Hollywood hit the red carpet Sunday for the Golden Globes, with hit musical romance A Star Is Born the favourite to win big at the awards season opener — and the prizes demonstrating an industry keen to tout its progress on diversity.
Along with Star, a handful of films had earned accolades so far at the Beverly Hilton including Alfonso Cuaron’s heartfelt Roma and civil rights dramedy Green Book — giving them all a leg up in the run-up to the all-important Oscars on February 24.
Under a bright California sun, Tinseltown’s A-listers worked the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton.
Many wore “Time’s Up” bracelets in a nod to the movement for se**xual equality in the workplace that grabbed the headlines 12 months ago as the industry became engulfed in a reckoning about rampant harassment and abuse.
Hosting the gala was comedian Andy Samberg and actress Sandra Oh, who made history as the first Asian woman to have hosted major awards show while also taking home her second Globe for Killing Eve.
As the only awards show where booze is served, the evening is usually more colourful than showbiz’s other big nights.
But the presenters set the tone for a less edgy night than in previous years with a relatively tame opening that gave more time to complimenting the nominees than assailing them with “roast”-style jokes.
Samberg paid tribute to the diversity among the slate of films up for awards, singling out Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians If Beale Street Could Talk and several others praised for their inclusivity.
“And they are not just here tonight because they resonated with audiences Hollywood often ignores,” he said.
“They are here because they told stories that resonated with everyone. And that is truly a beautiful thing.”
Globes for supporting acting in movies went to two African Americans — Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Mahershala Ali (Green Book.)
King vowed that, for the next two years, she would only produce projects that employ 50 per cent women, exclaiming: “Time’s Up times two!”
“And I just challenge anyone out there — anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries — I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same,” she said.
If there was a sure bet on Sunday night, it was Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, a cinematic ode to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, which won best foreign film and the best director statuette for the filmmaker.
“Cinema at its best builds bridges to other cultures,” Cuaron told the audience. “We need to understand how much we have in common.”
This year, the Globes come at the start of voting for Oscar nominations, and while they are not always a clear predictor of Academy Award success, they are a bellwether of momentum.