LOS ANGELES: Hollywood’s elite turned the red carpet black Sunday at the Golden Globes, the glitzy launch of the entertainment industry’s awards season, with sexual harassment scandals casting a long shadow over the party.
Billed as the most raucous event in the showbiz calendar, the champagne-drenched Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual prize-giving is a draw for filmmakers and actors looking to create some buzz ahead of the Oscars in March.
But this year’s ceremony, seen as the first big opportunity for the industry to unite against a pervasive culture of sexual misconduct brought to light by the downfall of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, may strike a more serious tone.
Actors and actresses turned out in black this year in solidarity with victims of Weinstein and numerous other figures exposed by the harassment and abuse scandal, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner and Dustin Hoffman.
And the overall message was a call for continued change.
“People are aware now of a power imbalance. It’s led to abuse in our industry. (…) It’s everywhere,” Meryl Streep, who is vying for a Globe for her work in media drama “The Post,” told E! network on the red carpet.
Streep, a three-time Oscar winner, said Hollywood’s men and women now felt “emboldened to stand together in a thick, black line.”
Viola Davis added: “It’s all of these women just embracing their authentic voices and standing in solidarity with each other.”
Meyers, making his debut as Globes host, opened the show with joke after joke about Hollywood’s post-Weinstein reckoning.
“It’s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s going to be a good year,” the late night NBC funnyman Meyers said.
“For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”
‘Shape of Water’ vs ‘The Post’
The ceremony at the Beverly Hilton is not as reliable at predicting Oscars glory as the galas held by Hollywood’s acting, producing and directing unions.
But it remains one of the most high-profile and glamorous events of the awards calendar and tends to generate more headlines for tipsy tributes and wacky one-liners.
Leading the pack this year is Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” with seven nominations, while “The Post” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” went into the night tied for second, with six each.
Overall, 25 awards are given out — 14 for movies and 11 for TV — and, as usual, the 90-member HFPA has sprung more than a few surprises in the nominations, placing horror satire “Get Out” in the best comedy-musical category.
But there were no nominations at all for female filmmakers despite huge successes in 2017 for Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), Dee Rees (“Mudbound”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Detroit”) and Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”).
The first awards of the evening went to Nicole Kidman, who was named best actress in a limited series or television movie for her role as an abused wife in HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”
“I hope we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them,” Kidman told the audience.
Sam Rockwell took home the best supporting actor in a film prize for crime drama “Three Billboards.”
He paid tribute to his “actor-friendly” director Martin McDonagh and co-star Frances McDormand, whom he described as “a force of nature.”
While many fields are wide open, James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) is almost certain to win best actor in a musical/comedy movie, according to awards prediction website Gold Derby, ahead of Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”).
The site expects Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) to pip Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) in the parallel race for best actresses for her acclaimed performance as a troubled teen.
Among other awards for the small screen, “The Handmaid’s Tale” took home the prize for best drama series, and star Elisabeth Moss took home the prize for best actress in a drama.
Moss thanked Margaret Atwood, who wrote the best-selling dystopian novel on which the Hulu series was based.
“Margaret Atwood, this is for you and the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world,” Moss said. AFP