As promised, the stars came out in black for the 75th edition of the Golden Globes.
Following sexual harassment and assault allegations in Hollywood and beyond, the attire -- all black -- was designed to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. (There were a couple of ill-advised outliers, but aren't there always?)
Many wore Time's Up pins designed especially for the occasion; Time's Up was founded to fight sexual abuse and harassment. More than a few stars showed up with women activists as their plus-ones. That includes Tanara Burke, who started the #MeToo movement almost 20 years ago, and icon Billie Jean King.
"It's about tonight, but it's important to follow through," said Denzel Washington on the red carpet.
The attire seemed to add a somber, restrained tone to what's normally an off-the-rails awards show.
And then host Seth Meyers opened with, "good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen."
Ready, set, host
Meyers said before the Golden Globes telecast that he hoped they would meet the "right tone." He also said there would be no jokes about President Donald Trump.
Well, one out of two isn't bad. Like so many late-night hosts, it's almost sense memory (reflex action?) to include Trump in a monologue.
Getting things off to a quick start, Meyers ran through a monologue designed to acknowledge, poke fun and reassure that Sunday night was a safe space.
He was only four minutes in when he even named the elephants not in the room, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. And, gasp, Woody Allen not long after.
Meyers knew he was a sacrificial lamb, gauging the awards show rooms for hosts yet to come. He likened himself to Laika, the first dog sent into space. (Let's hope he lives longer.)
Like a boxer, Meyers was bobbing and weaving and getting his jabs in and quickly moving to the next with little to no recovery time. He told the audience not to worry, that he was "a man with absolutely no power."
Not true, Seth. Some may have taken issue with him leading us through what could have been a contentious night, but he stuck the landing when at the end he addressed the women in the room: "I look forward to you leading us to whatever comes next."
Queen of the night
Oprah Winfrey was the first black woman in the more-than-50-year history of the award to be presented with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement honor.
Winfrey's acceptance speech should be required viewing. Surely, she talked the door open for "some little girls watching," just as she watched Sidney Poitier win his history-making Oscar for best actor. She said "it's an honor and a privilege to share this ... with them."
More than a couple of stars paid homage, acknowledging Winfrey's presence from the stage before their own speeches. She received a standing ovation before, during and after her speech, including some spontaneous dancing from actress Frances McDormand and teary eyes all over the room.
"Everybody loves Oprah," said Reese Witherspoon in her introduction, who continued by saying that her name is a "verb, adjective and a feeling." The two co-star in A Wrinkle in Time, just one of Winfrey's contributions to film and television. That includes talk-show host; award-nominated actress; producer; and owner of a TV network. Not to mention her fame-catapulting book club and a school for girls.
Meyers joked earlier about a Winfrey-Tom Hanks ticket for the highest offices in the land. One could almost imagine it as Winfrey rallied the story-telling crowd, saying, "This year, we became the story."
Say it loud
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) made history Sunday night as the first black actor to win best actor in a TV drama, and his acceptance speech was a thank-you note and a call to action all rolled up into one.
He thanked series creator Dan Fogleman, saying the role was specifically written for a black man and that allowed him to "be seen."
Score a big one, albeit a late one, for representation. Score two for Aziz Ansari's later win for best actor in a comedy for Master of None.
No room at the mic
James Franco won best actor for his role in The Disaster Artist. He brought his brother up to the stage with him, and the man he portrayed in the film: Tommy Wiseau.
Wiseau, never one to waste a spotlight, wasted no time reaching for the microphone. But Franco deftly blocked him with a smile and a rigid hand.
Who knows what was going on behind Wiseau's ever-present sunglasses? It seems a laughing Franco knew what was coming even before he did.
While Highland Park's Armie Hammer will have to be content with his nomination for Call Me By Your Name, Burleson's superstar singer Kelly Clarkson was ecstatic after giving an impromptu performance.
She presented the award for best original song with Keith Urban. They sang the envelope open, harmonizing "And the winner is" ... "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman.
Winfrey inspired everyone in the room. And that includes the presenters that followed her; pity them. Ron Howard called Winfrey's speech "stunning," and introduced the category for best director.
Not missing a beat, Natalie Portman said, "And here are the all-male nominees." Ouch.