Ricky Gervais opened the Golden Globes 2020 with a plea to the celebrity audience: “You know nothing about the real world...most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg,” and yet, the best winners took to the stage to deliver some pretty serious sentiments. From the jokers to the tearjerkers, these are the best activist acceptance speeches from this year's most talked about awards ceremony so far.
Winning for her part in TV show Fosse/Verdon, Michelle Williams took her opportunity to speak about a woman’s right to choose. Williams, who is expecting a baby with fiancé Thoman Kail, gave a heartfelt speech about abortion rights that left her best friend Busy Phillips in tears: “I’ve tried my best to live a life of my own making and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman's right to choose”.
Joaquin? Well Joaquin went on. From commending the plant-based menu to thanking his fellow nominees, there wasn’t a lot Joaquin Phoenix didn’t mention. Aside from the obvious nod to director Todd Phillips and girlfriend Rooney Mara, Phoenix took the opportunity to make a spiel on everything that matters - climate change, voting and certain unnamed members of the audience taking private jets to Palm Springs International Film Festival last week. Phoenix was trying hard to be on his best behaviour in delivering what was on his mind, so when the awkward ‘your time is up’ music played over him, we couldn’t help but sympathise.
Patricia Arquette has made somewhat of a name for herself for making politically-charged speeches at awards ceremonies. At last year’s Emmys she called for a bigger representation of trans people in film, and during her acceptance speech for Best Actress at the Oscars in 2015 she made a compelling case for equal rights. This year’s Golden Globes was no different - Arquette called on her fellow actors and the audience to consider the forthcoming US presidential election and vote for change. “While I love my kids so much, I beg of us all to give them a better world for our kids and their kids. We have to vote in 2020”.
You can always count on Phoebe Waller-Bridge to make an inappropriate joke. After winning two awards, Best Actress in a TV series (music or comedy) as well as her show Fleabag taking the Best Comedy TV Series, she thanked Obama for putting Fleabag on his annual list of best TV & films, and made reference to the iconic pilot episode of the show where Waller-Bridge enjoys the, shall we say, delights of an Obama speech a little too much.
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Sam Mendes took home the coveted Best Director prize for his war film 1917, but not without making a sentimental speech. As well as thanking his fellow nominees and suggesting absolutely no director will compare to Scorsese, he dedicated his win to his grandfather, who was a WW1 war veteran saying he "fervently hopes [a world war] never, ever happens again". Later in the evening 1917 also took home the Best Drama Film award.
When Quentin Tarantino took to the stage to collect his prize for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, winning Best Screenplay, he dedicated his award to Robert Bolt. Who is this guy, I hear you ask? The director explains, in his signature drawn out fashion that he was "the dean of screenwriters.” Before congratulating himself - “I did it!” Although Tarantino does – finally – get around to thanking his “fantastic cast” (Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie) and his wife, Daniella Pick, who is pregnant with his “very first child” before signing off.