The early through line of the 2015 Golden Globe Awards, to generalize, was: “white men being idiots, everyone else being eloquent and funny.” Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey set a tone of irreverent feminist fun. Of course there were exceptions and dud moments. This is a Hollywood awards show after all. But with heartfelt shout-outs to gay AIDS victims, rape survivors, civil rights activists, trans people, authentic women characters, and stars’ romantic partners of all stripes punctuating the night, it felt like the notoriously boozy awards show had, at least in some respects, finally caught up with its diverse audience.
Unfortunately, a lot of the late-breaking wins in the big categories, while each deserving in its own right, piled up to create the impression of a “white-out.” It was certainly disappointing to see Selma only walk away with one major award.
Scroll through for our top moments.
1. Stars sported “Je Suis Charlie” buttons. Classy George Clooney and Kathy Bates showed solidarity with murdered cartoonists. Later, free speech was affirmed, briefly. “Together we will stand united against anyone who will repress free speech, anywhere, from North Korea to Paris,” said HFPA chief Theo Kingma.
2. Jennifer Lopez was the queen of the red carpet.
All in all, it was an inventive night for dresses, full of feathers, bling, color, pants, and fun! Other winners in the sartorial sweepstakes included Julianne Moore in silver and Lupita Nyong’o in a strapless floral number. That’s about as specific as I’m capable of getting, fashion-wise.
3. Aniston kept the Year of the Booty going right into 2015 with some Kate Hudson action.
4. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killed their opening monologue, including playing the “Would You Rather?” game with all of America. I enjoyed Colin Firth’s smirk when his name came up. And everyone enjoyed Tina’s excitement over Chris Pine. Watch the monologue below:
5. They concluded by doing, as promised, a long routine about Bill Cosby’s alleged misconduct: “Cinderella ran away from her prince, Rapunzel was thrown from a tower, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby,” said Poehler of Into the Woods. Then they did dueling Cosby impressions: “I put the pills in the people. But the people did not want the pills in them.” They ended by choosing Benedict Cumberbatch to co-present the first award.
6. Jeremy Renner made a skeevy comment about Jennifer Lopez’s “globes” in the aforementioned goddess-like gown, and Twitter went nuts with mockery.
7. Gina Rodriguez’s extremely heartfelt acceptance speech as Best Actress in a TV Comedy for Jane the Virgin left everyone in tears. She accepted the prizes, “for a culture that wants to see itself represented as heroes.”
8. There was no time to dry tears, because after Transparent won in the TV comedy slot, Jill Soloway dedicated her own award to the memory of trans teen Leelah Alcorn and to her own “trans parent.” She said, “This award is dedicated to Leelah Alcorn and transgender people who died too young… Maybe we’re going to be able to teach the world something about authenticity and love.”
9. The social justice speech juggernaut could not be stopped. Next up, Common and John Legend spoke eloquently about Selma and racial justice when they accepted their award for best song from… Prince, of all people. “Selma has awakened my humanity,” said Common. He and Legend both made it clear that the work depicted in Selma is far from done.
10. Ricky Gervais, obviously very drunk, mispronounced Quvenzhané Wallis’ name.
11. Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed a very awkward photo op between Margaret Cho as a North Korean journalist and Meryl Streep. Michael Keaton snapped the pic.
13. More transgender community love from Jeffrey Tambor, accepting his award for playing “Moppa” Maura Pfeifferman: “I would like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community,” he said. “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for you inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be a part of the change.”
13. Maggie Gyllenhaal, accepting her win for best actress in a television drama, pushed back against the “strong woman” trope, noting that real, complicated roles are better than just “powerful ones.” “What I think is new is the wealth of roles for ACTUAL women on TV,” she said. She was later echoed by Julianne Moore, who applauded the makers of Still Alice for making a movie about “a middle-aged woman” despite warnings they wouldn’t be able to do so successfully.
14. George Clooney, receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award, kept it classy with a lovely speech and paid tribute to his badass wife. “It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Amal, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.” And of course he got political and finished his speech with a nod to the events of the weekend: “Je Suis Charlie.”
That having been said, his speech towards the end of the evening prompted a flurry of tweets on the one slogan missing from the night’s political bonanza:
15. Boyhood ended the night by taking it all. Selma hopefuls were disappointed.
Fans of subtle examinations of family and growing up, innovative filmmaking, and Dazed and Confused declared themselves pleased.