Tina Fey and Amy Poehler set the theme for the 2015 Golden Globes in more ways than one last night. Perhaps it was Fey or Poehler’s gender-conscious jokes the two years before — or maybe it was Cate Blanchett’s Oscar speech (“the world is round, people!”) — but nearly all of the winners used their time on stage to call for greater gender equality in Hollywood.
For Fey and Poehler alone, it was a feminist triumph of a night, with jabs at Bill Cosby, Hollywood ageism, bullshit beauty standards, and the media hoopla around George Clooney’s wedding. Here were some of Fey and Poehler’s best moments:
–On how Cosby might fit in Into the Woods: “Cinderella ran away from her prince, Rapunzel was thrown from a tower, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.” Fey then did an impersonation of the comedian, joking, “I put the pills in the people! The people did not want the pills in them!”
–On the difficulties that older actress face: “Boyhood proves there are still great roles for women over 40 [like 46-year-old Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette], as long as you get hired when you’re under 40.” Julianne Moore represented the over 50 crowd with her Best Actress performance for Still Alice.
–On the work that goes into looking “presentable” as a woman in Hollywood: “Steve Carell’s Foxcatcher look took two hours to put on, including hairstyling and makeup. Just for comparison, it took me three hours today just to prepare for the role of Human Woman.”
–One of last year’s favorite jokes from Fey and Poehler was this gem: “Gravity is nominated for best film. It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.” The hostesses were a bit kinder to Clooney this time around, though they still had some things to get off their chest: “Amal Clooney is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, an advisor to Kofi Annan on Syria, and was a appointed to a three-person commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip. So tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”
As usual, it was nice to see Margaret Cho, simultaneously making fun of North Korea and the film industry’s fear thereof. That she showed up as a North Korean soldier alongside Fey and Poehler also served as an welcome, albeit indirect, callback to the Korean-American comedienne’s guest role as Kim Jong Il on 30 Rock.
“We can put to rest that negative stereotype that men just aren’t funny,” added Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, co-stars of Netflix’s upcoming sitcom Grace and Frankie. “It’s nice that men at last are getting the recognition they deserve for being good at comedy!”
It was also a great night for female TV showrunners Jill Soloway and Sarah Treem, the creators of the Globes’ Best Comedy and Drama, respectively. Soloway’s Transparent (Amazon) also garnered a Best Actor win for star Jeffrey Tambor. Both Soloway and Tambor gave tributes to trans activists. Soloway’s speech read in part: “This award is dedicated to the memory of Leelah Alcorn and too many trans people who die too young. And it’s dedicated to you, my trans parent, my moppa. You’re watching at home right now. I just want to thank you for coming out because in doing so you made a break for freedom, you told your truth, you taught me how to tell my truth and make this show. And maybe we’re going to be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love. To love.”
Treem’s The Affair (Showtime) also helped Ruth Wilson to a Best Actress in a Drama win. Taking home the Best Actress in a Comedy trophy was a much-deserving Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin (CW), unfortunately the only winner of color of the night, other than John Legend and Common for “Glory,” which won Best Original Song for Selma. Rodriguez gave one of the most touching acceptance speeches of the night, when she said of her win, “This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes. My father used to tell me to say every morning: ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad. Today is a great day. I can and I did.”
During her press tour for The Hounourable Woman (Sundance TV), Maggie Gyllenhaal was vocal about the much greater roles for women on TV than in film. She reiterated those thoughts at the podium for her Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie win: “I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the wealth of roles for powerful women in television lately. … And when I look around the room at the women who are here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not, and what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary.”
Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt also used her time on stage to speak up for women while receiving her Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie prize: “I received a small number of letters from survivors of rape,” she said. “One woman summed up the thoughts of many by saying she wasn’t sure why she’d written but she just felt in some way she wanted to be heard. I’d like to say, I heard you and I hope saying this so publicly in some way means you feel the world hears you.”
On the film side, the winners were a lot more of the same. Except for the Best Original Song, Ava DuVernay’s Selma was shut out of all categories (boo). And yet it was wondrous to see all three female winners in the acting categories advocate for women.
–Moore: “No one wants to see a movie about a middle-aged woman,” she recalls. Yes they do, Hollywood, especially when she’s played by one of the finest actresses working today.
–Amy Adams, who won Best Actress in Comedy or Musical for Big Eyes: “It’s just so wonderful that women today have such a strong voice. And I have a 4-and-a-half-year-old and I’m so grateful to have all the women in this room; you speak to her so loudly. She watches everything and she sees every thing. And I’m just so so grateful for all of you women in this room who have such a lovely, beautiful voice.”
–Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, thanking Boyhood director Richard Linklater: “You placed in my hands the part of Olivia, an under-appreciated single mother,” she said. “Thank you for shining a light on this woman and the millions of women like her and for allowing me to honor my own mother with this beautiful character.”
Now can we finally also get some men to champion films by and about women?
Below are the female winners of the 2015 Golden Globes:
Best actress in a motion picture — drama: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Best actress in a motion picture — musical or comedy: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Best supporting actress in a motion picture: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Best original song: “Glory,” from “Selma”
Best TV series — drama: “The Affair”
Best actress in a TV series — drama: Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”
Best TV series — comedy: “Transparent”
Best actress in a TV series — comedy: Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Best actress in a miniseries or TV movie: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honourable Woman”
Best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or TV movie: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”