LOS ANGELES: Whimsical modern-day musical La La Land pirouetted its way into major Oscars contention Sunday (Monday morning in Manila) as it swept the board at the Golden Globes, the glitziest party of the showbiz year.
Damien Chazelle’s nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals picked up all seven of the statuettes for which it was nominated—giving the film momentum as it launches its campaign for next month’s Academy Awards.
The film’s influence was felt from the opening moments of the three-hour ceremony – host Jimmy Fallon and a slew of stars got the bash underway with a parody of some of the iconic scenes from the movie, which is set in Los Angeles.
“This is a film for dreamers,” said Emma Stone, who took home the prize for Best Actress in a musical or comedy for her role as aspiring actress Mia.
“I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world. And that’s what this movie is about.”
Her co-star Ryan Gosling—who plays jazz pianist Sebastian—won Best Actor honors, while Chazelle took home prizes for Best director and Screenplay.
It earned awards for Best Original Score award and best song for “City of Stars” shortly after the glitzy ceremony began—setting the tone for a record-breaking night.
Prior to Sunday, the record for the most Globes was shared by the 1975 release One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and the 1978 movie Midnight Express, with six wins apiece.
Gosling joked about breaking up his statuette to share with Stone and Chazelle, before getting serious with a heartfelt tribute to his partner, the actress Eva Mendes.
“I would like to try to thank one person properly and say while I was singing and dancing and playing piano and 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.
Kenneth Lonergan’s unflinching Manchester by the Sea earned a Globe for Casey Affleck as Best Actor In A Drama, but the film lost out to Barry Jenkins’s coming-of-age movie Moonlight for best drama.
Affleck, who was the heavy favorite in his category, paid tribute to his director.
“I don’t have enough time to say what I want to say about Kenny. So suffice it to say I love you, you’re beautiful, you’re a treasure to all of us who like movies and work in movies,” he said.
Best Drama was the only award for Moonlight, a disappointing haul considering it had six nominations, including for the director and cast members Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali.
There was also a shock in the Best Actress In A Drama category, where Natalie Portman was expected to pick up the award for her intense turn as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie.
Instead, the award went to Isabelle Huppert for French rape-revenge tale Elle.
In another surprise, Elle captured the Best Foreign Language Film award over the heavily favored German-Austrian dramedy Toni Erdmann.
“It was wonderful to work with you—you are wonderful. I love you, I love you, I love you,” Elle director Paul Verhoeven told Huppert.
Viola Davis picked up best supporting actress in a film for Fences, the screen adaptation of August Wilson’s play.
She hailed “extraordinary leader, great actor, great director” Denzel Washington, her co-star.
“It’s not every day that Hollywood thinks of translating a play to screen. It doesn’t scream money-maker, you know? But it does scream art. It does scream heart,” she said.
On the television side, FX true crime anthology The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story took home prizes for Best Limited Series or TV movie, and Best Actress for Sarah Paulson for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark.
But AMC crime drama The Night Manager swept up three acting prizes, for Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.
Netflix newcomer The Crown, a saga about Britain’s royal family, picked up statuettes for Best Drama Series and Best Actress for Claire Foy.
The 32-year-old British actress said she wanted to thank some “extraordinary women,” including Queen Elizabeth 2nd, who she praised for her more than 60 years on the throne.
“I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it, if you ask me,” she said.
Actor Donald Glover—who is due to star in the next Star Wars spin-off film—picked up the Best Comedy Television Series award for Atlanta, which he created, and later won a Best Actor statuette.
The US presidential election was on the minds of those at the Beverly Hilton. Fallon cracked a few jokes, but screen legend Meryl Streep took Donald Trump to task, in an emotional speech as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fallon was assisted by “Jimmy’s Angels”—Stallone sisters Sistine, Scarlet and Sophia—who are jointly this year’s “Miss Golden Globe,” responsible for helping to hand out statuettes.
For the first time, the arrival of Hollywood’s A-listers on the red carpet—a top moment for fashion lovers—was live-streamed on Twitter.