La La Land steamrollered, Moonlight swooped in at the last minute and Meryl Streep offered a stirring rebuke to President-elect Donald Trump at a schizophrenic Golden Globes that pivoted between heartfelt moments of protest and a desire to sing and dance.
Damien Chazelle’s bright-hued Los Angeles musical La La Land dominated the Beverly Hills, California, ceremony with seven awards — a Golden Globes record — including best motion picture, comedy or musical, further cementing its Oscar favorite status.
But perhaps its stiffest Academy Awards competition, Barry Jenkins’ tender coming of age drama Moonlight — which competed largely in separate dramatic categories — took the night’s final award, best movie drama. It was the film’s only hardware despite six nominations.
Yet the night belonged to Meryl Streep, this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award honouree, who most articulated an argument for the inclusivity of the movies — an ongoing theme of the night — over the platform of the president-elect, who is to be sworn in Jan. 20.
Streep, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, called Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter on the campaign trail the year’s performance that most “stunned” her.
Arguing for the international make-up of Hollywood, Streep listed off the far-flung homes of stars from Dev Patel to Ryan Gosling.
“La La Land” came in with a leading seven nominations, and won everything it was nominated for, including best film, musical or comedy.
Chazelle won both best director and best screenplay. Gosling won best actor in a comedy or musical, as did Emma Stone for best actress. It also took best score (Justin Hurwitz) and best song for City of Stars.
In one of the evening’s more emotional acceptance speeches, Gosling dedicated his award to the late brother of his partner, Eva Mendes.
The ceremony got off to a rocky start, with a broken teleprompter initially froze Fallon. “Cut to Justin Timberlake, please,” implored a desperately improvising Fallon.
It was the second fiasco in eight days for Globes producer Dick Clark Productions, which presented the infamous Mariah Carey flub on New Year’s Eve.
As if predicting the La La Land haul to come, the Tonight Show host started the show with a cold open ode to the film in a lavish sketch more typical of the Academy Awards than the Globes.
Fallon did a version of the film’s opening on-top-of-cars dance scene, with starry cameos from Timberlake, Tina Fey, Amy Adams and the white Ford Bronco of The People v. O.J. Simpson.
In a more truncated monologue, Fallon’s sharpest barbs weren’t directed at the stars in the room but Trump. He compared the President-elect to the belligerent teenage king Joffrey of Games of Thrones.
His first line was introducing the Globes as “one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote.”
That, though, isn’t quite true. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of 85 members, has its own methods of selecting winners. Best supporting actress winner Viola Davis, the co-star of Denzel Washington’s August Wilson adaptation Fences, alluded to the group’s reputation for being wined and dined.
Davis continued what appears to be a certain path to the Oscar. Another favorite, Casey Affleck, also padded his favorite status. The Manchester by the Sea star took best actor.
Coming a year after a second-straight of OscarsSoWhite protests, the night was notable for the widespread diversity of its winners, in film and TV. Donald Glover’s Atlanta won best comedy series over heavyweights like Veep and Transparent, and Glover later added best actor in a comedy. Glover looked visibly surprised.
Tracee Ellis Ross, accepting the award for best actress in a TV comedy for black-ish, dedicated her award to “all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important.”
There were some real upsets, none more than the British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson who took best supporting actor for his performance in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.
It was a surprise that Taylor-Johnson was even nominated, so his win over favorites Mahershala Ali from Moonlight and Jeff Bridges from Hell or High Water was a shock.
As expected, The People v. O.J. Simpson took best miniseries, as well as an award for Sarah Paulson. And Netflix’s Elizabeth II series The Crown won both best drama series and best actress in a drama series for Claire Foy.
But no one looked more surprised to win than Hugh Laurie, co-star of The Night Manager, who took best supporting actor in a limited series or TV film over the likes of John Travolta and John Lithgow.
The ceremony included a memorial reel, something not typically played during the Globes but one that was added following the recent deaths of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Streep quoted the latter to end her speech.
“Take your broken heart,” said Streep quoting Fisher. “Make it into art.”