The first 15 minutes of Sunday's Golden Globe Awards foreshadowed how the rest of the night would go.
Host Jimmy Fallon started the night with a tribute to “La La Land.” He enlisted celebrity friends and the year’s biggest stars to perform a prerecorded musical number that banked on Hollywood’s love for the musical film. His gamble paid off, and the “La La Land” love continued throughout the night.
The first award of the night also set the tone for strange picks and surprising winners. Best Supporting Actor: Motion Picture went to Aaron Taylor-Johnson for “Nocturnal Animals.” Most critics were surprised Johnson had landed a Globes nomination in the first place, and last night’s win against favorite Mahershala Ali was shocking to say the least.
“La La Land” dominated the Motion Picture: Comedy and Motion Picture: Musical categories, winnig all seven of its nominations. With Sunday night's sweep, “La La Land” became the most awarded movie in the history of the Golden Globes.
The film’s wins included awards for director Damien Chazelle, leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and Best Original Song for “City of Stars.”
Casey Affleck won the Lead Actor: Motion Picture Drama category, and he can be considered all but a lock for the Academy Award at this point.
As for the Lead Actress: Motion Picture Drama category, the Hollywood Foreign Press's choice shook everything up for next month's Academy Awards. French actress and absolute legend Isabelle Huppert surprised audiences with a win against Natalie Portman and Amy Adams.
Viola Davis not only won Best Supporting Actress: Motion Picture for her performance in “Fences,” but she appeared again to give a passionate introduction for Meryl Streep while presenting Streep with the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award. Davis’s speech seemed like a tough act to follow until Streep walked onstage and gave a searing, emotional monologue on the importance of empathy and strength during the Trump administration.
"Disrespect invites disrespect," Streep said. "Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."
A much-deserved Best Picture: Drama win for Barry Jenkins’s incredible “Moonlight” finished out the night. It may have been a “La La Land"- dominated night, but a win for “Moonlight” keeps its Academy Award hopes very much alive.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was pretty predictable when it came to the TV awards. It handed out multiple awards to British favorites “The Crown” and “The Night Manager.”
Pleasant surprises in the TV race included an award for Tracee Ellis Ross of “Black-ish” and two awards for Donald Glover’s “Atlanta.”
Less surprising was Sarah Paulson’s Best Actress in a Mini-Series win for “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” Paulson continued her steady sweep of TV awards for her role as Marcia Clark.
The awards weren't always shocking, which lessened the entertainment value, but a steady string of charming presenters were on hand to lighten up the evening. Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell brought their usual deadpan comedy to the stage while presenting Best Animated Film by hilariously reminiscing about their own unfortunate memories of “Bambi” and “Fantasia.”
Another dynamic duo, Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar of “Lion,” took to the stage hand-in-hand to introduce their film. Eight-year-old Pawar, who carries the first half of the movie, grinned ear-to-ear at the audience, which seemed equally appreciative of the actor in his tiny tux and green high-tops.
Fallon was a disappointing host. He disappeared for for most of the night and popped up with oddly timed raps and flat Trump jokes. Sorry, Jimmy, but remember when you playfully ruffled his hair on your show before he was elected? We do.
The Golden Globes may seem like just another boozy award show, but the real question lies in the effect it will have on the Academy Awards in February. That’s a column for another day. For now, just go rewatch Streep’s speech. You won’t regret it.
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