Hollywood’s favorite precursor to the Oscars – the rowdy, fun, frolicky and not self-serious Golden Globes – is now history. In many ways, some things about the show made history, too. There’s a lot to digest, and not surprisingly, the awards weren’t as important as what happened between the “quick and dirty” presentations. Most of the industry descended onto LA’s Beverly Hilton for the glitziest and most inebriated ceremony of the year.
Here are some talking points – both awards, Oscar buzz and otherwise:
As was expected, the Presidential Elect wasn’t spared by many who graced the stage, not least by its visibly nervous host, Jimmy Fallon. The words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign’ and ‘Press’ were chuckled at repeatedly for its “audacity” to exist, first by ‘Best Supporting Actor in a TV mini-series’ winner Hugh Laurie, and then by the inimitable Meryl Streep – who went political and fierce in her acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The finest actress of our generation didn’t once take Trump’s name, but mourned (didn’t mock, mind you) his bullying ways and horrid communication skills, specifically singling out the way he mocked a disabled journalist last year. “Violence incites violence,” she said, in a voice raspy from a week of acting, ending with the late Carrie Fisher’s quote about “turning broken hearts into art”.
Her speech was powerful, timely and wonderfully worded – and while many will argue that she chose the wrong platform, many should remember that no platform is enough to send out the right messages in a world torn by a desperation to change. The irony, of course, wouldn't have been lost upon her, given that at least half her colleagues in that room were Republicans, and may have secretly voted for Trump.
Perhaps the biggest snubs of the evening were the two drama-nominated films, Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea. Both walked away with one main award each – best film (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama) – yet one couldn’t help but feel that they were simply filling up a list dominated by La La Land’s record 7 (out of 7) wins. Both of these films were favored to win Best Screenplay, which was eventually taken by Damien Chazelle for the musical. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) was the overwhelming favorite to win Best Supporting Actor, but Aaron Taylor Johnson took it for Nocturnal Animals instead. Michelle Williams was the odds-on favorite to win Best Supporting Actress for Manchester By The Sea, but Viola Davis took it for Fences.
Another snub was that of the charming animated film, My Life As A Zucchini, which lost to Disney’s Zootopia in the category. No country for foreigners, one would think, until of course Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress for Dutch Director Paul Verhoeven’s French-language Elle. She beat out Hollywood favorite Natalie Portman’s astounding performance as Jacqueline Kennedy in Pablo Larrain’s Jackie.
The Night Manager won the main acting categories in a TV Series – with British actors Tom Hiddleston (Best Actor), Hugh Laurie (Supporting Actor) and Olivia Colman (Supporting Actress) making an almost-sweep, making this feel more like the BAFTAs. Claire Foy completed the Brit sweep for the stunning Netflix series, The Crown, as the series also won the much coveted Best Drama series – one category that has previously been won by Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Breaking Bad and Mr. Robot. Shockingly, Game of Thrones is yet to win this one.
La La Land won seven Globes – a record for any film. Best Actor, actress, director, screenplay, music, song and film. There was literally nothing more it could have won – upsetting the dramatic favorites in Screenplay category. It may not win any acting Oscars, but is now a hot favorite to win Best Picture, Director and both the music categories.
THE MOMENT OF THE GLOBES
Many contenders here – including the fantastic cold opening for the show, a fantastic “traffic jam on red carpet” take on La La Land’s Another Day of Sun, led by Jimmy Fallon and other stars. There was also his ‘starry’ waltz with Justin Timberlake soon after. Then there was Streep’s phenomenal clarion call – a five-minute force of nature of a speech. There was Ryan Gosling’s emotional thank-you to his wife Eva Mendes, their children, and his award dedication to her late brother. But perhaps the moment – easily the best executed of the night – belonged to “comedians” (brilliant dramatic actors) Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig as they presented the best-animated-film award. Their poker-face, recalling their first animated movie experience that quickly turns depressing and deathly, will be remembered as the room burst into laughter.