Originally a big old jolly designed to get members of Hollywood’s mysterious Foreign Press Association into the company of glamorous A-listers once a year, the Golden Globes has evolved into a key awards season moment. It’s a useful pointer for a film’s Oscar hopes, a bellwether for changes in the mood of Hollywood and, this year – thanks to the #TimesUp and #MeToo campaigns – a truly zeitgeisty moment. Here are five highlights from last night.
1. The red carpet protest
Turning the red carpet black with a pre-ordained dress code, actresses (and more than a few actors) stood in solidarity against sexual abuse, discrimination, harassment, unfair pay, poor roles… a litany of Hollywood sins now firmly in the spotlight. It was the year no one asked ‘who’ anyone was wearing, as the conversation turned to why they were wearing it.
2. The opening monologue
It seems a very long time ago that Ricky Gervais, as host, elicited shocked gasps for joking that he liked ‘a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.’ This year’s host, Seth Meyers, scorched one target after another: Trump, Spacey, Weinstein, Woody Allen. ‘When I first heard about a film where a woman falls in love with a hideous monster,’ Meyers said about ‘The Shape of Water’, ‘I thought it was a Woody Allen movie.’
3. Oprah’s optimism
When Oprah speaks America listens, so her acceptance speech (she won a Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award) was a showstopper. ‘I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!’ she declared. It was sure to resonate across the country.
4. The choice of winners
Frances McDormand for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, Guillermo del Toro for ‘The Shape of Water’, Saoirse Ronan for ‘Lady Bird’, Gary Oldman for ‘Darkest Hour’, Allison Janney for ‘I, Tonya’… the worthiness of the individual winners was matched by the Best Drama (‘Three Billboards’) and Best Musical or Comedy (‘Lady Bird’) categories. Props, too, to Hollywood’s mysterious scribes for picking ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Big Little Lies’. Mood-capturers, both.
5. Tom Hanks waiting tables
Nicest Man in Hollywood Tom Hanks took time out to deliver a tray of martinis to his tablemates during the evening. Did he spill any? Hell no. Did he also cure cancer and adopt a few puppies en route? Quite possibly. This is Tom Hanks we’re talking about.