2017 Golden Globes Recap: The Speeches and Surprises

A handful of celebs used their time on stage to make heartfelt statements that went beyond simply thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
(Credit: Getty Images)

If there's one thing you can count on when it comes to the Golden Globes, it's that you can't count on anything.

The 74th annual celebration of film and television kicked off awards season on Sunday night with Jimmy Fallon playing host at the Beverly Hills bash. The comedian delivered a much more genial follow-up to Ricky Gervais' mean-spirited remarks that dominated the Golden Globes last year. Sure, there were a few well-placed jabs at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, but Fallon predictably replaced Gervais' trademark un-PC commentary with his usual model of playful celebrity worship over politics.

That opening number

As rumoured, the Globes kicked off with a bang. Fallon played it safe with a La La Land-inspired number that saw him singing and dancing his way to the Beverly Hilton Hotel alongside a cast of A-list celebrities including Ryan Reynolds, Justin Timberlake, Nicole Kidman, Tina Fey and Amy Adams.

The lavish sketch was more typical of the Academy Awards than the Globes, but it grabbed viewers with Spanx jokes, Game of Thrones' Jon Snow waking in the back of a limo, the Stranger Things kids resurrecting fan-favourite Barb with a cutesy rap, and O.J. Simpson's infamous white Ford Bronco.

The awards

The night was filled with predictable nods, but there were a few surprises, which is why the Globes tend to be a little more interesting than the Oscars.

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La La Land hit all the high notes scooping up a total of seven statues, becoming the most awarded film in Golden Globe history. The beloved musical won in each category in which it was nominated, including best musical/comedy film. Damien Chazelle won the awards for directing and screenplay; Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling took home the awards for best actor and actress, respectively; composer Justin Hurwitz won for best score, as well as best original song with lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for "City of Stars."

(Credit: Getty Images)

Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age film, Moonlight took home the most coveted award of the evening, the Best Motion Picture – Drama award, while TV's The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Atlanta and The Crown won big in their categories.

The speeches

The ceremony wasn't only the first big celebrity awards show of the year, it was the first major televised event of the year and there were a handful of celebs that used their time on stage to make heartfelt statements that went beyond simply thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

When Tracee Ellis Ross picked up the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy she became the first black woman to win the award since Debbie Allen won for Fame in 1983. So it's fitting that the Black-ish actress used her time to explicitly recognize women of colour.

"This is for all the women, women of colour, and colourful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important," she said. "But I want you to know that I see you. We see you."

Atlanta star Donald Glover scored two Golden Globe wins and used his time on stage to give a heartfelt speech about his belief in magic as a storyteller.

"I grew up in a house where magic wasn't allowed, so everybody in here is magical to me. Like, every time I saw a movie or Disney movies or heard your voices or saw you, I was like, 'Oh, magic is from people. We're the ones who, kind of, in a weird way, tell a story or a lie to children so they do stuff that we never thought was possible,'" Glover said. "My dad used to tell me every day, 'You can do anything you want.' And I remember thinking as a kid in first grade, 'You're lying to me.' But now I do stuff, and he's like, 'I didn't think that was possible.'"

Of course, the most memorable speech of the evening came from Meryl Streep.  The eight-time Golden Globe-winner was the recipient of the 2017 Cecil B. DeMille Award and used her time to call out president-elect Donald Trump for his "performance," particularly when he appeared to mock a disabled reporter during a November 2015 campaign rally — something Trump has denied doing.

"This instinct to humiliate, when it's modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing," Streep said during her six-minute speech. "Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."

Christopher Turner is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.