Monday, January 14, 2013

70th Annual Golden Globe Award Winners

Let's start this off by stating the obvious: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, as expected, proved to be the best awards show hosts in recent memory. They absolutely killed it. Their opening monologue was full of quick one-liners and jabs that still stung but were always in good humor coming from them. This included zings at Kathryn Bigelow when Poehler said she hasn't been following the controversy of "Zero Dark Thirty," but "when it comes to torture, I trust the woman who spent three years married to James Cameron." James Franco was also targeted when Fey said to Anne Hatahway, "You gave a stunning performance in 'Les Miserables.' I have not seen someone so alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars." Poehler then began describing the HFPA as HPV, and Fey labeled Quentin Tarantino as "the star of all my sexual nightmares."

As a hosting duo, they were consistently funny, self-deprecating with great timing, just enough bite and really made the biggest Hollywood party of the year feel like exactly that. Case in point, Seth MacFarlane has the toughest of acts to follow with his hosting gig at the Oscars.

As it was at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday, Ben Affleck walked away with Best Director while his "Argo" took home Best Drama, which only continues to baffle the mind as to how the academy skipped over him for a director nod.

"Les Miserables" topped the night's wins with Anne Hathaway winning Best Supporting Actress, Hugh Jackman for Best Actor Comedy or Musical and the film taking the top prize of Best Comedy or Musical over "Silver Linings Playbook." Jennifer Lawrence represented the comedy with her Best Actress Comedy or Musical win while Bradley Cooper got beat out by Jackman. Such would be expected, however, as the HFPA is notorious for loving musicals. The love for "Les Miserables" here is no indicator of a push toward Oscar.

"Django Unchained" tied "Argo" for two wins as Quentin Tarantino had the surprise win for Best Screenplay over Tony Kushner for "Lincoln." This marks his lock for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars while Kushner can still take home Best Adapted. The other "Django" win went to Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor, which gives him a small Oscar boost as he was not nominated for a SAG award.

"Zero Dark Thirty" cashed in on just one win in the category of Best Actress Drama for Jessica Chastain's portrayal of female CIA agent Maya. Likewise, Daniel Day-Lewis represented the singular win for "Lincoln" for Best Actor Drama with his embodiment of Abraham Lincoln.

The night clipped along at a relatively fine pace with plenty of GIF-able moments throughout, which is always the sign of an entertaining awards show. This included Taylor Swift giving what looked like the stink eye to a bubbly and radiant Adele as she accepted her award for Best Original Song for "Skyfall," a win that will thrust her to Oscar gold.

Glenn Close played in on the fun as the hosts reappeared later in the evening announcing how drunk everyone was getting and then cut to the actress doing some sort of weird drunken jig in her seat. The best of the presenters were SNL veterans Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig who, while announcing the nominees for Best Comedy or Musical, hilariously improvised made-up plots for each movie pretending like they'd never heard of them.

Jodie Foster received her Cecil B. DeMille honor and gave a speech both very moving and heartfelt but also mystifying. Apparently it was widely expected, since this was considered a "lifetime achievement award," that she would use this as a coming-out speech. And while she broached the topic and jokingly sidestepped it, she also simultaneously hit it head-on and addressed matters of privacy in the public eye for celebrities. It was a mysterious speech that delicately told young viewers everywhere to be who they are without ever really saying it at all. And then there was teary-eyed Mel Gibson just staring at her intently. It was a very weird moment in the night that also unfortunately got accidentally(?) muted by the network during a crucial line. She then concluded with a beautiful message to her mom who suffers from dimentia and noted a potential turn in her own career. It almost sounded like she was retiring from acting, but later in the press room she corrected that implication.

The pseudo coming-out speech prompted Poehler to close the show with this: "We're going home with Jodie Foster!"

Jessica Chastain gave a tearful acceptance speech while a flu-ridden Jennifer Lawrence was pleasantly humbled as usual, and Anne Hathaway took time in hers to pay tribute to her fellow nominee, Sally Field, in a classy nod to a veteran actress.

What does all of this "Argo" and Ben Affleck winning mean for the Oscar race? Well, things are getting interesting. If Affleck were nominated for an Oscar, we'd be looking at an easy front-runner. Instead, we're left questioning the possibility of a Best Picture winner not having its director nominated. It seems unlikely and puts a lot of weight on the announcement of the Producers Guild winner, the Directors Guild winner and the winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Long shots set aside, the more sensible choice appears to still be between "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook" for Oscar. And yet, the "Argo" momentum is hard to ignore. Is it really possible to have been stonewalled by the academy?

On the television side, I have to mention the triumphant win of 26-year-old Lena Dunham for not only Best Comedy Actress but also Best Comedy for her HBO comedy "Girls." So well-deserved, and it really marked the evening as one for progressive and funny women in television.

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