A lot of award-show speeches follow the same old template: thanking the manager, thanking the parents and the kids, maybe throwing in a shout-out to God. So the ones that stand out really stand out, and there were some singular ones at the Golden Globes Sunday night. Here’s a selection of some of the most memorable, including, in one case, the most ill-advised.
Most likely to earn an early-morning tweet from the president-elect
Meryl Streep won the Cecil B. DeMille Award in recognition for her illustrious career, but when she took the stage to accept the honor, she wasn’t interested in talking about movies. She was, however, concerned with acting — namely the way Donald Trump imitated a disabled reporter while he was on the campaign trail. Streep said seeing that broke her heart.
“I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie,” she said. “It was real life.”
Added Streep: “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
And we were right about the tweet riposte from Trump. It began at 6:27 a.m. Monday in a three-part blast, calling Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and a “Hillary flunky.” Trump went on to defend his portrayal of the reporter during the campaign stop, claiming he was not mocking the journalist’s disability but was mimicking his “groveling.”
Is it any surprise that Ryan “hey girl” Gosling would deliver the most swoon-worthy of acceptance speeches? He gave a heartfelt appreciation of his “lady,” who’s better known as actress Eva Mendes. He said the only way he could take his dream role in “La La Land” was with her support. While he was working, she was pregnant and taking care of their young daughter. She was also caring for her brother, who had cancer. Gosling then dedicated his award to the memory of the brother she lost.
Most poignant (and pointed)
After five nominations, Viola Davis finally won a Golden Globe for “Fences,” and her speech did double duty, wagging a finger at Hollywood while also paying homage to her own history. She said it was amazing that the movie — an adaptation of August Wilson’s play — even got made.
“It doesn’t scream moneymaker,” she admitted, reminding everyone how hard it is to get a movie made that isn’t about superheroes. “But it does scream art; it does scream heart.”
She also talked about her father, “the original Troy,” a reference to the main character in the film, played by Denzel Washington. Her father had a fifth-grade education, groomed horses and didn’t learn to read until he was 15, she explained.
“But he had a story and it deserved to be told,” she said. “And August Wilson told it.”
Best bonus speech
What luck to get Viola Davis on stage not once but twice. She reappeared to confer the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Meryl Streep and it was quite an introduction. She offered some funny trivia about Streep, including the fact that the Oscar winner has exacting standards when it comes to collard greens recipes. But then Davis got serious.
“You make me proud to be an artist,” Davis told Streep, who was sitting in the audience. “You make me feel that what I have in me — my body, my face, my age — is enough. You encapsulate that great Emile Zola quote that if you ask me as an artist what I came into this world to do, I as an artist would say, I came to live out loud.”
So it wasn’t a speech, but Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell still deserve some recognition. The pair presented the award for best animated film and they turned it into an extended comedy bit about the first time they saw an animated movie.
Carell went first, telling a meandering tale of seeing “Fantasia” for the first time. It was life-changing, he said, because after he and his dad went to the lobby following the film, his mom was there and she said she wanted a divorce. “And that was the last time I saw my dad,” he said taking off his glasses and pretending to fight back tears.
Wiig said “Bambi” was her first. Her grandfather took her because she had just put her pet dogs to sleep that day — all three of them — and he thought it would be a fun way to take her mind off things. Of course he couldn’t have foreseen what would happen to Bambi’s mom.
The presentation was one of the funniest moments of the night. They would have clearly been a better choice to host.
“This is for musical theater nerds everywhere,” Benj Pasek said when he accepted the award for best song for “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” He shared the honor with Justin Paul and Justin Hurwitz (who also won for best score). He seemed to be targeting a very specific audience of fans, though the fact that “La La Land” picked up a record-breaking seven wins means that maybe that group isn’t all that small.
Most joyously inspiring
Tracee Ellis Ross was over the moon when she accepted her award for her role in the sitcom “Blackish.”
“It’s my first time here, guys,” she said casually, as if she was talking to a few people at a bar. Then she dedicated her award to “all the women, women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important.”
“But I want you to know that I see you,” she added.
Her win was a big one, considering she was the first black woman to win that particular award since 1983.
“It’s nice at 44,” she said, beaming. “I like it here.”
Most delightfully random
Donald Glover accepted two Golden Globes Sunday night, and he gave entertaining speeches for both wins. But when he took home the award for best comedy for his FX series “Atlanta,” he threw in a shout out to the band Migos.
“I really want to thank Migos, not for being in the show, but for making ‘Bad & Boujee,'” he said. “Like that’s the best song. Ever.”
When Tom Hiddleston accepted the award for his lead role in “The Night Manager,” he started talking about his humanitarian work in South Sudan. It certainly seemed like he was going to start talking about how trivial all of this Hollywood nonsense is compared to the atrocities that are happening over there. We’ve certainly seen those types of speeches at awards shows before. But Hiddleston’s speech had a twist ending. Instead, he talked about how the humanitarian aid workers over there had binge-watched his miniseries — when they weren’t dealing with shelling — and had praised his work.
Well, he certainly wins points for originality.
Brian Murphy contributed to this report.