The Power Of The Dog and Succession win at untelevised Golden Globes shunned by celebrities

The podium appears prior to the start of the nominations event for 79th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The 79th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Sunday night’s Golden Globes took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, with no stars or audience. Credit: AP

Western The Power Of The Dog and HBO’s Succession were the big winners at a low-key, celebrity-free online Golden Globes, scooping three awards a piece.

Once a major draw for Hollywood stars and studios, this year's Golden Globes was shrouded in controversy, having faced heavy criticism for diversity issues within its organising body.

Usually a star-studded and joke-filled event, this year's ceremony, already disrupted by Covid, took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles on Sunday without a red carpet or official media access with the winners announced in real time on the Golden Globes website and social media.

The decision to make the awards a “private event” was announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organisation that presents the awards, last week.

The Power Of The Dog was named best picture overall, with Jane Campion being awarded best director and Kodi Smit-McPhee best supporting actor in a drama film.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Golden Globe winner Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog.

The Australian actor stars alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst as a timid young man who forms a complicated bond with a gritty cowboy following an initially hostile relationship.

British star Cumberbatch was nominated for best actor for his role in the film but lost out to Will Smith who scooped the best actor accolade, his sixth Globes nod and first win, for his performance in King Richard. The film sees Smith portray the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, who groomed them to become world champions.

HBO’s darkly comic series Succession also received three awards at the subdued ceremony.

The programme follows the gritty power struggle within the Roy family, headed by media mogul Logan Roy, who is played by British actor Brian Cox.

Cast members Jeremy Strong and Sarah Snook were both individually recognised at this year’s Globes for their performances.

The pair play the sniping Roy siblings Kendall and Shiv, alongside their younger brother Roman, played by Kieran Culkin.

Strong won the best actor in a TV drama series Globe and Snook earned her first nomination and win for best supporting actress in television.

Succession won three awards.

Despite the controversies, the event did see history made, with Michaela Jae Rodriguez becoming the first transgender actress to win a Golden Globe.

Rodriguez won the award for best actress in a TV drama for her portrayal of “house mother” Bianca Rodriguez in Pose.

The series centres around New York City’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming drag scene at the end of the 20th century.

Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of Broadway musical West Side Story, originally staged in 1957, also earned three awards, including best musical or comedy film.

Rachel Zegler won best actress in a musical or comedy film for her performance as Maria, and Ariana DeBose was named best supporting actress in a motion picture.

Following the event DeBose tweeted her thanks to the HFPA but said there is “still work to be done”.

Best actress in a motion picture drama went to Nicole Kidman for her portrayal of TV legend Lucille Ball in Being The Ricardos.

The film, in which Kidman stars alongside Javier Bardem, follows a week of production for the American sitcom I Love Lucy.

The win marks Kidman’s fifth Globe victory, and she has been nominated for Globes a total of 17 times.

She dedicated the win to Ball and “all the other incredible women nominated”.

The HFPA cane in for heavy criticism last year after it emerged that it had no black members, prompting the association to overhaul its bylaws and implement changes addressing ethics and inclusion.

The broadcast of the 2022 awards ceremony was also dropped by US network NBC.

The HFPA’s ethics were also called into question over alleged shady practices including accepting inappropriate “freebies” following an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

Opening the ceremony, HFPA president Helen Hoehne said: “The Golden Globes are a bridge to a world audience of many colours, many faiths, and many cultures, all united with the same passion – a love of movies.”

Neil Phillips, the HFPA’s chief of diversity, was later quoted as saying the event is in a “necessary phase of progress”.

Sir Kenneth Branagh was awarded best screenplay for a motion picture, for Belfast, though other British talent was largely snubbed.

Jamie Dornan, who starred in Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film which focused on The Troubles in Northern Ireland, lost out to Smit-McPhee for best supporting actor in film.

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