The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards unfolded in atypically dramatic fashion on Sunday, with both the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the night’s honorees keeping us on our toes throughout the three-hour-long ceremony. Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen…

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1. Somehow, amid all the…stuff, it slipped a few minds that critical darling Moonlight was produced by the actor’s Plan B Entertainment. So it was a proper opportunity for Pitt to seize the moment and make his return to the center of the Hollywood universe first.

Moreover, he managed to pull off an entirely surprise appearance and was rewarded with a hearty round of applause and the sounds of more than a few young ladies exclaiming, “We love Brad!” The level of excitement was almost a little silly, considering what it is he’s returning from compared to the cause for most ovations, but the veteran actor looked visibly touched—and it was a moment that was fairly impossible to not enjoy.
Pitt also couldn’t have picked a better night to “come back”: Moonlight won for Best Motion Picture, Drama, the night’s top award.
eryone sitting in that room had managed to become even more bound together by their chosen profession, many of them worshiping at the feet of a deity named Meryl.

Mahershala Ali,

2. Moonlight With a Chance of Clouds: Big win aside, one of the hands-down biggest shocks of the whole night was Mahershala Ali not winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as a drug dealer who takes a client’s son under his wing in Moonlight. The actor, previously best known for roles on House of Cards and Luke Cage, had been vacuuming up critics’ awards, scored a SAG Award nomination and seemed the likely choice to steamroll right through Oscar night. Instead, Aaron Taylor-Johnson came from way out of left field—so far left even the nomination caused whiplash—to win the Globe. And he’s not even nominated for a SAG! The British actor was indeed quite effective (and entirely unrecognizable) in his chilling performance as a cold-blooded killer in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, but no one saw this coming. Particularly Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

3. The Hollywood Foreign Press was found guilty of unabashed Anglophilia last night. For speechifying purposes alone, we couldn’t have been happier to see Hugh Laurie win Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Limited Series for The Night Manager at what he cheekily referred to as “the last ever Golden Globes.” But his triumph still came as a shock/disappointment because it meant Sterling K. Brown didn’t win for suiting up as embattled prosecutor Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. And not only that, but Tom Hiddleston upset Courtney B. Vance, who channeled Johnnie Cochran in what arguably was the most talked about show of 2016, for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie. Absentee Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Limited Series or TV Movie winner Olivia Colman made it a three-win night for The Night Manager and AMC.

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4. The Globes were a little French, too. Elle, about a singularly calculating, shrewd and enigmatic woman who plots elaborate revenge on the man who sexually assaulted her, was named Best Foreign Language Film—and then Isabelle Huppert, who lately has been the subject of “greatest living actress” conversations, toppled Natalie Portman’s Jackie (yet another spot-on portrayal of an enigmatic woman) to win Best Actress in a Motion Picture,
Even though we still think Portman will be winning her second Oscar next month, Huppert’s Golden Globe couldn’t have been more deserved—particularly since she was snubbed by the Screen Actors Guild. And better yet, the usually cool-as-a-rainy-Paris-day star looked so pleased and emotionally stunned by her win. (Memo to the orchestra that played her off mid-speech: Shame!)

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5. The actress claimed she had lost her voice, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. In accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement after a fabulous presentation by her Doubt co-star Viola Davisand a jaw-dropping montage of one perfect performance after another, the record 30-time Golden Globe nominee took the opportunity to talk politics instead of reflect on her glorious career. She didn’t just make a few jokes, either. Rather, without naming names, Streep voiced her concern for the future of the free press and stressed the dire importance of the arts—starting with the work of the people in the room—to a diverse, inclusive society. She punctuated her own frustration, anger and tentative hope by quoting her late friend Carrie Fisher, whose memorial Streep attended last week: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

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