Tarantino bags most prizes at Golden Globes

Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix cemented his Oscar favorite status by winning the best drama actor prize for role in the Joker

Photo: EPA (L-R) David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh, Margaret Qualley, Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, Julia Butters, and Leonardo DiCaprio pose with the award for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

War epic 1917 shocked the Golden Globes on Sunday by claiming the top prize for best drama film, while Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood won the most honors, massively boosting their prospects for next month's Oscars. Yet, while Once Upon a Time... - an homage to 1960s Tinseltown - won three prizes including best comedy, Martin Scorsese's much-vaunted Netflix crime saga The Irishman went home completely empty-handed.

Actually, Netflix came into the Globes as the leading nominee in both movies and television, but won just one trophy out of 17 bids, for Marriage Story supporting actress Laura Dern, feeding the narrative that it is still viewed as something of an outsider in the film game. Whether that holds back its prestige offerings The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes in other awards remains to be seen, but there might be enough people harboring qualms about the service's big-screen credentials to make nominations possible, and winning a much steeper hill to climb.

This year's Globes delivered many other surprises as well. Usually, they have a reputation for favoring big movie stars and international talent, but this year was not the case. Instead, Sunday’s ceremony was a night for underdog nominees.

Laika Entertainment’s Missing Link won the prize for best animated feature, upsetting Disney and Universal. Disney had represented three of the five nominated films with Toy Story 4, Frozen II and The Lion King, with this being only the third time that the top prize did not go to a Disney film. In the meantime, Awkwafina nabbed the award for best actress in a comedy or musical, beating out acting legends Cate Blanchett and Emma Thompson and up-and-coming stars Ana de Armas and Beanie Feldstein. Awkwafina is the first Asian American to win in this category. In addition, Hildur Gudnadottir, who wrote the score for Joker, is the first solo woman to win the Golden Globe for best score.

Speaking of the Joker Joaquin Phoenix cemented his Oscar favorite status by winning the best drama actor prize for his radical turn in Joker, a dark and controversial take on the comic book super-villain. He thanked director Todd Phillips, saying: "You convinced me to do this movie and you encouraged me to give everything and to be sincere. And I'm such a pain in the ass."

Renee Zellweger, meanwhile, burnished her Oscar credentials with an expected win for biopic Judy, portraying Judy Garland in her later years.

The television awards portion of the ceremony was dominated by Fleabag and Chernobyl, similar to the Emmy Awards. Phoebe Waller-Bridge won for best actress in a comedy TV series and for best comedy TV series. HBO’s Chernobyl won for best limited series and actor Stellan Skarsgard won best actor in a limited series for his performance in the show.

The Globes are the first major awards gala of the year, in a packed season that ends with the Academy Awards in just over a month's time. The awards are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group consisting of roughly 90 international journalists. The awards gained additional prominence after moving to NBC in the 1990s, but are viewed most closely as a beacon for where the Oscars might land.

Last year, for instance, the group anointed Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book with its top prizes (as drama and musical or comedy, respectively), before the latter was named best picture at the Academy Awards.

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