In the middle of the rainy winter of our discontent, with both a mega-storm and an impeding inauguration in the horizon, it was another day of sun for the 74th Golden Globe Awards.
The cold, wet front promised by the weather forecast decided to linger longer in Northern California, and the stars were greeted at the Beverly Hilton by the usual glorious balmy weather of the City of Stars – providing the perfect frame for the night’s big winner, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which, in a record-breaking sweep, went home with Globes in all the seven categories it had been nominated: best motion picture, musical-comedy; best director and screenplay, Damien Chazelle; best actress, musical-comedy, Emma Stone; best actor, musical-comedy, Ryan Gosling (who visibly blushed when his name was announced, to the delight of audiences near and far); best original song, “City of Stars”, and best original score, Justin Hurwitz.
On the drama side voters widened their choices. Director Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight won as best motion picture- drama (and was greeted by a standing ovation by the International Ballroom), but saw one of his strongest categories – best supporting actors, in which both Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris were favorites- go to other talent: Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals and Viola Davis for Fences. Favorite Casey Affleck took the Golden Globe for best actor-drama for his work in Manchester By The Sea, with Paul Verhoeven’s controversial Elle making a strong showing with two wins – best foreign language film and best actress-drama for Isabelle Huppert, who beat local faves Natalie Portman and Amy Adams. Zootopia won in the animated feature category.
Faithful to its tradition of recognizing upcoming talent and trend, the 2017 Globes showered awards on FX’s Atlanta – best series, musical or comedy, and best actor in a TV series, musical-comedy for Donald Glover. Netflix’s newcomer The Crown beat a lot of heavy contenders, nabbing Globes for best series-drama and best actress in a drama series for Claire Foy, with Billy Bob Thornton taking the acting Globe in the category for another new series, Amazon’s Goliath. AMC’s limited series The Night Manager took almost all Globes in its category – with kudos to Tom Hiddleston and supporting actors Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman – with The People Vs OJ Simpson taking the rest: best limited series and best actress/limited series for Sarah Paulson.
Amidst all the festivities our recipient of this year’s Cecil B. deMille Award, Meryl Streep – introduced by Viola Davis with an eloquent, poignant speech about her multiple powers of observation and creation- took upon her to remind the gilded audience of what lies ahead. Streep’s passionate speech lambasted Donald Trump and its supporters and urged the creative community to band together to preserve freedom. In an elegant gesture, Streep reminded all of the need to support a free press - “they will need us, and we certainly need them.” Finally, in a voice overcome by emotion, Streep recalled her friend, “Princess Leia “, and one of her favorite sayings: “take your broken heart and make it into art.”