The 74th annual Golden Globes delivered no shortage of storylines last night. Through all of the controversial acceptance speeches, stunning upsets and fashion decisions, perhaps nothing was quite as impressive as La La Land's record-breaking evening (click here for a complete list of winners). Damien Chazelle's whimsical film took home a Globes-first seven wins in only 14 film categories. And after nabbing Best Original Song & Score, Best Screenplay, Best Actor & Actress (Musical/Comedy) and Best Director throughout the evening, there was no doubt whatsoever that the film was taking home one of the two Best Picture prizes.
By pulling off the rare sweep, La La Land surpassed former shared record-holders One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Midnight Express (1978), both of which held their decades-long record of six wins. While I've already pronounced the smartly-crafted and brilliantly-executed musical as the best film of 2016, I'm far less certain of its generational appeal years down the road. But for this time and this landscape, La La Land is a refreshing and well-deserved winner.
Altering the record books wasn't the only headline from last night's Globes awards, a few surprising upsets were also in the works. Not only was Nocturnal Animals supporting star, Aaron Taylor-Johnson's, nomination a surprise, his victory over the competition was completely unforeseen. Taylor-Johnson has been overshadowed by fellow co-star, Michael Shannon, for much of the awards season and, although the win probably doesn't help his Oscar chances, both deliver memorable performances. The Hollywood Foreign Press is no stranger to "upsets", where they continued with the trend late in the evening by honoring veteran foreign actress, Isabelle Huppert, with the highly competitive Best Actress - Drama award. Her dramatic thriller, Elle, snagged a pair of wins, including the Best Foreign Language Film.
Finally, as it does every year, the night closed by announcing the prestigious Best Picture - Drama winner. And since La La Land wasn't in the running for the award, it actually became a compelling way to close out the evening. Rumors have swirled around inner circles that Manchester by the Sea was experiencing a meteoric rise, threatening the chances of the reconfirmed frontrunner, La La Land for the Oscars' biggest award. It feels like every year right around this time, buzz begins to mount for a challenger in the Best Picture race. And while I must once again remind everyone that the voting bodies of the Golden Globes and the Academy have virtually no overlap, it was still surprising to watch Moonlight receive such accolades.
The Oscars process contains so many moving parts that it will be a busy week digesting the latest trends and figuring out who will earn those coveted nominations on Tuesday, January 24th. Keep checking back for more updates and discussion as the Academy Awards inch closer.