Last Sunday, the 77th Golden Globe Awards celebrated some of the best of the best of movies and TV of 2019. As expected, industry veterans won big that night. They include Joaquin Phoenix for "Joker" and Renée Zellweger for "Judy," and Brad Pitt for "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood."
Apart from them, however, what was really great to see were the many surprise wins in some of the categories. A few underdogs got their fair share of recognition that night. And while many in Hollywood initially looked past them, apparently, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association saw their worth.
From first-time nominees to underrated artists, here are our top five surprise wins from this year's Golden Globe Awards.
Taron Egerton for "Rocketman" - Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
From Eggsy Unwin to Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, Taron Egerton has had quite a diverse set of roles in his young career. But it's his performance as Elton John in the iconic singer's biopic, "Rocketman" that really skyrocketed the young actor into superstardom. So much so that, even against a group of legendary actors—the likes of which include Leonardo Dicaprio, Eddie Murphy, and Daniel Craig—he surprisingly won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. For his fans, however, it was a long time coming. But for other audiences, his win will probably introduce them to this talented young man who has a great career ahead of him!
Awkwafina for "The Farewell" - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Prior to 2020, no actor or actress of Asian descent has ever won a Golden Globe for any of the acting categories. Sounds crazy right? Had this been the other way around, Awkwafina's win for "The Farewell" might have been less significant. But apart from becoming the first, the mere fact that she won the award was quite a feat in of itself. Not because she wasn't deserving of it—far from it!— but rather, who knew that this once supporting actress will win a major lead acting award in her first nomination? Dreams really do come true, or in Awkwafina's case, she finally "got a job." Her dad will be proud!
Hildur Guðnadóttir for "Joker" - Best Original Score
Speaking of firsts, let's not forget that the night also saw the Golden Globes give the 'Best Original Score' award to a woman for the first time. Sure, their not even nominating a single female director for any of the directing categories was a bit problematic. But for all the little girls out there who love music, Hildur Guðnadóttir's win was just as important! She's no John Williams or Hans Zimmer, so she was far from the favorite to win the award. But with the compelling tune she made for "Joker," she proved she not only deserved her nomination, but she also deserved to win it.
"Missing Link" - Best Animated Feature Film
When your movie is up against Disney juggernauts such as the sequel to "Frozen, "Frozen II" or the "live-action" remake of "Lion King"—with Beyonce Knowles as part of the voice cast, no less!—it's easy to give up your chances of ever winning the award. Fortunately, Chris Butler and Arianne Sutner didn't! With their highly underrated animated film "Missing Link," they managed to convince the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to overlook Disney's cinematic giants and award the Golden Globe to them instead. Surprising doesn't even begin to describe their win, but 'deserving' certainly does!
"1917" - Best Motion Picture - Drama
All year long, critics and fans alike buzzed-about "Joker," "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" and "The Irishman" (insert product here) as the movies that will likely rake in the awards come awards season. And while these movies do merit their hype, "1971" was just as good but didn't get as much. But now that the film has won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, audiences might be compelled to check it out. It has all the makings of an award-winning film: a historical plot narrative, great direction by Sam Mendes (who also won the Golden Globe for Best Director that night), and amazing performances by noteworthy up-and-comers George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman.
These actors, artists, and films defied expectations and got the recognition they deserved despite all odds. Here's to hoping they do just as good in the coming awards shows. Hopefully, most of them will be meeting a golden man by the name of 'Oscar' soon!