“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 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 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, 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 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 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 (as was the style of frequent host Ricky Gervais) but Trump. He compared the president elect 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 through the ballroom, as she clutched her award. “But it’s right on time.”
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.
“I really want to thank Atlanta and all the black folks in Atlanta,” said Glover. “I couldn’t be here without Atlanta.”
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.”
“I want you to know that I see you, we see you,” said Ross, who was the first black woman to win in the category since Debbie Allen in 1982.
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 (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) and John Lithgow (“The Crown”).
Laurie was one of the few early winners to pepper his acceptance speech with comments about Trump. “I accept this award on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere,” he said. “The Night Manager” won two more awards, including best actor for Tom Hiddleston.
Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” won best foreign language film and its star, Isabelle Huppert, was crowned best actress in a drama. The French actress vowed: “Do not expect cinema to put up walls and borders.”
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.”