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Monday
Jan092017

Golden Globes 2017: "La La Land" Makes History, Streep Makes Her Point 

Meryl Streep; Paul Drinkwater/NBC(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- While Sunday night's Golden Globes honored a movie that's all about old-fashioned escapism, romance and dreams, it also brought us a speech from Meryl Streep that sent everyone crashing back down to the reality of 2017.

La La Land Dances to the Top
La La Land, a modern-day musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and an actress who fall in and out of love while pursuing their dreams, won a record seven trophies Sunday night, more than any other movie in the history of the awards.  It beat previous record holders One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next and Midnight Express, both of which won six in their respective years.  Among La La Land's haul: Best Comedy or Musical, Best Actress and Actor in a Comedy or Musical, Best Original Song for "City of Stars," Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

"This is a film for dreamers, and I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world, and that’s what this movie is about," Emma Stone said at the podium. "So to any creative person who has had a door slammed in their face...or anybody anywhere, really, that feels like giving up sometimes, but finds it in themselves to get up and keep moving forward, I share this with you."

Gosling took his time at the podium to salute his partner, Eva Mendes, the mother of his two children. "I just would like to thank one person properly...while I was...having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer," he said of Mendes. "If she hadn’t taken all of that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today.  So sweetheart, thank you."

The acclaimed film Moonlight was named Best Drama, despite not winning any other awards, and Casey Affleck and Isabelle Huppert took Best Actor and Actress in a Drama for, respectively, Manchester by the Sea and Elle.  

On the TV side, The Crown and Atlanta were named Best TV Drama and Comedy, respectively.  Many of the TV winners were first-timers, including Atlanta star Donald Glover, who took home two, black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, and The Crown star Clare Foy.

Meryl Streep Makes Her Point
Viola Davis, a winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for Fences, presented her Doubt co-star Meryl Streep with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, saying of Streep, "You are a muse...you make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me is...enough."  When Streep got onstage, she apologized for having lost her voice, but then gave a speech that blew everyone away. 

Referring to earlier winner Hugh Laurie's joke about it being the last Golden Globes ever because, as he said, "It has the words 'Hollywood,' 'foreign,' and 'press' in the title," Streep said, "All of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now.  Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press." 

She then pointed out that Hollywood is just "a bunch of people from other places," and delivered one of the most pointed lines of the night: "So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."

Streep then went on to single out "one performance this year that stunned me...it sank its hook in my heart not because it was good...but it was effective, and it did its job.  It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth."  She was referring to then-candidate Donald Trump's imitation of a disabled reporter, though she didn't say the president-elect's name.

"It kind of broke my heart, and I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie.  It was real life," she continued. "And this instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone...powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect.  Violence insights violence...[and] this brings me to the press.  We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage."

Streep then called for "our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we are going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth."

She concluded with a quote from her friend Carrie Fisher, whom she called "the dear departed Princess Leia": “Take your broken heart.  Make it into art.”

Speaking of Fisher, the only tribute done during the telecast was a brief one in honor of her and her mother, Debbie Reynolds: the two of course died within one day of each other last month.

Jimmy Fallon Opens Strong, Then Fades
First-time Golden Globes host Jimmy Fallon staged an incredible opening number that was a shot-by-shot recreation of several scenes from La La Land, including that movie's opening freeway song-and-dance number featuring a variety of stars, including Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones, Tina Fey, the Stranger Things kids, and Fallon's BFF Justin Timberlake, who did a romantic dance with Fallon before turning him loose to host.  At that point, Fallon's teleprompter failed.  It's not clear when it returned, but he did crack a series of Trump jokes and did a Chris Rock impression before getting the show started.

When he came back from the first commercial, Fallon joked that Mariah Carey had called to tell him that Dick Clark Productions has tried to sabotage his monologue.  Dick Clark Productions produces the Golden Globes, but is also behind ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, who Mariah blames for sabotaging her New Year's Eve performance.

For the rest of the show, Fallon popped up only every now and then to introduce stars, but there were no further sketches or jokes -- a surprising development from the king of late-night viral comedy bits.  One of the funniest didn't involve him at all: it featured Kristin Wiig and Steve Carell mournfully reminiscing about animated movies that reminded them of terrible family traumas with which they coincided.

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