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Oppenheimer, Succession dominate 81st Golden Globes

‘Oppenheimer’ won five of the top awards of the night, including best picture (drama), while HBO's ‘Succession’ claimed four prizes in the television series (drama) category.

Oppenheimer, Succession dominate 81st Golden Globes
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Oppenheimer reigned supreme at the 81st Golden Globe Awards, winning five of the top awards, including best motion picture in the drama category.

Director Christopher Nolan’s ethical dilemma-ridden character study of the father of the atomic bomb also earned him the best director award, his first Golden Globe. 

Before this, Nolan had been on the Golden Globe stage once while accepting the best supporting actor accolade for his film The Dark Knight, on behalf of Heath Ledger who tragically passed away before the ceremony in 2009. 

Cillian Murphy’s haunting performance in the historical drama as J Robert Oppenheimer also secured him the best actor (drama) award, while Ludwig Göransson’s lush melodies incorporating strings, harps, and metallic ticking earned the well-deserved recognition for the best original score. 

The film was nominated for eight awards. 

Lily Gladstone became the first indigenous woman to take home the best actress (drama) award for her powerful portrayal of Mollie Kyle in Killers of the Flower Moon. She brought to life the tragic tale of the Osage Nation and their struggle for justice in Martin Scorsese’s latest that also starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. 

Robert Downey Jr’s performance as US government official Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer was also recognized as one of the best of the year, as he won the coveted prize of the best supporting actor in a motion picture. Da’Vine Joy Randolph took home the prize for the best supporting actress in a motion picture for her role in The Holdovers

Yorgos Lanthimos’s audacious, darkly comic, and feminist reimagining of Frankenstein, Poor Things, was honored as the best motion picture (musical/comedy). Emma Stone powerfully portrayed the transformative journey of a woman reborn with the brain of a fetus in the film, winning the award for best actress (musical/comedy). 

Meanwhile, Paul Giamatti, for his portrayal of a prep school instructor in The Holdovers, earned an accolade for the best actor (musical/comedy) and dedicated his win to teachers. 

Netflix’s Beef, a dramedy about a simmering grudge between two people involved in a road rage incident, dominated the limited series category with three wins, including one for the best limited series and two acting wins for Ali Wong and Steven Yeun who played the beefing road ragers with sincerity. Creator Lee Sung Jin also gave a shout-out to the real-life driver who sparked the whole story. 

HBO’s Succession, proving that its grip on television remains fierce even after the series finale in May of 2023, claimed four prizes, including one for the best drama television series.

Kieran Culkin, who played the youngest Roy sibling on the show, took home the award for best actor in a drama series, over fellow nominees and co-stars Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox. 

Sarah Snook, while cementing her place in television royalty after playing the cunning and ambitious Shiv Roy, won the prize for the best actress in a drama series for Succession while Matthew Macfadyen, who portrayed the role of Snook’s husband on the show won the award for the best supporting actor. 

The best supporting actress in a TV show category was another upset of the night as Elizabeth Debicki won the award for her portrayal of Princess Diana in the sixth season of The Crown, beating Meryl Streep (Only Murders in the Building). 

The Bear, a gritty and endearing portrait of a Chicago restaurant (and its chefs) on the brink, roared its way to three awards, including the coveted best comedy series and well-deserved best actor and actress (musical/comedy) wins for leads Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri. 

In a refreshing shakeup, the Globes introduced two brand-new categories for this year’s show.

Barbie snagged the first-ever Golden Globe for cinematic and box office achievement, being the first film by a female director to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office.

Ricky Gervais, no stranger to pushing boundaries, was awarded for his comedy special Armageddon with the first-ever best standup special award.

Despite falling short in the coveted best director and best screenplay categories, Barbie, the leader of the ceremony with a staggering nine nominations, still managed to win some in the musical realm, claiming the prize for the best original song for Billie Eilish and Finneas’s hauntingly beautiful What Was I Made For?

In a thrilling upset, French duo Justine Triet and Arthur Harari for Anatomy of a Fall snatched the coveted prize for the best screenplay, outshining frontrunners Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Oppenheimer. The French film also won the prize for the best non-English language picture at the Globes, beating the critically acclaimed A24 drama Past Lives

Further solidifying this global embrace, The Boy and the Heron, legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s rumored final masterpiece, claimed the title for the best animated feature title.

After last year’s dissolution of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) due to diversity issues, the 2024 Globes witnessed a captivating shift towards international recognition with a new, diverse, and more global HFPA. 


Shireen Khan is a Senior Correspondent at Press Insider. She covers lifestyle, culture, and health. More

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