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Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Fences and Nocturnal Animals each won something at the 74th Golden Globe Awards, as did Elle and its leading lady, Isabelle Huppert, but make no mistake about it: It was La La Land‘s night, from the incredible show-opening homage to the film’s opening number (invaluable free promotion) through the film’s record-setting seven wins — for best picture, best director (Damien Chazelle), best actor (Ryan Gosling), best actress (Emma Stone), best screenplay (Chazelle), best original score and best original song (“City of Stars”). Indeed, the clean sweep of its nominations exceeded the expectations of even its biggest proponents.
The most bizarre, “that’s so HFPA” result of the night was — with great respect — Nocturnal‘s Aaron Taylor-Johnson winning best supporting actor. Most people didn’t expect him even to get nominated (the assumption was that his costar Michael Shannon had a better shot), and yet he prevailed over the likes of Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali and Hell or High Water‘s Jeff Bridges. Taylor-Johnson might well join a very small group of people who, since 2000, won a Globe but then weren’t even nominated for an Oscar: George Clooney for O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Renee Zellweger for Nurse Betty (2000), Gene Hackman for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Richard Gere for Chicago (2002), Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat (2006), Colin Farrell for In Bruges (2008), Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes (2009), Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Version (2010) and Amy Adams for Big Eyes (2014).
But for one night, at least, he was among the lucky few who were, well, golden.
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