Before the Oscars are distributed, before the Tony Awards, before the Grammys and the Emmys and whatever Nickelodeon does, there is an award ceremony commemorating the best in television and film: the Golden Globes.
In its 74th year, the Golden Globes Awards are arranged by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association®, a non-profit group for international journalists based in Southern California. The HFPA nominates creative talent in TV and the movie industry for remarkable performances or projects, and selects winners for these coveted prizes.
And unlike the Academy Awards, the GGs are known for their intimate venue, their diverse nominee rosters, and their philanthropic work. This year’s ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Fallon, and though some of his jokes fell flat (including a very-accurate-yet-awkward impression of Chris Rock), the SNL-alum-turned-late-night-staple was an overall success for the evening.
Even from the broadcast’s opening sequence, the show promised to entertain. The intro included a musical song-and-dance number featuring hazmat-suited backup dancers from Arrival, a choreographed ditty in honor of Westworld, a nod to Game of Thrones, and queer icon Barb (BARB!) of Stranger Things was senSATIONal in a synchronized swimming routine à la Hail, Caesar! It was literally everything you ever wanted in life.
Jimmy Fallon then channeled La La Land by crooning about the celebrities he would see while hosting, and though the brilliant Tina Fey ran up to enjoy his serenade, it was Justin Timberlake who got to be Fallon’s true muse. The two gents danced on air—and cartwheeled, and body-rolled—until Fallon took the stage, where the evening began with gorgeous fashion, awards for incredible performances this year, and the first live-broadcast anti-Trump speeches of 2017!
As always, American award season serves as a months-long runway for fashion designers around the world to show their newest and most original work. While men tend to get stuck with general tuxedos for this black tie event, women turn the fashion component of the Golden Globes into a real vision.
Favorites of the night included Naomi Campbell in a ribboned Atelier Versace dress, Emma Stone wearing an ethereal Valentino gown with silver star embroidery, bisexual heartthrob Evan Rachel Wood in an Altuzarra suit, Lily Collins in a floral mauve backless Zahair Murad gown with a strong red lip, and Blake Lively in a black Atelier Versace gown with a draped train, gold sequined Y-straps, enormous emerald cuffs, and (get ready to clutch those pearls…) POCKETS! It’s about damn time a gal on the red carpet has an alternative for a clutch.
But the men weren’t completely shown up. Justin Timberlake shined in a sheened charcoal tux and Donald Glover (also known as the rapper Childish Gambino) looked luscious in a tobacco-brown velvet Gucci suit, while Pharrell Williams stole the show in rosary beads, a Chanel beanie (you heard me), and a stark white paisley-print jacket reminiscent of a collarless sherwani.
Best of the night? Gina Rodriguez in a jewel-fringed white halter gown. This plunging-neck fantasy was pure genius from designer Naeem Khan.
La La Land swept the night in awards and in repute for the Motion Picture/Comedy or Musical categories, including Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress (Emma Stone, who is inarguably amazing but how did she beat out Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins?), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), and Best Motion Picture (I mean if Deadpool couldn’t win it, this one certainly deserved to).
But many queer artists and projects also received their well-earned due.
Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed film about a young black boy reconciling his homosexuality with his unforgiving environment, touted many Golden Globe nominations this year, including Best Motion Picture Screenplay, Best Motion Picture Original Score, Naomie Harris’ much-deserved nod for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Mahershala Ali’s Best Supporting Actor in a Drama nomination, and Barry Jenkins himself for Best Motion Picture Director. While none of these nominations resulted in a win, the film picked up the most coveted prize of all: the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama!
Lesbian actress Sarah Paulson took home her award for Best Actress in a Television Miniseries for her incredible performance in The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Produced by gay Hollywood legend Ryan Murphy, the show also took home Best Television Miniseries.
Queer fan-favorite The Crown also won several Golden Globes, including Best Television Series – Drama, and Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama, the incredible Claire Foy.
Atlanta star and creator Donald Glover—who is believed to be bisexual after a radio performance and Tumblr comment in 2015—was awarded Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. The dry, ironic, witty show also won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
Viola Davis’ performance as a bisexual attorney in How to Get Away with Murder has gotten her many awards already, and her role as a gay child’s mother in Doubt earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2009. This past Sunday, she won Best Supporting Actress – Drama for her emotionally gripping work in Fences.
Those Sick Burns
No award show would be complete without funny, awkward, and/or political acceptance speeches. We got all three this year.
Between a darkly hilarious exchange between Kristen Wiig and Steve Carrell sharing first memories about animated movies (and how these memories destroyed their lives), and Chris Pratt hamming up the “First Jobs” segment by claiming he has always ever been an actor, the night included some genuine laughs. But gay boys everywhere (and many others) rejoiced during Ryan Gosling’s walk to accept his Golden Globe when Ryan Reynolds made out with Andrew Garfield. Just because. (#Spideypool!!!)
The epic event of the night, however, was a two-part sequence about Meryl Streep and her unparalleled career in the film industry. Viola Davis, Streep’s costar from Doubt, introduced Streep’s Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. In her speech, Davis expressed her awe of the 67-year-old actress and how incredible it is to witness her craft in action, and in so doing Davis reminded us why we love her as well.
Then Meryl Streep herself took the stage, humbly thanked the HFPA for the honor, and proceeded to single-handedly eviscerate Trump on live television for the world to see. Without ever naming him, she explained how it was truly heartbreaking to watch one of the most powerful men in the world mock a disabled reporter. “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their positions to bully others, we all lose.”
If La La Land was the clear winner of the evening, Donald Trump was the clear loser. There is obviously a resistance community in Hollywood, exemplified with Jimmy Fallon’s many jabs at the president-elect, Hugh Laurie’s throwaway “I accept this award on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere,” and Meryl’s blistering acceptance speech (like how terrible of a human do you have to be to redirect Meryl Streep’s LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to your awful track record?).
The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards were certainly a spectacle to behold while they honored the best of film and television and touted the iconic fashion. But more than that, they showed real heart and soul in an uncertain and divisive time, making this a poignant, celebratory, and rallying evening to remember.