La La Land steamrolled, Moonlight swooped in at the last minute and Meryl Streep offered a stirring rebuke to President-elect Donald Trump at a Golden Globes ceremony 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 motion picture, drama. It was its only hardware despite six nominations.
Yet the night belonged to Meryl Streep, this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree, who most articulated an argument for the inclusivity of the movies — an ongoing theme of the night — over the platform of the president elect.
Streep, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, called the president-elect’s mocking of a disabled reporter on the campaign trail the year’s performance that most “stunned her.” Arguing for the international makeup of Hollywood, Streep listed off the far-flung homes of stars from Dev Patel to Ryan Gosling.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts,” Streep said to loud applause.
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.”
“I’m in in daze now, officially,” said the fresh-faced 31-year-old Chazelle accepting his award for directing.
In one of the evening’s more emotional acceptance speeches, Gosling dedicated his award to the late brother of his partner, Eva Mendes.
“While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,” said Gosling, referring to Juan Carlos Mendes.
The Beverly Hills, California, 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 for Globes producer Dick Clark Productions, which presented the infamous Mariah Carey flub on New Year’s Eve.
In a truncated monologue, Fallon’s sharpest barbs weren’t directed at the stars in the room, but rather president-elect Trump. He compared Trump to the belligerent teenage king Joffrey of Games of Thrones. His first line (at least once the teleprompter was up) 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.
“I took all the pictures, went to luncheon,” said Davis, to knowing chuckles. “But it’s right on time.”
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.
“I really want to thank Atlanta and all the black folks in Atlanta,” said Glover. “I couldn’t be here without Atlanta.”