It was supposed to be a huge night for Netflix.
Heading into the Golden Globes, Hollywood prognosticators had widely predicted that the streaming service would dominate the awards. Three of the five films up for best drama — “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” — were made by Netflix, and Martin Scorsese’s three-hour crime picture was the favorite of the bunch.
Instead, the big prize went to a surprise winner: “1917,” Universal Pictures’ World War I epic that opened in just 11 theaters on Christmas and doesn’t go into wide release until Friday. The filmmaker behind the movie, Sam Mendes, also beat out Scorsese in the directing category.
After landing more nominations for its film and TV projects than any other studio — a whopping 34 nods — Netflix scored just two wins Sunday night: one for “Marriage Story” supporting actress Laura Dern and another for “The Crown” star Olivia Colman.
So it would stand to reason that the big stop on the party circuit post-telecast wouldn’t be the Netflix bash. But also: money. As the company has risen to industry prominence over the last few years, its parties have only grown in size. Its celebration was the hottest ticket in town heading into the night, an evening when HBO, Warner Bros., Disney, Amazon, and NBCUniversal all host parties at the Beverly Hilton.
And yet despite the studio being largely shut out at the show, the Netflix affair was arguably the liveliest event to go down after the Globes. It was, without question, the most lavish.
As soon as guests walked into the tent that had been erected outside the hotel, handlers advised that anyone with sore feet leave their heels with a “shoe valet” and swap them out for flip-flops.
As with many Globes shindigs, there was an area available for a makeup refresh. Usually, the beauty freebies at the glam stations include a tube or two of lipstick. But Netflix partnered with Glossier to give away an entire bag of products — primer, moisturizer, skin salve, a couple of serums and a headband.
The food was more elaborate, too. There was a dim sum station. An ice cream sundae bar. Even the crudite buffet was a veritable bacchanalia, with fruit, veggies, meats and cheese stacked high on platters.
People were actually dancing, including celebrities. A young Hollywood posse — Margaret Qualley, Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt and Zoey Deutch — dominated the dance floor for a good portion of the evening.
At one point, Tiffany Haddish, who just had a comedy special drop on the site, got on the microphone at the DJ booth to hype up the crowd: “Hey, we changin’ lives out here! Netflix putting food on people’s tables. I don’t know if you heard that they ready — but they ready!” Then she started rapping along to City Girls’ “Act Up.”
As the dance floor raged, a crew of Hollywood stalwarts hobnobbed in a booth. “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” star Leonardo DiCaprio spent a good 45 minutes whispering with Robert De Niro until DiCaprio’s girlfriend, actress Camila Morrone, joined him at around 10 p.m.
The actors, along with Scorsese, “Irishman” costar Harvey Keitel and Netflix film head Scott Stuber, posed for a photo with grins that belied any disappointment.
Scarlett Johansson, who changed into a feathery pink number following the show, hung out with fiance Colin Jost and fellow power couple Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Saoirse Ronan remained in her sparkly silver number but changed into flip-flops.
Aziz Ansari, who hasn’t made many public appearances in the last year outside of his comedy tour, showed up with a new lady on his arm.
Meanwhile, at the Waldorf Astoria, the alcohol was flowing as Universal executives toasted their big “1917" win. Schadenfreude was in the air as studio higher-ups gloated about beating Netflix, cheerily noting how the streamer had won only two awards.
But there were few recognizable stars at the party, there was no dance floor, and the highlight was the sushi bar.
In other words: Win or lose, it’s still hard to beat Netflix.