'La La Land,' politics mix at Golden Globes

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(From left to right) Jordan Horowitz, Fred Berger, Producers, "La La Land", accepting the award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017.

The TelePrompTer went down at the start of the 74th annual Golden Globes Sunday night, forcing host Jimmy Fallon to vamp.

"Already you have your Golden Globes moment," said the Tonight Show star, whose highly orchestrated musical opening was the antithesis of the anything-can-happen vibe for which the show's long been famous.

This year, though, politics trumped chaos.

Fallon, gentler with the audience inside the Beverly Hilton than Ricky Gervais ever was - and not nearly as funny as Upper Darby's Tina Fey and her partner-in-hijinks Amy Poehler - rolled out the Donald Trump jokes instead, though not all named the president-elect.

Sample: "What would it have been like if King Joffrey had lived [on Game of Thrones]? Well, in 12 days we're going to find out."

It wasn't until a couple of hours later, though, that Hollywood brought out its big gun, in the person of Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Meryl Streep, who used her time onstage to talk about what she called the most memorable performance she'd seen last year, the one in which Trump had done an impression of a disabled reporter.

She wasn't a fan.

Echoing winner Hugh Laurie (The Night Manager), she noted that the group that chooses the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, represents in its title the most "vilified" segments of our society right now: "Hollywood," "foreign," "press."

After singling out nominees from a variety of backgrounds, she concluded: "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts."

It was a big night for La La Land, which swept the musical or comedy categories, and for Ardmore's Benj Pasek, whose "City of Stars," co-written with Justin Paul for the film, won for original song. (The film, a better fit for the musical or comedy category than last year's winner, The Martian, also won for Damien Chazelle's directing, for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's performances, for original score and Chazelle's screenplay.)

Other local La La Land ties included producer Marc Platt and executive producer John Legend, both Penn alums.

Moonlight, meanwhile, took the Globe for motion picture drama.

For those who care what the members of the HFPA think about TV and movies, the choices were deserving, if occasionally predictable for a group that dearly loves a non-American accent. Did anyone think Netflix's The Crown wouldn't win for TV drama? Or Isabelle Huppert for Elle.

Less predictable: The TV comedy win for FX's Atlanta, which appeared to stun its star and creator, Donald Glover, who also won for acting.

Other winners included Sarah Paulson, for FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (which also won for TV movie or miniseries and Tracee Ellis Ross for ABC's Black-ish, who both appeared delighted, though Paulson's been picking up awards for months for her performance as beleaguered prosecutor Marcia Clark.

As always, there were awards even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association couldn't have anticipated, including those for:

Whimsical acceptance speech: To Billy Bob Thornton, star of Amazon's Goliath, who said he was happy to have been chosen over Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk for actor in a TV drama. "Bob and I have had a feud since the 1940s since we did a movie with Van Johnson," he joked.

Most impressive name-drop: By Claire Foy (The Crown), who thanked, among others, the woman she played, Queen Elizabeth II. "She has been at the center of the world for 63 years. I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it, if you ask me," Foy said.

Best-timed close shave: To Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson, who was able to forgo his mountain-man beard, thanks to a stunt last Thursday on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live in which he allowed a stranger to shave him. Because it's one thing to be crazy in Hollywood, but quite another thing to look crazy.

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