'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Green Book' win top film prizes at Golden Globes

The loose and sometimes goofy ceremony largely shied away from political barbs.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Daniel Arkin

The rollicking Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the race-relations comedy "Green Book" won top films honors at the 76th Golden Globes on Sunday night, capping off a loose and sometimes goofy ceremony that largely shied away from politics.

It was also a night of stunning surprises.

"Rhapsody," a box-office smash and critical punching bag, scored an upset over Bradley Cooper's swooning musical melodrama "A Star Is Born." Glenn Close took home an unexpected prize for her searing performance in "The Wife," edging out megastar Lady Gaga, who was favored to win in the best dramatic actress category.

The ceremony was a relaxed and boozy affair, a change in mood one year after Oprah Winfrey delivered an impassioned speech on the main stage and the #MeToo movement shaded virtually every acceptance speech and joke. The co-hosts, Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, set the tone in their light-hearted opener by parodying their reputations in Hollywood as too nice to roast their peers.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

But after gently ribbing A-list stars, Oh struck a more serious note. She paid tribute to the racial diversity among this year's nominees and the wider push for inclusivity in Hollywood.

"I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change," Oh said, appearing to hold back tears. "I’m not fooling myself — next year will be different, it probably will be. But right now, this moment is real."

Joe Weinberg and the cast of "The Americans" won the award for best TV drama series.Paul Drinkwater / NBC Universal via Reuters

"Trust me, it is real. Because I see you and I see you — all of these faces of change — and now so will everyone else," said Oh, who later won for her lead role on the twisty BBC America drama series "Killing Eve."

The eclectic mix of winners suggested the race for Oscar glory next month remains wide-open. "Green Book," an interracial road trip through the 1960s Deep South that has earned mixed reviews, arguably did most to bolster its chances with the Academy. It scooped up three awards: comedy film, supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and screenplay.

"Roma," Alfonso Cuaron's lush and dreamlike portrait of Mexico City in the 1970s, also burnished its Oscar odds with two wins: best foreign-language film and best director.

"A Star Is Born" was widely expected to dominate the night and solidify its status as a popular favorite and critical darling with best picture pedigree. But the film, starring Cooper (who also directed) as a washed-up country crooner and Gaga as an up-and-coming pop siren, made out with only one award: best original song.

"Can I just say that as a woman in music, it's really hard to be taken seriously as a musician and as a songwriter, and these three incredible men, they lifted me up," Gaga said in her acceptance speech, referring to her co-honorees Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

Jeff Bridges received the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award for his long and durable career on the big screen. Carol Burnett was recognized with a new honorary prize for her influential work in TV comedy.

“I’m kind of really gob-smacked by this,” said Burnett, accepting the inaugural Carol Burnett Award. “Does this mean that I get to accept it every year?”

The other key winners included:

  • Rami Malek (lead actor in a drama) for his portrayal of the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Rhapsody."
  • Christian Bale (lead actor in a musical or comedy) for his uncanny embodiment of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the scabrous political satire "Vice."
  • Olivia Colman (lead actress in a musical or comedy) for her turn as an imperious, mercurial queen in "The Favourite."
  • Regina King (supporting actress in a film) for her performance as a strong-willed, soulful mother in Barry Jenkins' "If Beale Street Could Talk."
  • FX's Cold War spy drama "The Americans" for TV drama series and Netflix's "The Kominsky Method" for TV comedy series.
  • "Game of Thrones" alum Richard Madden (lead actor in a TV drama series) for the gripping thriller "Bodyguard."
  • Michael Douglas (lead actor in a TV musical or comedy series) for his role as an aging acting coach in Netflix's "The Kominsky Method."
  • Rachel Brosnahan (lead actress in a TV musical or comedy series) for her acclaimed work on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
  • "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" for animated film.