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And the Golden Globe goes to...

Updated on: 14 January,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rahul da Cunha |

The award is befitting—he’s a great supporting actor even when he’s a leading man.

And the Golden Globe goes to...

Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul Da CunhaMany things struck me about this year’s Golden Globes.

>> The success of Succession, arguably TV’s most irreverent web series, black comedy at its fiercest. 

>> That Barbie won a Globe for Box Office Achievement, a new senseless category.

>> Emma Stone proving once again that she stands tallest among her contemporaries—her ability to truly transform, from ‘Birdman’ to ‘La La Land’ to ‘Poor Things’-—that foreign directors like Mexican Alejandro Innaritu, or Greek Yorkos Lanthimos have found unique qualities in her to mould.

>> Lily Gladstone, that she could overshadow DiCaprio and DeNiro in scene after scene in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ to win her Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.

>> Why the Globes divide up awards for Drama and Musical/Comedy, is hard to understand—in today’s scenario, where “everything is grey”, how do you distinguish between drama and comedy? Isn’t there drama in comedy and vice versa? 

>> Unlike the Oscars, the winners here are chosen by 300 journalists from 23 countries—as opposed to the Academys where the 10,000 members vote.

>> Maestro, the story of Leonard Bernstein, any other year… Bradley Cooper would’ve been covered in garlands of glory… but this is Oppie’s moment in the sun.

>> Oppenheimer—my hunch is nothing can stop Christopher Nolan this year, deprived all these years, his bomb ‘biopic’ looks unstoppable.

>> But it’s the twin victories for Cillian Murphy’s Robert J. and Robert Downey Jr’s Lewis Strauss that’s given me the maximum pleasure—these two actors have fed off each other, as protagonist and antagonist should in a great screenplay—the dividing line between antagonist and protagonist is blurred, so strong is the writing that you find yourself often in no man’s land rooting, for one man then the other. Great drama happens when both antagonist and protagonist have desperate objectives, and each is standing in the other’s way, one performance is completed by the other.

>> Great villainy often lies in tiny foibles, a small tragic flaw can set off gigantic events, Oppenheimer insults Strauss publicly, laughs mockingly at him, Strauss vows to bring him down--but also believes tragically that Oppenheimer did wrong and therefore deserved to be destroyed.

>> There was that moment in the movie,  when Rami Malek’s character, Hill, reveals to the Justice Department that Strauss organised the campaign to strip Oppenheimer of his security clearance. In that moment I remember thinking, Robert Downey will win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, he has to, for this villainy, for his response to the public humiliation, and Nolan’s choice to shoot Downeys/Lewis’s sections in black and white, adding to the darkness of his character.

>> By and large, the Golden Globe are a good indicator of who’ll win the Oscars, history has shown that that’s true 80 per cent of the time. 

>> I do believe that Robert Downey Jr is the most unpredictable actor of his generation, a chameleon. He has a quality that all great actors possess—he listens intently, to his fellow actor, and then reacts.

>> The brutality of RDJ’s back story makes his success so sweet—rehab after serious drug intake—no actor can have made such a startling turn around. Mel Gibson bailing him out, followed by an insane 2008/2009, with Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, donning the twin robes of super-hero and sleuth with such humour and quirkiness.

>> Actors like Downey and Murphy don’t play for an area of comfort, they risk from the start, they chance failure, 

>> Downey Jr takes ‘supporting actor’ to another level, in that he truly supports his fellow actor, even in Iron Man, lifting Gwyneth Paltrow to another level, in the Sherlock Holmes movies, playing the perfect foil to Jude Law’s Watson.

>> The award is befitting—he’s a great supporting actor even when he’s a leading man.

>> My money’s on these two to win at the Oscars as well. And Christopher Nolan too. 

But then again who’s to tell. 

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at

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