Golden Globes honor 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Green Book' in a night of surprises

CNN/ Newswire | 1/7/2019, 3:02 p.m.
It was supposed to be "A Star is Born's" night. Instead, top honors went to another popular movie about the ...
Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg at 2019 Golden Globes

By Brandon Griggs, CNN

(CNN) -- It was supposed to be "A Star is Born's" night. Instead, top honors went to another popular movie about the unlikely rise of a powerhouse singer.

In an upset, "Bohemian Rhapsody," the biopic about Freddie Mercury and British rock band Queen, won best drama at the 76th annual Golden Globes on Sunday. Rami Malek, who won raves for his full-throated portrayal of the late Mercury, won best actor in a drama and thanked Mercury onstage "for giving me the thrill of a lifetime."

"Green Book," the inspirational true story about a budding friendship between an African-American pianist and a white bouncer on a tour of the Deep South in the early 1960s, won three Globes, including best picture in the musical/comedy category. It beat out "Vice," the polarizing Dick Cheney biopic, which led all films with six nominations.

"Green Book's" director, Peter Farrelly, made a plea for tolerance in his acceptance speech. "We are still living in divided times, maybe more so now than ever," he said. "All we have to do is just talk and not judge people by their differences, and look for what we have in common."

Bradley Cooper's acclaimed remake of "A Star Is Born," which was widely expected to win several top prizes, took only one award, for best song -- its centerpiece hit, "Shallow."

"Bohemian Rhapsody" has been a worldwide box-office smash but has received mostly lukewarm reviews from critics and weathered some controversy -- its original director, Bryan Singer, was reportedly fired before filming was completed. Its Golden Globe success may boost its chances for Oscar nominations, to be announced January 22.

The Globes honor the year's best in movies and TV and are voted on by the 90 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose choices are often quirkier than those of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But as the first awards show of the season, the Globes have an outsized influence on Academy Award predictions -- and voting on Oscar nominees begins Monday.

The Globes always split the best-picture nominees into two categories: drama and musical/comedy. That made for some head-scratching this year when two movies about music, "A Star is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," were nominated as dramas.

Sunday's awards were spread far and wide, with few movies or TV series winning more than once. But the show had its share of surprises.

The TV awards

"The Americans," the FX series about Russian spies posing as a married couple in suburban Washington, won best TV drama. The critically praised show, which just wrapped its sixth and final season, stars real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

But Rhys lost the award for best actor in a TV drama to Richard Madden, who won for his role as a British security officer in the BBC/Netflix political thriller "Bodyguard."

"The Americans" beat out "Homecoming," the new Julia Roberts show about a counselor at a mysterious treatment center for returning veterans, and "Killing Eve," about the treacherous rivalry between two dangerous women, a British intelligence officer and an assassin. But "Eve's" Sandra Oh -- who also co-hosted the Globes with Andy Samberg -- won for best actress in a TV drama.