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“Oppenheimer” triumphs but host Jo Koy really bombs at Golden Globes

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Atomic biopic “Oppenheimer” triumphed over the comic satire “Barbie” at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night, taking five trophies to Barbie’s two in the battle of the “Barbenheimer” movie behemoths.

Some of the smiles at the show were more like grimaces, as first-time host Jo Koy struggled to put his low-brow humour over to the glittering crowd in his opening monologue.

Jokes about how Robert De Niro recently managed to become a father again at age 80, about Barry Keoghan’s nude dance in “Saltburn” and about all the attention paid to pop star Taylor Swift and her NFL boyfriend, Travis Kelce, went over like a lead chandelier. Swift glared at Koy from the audience, obviously unamused.

But crude humour is part of Globes tradition, something Ricky Gervais certainly proved in his five times as show host. Gervais won the inaugural "best performance in standup comedy on TV" prize — and in what might be his ultimate nose-thumbing at the Globes, he failed to show up to receive it.

Also expected and delivered almost on cue were the many flubs by presenters, some of whom undoubtedly availed themselves of the free-flowing booze.

Koy seemed to go out of his way to avoid mentioning the scandals that scuttled the HFPA. But not Robert Downey Jr., who managed the night’s first upset by taking best supporting actor for "Oppenheimer" instead of Ryan Gosling, who many thought had it in the bag for his scene-stealing turn as Ken in “Barbie.”

“Golden Globes journalists, thanks for changing your game therefore changing your name, salut!” Downey said.

(Originally published in the Toronto Star)


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