Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, one of the two top prizes bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the other being Best Motion Picture Drama). “Hollywood” was widely seen as the frontrunner for the prize and was nominated in the category opposite Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” Craig Brewer’s “Dolemite Is My Name,” Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit,” and Dexter Fletcher’s “Rocketman.” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received four additional Golden Globe nominations this year: Best Director and Best Screenplay for Tarantino, Best Actor in Comedy or Musical for Leonardo DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt. The film won the Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor prizes.
The big Golden Globes win for “Hollywood” is the latest victory for the 1969-set drama this awards season. The movie was named one of the year’s best films by the American Film Institute, while Tarantino picked up Best Screenplay honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and Pitt (Supporting Actor) and Tarantino (Director) won prizes from the National Board of Review. “Hollywood” as also been nominated for countless guild prizes, including the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild award. DiCaprio and Pitt are also SAG nominated this year.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio as a once-popular television actor and his trusted stuntman, respectively. Tarantino’s script follows the characters as they try to get a break in the changing motion picture industry. Pitt and DiCaprio’s characters live next door to Sharon Tate, played in the film by Margot Robbie (nominated by the Globes in the supporting actress category for “Bombshell”). “Hollywood” got its start at the Cannes Film Festival, where many Oscar pundits predicted it would become a major Oscar powerhouse. The film is viewed as a Best Picture frontrunner alongside Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite.”
DiCaprio and Pitt are also favorites to score Oscar nominations for their performances, with Pitt even being the frontrunner to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The win would give Pitt his first acting Academy Award. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” marked reunions for Tarantino and both actors after having worked with Pitt on “Inglourious Basterds” and DiCaprio on “Django Unchained.” Tarantino told IndieWire’s Anne Thompson at Cannes that getting both A-list stars in one film together was a dream come true.
“I’m one of the luckiest directors in the history of Hollywood,” Tarantino said. “I got both those guys who I worked with before, they liked me, and responded to the material. An actor and his stunt double, there needs to be a symmetry to them. They have to go together. They have to wear the same clothes, have the same height, they’ve got to suggest each other, you know, and so if one of the two guys couldn’t have done it, then I’d need to find someone who could fill that bill, at least the physicality aspect, or go with a couple other people I could do that with. I got lucky that both guys I wanted have that symmetry and wanted to work together and with me.”
“Hollywood” was released by Sony Pictures over the summer, making it the first Tarantino movie to be backed by a major Hollywood studio. Miramax and The Weinstein Company was behind all of Tarantino’s previous efforts. “Hollywood” opened to $41 million at the U.S. box office, making it the biggest debut of Tarantino’s career. The film ended its gross with $140 million domestically and $372 million worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing original films of 2019 and proving Tarantino’s box office drawing power.
While the Golden Globes splits its Best Picture races into two categories, the winner of the Musical or Comedy category often lands a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Last year’s winner was “Green Book,” which went on to win the 2019 Oscar for Best Picture. Previous winners in the category include Best Picture nominees “Lady Bird,” “La La Land,” “The Martian,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “American Hustle,” “Les Miserables,” “The Artist,” and “The Kids Are All Right.” “The Artist” also won the Best Picture. One would have to go back to 2009 to find the last Golden Globe winner for Best Picture Motion Picture or Comedy that did not score an Oscar nomination: That was Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover.” Phillips is back in the running this year with his four-time nominee “Joker.”
Click here to view the full list of 2019 Golden Globe winners.