New York — Lady Gaga won for the song "Shallow" from A Star Is Born, The Americans won best drama series for its sixth and final season and co-host Sandra Oh spoke passionately about "faces of change" at a Golden Globes that shrugged off the seriousness of last year's black-draped ceremony for a more lighthearted show.
Oh and Andy Samberg opened the 76th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, 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 said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because 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."
Soon thereafter, the stars of Black Panther took the stage to introduce the best picture-nominated film by pronouncing, in unison: "Wakanda forever!" They, along with the casts of Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman, Roma and others made for a diverse array of nominees.
Christian 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."
Mahershala Ali, whom the foreign press association overlooked for his Oscar-winning performance in Moonlight, won best supporting actor for Green Book.
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 criticised 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. They supported me."
Olivia Colman, expected to be Lady Gaga's stiffest competition when the two presumably go head-to-head at the Oscars, won best actress in a comedy/musical for her Queen Anne in the royal romp The Favourite. I ate constantly throughout the film," said Colman. "It was brilliant."
Best supporting actress in a motion picture went to the Oscar frontrunner 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 colours and conversation. Some attendees wore ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organised 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" and that they're "really finding our voice through our pain and our collective pain." But she added that she's more concerned with women in underseen industries — farmworkers, those in the military, hotel employees — than those walking the red carpet alongside her.
The night's first win went to Michael Douglas for the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, besting Douglas dedicated the honour to his 102-year-old father. The second award went to the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for best animated film.
Netflix won numerous awards for the series The Kominsky Method, also taking the award for best comedy series over favoured nominees like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (whose star, Rachel Brosnahan still won) and Barry.
"Netflix, Netflix, Netflix," said series creator Chuck Lorre.
Ryan Murphy's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won for both best limited series and Darren Criss' lead performance.
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.
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. Usually the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's ceremony is known for its freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps.
Few winners were seen as more certain than Lady Gaga as best actress in a drama but veteran actress Glenn Close pulled off the shocker for her performance in The Wife, as the spouse of a Nobel Prize-winning author. Close said she was thinking of her mother, "who really sublimated herself to my father for her whole life."
"We have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams," said Close, drawing a standing ovation. "We have to say I can do that and I should be allowed to do that."
Bohemian Rhapsody pulled a major upset at the Golden Globes, walking away with two top prizes - best drama film and best actor for Rami Malek, who plays Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the biopic about the iconic band.
The film bested early favorite A Star Is Born, box office superhero hit Black Panther, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk.
In the best actor category, Malek triumphed over Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased) and John David Washington in BlacKkKlansman.
Jeff Bridges received the Globes' honourary Cecil B. DeMille Award. In remarks about everything from Michael Cimino to Buckminster Fuller and, of course, to his Big Lebowski character the Dude, Bridges compared his life to a great game of tag. "We've all been tagged," said Bridges. "We're alive." He ended by "tagging" everyone watching. "We can turn this ship in the way we want to go, man," said Bridges.
A similar television achievement award was also launched this year, 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?"
At stake are not just Golden Globes awards but Oscar momentum. Voting for the Academy Awards nominations begins on Monday.