The Golden Globes were handed out last night, and since I’m writing this less than 15 minutes after the final curtain, my thoughts are just about as scattered as the awards themselves were. I guess “scattered” is what you should expect when you throw TV and Movies together in a room together, but there didn’t seem to be much of a theme to the proceedings.
Much hay was made about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the show, but aside from the usual opening bits, and a couple of in-disguise sight-gags throughout the show, the women virtually disappeared. The awards move at a much brisker clip than the Oscars and that doesn’t leave time for a lot of shenanigans, but I remember Gervais having a much bigger impact on the proceedings than Fey & Poehler did. What little they did was mostly funny, but they were essentially the “waiter” at the restaurant that only takes your order and doesn’t bring you your food or take your plates.
One of the best comedy bits was Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig presenting Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and trying desperately to seem like they’d watched movies they clearly hadn’t. It somehow got even more hilarious when they cut to Tommy Lee Jones, who stared daggers at them. The Twitterverse explained that this was Jones’ standard face for any situation, but I have this image in my head of Tommy Lee Jones stalking a terrified Will Ferrell down a deserted street in the middle of the night.
Equally somber was Kevin Costner, who actually won for his role in Hatfields & McCoys, but looked and talked for all the world like he was reading from a suicide note he’d written on the trunk of his car out in the parking lot. What had been a fairly chaotic and raucous show suddenly ground to a halt as The Costner droned on in a way that would have made Eeyore say, “Lighten up, dude.” Fortunately, a surprise visit from Bill Clinton immediately lightened the mood right back up, except for any moderately-attractive female interns that might have been in the vicinity.
Jodie Foster, who was awarded the Cecil B. Demille lifetime achievement award for her…lifetime of achievement?…gave what was easily the strangest speech of the night and confused both fans and press alike. It has been characterized as either “crazy” or “honest,” but could easily be both as the actress first came out of the closet and then rambled her way towards what sounded a lot like a declaration of retirement. Foster also spoke passionately near the beginning of her speech about the value of privacy in a life lived almost entirely in the spotlight…but near the end undermined even that. The inclusion of – and repeated cuts to – Mel Gibson only made matters weirder. It’s hard to know what to feel about Gibson anymore. But it was unsettling seeing him there, regardless.
There were quite a few non-surprises. Homeland dominated the TV Drama categories. Game Change dominated the TV Miniseries categories. Daniel Day-Lewis won for his portrayal of Lincoln. Adele’s theme for Skyfall won Best Original Song. Les Miserables crushed the Comedy/Musical category, with Hathaway and Jackman taking awards, as well as the picture itself.
The few surprises came from awards to Django Unchained, which I’ve only heard middling reviews about, and mostly racially-charged backlash…and then Best Picture and Best Director going to Argo and its leader, Ben Affleck. There was a big uproar when Affleck was snubbed altogether by the Oscars, so it comes as perhaps the biggest shock of the night that he wins out over even veterans like Spielberg. I liked the wins, though, because of all the nominated films I saw, Argo was what I considered the best. Since the Golden Globes largely serve as a litmus test for the Oscars, it’ll be very interesting to see how those races shake out when the Academy Awards take the stage about a month from now.
Overall, a tremendously mixed bag. Easily skippable unless you’re just in love with awards ceremonies. I just watched it and its all starting to run together into a mush in my brain. But I fear that when I dream tonight, it will be of Tommy Lee Jones, glaring at me across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, just before he delivers the killing shot…