NEW YORK — Lady Gaga won for “A Star Is Born,” Christian Bale thanked Satan for inspiration in playing former Vice President Dick Cheney and co-host Sandra Oh took home an award, too, after speaking passionately about “faces of change” at the 76th Golden Globes.
Politics were largely absent from the ceremony Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, before Bale took the stage for winning best actor in a musical or comedy for his lead performance in Adam McKay’s “Vice.”
“What do you think? Mitch McConnell next?” joked the Welsh-born actor, referring to the Senate’s majority leader. “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration for this role.”
Oh and Andy Samberg opened the Globes, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, on a note of congeniality, including a mock roast of attendees and a string of jokes that playfully commented on critiques of Hollywood. Oh performed an impression of a sexist caveman film executive who casts like the title of Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong drama: “First … man!”
Noting the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” Oh alluded to films with white stars in Asian roles like “Ghost in the Shell” and “Aloha,” the latter of which prompted Emma Stone, who starred in “Aloha,” to shout out “I’m sorry!” from the crowd.
But Oh, who later also won for her performance on the BBC America drama series “Killing Eve,” closed their opening monologue on a serious note explaining why she was hosting with Samberg.
“I wanted to be here to look out at this audience and witness this moment of change,” said Oh, tearing up and gazing at minority nominees in attendance. “Right now, this moment is real. Trust me, this is real. Because I see you. And I see you. All of these faces of change. And now, so will everyone else.”
Some of those faces Oh alluded to won. Mahershala Ali, whom the foreign press association overlooked for his Oscar-winning performance in “Moonlight,” won best supporting actor for “Green Book.” While the Globes, decided by 88 voting members of the HFPA, have little relation to the Academy Awards, they can offer a boost when it matter most. Oscar nomination voting begins Monday.
“Green Book,” Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip through the early ’60s Deep South, also won for its screenplay, giving a boost to a film that has been much criticized for relying on racial tropes.
As expected, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt won best song for the signature tune from “A Star Is Born,” the film most expected to dominate the Globes.
“Can I just say that as a woman in music, it’s really hard to be taken seriously as a musician and as songwriter and these three incredible men, they lifted me up,” Gaga said.
Though the Globes are put on by foreign journalists, they don’t including foreign language films in their two best picture categories (for drama and musical/comedy). That left Netflix’s Oscar hopeful, Alfonso Cuaron’s memory-drenched masterwork “Roma” out of the top category. It still won best foreign language film.
Best supporting actress in a motion picture went to the Oscar front-runner Regina King for her matriarch of Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.” King spoke about the Time’s Up movement and vowed that the crews of everything she produces in the next two years will be half women. She challenged others to do likewise.
“Stand with us in solidarity and do the same,” said King, who was also nominated for the TV series “Seven Seconds.”
A year after the Globes were awash in a sea of black and #MeToo discussion replaced fashion chatter, the red carpet largely returned to more typical colors and conversation. Some attendees wore ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organized the Globes black-clad demonstration. Alyssa Milano, the actress who was integral in making #MeToo go viral, said on the red carpet that in the past year a “really wonderful sisterhood has formed.”
The night’s first win went to Michael Douglas for the Netflix series “The Kominsky Method.” Douglas dedicated the honor to his 102-year-old father. The second award went to the acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” for best animated film.
For its sixth and final season, FX’s “The Americans” took best drama series over shows like Amazon’s conspiracy thriller “Homecoming” and Oh’s own “Killing Eve.” Richard Madden, the breakout star of the terrorism suspense series “Bodyguard,” won best actor in a drama series. Ben Wishaw took best supporting actor in a limited series for “A Very English Scandal.”
The press association typically likes to have first crack at series that weren’t eligible for the 2018 Emmys. They did this year in not just “The Kominsky Method” and “Bodyguard” but also the Showtime prison drama “Escape at Dannemora.” Its star, Patricia Arquette, won for best actress in a limited series.
Usually the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ceremony is known for its freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps. But the 2018 Globes were the first major televised awards in Hollywood following the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent push for greater gender equality in the film industry.
Last year’s show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-percent decline in viewership. This year, NBC has one thing in its favor: an NFL lead in. Ahead of the Globes, NBC broadcast the late afternoon wild card game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, which proved to be a nail-bitingly close game — likely delivering the network a huge audience.
Jeff Bridges received the Globes’ honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award and in his speech said actors could change society and “turn this ship around.” A similar television achievement award was also launched, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree was Burnett, herself.
“I’m kind of really gob-smacked by this,” said Burnett. “Does this mean that I get to accept it every year?”
Story: Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr