Bong Joon-Ho), Best Screenplay — Motion Picture (Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won)
In cinemas now — read our review here.
War, what is is good for? Inspiring a whole heap of movies, so it seems. On paper, it's easy to dismiss 1917 as yet another combat-focused flick, but Sam Mendes clearly knows that he's wading into heavily occupied territory. Crafting the film to look like it has been shot in two long takes, the Spectre and Skyfall director uses his chosen technical gimmick to stunning effect, immersing viewers in the on-the-ground reality of being a soldier in World War I. He has first-class help, too, with Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) and lead actor — and certain future star — George MacKay (True History of the Kelly Gang) both drawing the audience into this grim, gripping story of two Lance Corporals sent on a dangerous mission in an an urgent and immediate fashion.
Won: Best Motion Picture — Drama; Best Director — Motion Picture (Sam Mendes).
Nominated: Best Original Score — Motion Picture (Thomas Newman).
In cinemas January 9.
Across just five features, animation studio Laika has achieved what few have managed (but many have tried). Like Studio Ghibli and Pixar, you instantly know when you're watching one of the company's movies, with its stop-motion imagery always proving both delicately detailed and immediately eye-catching. That was the case with its previous hits Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings — and, when the animation outfit turned its attention to an unhappy sasquatch called Mr. Susan Link and a monster hunter eager to earn fame and acclaim, it still rang true. Also evident in the all-ages delight that is Missing Link: the studio's trademark love of all things weird and wonderful, as well as great voice work by Zach Galifianakis, Hugh Jackman, Timothy Olyphant and Emma Thompson.
Won: Best Motion — Animated.
Available to stream on Google Play, iTunes and YouTube.
SMALL SCREEN BINGES
Spinning Ramy Youssef's standup routine into a television dramedy, Ramy shouldn't feel as revolutionary as it does. It really shouldn't be so rare to watch a thoughtful, funny, intimate and intricate series about an American Muslim millennial grappling with love, life, his family and his faith in the US today — but it is. That's not the only reason that rich and perceptive show made a splash, though. Like Atlanta, one of the programs Ramy has been compared to again and again since its first season dropped in 2019, this series stands out because it feels so authentic and personal, it takes creative risks and it constantly subverts expectations. In a performance teeming with nuance, Youssef is fantastic as the titular character; however one of Ramy's most impressive elements is its ability to both focus on its eponymous figure and flesh out the important people around him.
Won: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy (Ramy Youssef).
Now streaming on Stan.
For more than a decade, screenwriter Jesse Armstrong helped give the world one of the best British sitcoms of the 21st century, aka Peep Show. As fans will know, there's a sharp, dark edge to the hit comedy about two flatmates — and while a US drama about a wealthy family of media moguls mightn't necessarily seem like the obvious next step, Succession definitely possesses the same bite. The premise: with patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) suffering from health issues, his children Siobhan (Aussie actor Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Connor (Alan Ruck) all fight to step into his shoes. Brought to the screen with stellar writing, the resulting series is as compelling as it is entertaining. Across its two seasons to date (with a third set for 2020), it's also filled with ferocious performances from its top-notch cast.
Won: Best Television Series — Drama; Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series — Drama (Brian Cox).
Nominated: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Kieran Culkin).
Now streaming on Foxtel.
Another fancy ceremony, another haul of glittering trophies for Fleabag. Yes, it's a trend. If something like this kept happening in the British dramedy itself or in the one-woman stage show it's based on, its eponymous character would turn to the audience, make a savagely hilarious self-deprecating joke and have everyone in stitches — which is what the woman behind the Brit sitcom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, keeps doing at these awards galas every time she wins. A delight both on-screen and off, Waller-Bridge has never been better than in Fleabag's second season. As great as the show's first season was, it has never been better than in its second season either. Once again following its titular figure around — this time as she falls for a witty, charming priest (Andrew Scott) — Fleabag's long-awaited second batch of six episodes ride the rollercoaster from devastatingly funny to achingly astute. You can also binge-watch it in one three-hour sitting, too.
Won: Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).
Nominated: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Andrew Scott).
Now streaming on Amazon Prime.
THE LOUDEST VOICE
It happened with Armageddon and Deep Impact, The Prestige and The Illusionist, and last year's two Fyre Festival documentaries. And, it's happening again with The Loudest Voice and Bombshell. Sometimes Hollywood loves an idea so much, different parties turn it into different projects at the same time — which is exactly the case with these two on-screen explorations of Fox News, its two-decade CEO Roger Ailes, and the sexual harassment scandals that ended his reign. Adapted from the book of the same name, seven-episode TV mini-series The Loudest Voice is the better of the pair. By virtue of its format, it has more time to delve deeper into its subject; however it also benefits from a powerhouse performance by Russell Crowe. The show is rarely subtle, resembling a supremely timely and topical horror story for most of its running time — accurately so — but its star is never less than riveting.
Won: Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Russell Crowe).
Nominated: Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
Now streaming on Stan.
Back in 2017, Claire Foy took to the Golden Globes stage to collect a shiny statuette for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama, with the award recognising her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the first season of The Crown. Now, three years later, Olivia Colman is following in her footsteps, picking up the same award for playing an older version of the British monarch in the Netflix series' third season. Colman is no stranger to that specific spotlight, collecting two Golden Globes in the past. She even won last year for playing a different sovereign in The Favourite. Clearly, pretending to be royalty suits her — and she's particularly impressive donning a tiara, drinking tea and navigating Lizzie's struggles throughout the 60s and 70s.
Won: Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series — Drama (Olivia Colman).
Nominated: Best Television Series — Drama; Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series — Drama (Tobias Menzies); Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Helena Bonham Carter).
Now streaming on Netflix.