Stars streamed down the red carpet on Sunday and began filing into the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel for the 72nd annual Golden Globes, as Hollywood looked to exhale from a challenging year with one of the industry's most carefree and rollicking evenings.
The three-hour ceremony came days after the deadly terrorist attack in Paris at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. It also follows Hollywood's own incident over provocative parody: the hacking attack against Sony Pictures prompted by the North Korea comedy film The Interview.
Both events were on the minds of attendees, with some stars, including George Clooney, wearing Je Suis Charlie pins. Clooney, the night's Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree, was one of the movie industry's loudest voices calling for the release of The Interview after it was temporarily canceled because of terrorist threats.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, too, could be counted on to exercise their right to free speech in the duo's third year in a row hosting. But how much Hollywood was ready to laugh about the hacking scandal was one of the night's story lines to watch, along with the stream of awards and their sometimes tipsy speeches.
The bubbly atmosphere was already underway during arrivals, with Jeremy Piven and the Entourage cast shooting scenes for their upcoming feature film of the HBO show.
With a leading seven nominations, including best picture, comedy or musical, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's backstage romp Birdman will rival Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making Boyhood (five nominations) and the Alan Turing World War II thriller The Imitation Game (also five nominations) for the night's dominant award-winner.
Thus far, Hollywood's award season has generally gone in favor of the critical darling Boyhood, but the season has featured a diverse bunch of candidates, albeit ones lacking major box-office draws. The civil rights drama Selma, the Stephen Hawking tale The Theory of Everything and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel are also heavily in the mix.
Led by Fey and Poehler, the Globes have been on a terrific upswing in recent years. Last year's awards drew 20.9 million viewers, the most since 2004. As the only major awards show to honor both movies and TV, the Globes have also benefited from television's rise.
0This year, AMC's Fargo leads with five nominations, including best TV miniseries or movie. Hit HBO shows (Game of Thrones, Girls) will compete with Netflix entries (House of Cards, 'Orange Is the New Black), Amazon upstarts (Transparent) and network standbys (The Good Wife) for top TV honors.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of mostly freelance journalists that puts on the Globes, has lately cleaned up its reputation for idiosyncratic choices and awards swayed by celebrity. Last year, the HFPA chose the eventual Academy Awards best-picture winner, 12 Years a Slave, as best drama and American Hustle as best comedy.