Seth Meyers openly attacked a U.S. president at the 75th annual Golden Globes on Sunday night, but it wasn’t the one you might have expected.
Wherever he was, Kevin Spacey, the once but definitely not future POTUS in Netflix’s House of Cards — for which he won a Golden Globe in 2015 — should have felt his ears burning.
Fired from House of Cards and Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, Spacey, along with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and director Woody Allen, was a particularly pointed punchline during the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual awards.
Meyers suggested that Christopher Plummer, who’d replaced Spacey as John Paul Getty in All the Money in the World, might do the same for House of Cards: “I hope he can do a Southern accent, because Kevin Spacey sure couldn’t.”
Doing a bit with comedian Billy Eichner, he set him up with a description of Call Me by Your Name as a “gay coming-of-age film,” to which Eichner replied, “Said Kevin Spacey, ‘You lost me at of age.'”
Of Weinstein, Meyers said, “He’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed in the In Memoriam.”
Vicious maybe, but Meyers did it with panache, and proved to be the right steward for what was, laughs and personal attacks aside, a more earnest than usual evening for the Globes, a show known for its almost-anything-could-happen vibe.
You probably knew that Oprah Winfrey would bring her own potentially presidential vibe to her Cecil B. DeMille award acceptance, but who expected an outbreak of dignity everywhere else?
Simone Johnson, the 16-year-old daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, became not Miss Golden Globes — a title that seems to have been retired, and not a moment too soon — but the HFPA’s first “ambassador.”
One winner after another talked about speaking out against abuse and about supporting those who did. Though as the evening wore on, some seemed to be speaking faster, as the show scurried to make its 11 p.m. deadline while still leaving enough time for Winfrey.
“I want to say that I value the press more than ever before,” Winfrey said, and expressed appreciation for all the women who have endured abuse far from Hollywood. “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful truth that we all have.”
“I want all the girls watching to know that a new day is on the horizon!” she said, as she wrapped up something that sure sounded like a stump speech.
As for the actual president, if you were keeping score at home, you know that Meyers made it 38 minutes before a “stable genius” joke, used in his introduction to HFPA president Meher Tatna, who announced two $1 million grants, one to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the other to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
And, yes, there were awards, including one presented by 101-year-old Kirk Douglas, and his daughter-in-law, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Ardmore’s Benj Pasek and his songwriting partner, Justin Paul, picked up their second consecutive Globe, for “This Is Me,” their song from The Greatest Showman.
Other winners, in order of appearance, included: Nicole Kidman, lead actress in a limited series or TV movie, HBO’s Big Little Lies; Sam Rockwell, supporting actor, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Rachel Brosnahan, actress, TV series, musical or comedy, Amazon’s The Amazing Mrs. Maisel; Elisabeth Moss, lead actress in a TV drama, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale; Sterling K. Brown, actor, TV series or drama, NBC’s This Is Us; The Handmaid’s Tale, TV drama.
Alexander Skarsgard, supporting actor, limited TV series or movie, Big Little Lies; Alexandre Desplat, original score, motion picture, The Shape of Water; actor, motion picture musical or comedy, James Franco, The Disaster Artist; Laura Dern, supporting actress, limited TV series or movie, Big Little Lies; Coco, animated feature film; Allison Janney, supporting actress, motion picture, I, Tonya; Martin McDonagh, writing, motion picture, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; In the Fade, foreign-language film; Ewan McGregor, actor, limited TV series or movie, FX’s Fargo.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, TV series or musical: Aziz Ansari, actor, TV comedy or musical, Netflix’s Master of None; Guillermo del Toro, director, motion picture, The Shape of Water; Big Little Lies, limited TV series or movie; Saoirse Ronan, actress, motion picture musical or comedy, Lady Bird, which also won for motion picture musical or comedy, despite the lack of a directing nomination for Greta Gerwig; and Gary Oldman, actor, motion picture drama, Darkest Hour; and Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
And as always, there were wins in categories not even the HFPA could have anticipated:
Winfrey-ing moment: Mrs. Maisel’s charming Brosnahan, who interrupted her own acceptance speech, with a disarming, “Hi, Oprah,” as if she’d just spotted Winfrey and couldn’t help herself.
Spousal support: To Kidman, who followed up her anti-abuse message with a paean to her husband, singer Keith Urban. “When my cheek is against yours, everything melts away. And that is love.”
Outstanding use of NBC’s airtime for a personal mission: To Liev Schreiber, who made a direct plea from the red carpet to a baggage manager at Delta, promising to do anything for the man if he would just find his lost bag. Not exactly what you’d expect from his Hollywood fixer in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Mixed messaging in camera work: To the NBC red-carpet camera operator who vertically panned Margot Robbie’s “Time’s Up”-themed black gown to display maximum cleavage. Her eyes are up here, people!
Stream of consciousness speechifying: To Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who began her acceptance with, “Oy, the Spanx!” and finished with, “Is there cheese backstage? I’m going backstage.”
Best use of celebrity in a commercial: L’Oreal’s “Everybody loves a comeback” spot with Stranger Things star Winona Ryder, who’s apparently the equivalent of damaged hair that’s been repaired.
Display of non-bro-ish brotherly love: James Franco not only brought Tommy Wiseau, inspiration for The Disaster Artist to the stage (thankfully he didn’t turn over the mic), he brought his brother and costar, Dave Franco, thanking their mother “for giving him to me.”