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From Atwood to Vallee and Plummer: Canadian notes from the Golden Globes

TORONTO — There were no direct Canadian winners at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, but this country was well represented in the show as well as in the main theme of the night — female empowerment.

Here are some Canuck moments from the Beverly Hills bash:


When Elisabeth Moss won a best-actress trophy for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she dedicated it to acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood, whose 1985 dystopian novel inspired the series. Quoting from “The Handmaid’s Tale” novel, about a totalitarian theocracy that makes women property of the state, Moss said onstage: “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

Moss continued: “Margaret Atwood, this is for you and all of the women who came before you and after you, who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice, and to fight for equality and freedom in this world. We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the stories. And we are writing them ourselves.”


“The Handmaid’s Tale” won best drama series — an honour it also nabbed at the Emmys in September. In accepting the trophy at the Globes, creator Bruce Miller paid tribute to Atwood, calling her “the mother of us all.” “The Handmaid’s Tale” has felt particularly timely as talk of the treatment of women in society dominates headlines amid a flood of sexual misconduct allegations. The subject hung heavy over the Golden Globes, with host Seth Meyers mentioning it and many guests wearing black in protest of sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry.


Toronto-based Atwood wasn’t at the Golden Globes due to “age-related energy depletion,” as she tweeted on Saturday. But she showed plenty of social-media support for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in which she is a consulting producer and has had a cameo. “Hovering in spirit from the 10 below snow,” Atwood tweeted Sunday night, along with a photo of herself standing outside.

“So many congratulations,” she later tweeted to the show’s team after the wins. “What a terrific Writing Room by the way! So much of what you do is unseen.. It has been an all-out group effort from Day One.”


Montreal director Jean-Marc Vallee’s series “Big Little Lies” won several awards and he went onstage as it took the trophy for best limited series or TV movie. The series, about women caught up in a murder mystery in a tony California community, has also felt timely with its look at an abusive relationship. In accepting her acting trophy for “Big Little Lies,” Nicole Kidman said the show would not have been what it is “without the mastery of Jean-Marc Vallee and (creator) David E. Kelley.” Laura Dern, a winner for best supporting actress, called Vallee their “fearless leader.” And Kelley noted Vallee “directed every single episode, he took this material in his heart, and more importantly he delivered it from his heart.”


Toronto-born acting veteran Christopher Plummer went into the night with much buzz for his supporting-actor nomination for “All the Money in the World.” The 88-year-old got the nomination a mere month after he’d replaced Kevin Spacey as billionaire J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s finished biographical drama. Spacey was ousted from the movie in the wake of sexual assault allegations that also led to his firing from Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Plummer didn’t win the trophy, but Meyers mentioned him in his opening monologue: “I was happy to hear they’re going to do another season of ‘House of Cards.’ Is Christopher Plummer available for that, too?”


In his win for acting on the Alberta-shot series “Fargo,” Ewan McGregor mentioned how they had “an amazing crew” in Calgary. And Guillermo Del Toro won best director for the Cold War-era fairytale “The Shape of Water,” which was shot in Toronto and Hamilton.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

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