The jazz-infused, Popsicle-colored La La Land dominated the 74th Golden Globes on Sunday, receiving a promotional boost in the form of a lavish tribute that kicked off the awards telecast and collecting a record seven prizes, including one for best comedy or musical.
No film had won more than four Globes since 1979, when the crime drama Midnight Express received six, the previous record-holding number.
“I’m in a daze now officially,” said the force behind La La Land, Damien Chazelle, 31, as he accepted the directing award. Noting the La La Land plot — star-crossed dreamers try to make it in show business — Emma Stone said in accepting the award for best actress in a musical or comedy, “I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world, and that’s what this movie is about.” La La Land also won Globes for song, score, screenplay and actor.
The bliss felt by the La La Land cast and crew was likely mirrored by the disappointment of those involved with Moonlight, the night’s second-most-nominated film. Despite six nominations, Moonlight, about a young black man growing up in Miami, received a lone trophy — albeit an important one: best drama.
“Please, tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend,” Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, said in accepting the award, trying to boost the art film’s box office performance.
A year after Hollywood was excoriated for its lack of diversity at the Oscars, inclusion was a major theme Sunday.
“This is for all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy,” Tracee Ellis Ross said as she accepted a best actress Globe for her role in the ABC series black-ish. “I want you to know that I see you. We see you.”
Ross was the first black woman to win in the category since 1983, when Debbie Allen won for Fame.
There were several surprises. Isabelle Huppert took best actress in a drama for the French film Elle, beating Natalie Portman, who was favored to win for Jackie. (Elle, a thriller about a businesswoman who tracks her rapist, also won best foreign film.) The foreign journalists who bestow the Globes are known for spreading their awards far and wide, but several films received nothing, including Florence Foster Jenkins, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water. Manchester by the Sea, despite five nominations, was honored only in the best actor category for Casey Affleck.
HBO, despite 14 nominations, the most of any network, was shut out altogether.
The first award of the night, for best supporting actor, dropped jaws: Aaron Taylor-Johnson won for his performance in Tom Ford’s little-seen film Nocturnal Animals, beating favorites like Mahershala Ali of Moonlight. “I made it — thank you,” Taylor-Johnson said, looking a bit startled.
To the surprise of almost no one, Viola Davis took the supporting actress prize for playing a 1950s homemaker in Fences. After doling out two kisses, one to her husband and one to Denzel Washington, who directed Fences and stars in it, Davis thanked its producers for taking a risk on the film.
“It doesn’t scream moneymaker,” she said. “But it does scream art. It does scream heart.”
THE SMALL SCREEN
Early television awards were widely distributed. The slow-burning FX series Atlanta, about an aspiring rapper and his manager cousin, was honored as best comedy and Donald Glover won best comedic actor for his performance in the show. Beating the likes of Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) and Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) as best actor in a drama was Billy Bob Thornton, honored for his performance in Goliath, a show with little buzz. Best actress in a TV drama went to Claire Foy, who plays a young Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, which won for best dramatic series.