It’s time for the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s celebration of movies, television, and the booze-plied stars of both. We’ll be here all night, discussing the biggest wins, the most surprising losses, and the most aggressively GIFable reactions. Prepare your best Natalie Portman-as-Jackie Kennedy impression, grab a drink, and join us below.
Good Night From La La Land
Sam Schube [11:30 p.m. ET]: So that was…inconclusive? La La Land set the record for most Golden Globes wins ever, which felt maybe a hair frustrating — until Moonlight managed to avoid an undeserved shutout by picking up Best Picture (Drama) and made us feel a little bit better. Jimmy Fallon disappeared, and Meryl Streep killed it. Casey Affleck edged out Denzel, Atlanta took home Rookie of the Year honors, and The People vs. O.J. Simpson capped off a dominant yearlong run. And… Elle and The Night Manager did great? Like I said: That was inconclusive. We’ll see you back here for the Oscars next month — in the meantime, we’ll be practicing our song-and-dance numbers.
‘Elle’: A Really Tough Movie That Had a Really Good Night
Alison Herman [11:20 p.m. ET]: If The Night Manager’s unjustified dominance is the worst-case scenario of the HFPA emphasizing its “F,” Elle is the best. The Paul Verhoeven–directed thriller-comedy-??? had an excellent night, bringing home trophies for both foreign language film and its central performance. As Isabelle Huppert gushed in her acceptance speech (proving what an extraordinary actress she is — the ice-cold character she was rewarded for creating would never be so emotional), there’s something pretty amazing about a Dutch-directed film starring a French actress winning major awards in America, particularly for a film as difficult as this one. Elle is a character study that begins with its protagonist being violently assaulted and only gets more uncomfortable from there; it’s the kind of movie most awards-giving bodies would back away from slowly in favor of, I don’t know, a chipper musical about the power of movies. Luckily for us, the Golden Globes’ strange bylaws and idiosyncratic tastes made room for something else.
Now Less Than Ever
Rob Harvilla [11:09 p.m. ET]: Now more than ever, we need to retire the phrase “now more than ever.” These were some of the last words out of Mr. La La Land producer’s mouth during his acceptance speech, before he was played off in the loudest, most aggressive manner possible via a snare crack audible from space. Great decision. It’s debatable whether the fearsome La La Land backlash taking hold as we speak is justified. What’s undeniable is that it’s craven and self-congratulatory and paradoxically oblivious in the extreme to tout your movie — and this goes for any movie, touted by anyone — as The Film We Desperately Need At This Fraught Political Moment. The trick is to quietly, confidently be that without being all pompous and announcing to the world that you are that. And that goes triple for a musical about how great L.A. is. Stop saying “now more than ever.” It should be launched into the sun via the same cannon someone is hopefully loading Jimmy Fallon into right now. This has needed to happen, every bit as badly, for a while now. But sure. Start now.
Meryl Streep Brings It
Lindsay Zoladz [10:32 p.m. ET]: And here I thought Golden Globes were going to end with Dr. House being the only person to make a political statement. There’s been a strange current running through tonight’s show to make the theme of the night “Celebrities! They’re Just Like Us” (perhaps in response to the ill-fated #BoycottGoldenGlobes trending topic). “Casey Affleck used to shovel snow.” “Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem.” Methinks the Globes doth protest too much. But Meryl Streep took this otherwise reticent show to another level in her brave, barbed, utterly empathic speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Consider that while accepting a lifetime achievement award, she barely mentioned herself at all. Consider that although the speech was about Donald Trump (“When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose”), she took a page from Michelle Obama’s Book of Elegant Shade and didn’t even mention him by name. Consider this video of her donning a fat suit to do a Donald Trump impression last year. Forget everything you saw on the reel. That was one of Meryl’s boldest performances of all time.
‘Hidden Fences’: Not a Movie
K. Austin Collins [10:24 p.m. ET]: I know we’re all overwhelmed by the number of black actors and movies up for Golden Globes this year — it’s a high watermark for representation. O.J.! Moonlight! But to folks at the Globes, All Black Movies Look Alike. At least twice tonight — on the red carpet and again onstage — Hidden Figures and Fences, two black movies that are miles apart (one goes to space!), kept getting mixed up. On the carpet, Jenna Bush Hager incited an appropriately bewildered look from Pharrell. And during the actual show, the true betrayal: Michael Keaton made the same slipup. Is this payback for that time Chris Rock asked black people if they’d heard of any Oscar-nominated films, and they hadn’t? Even if it’s not, let’s try harder.
Tom Hiddleston’s Acceptance Speech Was Preposterous
Herman [10:00 p.m. ET]: This was Tom Hiddleston’s big chance. His highest-profile appearance since the demise of Hiddleswift, Loki’s acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Limited Series could have been an easy way to charm himself back into Tumblr’s good graces. Instead, he reminded us why he and Taylor were probably such a good match in the first place: the self-absorption and accompanying lack of self-awareness required to take a topic as serious and global as civil war in South Sudan and make it about himself. Hot tip: You don’t have to insinuate your show is responsible for easing the psychic burden of doctors in war zones for us to enjoy it and/or feel less mad Riz Ahmed was robbed.
I’ll let Christian Slater take it from here:
A Brief Word About ‘The Night Manager’
Harvilla [9:54 p.m. ET]: I’ll tell you what sucked: The Night Manager. Worst thing I saw on television in 2016, and I helped live-blog election night. Like a James Bond flick for people who thought Taylor Swift had a totally great year. Knuckleheads, in other words. It was only a six-hour miniseries but it felt like it dragged on for decades. The plot is basically “Tom Hiddleston (who manages a hotel, at night) broods while Hugh Laurie (who personally fires grenade launchers at young children, or something) looks on obliviously.” Don’t watch The Night Manager. It will make you Angry. John le Carré (who wrote the novel it’s based on, and is alive) is rolling in his grave. Spoiler alert:
What you can derive from the fact that THREE people from the show — Hiddleston, Laurie, and Olivia Colman (who is fine) — have won Golden Globes tonight is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is every bit as drunk as you think they are, and there is no level of drunk that will make that show remotely tolerable. You have been warned. The Golden Globes’ reputation for logic and good taste has been sullied forever.
Let Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig Host
Kate Knibbs [9:43 p.m. ET]: Awards show banter usually runs the gamut from tolerable to embarrassing, so it’s always a delightful relief when presenters are even moderately funny. With their animated-movie horror stories, Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig gave the NYC Ringer office our first out-loud laughs of the night. I’m assuming they’re both too busy and/or sane to accept hosting duties, but I can’t help entertaining a daydream of the 2018 Golden Globes hosted by Cwiig (my celebrity comedy couple name for them). Think of all the Young Pope jokes those two could get off.
The Remaining Nominees Most Likely to Thank Migos
Harvilla [9:09 p.m. ET]: Donald Glover’s acceptance speech for Atlanta is an all-universe highlight tonight, not least for his shouting out Migos for making “Bad and Boujee,” the single greatest rap song in existence. Here, now, are some winner predictions for the rest of the night based on the likelihood that they also give this incredible and well-deserved shout-out. I’m not drunk, you are. Thanks for your time.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA
Natalie Portman, Jackie
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool
BEST DIRECTOR — MOTION PICTURE
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (!!)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nick Nolte, Graves (this is a joke)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
John Turturro, The Night Of (not at all a joke)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Thank You, Tracee
Allison P. Davis [9:02 p.m. ET]: After three seasons on Black-ish, Tracee Ellis Ross finally won a well-deserved Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy, and she gave the most delightful speech of the entire ceremony. (I’m calling it early). “This is for all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas, and thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important,” she told the crowd. “But I see you and we see you.” In those few sentences, Ross was able to rebuke last year’s controversial #Oscarssowhite season and also take a moment to honor the fact that, at least at this awards show, people are paying attention to the wealth of stories that people of color told this year. (We see you too, Issa Rae.) And if that doesn’t convince you, just consider the way Ross sidestepped up those stairs in her ridiculously structured silver dress — total pro.
‘Atlanta’ Wins Big
Justin Charity [8:50 p.m. ET]: Atlanta — FX’s rookie comedy, and the most celebrated TV show on this very website — just beat out Black-ish and Transparent for Best TV Series in the Comedy/Musical subcategory. Paper Boi’s whole crew took to the stage, and creator/writer/actor Donald Glover took to the mic to chuckle his way through personal disbelief that his strange little series about a struggle rapper and his underachieving manager somehow became the toast of the nation’s critics. “I just wanna thank all the black folks in Atlanta for being amazing people,” Glover said. “And I wanna thank the Migos, not for being in the show” — they were, in episode three — “but just for making ‘Bad and Boujee.’” With Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross having just won Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy immediately before Atlanta’s win, the Golden Globes have opened with some pretty encouraging wins for (as Dave Chappelle once famously put it to Wayne Brady) black actors — Mahershala Ali’s highway robbery aside.
Mahershala Was Robbed
Collins [8:42 p.m. ET]: For the record, I don’t hate Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He’s fine in Nocturnal Animals.
He’s good in his other movies, too. As Quicksilver in the Avengers movies, as an action hero sadboy in Godzilla, and, of course, kicking ass in Kick-Ass. I don’t need to slander Aaron Taylor-Johnson to make the point that his Golden Globe belongs to one Sir Mahershala Ali. You should never get your hopes up about awards or awards season, but this is a slight shock: Ali has been sweeping the guilds, to say nothing of our hearts.
What happened? Was it Taylor-Johnson’s man thighs? Listen, they’re nice — I have no counter argument — but so are Ali’s pecs. I can’t help but feel like ATJ won for small, vaguely petty reasons — these are the Globes, after all.
Fallon’s Dud of a Monologue
Herman [8:30 p.m. ET]: Well, we knew we weren’t getting Ricky Gervais. We didn’t know we were getting a monologue so softball it would literally end with host Jimmy Fallon telling a room full of stars with egos begging to be punctured how amazing they are.
After a predictably star-studded opening number, Fallon got off to an inauspicious start with a broken teleprompter. Fortunately, that was perfectly on-brand for the Globes; unfortunately, it turned out to be the highlight of a set otherwise filled with bombing-Borscht-Belt-comic-level lame one liners. Trump is just like King Joffrey! No one wants to perform at his inauguration! Our country doesn’t respect the popular vote! All low-volume, safely liberal bark, no bite — especially none directed at the people actually present. And that’s before we got to the terrible Chris Rock impression.
Here we go, people.
Best of the Red Carpet
Herman [5:28 p.m. ET]: Every awards show comes with conventional red carpet winners, those who do various fashion houses proud and slay the damn thing. Tonight, that contingent is represented by Gwendoline Christie, who looks “I have paychecks from the most successful TV show of all time and the most successful film franchise of all time” FLAMAZING:
But this is the Globes, and in the spirit of Hollywood’s goofiest evening, goofiness ought to be rewarded. Which is why the true winners of the evening are Gael García Bernal and Diego “Just Let Me Touch Jabba” Luna, bromantic partners who share everything, including a carpool. Paparazzi shots are well and good, but what’s more endearing than a lo-fi en-route selfie?
Honorable mention goes to Tracee Ellis Ross, sipping Fiji in a sequin-encrusted gown:
And finally, Pharrell, not for his outfit — the beanie was relatively subdued, as far as Pharrell headgear goes — but for the A-1 reaction face he gave to getting microaggression’d by a former First Daughter:
What to Watch for: TV Edition
Herman [5:00 p.m. ET]: For a remarkable seven years running, the Golden Globes chose its hosts for maximum, if benevolent, disruption. First, there was three years of Ricky Gervais’s petulant trolling from 2010–12, performances of apathy so volatile the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just had to bring him back for round four in 2016. But not before the producers had the stroke of genius to throw together two performers who, despite their legendary friendship, hadn’t appeared much as a duo outside of middling studio comedies. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were certainly better liked by the crowd in their three-year run, but that was just the sugar that helped medicine, i.e. sick James Cameron burns, go down. Both hosts fulfilled their sacred duty: roasting celebs and producing eminently GIF-able reaction shots.
That run comes to an end tonight with new host Jimmy Fallon, a figure so allergic to controversy he sometimes backs right into it. (Touslegate much?) His preferred M.O. is perfectly encapsulated by this headline: “Jimmy Fallon Will Recreate La La Land Song with Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds.” Expect more collegial backslapping and fewer jaw-dropping one-liners than we’re used to from the Globes.
As for the awards themselves, it’s time for the Globes to anoint a new class of Emmy favorites before the Emmys themselves can. Thanks to their late-year start dates, Westworld, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Atlanta, and Insecure weren’t up for trophies in June, and it’s a good bet most of them will bring home some hardware tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Donald Glover and Issa Rae swept the comedy lead categories, or if Thandie Newton and Winona Ryder took the stage on the strength of both their current roles and their extensive pre-2016 careers. (The combination of new buzz and old-school celebrity seems too potent for the HFPA to resist.) The only problem is that there’s so much fresh meat it’s hard to call anything for certain — I already forgot to mention The Crown!
So for now, let the champagne flow and the ultra-famous tongues loosen.
What to Watch for: Movie Edition
Collins [5:00 p.m. ET]: What if La La Land doesn’t win? That was the question on my mind this morning. It isn’t what I predicted a couple of days ago, but that was before the National Society of Film Critics, which is sometimes a nice predictor of the Oscars, gave Moonlight their top prizes (Best Picture, Best Director). I don’t think that kind of sweep will happen tonight, but whatever, I can hope.
Speaking of hope, I hope I will have gorged myself on pigs in a blanket by the time any of this is relevant — I hope to be on the verge of a food coma. But do people serve hors d’oeuvres when they watch the Golden Globes? Do people have Globes viewing parties? Like — what even are the Golden Globes, exactly? I will confess: I usually just google the winners and the best outfits, confirm Oscar expectations, peep a joke or two on YouTube, and move on.
But I’m still curious about the Globes’ place in the scheme of things. I like to think of these awards shows as a wedding party: The Tonys are the gay cousin who insists on singing at the reception, the Daytime Emmys are the aunty holding court near the punch, spilling the best gossip, yet I have no sense of where to place the Globes. The bridesmaid, I guess? Or maybe the drunk uncle? They get about half the viewers of the Oscars (though still more than the Emmys) but are known to be a boozier, less stuffy affair. I almost don’t care who wins — I’m here to have fun.