It is Hollywood's biggest party of the year, known for its free-wheeling, booze-fuelled festive fun, where the film industry lets its hair down and the emphasis is on laughter and jokes.
But this year, the usual Golden Globes frivolity was interspersed with some seriously pointed political barbs and some outspoken fears for the future aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, despite the fact that he was mentioned by name only once.
The Globes, which are often seen as a bellwether for the Oscars, could be a precursor to an even more political Academy Awards on Feb. 26, given that many in the audience at the Globes, and some of the nominees and winners, are likely to be at the Oscars, too.
Meryl Streep's passionate speech, which she devoted to a political broadside at Trump, drew a standing ovation from the mainly liberal audience, made instant headlines around the world and elicited a tweeted response from the president-elect, but the tone was set earlier in the evening by the host Jimmy Fallon, who described the Globes as one of the few places left where America honors the popular vote. He also managed to combine some nominated films with politics, saying “Manchester by the Sea” was the only thing more depressing than 2016 and “Florence Foster Jenkins” was about the world's worst opera singer, but even she turned down an invitation to sing at Trump’s inauguration.
The fact the Globes are put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. did not escape the notice of several presenters, nominees and winners.
Hugh Laurie, accepting an award for his supporting role in the “Night Manager,” joked it could be the last ever Golden Globes. "I don't mean to be gloomy," he said, "it's just that it has the words ‘Hollywood’ and ‘foreign’ and ‘press’ in the title. I also think that to some Republicans even the word ‘association’ is slightly sketchy."
As Meryl Streep put it, Hollywood is "crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."
For once there was no need for any pleas for diversity as many of the presenters and nominees were black or Latino, due partly to the fact the Globe recognizes excellence in television as well as movies.
But Claire Foy, the British actress who won for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown,” spoke up for the need for more women in powerful positions in the world, saying Queen Elizabeth has been at the center of the world for the last 63 years "and I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it, if you ask me."
Inevitably, much of the talk at the six after-parties scattered across the Beverly Hilton was of the evening's political slant and particularly Meryl Streep's speech, and one of the questions heard frequently was: "What will happen at the Oscars when Trump is president?"