Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the HBO television series Big Little Lies were among the big winners at the politically charged 75th edition of the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Martin McDonagh’s profanity-laced black comedy, in which a woman (Frances McDormand) whose daughter has been raped and killed seeks an unusual route to justice, bagged Motion Picture Drama, Best Performance by a Lead Actress for McDormand in the Drama category, Best Screenplay for McDonagh and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Sam Rockwell.

Echoing the themes of gender justice and parity that have been resonating in Hollywood and beyond for the past few months, McDormand said in her acceptance speech that the women in the room are not there for the free food, but for the work.

Gary Oldman won the Best Actor in the drama category for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the Joe Wright-directed biopic Darkest Hour. Allison Janey won the award for Best Supporting Actress for a motion picture for her role in Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, a biopic of the figure skater.

The Best Director for a drama award went to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water, a portrayal of an unusual inter-species relationship between a woman and a sea creature. This is del Toro’s first Golden Globe, and he took his time with his acceptance speech. As an orchestra started playing music to drown out his speech and get him off the stage, the director said, “Lower the music, it’s taken me 25 years, give me a minute.”

The Shape of Water also got composer Alexandre Desplat an award for Best Original Score.

James Franco won the award for Best Actor in the Musical or Comedy category for his portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. Wiseau’s The Room is considered one of the worst movies ever made. Franco invited Wiseau on stage to share the award with him, but when Wiseau attempted to get to the mic, Franco stopped him in a well-timed move, leading to roars of laughter.

The award for the Best Actress in the Musical or Comedy category went to Saoirise Ronan for Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Ronan plays an ambitious but confused student from Sacramento who wants to enroll in a top college. The film also won the Award for the Best Film in the same category. Gerwig, was, however, missing from the list of nominees for best director, a point remarked upon by presenter Natalie Portman: “Here are the all-male nominees.”

Also missing from the list was Patty Jenkins, who directed the superhero movie Wonder Woman.

The other wins in the film section include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land for Best Original Song for This Is Me from The Greatest Showman, Lee Unkrich’s Coco for Best Animated Feature Film and Fatih Akin’s German-language In The Fade for the Best Foreign Film award.

In The Fade.

The big winner in the television category was the HBO series Big Little Lies, in which a murder prompts three mothers to take stock of their lives. The awards include Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television, Best Performance by an actress in a Television Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television (Nicole Kidman) and Best Supporting Actress in the same category (Laura Dern).

Big Little Lies.

Sterling K Brown made history by becoming the first black performer to be named Lead Actor at the Golden Globes in the Drama – Television category for This Is Us. He had previously won an Emmy award in September last year.

Ewan McGregor won the Best Actor award in the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television category for his performance as the twins Emmit and Ray Stussy in the FX series Fargo. The Handmaid’s Tale, which swept the Emmys last year, won two top awards – Best Television Series in the Drama category and Best Actress in the same category for Elisabeth Moss.

The new Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel was named Best Television Series in the Musical or Comedy category. Rachel Brosnahan won the award for Best Actress in the same category for her lead performance. Aziz Ansari won the Best Actor award in television in the musical or comedy category for his lead performance in the Netflix series Master of None.

Master of None.

The red carpet turned black and several speeches reflected the ongoing pushback against the culture of sexual violence and unequal pay for women that characterises sections of Hollywood. The evening’s host, Seth Meyers, set the ball rolling with his opening monologue: “Good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen.” Meyers also poked fun at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen (“It’s been a few years since a white man was this nervous in Hollywood.”)

But the one who said it the best, and the longest, was Oprah Winfrey, who gave a rousing nine-minute speech on race and gender after receiving the annual Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said, leading to a standing ovation. “But their time is up. Their time is up.”

Time’s Up is also the name of the movement that has been launched to legally fight sexual harassment and rape following the revelations against Weinstein.