The 75th Golden Globes was destined to be one for the books. With the honored movies and TV shows overwhelmed by the avalanche of #MeToo accounts of Hollywood sexual harassment victims, it was bound to be a different kind of awards show.
Stars dressed in black to show solidarity, Oprah Winfrey made history as the first African-American woman to win the Globes' lifetime achievement prize, several surprise guests showed up, and host Seth Meyers and his writers strove to match what's usually a freewheeling (and alcohol-fueled) awards show with the industry's newfound zero-tolerance attitude toward sexist misconduct. Not everything worked, but it certainly was fascinating -- and occasionally inspiring -- to watch.
More than who won or lost, here are the moments people will be talking about from the 2018 ceremony.
Emcee Seth Meyers had the evening's toughest task: keeping the evening jokey and fun while still managing to pay homage to the honorees and acknowledging Hollywood's massive sexual harassment scandal that cast a dark shadow over the usually frivolous awards show. Thankfully, the "Late Night" host proved up to the job, as he demonstrated from his very first monologue joke, "Good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen."
His funniest line may have been the observation that the Globes show was the first time in three months that you could hear a favorite male celebrity's name read out and not cringe in fear that it was in connection with loathsome behavior. Not all his jokes landed successfully, but points to Meyers for showing his heart was in the right place, for mentioning the non-glamorous Hollywood working stiffs on movie and TV crews who would also benefit from the new #TimesUp initiative to fight institutionalized sexism in the industry, and for still managing to keep it light and breezy.
Best Moment of Non-Solidarity
It may have violated the evening's all-black fashion protocol, but Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna's dazzling red gown also offered some relief to the eye. Plus, who was going to criticize her -- she was the host of the party, after all. Besides, as Frances McDormand noted later, at least the HFPA had managed to elect a female president.
Yeah, early winners Nicole Kidman and Sam Rockwell thanked way too many people, but at least their long-winded speeches had a positive result, forcing the show to cut its script in order to catch up to its own schedule. The rushed evening meant that unfunny banter between awkwardly matched presenter pairs was kept to a minimum. For many of the duos, there was just a quick "The five nominees are.... And the winner is... " Bing, bam, boom.
Worst Father-Daughter Moment
The Globe ceremony has traditionally enlisted a second-generation starlet as Miss Golden Globes and charged her with escorting winners on and off the stage. This year, they decided to make the honor sound less patronizingly sexist and renamed the helper a Golden Globe Ambassador.
Dwayne Johnson introduced the audience to the new Ambassador, his 16-year-old daughter Simone Garcia Johnson, but while the Rock beamed with fatherly pride, he couldn't help ruining the moment with a self-serving joke. Noting that the Ambassador's duties extend beyond the ceremony to philanthropic work over the coming year, the elder Johnson plugged his own current hit "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" by touting his own supposedly charitable activity of casting Kevin Hart in all his movies.
Best Missed Opportunity
"This Is Us" star Sterling K. Brown did thank show creator Dan Fogelman for writing him a role that could only be played by a black man. But Brown was too modest to mention that he'd just made history by becoming the first African-American man in the 75-year history of the Golden Globes to win the Best Actor in a TV Drama Series prize. Instead, he left it up to entertainment journalists to tout his history-making victory.
Worst Missed Opportunity
C'mon, Globes producers, you're going to team Emma Watson and Robert Pattinson as presenters and not tout it as a mini "Harry Potter" reunion? That's insult enough to kill poor Cedric Diggory all over again. By the way, which award did they present? We forgot.
Best Starlet-Crowning Moment
The Globes voters love to anoint new TV starlets with prizes, especially if they can boast of recognizing new ingenues with trophies before the Emmys do. Following in the wake of similar honors to newbies Gina Rodriguez and Rachel Bloom, the Globes this time recognized Rachel Brosnahan, star of new Amazon comedy series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Brosnahan was perfectly charming, sweet, and brief during her acceptance speech, but she got an additional shout-out from show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino when the series won Best Comedy. Sherman-Palladino referred to her leading lady as half human, half Tolkien character. Pretty sure that was supposed to be a compliment.Best Speech, Maybe Ever
During a ceremony that focused on brave and inspirational women, both fictional and real, the anticipation was high for Oprah Winfrey's acceptance speech for her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, and she did not disappoint. She deftly turned the focus away from her history-making honor by recalling how inspired she was as a little girl when she watched Sidney Poitier become the first black man to win a Best Actor Oscar in 1964.
Later, she cited the story of Recy Taylor (subject of a 2017 documentary), a black Alabama woman who was gang-raped by white men in 1944 and who unsuccessfully sought justice with the help of a pre-fame Rosa Parks. As Oprah noted, Taylor died just 10 days before the Globes ceremony, meaning she lived just long enough to see the #MeToo movement that involved women like her finally having their stories heard and believed. As for the abusers, Oprah chanted, "Their time is up! Their time is up!" Now, she suggested, it won't be long before little girls like the 1964 Oprah will be able to look to Hollywood for inspiration and be able to tell their own stories without fear. "A new day is on the horizon," she preached. It was a rousing and unforgettable moment, one that should stand as a Globes highlight for years to come.
Best Biting-the-Hand-That-Feeds-You Moment
Oprah was a nearly impossible act to follow, as a nervous Ron Howard seemed to suggest when he and Natalie Portman had to appear after her in order to hand out the Best Director prize. But Portman squeezed in a powerful zinger, one that served as a reminder that not even the HFPA is immune to the sexism currently under scrutiny throughout the rest of Hollywood. "Here are the all-male nominees," she said, implicitly noting that, at a time when the industry is paying lip service to the notion of listening to women, the Globes still failed to nominate Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, Patty Jenkins, or any other woman who did awards-worthy work directing a 2017 movie.
Honorable mention to Debra Messing, on the red carpet before the show, telling E! interviewers how disappointed she was to learn that E! paid news anchor Catt Sadler only half of her male co-host's salary before she quit in protest.
Worst Misuse of a Hollywood Legend
101-year-old icon Kirk Douglas got a standing ovation just for showing up; the "Spartacus" star also got a tribute reel. That would have been enough, but it turns out that the wheelchair-bound centenarian had been wheeled out on stage with daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones just to present the Best Screenplay award. There was something less than dignified about making Douglas, whose speech was impaired by a stroke a quarter-century ago, sing for his supper.
Honorable mention to Carol Burnett, for maintaining her dignity even when co-presenter Jennifer Aniston asked to tug on her earlobe, the way Burnett used to do at the end of "The Carol Burnett Show."Best Shout-Out to a Movie's Real-Life Inspiration
That would be James Franco's acknowledgement of Tommy Wiseau, director/star of cult-favorite so-bad-it's-good movie "The Room" and inspiration for Franco's Globe-winning turn in "The Disaster Artist." Franco invited Wiseau up on stage with him, and while he didn't let him speak, the long-haired auteur's typical woozy-vampire act did not disappoint.
Best Shut-Down of the Orchestra
Guillermo del Toro's win for Best Director came late in the evening, so it's no wonder the band tried to shorten his speech and play him off. But the "Shape of Water" filmmaker stood his ground, noting how long it had taken him to reach the podium. "It's taken 25 years," del Toro said of his first Globes victory. "Give me a minute."
At the beginning of the show, Meyers did a bit where six-time nominee "The Post" won an armload of trophies based on its pedigree (timely historical drama, Steven Spielberg directing, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks starring). Turns out that guess was premature. "The Post" went home empty-handed, while "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" pulled off something of an upset, winning the top prize (Best Motion Picture Drama) and three other awards.
Both movies are about middle-aged women finding their voices and speaking out against injustice, but in the studio-backed "The Post," she's a wealthy newspaper publisher, while in the indie "Three Billboards," she's a small-town mom of a murdered daughter. In the #MeToo era, some movies are more me-too than thou.