You knew going into it that The Golden Globes were bound to be funny. Nearly every joke told or stunt pulled by hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was solidly, often exceedingly, funny, from Poehler’s line “When it comes to torture I trust the woman married for three years to James Cameron” to Fey’s admonition to Taylor Swift to “stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son” — startled-looking, handsome Sam Fox, this year’s Mr. Golden Globe.
But there were also big laughs from unexpected sources, such as winner Jennifer Lawrence solemnly thanking producer Harvey Weinstein for “killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here.” Less funny? Professional funny-men presenters Sacha Baron Cohen (he ended up seeming more like a Les Miserables groupie than an equal among co-stars) and Jay Leno (joking about his implacable authority in late night made him seem surprisingly tin-eared about what might strike the audience as amusing).
Jodie Foster’s speech in accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award was kind of extraordinary — simultaneously eloquent, rambling, too long, funny, heroic, encoded, and ultimately very moving.
I’d say that awards shows should stop showing clips from nominated movies (they drag down the pace, and who hasn’t seen these in TV spots?) — except that rule wouldn’t have allowed for one of this night’s many surprises: Bill Clinton hep-catting out to introduce the Lincoln clip.
Other surprises that registered on my Surprise-O-Meter included the Argo wins, and Mandy Patinkin not winning for Homeland. Ed Harris was excellent in Game Change but, jeez louise, this was Mandy’s year, Globes! I was left as slack-jawed as Mel Gibson looked all night…
And Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner aced out by Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained? Tarantino has written better; Kushner’s script was as amazing as — well, as Daniel Day-Lewis described it in his own eloquent acceptance speech.
As far as the TV awards went, I predicted the Homeland wins for best drama and actress (Claire Danes) and the Girls wins for best comedy and Lena Dunham as actress, but mistakenly thought Jeff Daniels would pull off a surprise Newsroom win, only to have Damian Lewis take the trophy.
On the other hand, were you surprised to see Kevin Costner win for Hatfields and McCoys? Not me. Neither did Don Cheadle’s House of Lies victory. All in all, in my will-win TV picks, I was seven for nine — pret-ty, pret-ty good, as Larry David would say.
Taken as one long broadcast, this year’s Golden Globes proved to be, overall, a fine night for, as Poehler put it at the start of the evening, “the beautiful people of film rubbing shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.” On this night, the rats were equal to the royalty.