Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Big Little Lies, Lady Bird and Oprah dominated the 2018 Golden Globe Awards during a lengthy, politically outspoken ceremony that marked the first major awards show of the #MeToo era.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won the night’s biggest award for Best Motion Picture, Drama, as well as Best Screenplay, while its star Frances McDormand picked up Best Actress and Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor. In the Musical/Comedy category, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird won Motion Picture, Comedy, while its star, Saoirse Ronan, took home Best Actress.
Other major movie awards went to James Franco, who won Best Actor in a Comedy for his turn as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist; Gary Oldman, who won Best Actor in a Drama for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour; and Allison Janney, who won Best Supporting Actress for playing Tonya Harding’s mother in I, Tonya.
In the world of television, The Handmaid’s Tale continued its awards show domination, winning Best TV Series, Drama, while its star, Elisabeth Moss, won Best Actress. The Best TV Series, Comedy trophy went to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while its star, Rachel Brosnahan, won Best Actress. Aziz Ansari took home the trophy for Best Actor in a Comedy for Master of None and Sterling K. Brown picked up another Best Actor trophy for his turn on This Is Us.
In the miniseries category, Big Little Lies continued its remarkable run, winning Best Miniseries, Best Actress (Nicole Kidman) and Best Supporting Actor (Alexander Skarsgård). The only award in the miniseries category the HBO show didn’t win was the only one it wasn’t nominated for: Best Actor, which went to Ewan McGregor for Fargo.
Though the multiple sexual assault scandals in Hollywood cast a heavy shadow over the Golden Globes, the traditionally unpredictable awards show offered a few delightful and surprising moments. Keith Urban and Kelly Clarkson provided an impromptu harmonization of the staid “And the award goes to…” line before announcing the Best Song winner, while Franco invited The Room mastermind Tommy Wiseau on stage while accepting his Best Actor trophy – though the director/star notably nudged the infamous auteur away when he tried to take the microphone. Elsewhere, Guillermo del Toro endearingly hushed the “wrap-it-up” music while accepting Best Director, and Frances McDormand, accepting the night’s penultimate award, promised every woman in the room that the tequila was on her.
Still, McDormand was also sure to note: “The women in this room here tonight are not here for the food, we are here for the work.”
The activism at the Golden Globes began on the red carpet. Many actresses and actors arrived in black outfits or wearing pins in support of Time’s Up, a new coalition and legal defense fund aimed at combatting workplace sexual harassment and misconduct. Stars and nominees including Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Amy Poehler also tapped activists from an array of fields to join them at the Globes.
Host Seth Meyers opened his monologue with a nod to the “ladies and remaining gentlemen” of Hollywood and unleashed a string of jokes about Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. While accepting the night’s first award, Nicole Kidman set the tone when she spoke about portraying a character in Big Little Lies that “represents something that is in the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I do believe and hope that we can elicit change – through the stories we tell and the way we tell them.”
Elsewhere, Kidman’s Big Little Lies co-star, Laura Dern, spoke of the culture of silence that allowed abuse and harassment to fester for so long. “I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employe them, may we teach our children speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.”
Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Moss, Barbara Streisand and Jessica Chastain all added their voices to the chorus, with the latter calling out the pay gap before announcing Best Actress in Movie Musical or Comedy. But along with sexual assault and harassment, award winners and nominees also spoke about other issues. Sterling K. Brown thanked This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman for writing a part specifically for a black actor – “I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am” – while others made veiled references to President Donald Trump, specifically his attacks on the press and media. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the Golden Globes, notably announced two million-dollar grants to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, each of these issues comprised a component of the night’s most powerful speech, which Oprah delivered as she accepted the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award. Oprah recalled watching Sidney Poitier become the first black actor to win an Oscar in 1964, emphasized the importance of supporting journalists and the press and spoke of Recy Taylor, who died recently, but at 24 was kidnapped and raped by three white men. “She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men,” Oprah said. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!”
But despite the hope and inspiration, moments later the Golden Globes offered a perhaps inadvertent reminder of how much work remains to be done. After Oprah left the stage to wild applause, Ron Howard and Natalie Portman took the stage to hand out the award for Best Director. Portman pointedly quipped, “And here are the all-male nominees.”