Whimsical modern-day musical La La Land pirouetted its way into major Oscars contention on Sunday as it swept the board at the Golden Globes, the glitziest party of the showbiz year.
Damien Chazelle’s 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.
Its success struck an optimistic note during a three-hour ceremony marked by impassioned political speeches voicing anxiety over Donald Trump’s election following a campaign which stirred simmering racial tensions.
“This is a film for dreamers,” said Emma Stone, who took home the prize for best actress in a musical/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 honours, while Chazelle took home prizes for best director and screenplay.
La La Land had earned awards for best original score 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 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.
There was 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, which also captured best foreign language film.
Viola Davis picked up best supporting actress in a film for Fences, the screen adaptation of August Wilson’s play.
The US presidential election was on the minds of those at the Beverly Hilton, with many winners giving acceptance speeches calling for tolerance and unity.
Screen legend Meryl Streep took Trump to task in an emotional speech as she accepted a lifetime achievement award.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders,” she told the president-elect. “If you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Without naming Trump, she described his impression of a disabled reporter as heartbreaking. “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence,” she said.
Host Jimmy Fallon also cracked Trump gags.
“This is the Golden Globes, one of the few places left where America still honours the popular vote,” Fallon said.