Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dominated the 75th Golden Globes Awards on Sunday, picking up a leading four awards, including a Best Drama statue. The revenge drama centres on a tough-as-nails woman who takes matters into her own hands after her daughter is raped and murdered.

It wasn’t the only big winner to focus on steely female protagonists. Lady Bird, an elegiac coming-of-age story about growing up in Sacramento was named Best Musical Or Comedy while nabbing a Best Actress prize for Saoirse Ronan for playing a sardonic teen.

On the television front, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a show about a dystopian future in which women are conscripted into sexual slavery by a monied elite, picked up a Best TV Drama award, while HBO’s Big Little Lies, a look at domestic abuse in a posh seaside community, earned a leading four awards including one for Best TV Movie Or Miniseries.

Politics dominated the 75th Golden Globes Awards on Sunday, as stars used their time at the podium to draw attention to abuse, sexism, and racism. It wasn’t the typically festive and inebriated occasion that usually generates big ratings for the annual show. The Moet may have flowed, but actors and filmmakers cloaked themselves in black to show their solidarity for victims of harassment, and outfitted the labels of their tuxedos with pins that read “Time’s Up,” a call to arms against discrimination and inequity.

Elisabeth Moss, who nabbed a Best Actress In A Television Series Drama for her work in the series The Handmaid’s Tale, dedicated her award to women “brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom.” The message of diversity and equality was echoed in other acceptance speeches during the broadcast.

Nicole Kidman captured best actress in a TV movie or miniseries, while praising her mother, a supporter of women’s rights, in an emotional speech. “My achievements are her achievements,” said Kidman.

Big Little Lies

The ladies from Big Little Lies (from left) Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley pose with the Best Television Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television award. Photo: AFP

Praising Whistleblowers

Kidman’s co-star Laura Dern praised whistleblowers who have helped topple Harvey Weinstein and other accused harassers, while accepting a Best Supporting Actress In A Tv Drama prize.

“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star,” said Dern. Even the Best Original Song winner, This is Me was in keeping with a night celebrating diversity and inclusion. The anthem from The Greatest Showman is an impassioned plea for acceptance sung by a ”circus freak” (Keala Settle).

Host Seth Meyers wasted no time addressing the harassment scandal that has subsumed Hollywood.

“Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen,” he said, adding, “It’s 2018, Marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment isn’t.”

This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown is the first black actor to win Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama at the Golden Globes. Photo: AFP

Harassment wasn’t the only hot-button issue to surface during the broadcast. Best Actor In A Tv Drama victor Sterling K. Brown used his speech to thank Dan Fogelman, the creator of NBC’s popular sudser This Is Us, for writing a role for a black man at a time when minorities are underrepresented on the small screen.

“I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am and it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me and to dismiss any one who looks like me,” said Brown.

Jessica Chastain and Chris Hemsworth sharing a light moment at the Golden Globes press room. Photo: AFP

Any Front-runner?

Awards prognosticators and studios are looking to the Globes to make sense of what remains a frustratingly opaque Oscar race – one that lacks a clear front-runner. Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape Of Water heads into the evening with the most nods, a leading seven nominations, while Steven Spielberg’s The Post, and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are close behind with six nominations apiece.

Unlike the Oscars, the Globes hand out awards to both television and film. They also split their film awards into different categories based on genre. There are separate competitions for the best drama film as well as the best comedy and musical picture.

Director Guillermo del Toro wins Best Director – Motion Picture for his movie The Shape Of Water. Photo: AFP

To that end, Del Toro now looks like a front-runner after scoring a Best Director award for The Shape Of Water, an off-beat love story between a mute cleaning lady and a swamp creature. His work triumphed over the likes of Steven Spielberg (The Post) and Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk).

The Globes predictive powers may be overexaggerated. Last year, the organisation gave its top musical/comedy prize to La La Land and its Best Drama statue to Moonlight, which went on to pick up the Academy Award for Best Picture. However, it failed to recognise the two previous Best Picture Oscar winners, Spotlight and Birdman with top honours.

Moreover, there is virtually no overlap between Globes voters and Oscar voters. The Globes are put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a tight-knit group of roughly 90 journalists, whereas Oscars are voted on by film industry professionals.

Mariah Carey shows off her svelte figure. Photo: AFP

Awkward Moments

Other big screen winners included Coco, a fable based on the Mexican holiday of the Day Of The Dead, that was recognised as the year’s best animated film. Yet, the sexual harassment scandal led to a few awkward moments. Coco is produced by Pixar, and last fall the animation studio’s leader John Lasseter took a leave of absence in wake of sexual misconduct complaints from employees.

When asked about the Lasseter situation in the press room backstage, Coco producer Darla K. Anderson dodged the question, saying only, “We want to focus on being in solidarity with tonight’s movement.”

Rewarding Freshmen Shows

On the television front, Globes voters have a habit of rewarding freshmen shows, handing out top prizes to the likes of ”Atlanta” and ”Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in their inaugural seasons. This year, HBO’s Big Little Lies, a murder mystery set in a posh California community, picked up a leading six nominations.

Continuing the tradition of recognising new shows, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an Amazon period show about ground breaking female comedians that debuted last spring, earned a Best TV

Comedy Or Musical honour while Rachel Brosnahan picked up a Best Actress award.

Oprah Winfrey, the recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award for career achievement, spoke to the power of representation. The talk show host and actress said that as a little girl she remembered vividly watching as Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win a leading actor Oscar.

“I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that,” said Winfrey, adding, “It is not lost on me that at this moment there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman being to be given this …award.” – Reuters


List of winners for the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards

Allison Janney poses with the trophy for Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In Any Motion Picture. Photo: AFP

Film

Motion Picture, Drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Actor, Motion Picture, Drama: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Actress, Motion Picture, Drama: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director, Motion Picture: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape Of Water
Supporting Actor, Motion Picture: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Supporting Actress, Motion Picture: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Motion Picture, Musical Or Comedy: Lady Bird

Actor, Motion Picture, Musical Or Comedy: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Actress, Motion Picture, Musical Or Comedy: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Screenplay: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape Of Water
Original Song: This Is Me From The Greatest Showman, music by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, lyrics by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul.
Animated Film: Coco
Foreign Language: In The Fade

TV

Series, Drama: The Handmaid’s Tale
Actor, Drama: Sterling K. Brown, This is Us
Actress, Drama: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Series, Musical or Comedy: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Actor, Series, Musical Or Comedy: Aziz Ansari, Master Of None
Actress, Series, Musical Or Comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Television, Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Tv: Big Little Lies
Actress, Limited Series Or TV Movie: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Supporting Actress, Series, Limited Series Or TV Movie: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Supporting Actor, Series, Limited Series Or TV Movie: Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
Actor, Limited Series For Motion Picture Made For TV: Ewan McGregor, Fargo

Angelina Jolie’s Golden Globes date is son Pax Thien. Photo: AFP

(From left) Naomi Campbell, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Penelope Cruz are all dressed in black at the Golden Globes to show their solidarity for victims of harassment. Photo: AFP