BEVERLY HILLS — Celebrities partied into the wee hours Jan. 7 following the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards, which celebrated not just films and TV productions but also what many actors hope will be the imminent demise of male sexual and artistic domination in the entertainment industry.
“And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again,” talk show host and actress Oprah Winfrey said in a rousing speech after she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Women dominated the evening at the Beverly Hilton, which was peppered with talk about the “Time’s Up” and “Me Too” movement against sexual harassment and abuse and gender inequality. Award recipients and presenters alike had a common theme in their discussions, with some blasting the lack of women nominees in the best-director category and others joking that some male actors should surrender part of their salaries to ensure equal pay for actresses.
The top prize went to a story about a woman’s fight for justice for her murdered daughter. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won for best drama film, while also collecting prizes for best screenplay for Martin McDonagh, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.
For comedy/musical films, the top prize went to “Lady Bird,” the story of an adventurous high school senior seeking excitement beyond her mundane life in Sacramento. The film’s star, Saoirse Ronan, was named best actress in a comedy/musical.
“I want to say thank you to my mom and my dad and the people of Sacramento who gave me roots and wings and helped me get where I am today,” said the film’s writer/director, Greta Gerwig. It was the first Golden Globe of her career.
“I just want to say how inspirational its been to be in this room tonight,” she told the crowd.
She also thanked “all of the women who I love so much in my own life who support me every single day.”
McDormand, in accepting her Golden Globe for best drama actress for “Three Billboards,” said “it was really great to be in this room tonight” and be part of a seismic shift in Hollywood’s treatment of women.
“Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food,” she said. “We are here for the work.”
Veteran character actor Rockwell was pleased to win best supporting actor for his work in the film.
“I’ve done a lot of indies,” he said of his career. “It’s nice to be in a movie that people see.”
He said the movie “is about compassion, and I think we need some of that these days.”
Gary Oldman took home his first Golden Globe for his turn as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” He heaped praise on his fellow cast members and his makeup crew, which transformed him into the British icon.
“Winston Churchill said, ‘My taste is simple — I am easily satisfied with the very best,’” Oldman said. “And I was surrounded by the very best.”
He also gave thanks to his wife, noting that “she would say to friends, ‘I go to bed with Winston Churchill but I wake up with Gary Oldman.’”
As for the film, Oldman said, “It illustrates that words and actions can change the world, and boy oh boy does it need some changing.”
James Franco was named best actor in a motion picture musical/comedy for his work in “The Disaster Artist,” the story about the making of what many have dubbed the worst film ever. Franco portrays that film’s director, Tommy Wiseau, and he invited Wiseau on stage at the Beverly Hilton to share in the honor.
“I’m very happy to share this moment with him today,” Franco said.
Franco also shared the honor with his brother, Dave, who also appears in the film.
“When I went to NYU I always said I wanted my own Coen brother, somebody to collaborate with,” Franco said, going on to thank his mother for giving him Dave.
Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy “The Shape of Water,” the story of a mute woman who falls in love with a sea creature she finds in a government lab, was the top nominee heading into the ceremony, but it won only two — a best-director prize for del Toro and a best original score Globe for Alexandre Desplat.
Del Toro said he has made a career of crafting monster-oriented fables, at least three of which he said have “saved my life.”
“I thank you,” he said. “My monsters thank you.”
Allison Janney won her first career Golden Globe, earning the supporting actress prize for her work in “I, Tonya,” the story of figure skater Tonya Harding and her famed rivalry with Nancy Kerrigan. She hailed her cast, particularly Margot Robbie, and screenwriter Steven Rodgers for “this very distinctive, unique, mother of a character. I thank you for that.”
Janney also thanked Harding, who was at the ceremony, for sharing her story, which she called “a story about class in America” and about the “disenfranchised truth.”
“It’s an extraordinary movie, I’m so proud of it,” she said.
On the television side of the awards, streaming services dominated the night.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon’s show about a 1950s housewife trying to embark on a comedy career, won the prize for best comedy series.
Series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino hailed her “murderers’ row of actors” for bringing the show to life. And she also thanked Amazon, “because their support was completely unwavering at all times. Every check cleared.”
The show’s star, Rachel Brosnahan, won her first career Golden Globe for lead actress in a comedy. She hailed the role and series as a “story about a bold and brilliant and complicated woman,” and she called on Hollywood to “invest in and make and champioin these stories.”
Aziz Ansari won his first Golden Globe for his work in the Netflix streaming series “Master of None.” He gave full credit to his co-stars, saying, “The only reason my acting is good in that show is because everyone else holds me up the whole time.”
Hulu’s acclaimed streaming series “The Handmaid’s Tale” won the prize for best drama series, while its star, Elisabeth Moss, won her second career Golden Globe for lead actress in a drama. Moss read a quote from the story’s author, Margaret Atwood, during her acceptance speech, and dedicated the win to her for her courage to “speak out against intolerance and injustice and fight for equality in this world.”
Paraphrasing Atwood, she said women “no longer live in the gaps between the stories, we are the story in print and we are writing the story ourselves.”
Moss previously won a Globe for best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for “Top of the Lake.”
In accepting the award for best drama series, “Handmaid” executive producer Bruce Miller punctuated his speech by saying, “To everybody working to stop ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ from becoming real, keep doing that.”
Sterling K. Brown was the only television network actor to take home a Globe, earning the prize for drama series actor for his work in NBC’s “This is Us.”
“We take turns leading and supporting each other. I love each and every one of you,” he said of his cast members.
He also hailed writer Dan Fogelman.
“You wrote a role for a black man that could only be played by a black man,” he said.
HBO’s “Big Little Lies” also had a big night, winning the prize for best limited series or TV movie, while Nicole Kidman won for best actress, Laura Dern won for best supporting actress and Alexander Skarsgard won for best supporting actor.
Skarsgard hailed the cast of “extraordinarily talented women” in the show, but he singled out Kidman.
“Nicole, I love you. Thank you for making this the greatest experience of my career.”
Dern stuck with the theme of the evening by calling on people to teach their children and young girls that “speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.”
Actress Reese Witherspoon, helping accept the award for best limited series or TV movie, said she hopes the show sends a message to women who are victims of abuse and harassment that they can come forward.
“Time is up,” she said. “We see you. We hear you and we will tell your stories.”
Ewan McGregor won best actor in a TV movie or limited series for his work in FX’s “Fargo.”
In her speech, Winfrey said she remembered watching on television as a child in 1964 when Sidney Poitier won the Oscar for best actor in “Lilies of the Field.”
“I remember his tie was white and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that,” Winfrey said, noting that Poitier also later received the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
“And it is not lost on me that at this moment there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award,” she said.
Winfrey also acknowledged the revelations of the past year involving sexual harassment in Hollywood, and noted that the problem goes well beyond the entertainment industry. But she said young girls can now be given assurance that “a new day is on the horizon.”