Every awards season there are winners and losers, and sometimes the stars who walk away with the heavy hardware aren't the ones you would have awarded if given the power.
With red-carpet season officially over (for now), we're taking a look at the celebs who won us over with their charisma, talent, and grace — from exuberant newcomers like Tiffany Haddish and Timothée Chalamet to real-life Hollywood heroines like Natalie Portman, Greta Gerwig, and Gal Gadot. Here are this year's awards season superlatives:
Best Acceptance Speech: Tiffany HaddishGetty Images
Tiffany Haddish's scene-stealing performance in Girls Trip may have been overlooked by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Academy, but their loss was the New York Film Critics Circle Awards' gain. In January, Haddish accepted the film critic award for best supporting actress and — with a cocktail in hand — went on to give a rapturous 17-minute acceptance speech.
She thanked God ("I want to thank God, because without god my mom and daddy wouldn’t have put their two uglies together and made me"); film critics ("The only critics I knew before this were Siskel and Ebert and when they passed I was like 'Oh well'"); and the Keanu crew members who sent her the Girls Trip script ("My agent was like ‘Ah, they only want to see names,’ and I was like, ‘You tell them I’ve had a name since 1979'"). Needless to say, she had everyone — critics and celebrities — in stitches. And she even landed director Paul Thomas Anderson's digits at the end of the night.
Best Swagger: Millie Bobby BrownJeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Awards season is usually outfitted in a series of expertly tailored tuxedos, extravagant gowns, and blister-inducing stilettos — but Millie Bobby Brown wagged her finger at that notion with a resounding, “Nuh-uh!”
Showing off her incredible Swagger at the SAG Awards on January 21, the Stranger Things star — who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series — waltzed the red carpet in a light pink sequined Calvin Klein 205W39NYC high/low gown paired with fresh white Converse low tops. She crowned herself with Princess Leia-esque double buns, because nothing — not even a stray hair — was going to get in the way of her good time. "I always dance," Brown told E! News host Giuliana Rancic. "Losing or winning — you always dance at the SAG Awards."
Life of the Party: Stranger Things kidsStefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water
Wherever they go, a party always seems to follow the Stranger Things kids. Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, and Noah Schnapp turned the Golden Globes red carpet into a good time by huddling together for photos before heading inside, where Dakota Johnson was caught ogling their table and sending photos to her friends. That same night, Brown joined her friends at the Netflix after party, where each kid posed for photos with their biggest fan, Drake, and took a boatload of goofy selfies.
The seasonal party didn’t stop there. At the SAG Awards after party, the group, along with new friends This Is Us’s Lonnie Chavis and Black-ish’s Marsai Martin, Miles Brown, and Marcus Scribner, were in the center of an epic dance party.
Most Likely To Succeed: Timothée ChalametGetty Images
A year ago, nobody who or what a Timothée Chalamet was. Now, his photos are adorning the walls of teen bedrooms and Tumblr dashboards around the world. His mesmerizing performance in Luca Guadagnino's intimate queer drama, Call Me By Your Name, scored him rave reviews and his first Oscar nomination, making him the youngest actor to have received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 80 years. Then, he appeared in Greta Gerwig's extraordinary solo directing debut, Lady Bird, as an arrogant teen with long hair and bad-boy charisma. Next, he'll take on drug addiction in Felix Van Groeningen's drama, Beautiful Boy, and an entire monarchy in David Michôd's The King.
Chalamet may not have walked away with an Oscar this awards season, but he did win the hard-earned respect of his peers and the internet's complete adoration. Cinephiles admire him for his immense talent at such a young age, music fans find his love of hip-hop endearing, fashion people are obsessed with his effortlessly cool style, and everyone else adores him because he's, well, adorable. He's the People's Champ, if you will — a sincere young actor who loves cinema as much as he loves Kid Cudi. And he has a long career ahead of him.
Cutest Couple: David Harbour and Joe KeeryGetty Images
The love Stranger Things stars David Harbour and Joe Keery have for each other knows no bounds. (After all, Harbour's Instagram account is a still a "Joe Keery fan page.") So, when Harbour scored a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for his scene-stealing supporting performance in Stranger Things 2, Keery took his obsession a step too far and promised that if Harbour won the Globe, he'd let show creators Matt and Ross Duffer shave Steve's beautiful chestnut locks. Lucky for us, Harbour wasn't actually going to let that happen. (Steve Harrington's hair is just too precious.)
When asked about his off-screen bromance with Harbour, Keery told MTV News, "I just think David's so sick... He's a very wise guy, not in a fresh way — like when your mom says you're being a wise guy — but like a wizard." (Hey, every Gandalf needs a Bilbo — and Keery definitely has the hair for it.) Here's hoping Harbour and Keery make things red-carpet official next awards season because the internet desperately needs those photos.
Best Reunion: Ansel Elgort & Shailene WoodleyStefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water
Their fates may have been sealed in The Fault In Our Stars, but in real life, Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley’s love for each other is alive and well. Both nominated for Golden Globes this year — Elgort for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Woodley for Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television — the two saw the evening as the perfect opportunity to stage a Gus and Hazel reunion, and we agree. OK? OK.
Best Runners Up: Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, and Laurie MetcalfGetty Images
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, was praised by moms and daughters everywhere for its heart-wrenching, funny, and honest portrayal of two women concurrently entering new stages in their lives: Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan), a girl eager to break into womanhood, and her mom (Laurie Metcalf), a woman terrified of breaking out of motherhood.
Metcalf’s nuanced performance as a mother struggling to fully connect with her daughter captures the complicated emotions behind a least 90 percent of fights between mothers and daughters, while Ronan’s reactionary teenager grasping for something bigger than the modest small-town life her parents gave her, only to realize the true value of that gift after she’d moved on, portrayed the range of emotions young women experience during that scary transition between high school and college.
Gerwig, frequently nominated both for her screenplay and directing throughout the season, was only able to snag the Best Screenplay award at the Spirit Awards, repeatedly falling in line behind Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water and Jordan Peele for Get Out. Metcalfe’s acting was consistently overshadowed by Allison Janney’s much flashier mom role in I, Tonya this awards season, while Ronan was able to match Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’s Frances McDormand only at the Golden Globes — where the women also celebrated their only Best Picture win.
Best Zinger: Natalie PortmanPaul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
As an outspoken Time’s Up supporter, maybe the Hollywood Foreign Press Association knew what they were getting into when they asked Natalie Portman, alongside Ron Howard, to present the Golden Globe for Best Director, Motion Picture. “And here are the all male nominees,” Portman, clad in all black as part of the red carpet blackout, said. Howard reflexively let out a chuckle and stars in the audience cheered as Portman, not missing a beat, continued introducing the nominees.
The Annihilation actress’s call-out was so powerful that two actresses followed suit at the Oscars. On stage to present Best Cinematography, Sandra Bullock casually said, “Here are the four men and the one trailblazing woman who are nominated for achievement in cinematography.” Similarly, presenting Best Director, Emma Stone announced, "These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year." (This year, Rachel Morrison became the first woman to ever be nominated for a cinematography Oscar, while Gerwig was only the fifth female director to ever be nominated.)
History-Maker: Jordan PeeleAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
When Jordan Peele took home the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Get Out, he became the first black person to ever win in the category. Making things even sweeter, the writer/director almost didn't even finish writing his film, for fear that the social commentary would never see the light of screen, and now, the script that almost didn't get written is an historic Oscar-winner.
"I almost never became a director, because there was such a shortage of role models. We had Spike, we had John Singleton, we had the Peebles, we had the Hughes brothers, but they felt like the exception to the rule," Peele said backstage at the Oscars. I'm so proud to be a part of a time of the beginning of a movement where I feel like the best films in every genre are being brought to me by my fellow black directors."
Honorable mention for this category goes to This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, who also made history this awards season — twice! — by becoming the first black man to ever win a Golden Globe in the Best Actor in a Drama TV Series category, and the first black man to ever win a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
Role Model: Gal GadotKevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Despite being among the biggest movies of 2017, Wonder Woman was shut out from both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, but that didn’t stop Gal Gadot from saving awards season. Holding her head high the actress graciously reacted to the snubs in the most levelheaded way possible and accepted the honor of attending both ceremonies as a presenter.
Taking things one step further into Role Model-dom, Gadot quickly grabbed a hot dog cannon and joined Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel when he stepped out of the ceremony to surprise a movie theater full of regular people with snacks and stars, so not only is she a badass and humble, but she’s down for a good time, too!
Overachievers: Benj Pasek and Justin PaulGetty Images
In just 54 weeks, songwriting duo and University of Michigan alums Pasek and Paul won an Oscar (for La La Land), a Tony (for Dear Evan Hansen), and a Grammy (for the aforementioned Hansen), quickly racking up the GOT to the inevitable EGOT in their future. The only thing separating them from becoming the youngest pair to EGOT is an Emmy, which they feasibly could win this year for Fox's A Christmas Story Live!
Meanwhile, Pasek and Paul had the opportunity to add another Oscar to their shelves with the anthemic "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman, but they lost out to Coco duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. (With that Oscar win, Robert Lopez has actually achieved something no other person has before: a double EGOT.)
Most Changed: Daniel KaluuyaGetty Images
Do you remember when Daniel Kaluuya was best known for playing Posh Kenneth in the British teen series Skins? Kaluuya's been acting and writing (he was a writer on Skins as well) since his teens, but the 28-year-old scored his breakout role in Peele's Get Out, a timely social thriller that earned Kaluuya his first Oscar nomination, a BAFTA award, and, for his mom's sake, a few more zeroes on his next paycheck. (He's the second Skins alum to score an Oscar nod following Dev Patel.) He's come a long way since rapping at Roundview College.
Trailblazers: Time’s Up crewAxelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Have we ever seen a protest so strong, solid, and respectful that dominated an awards season quite like Time’s Up did? One that activated every member of the Hollywood elite — man and woman alike — that had implications that extend far beyond the few months of glitz and glamour, across the entire country?
No, we haven’t, and that’s why every member of the Time’s Up crew are the season’s official Trailblazers.
Not only does the group of founding members include people we fantasize about being friends with, but they're also making actual change. In the first 60 days since announcing the initiative to end sexual harassment and discrimination across all industries, the women behind the movement have heard from 1,700 women from over 60 industries and raised $21 million from 20,000 donors for the legal defense fund, and their reach is only growing.
Even more importantly, after enduring years of mistreatment, women are starting to feel more confident speaking up and speaking out knowing that they will be heard. Of course, there is still a ton of progress to be made, but these revolutionary women are doubling down rather than backing away.