Arts

With one withering comment at Golden Globes, Natalie Portman made a big statement

In the closing moments of Oprah Winfrey’s ground-shaking speech at tonight’s Golden Globes, as gathered celebrities began the gradual process of picking their jaws up off the floor, one question naturally must have sprung to mind: How on earth do you follow THAT?

Luckily, Natalie Portman had it covered. Taking the stage alongside “A Beautiful Mind” director Ron Howard to present the Golden Globe for best director, the Harvard grad — who wore all black to the awards in solidarity with the surging Time’s Up initiative — managed to capture the fired-up spirit of the evening in one perfect line.

“We are honored,” Howard began as the pair began to open the envelope containing the winner’s identity, “to be here to present the award for best director.”

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Portman, staring tensely out at a theater still echoing from Winfrey’s powerful comments on widespread sexism and abuse in Hollywood and beyond, continued: “And here are the all-male nominees.”

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The line was perfectly calibrated to call out the lack of female directors in this year’s crop of nominees. The category notably omitted Greta Gerwig, director of awards-circuit heavyweight “Lady Bird.” She recently earned best director from the National Society of Film Critics and is considered to be a major contender for the same category at this year’s Oscars.

Though eventual winner Guillermo del Toro (for “The Shape of Water”) did not explicitly comment on Portman’s remark, he did take time to praise “a few fantastic women” who worked on the film. Del Toro had been nominated in the category alongside Martin McDonagh for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Christopher Nolan for “Dunkirk,” Ridley Scott for “All The Money in the World,” and Steven Spielberg for “The Post.”

Isaac Feldberg can be reached by email at isaac.feldberg@globe.com. Follow him Twitter @isaacfeldberg.