By Rachel West
Do the Golden Globes really matter?
That was the question that bobbed in and out of my consciousness as I sat back and watched the live telecast on January 11th. There were the stars themselves, so busy drinking and chatting with one another that presenter Ricky Gervais, beer in hand, felt moved to chastise them from stage, ”How rude are you lot? Just because you’re film stars? Shusssh!” So, let’s take a cue from the boisterous stars of film and television, and treat Globes as a party leading up to the more serious Academy Awards in February.
The evening provided a blending of film and TV stars who knocked back glasses of Moet champagne (recession, anyone?) through the three-hour ceremony with smiles plastered on their faces. As proved by countless DUI mug shots, stars and booze don’t always mix, which can be the only explanation for some of the night’s biggest flops and rambling speeches. In the end, while the Golden Globes may not much affect the outcome of the Academy Awards or bring as much heft as the Emmys do in the realm of television, they certainly can be entertaining.
With some tough competition in most categories, there was a good mix of predictable winners and genuine surprises.
The evening’s top highlights:
Slumdog Millionaire’s Four Category Sweep
Going 4 for 4 for the little picture that could is a true Hollywood rags to riches story in the film that almost became a direct-to-DVD release. It proved that Toronto audiences know a good thing when they see it, having voted Slumdog the People’s Choice Award winner at TIFF. Outshining big name contenders like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for Best Picture-Drama, winning Best Score and Best Screenplay, and with Danny Boyle taking home the gold for directing, Slumdog is heading for the Oscars full speed ahead.
Tracey Morgan is “The Face of Post-Racial America”
30 Rock was the big winner when it comes to TV, with stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin picking up the acting trophies, and the show winning top honours in the Musical or Comedy categories. But it was Tracey Morgan’s hilarious acceptance speech as part of the series win that provided another of the evening’s highlights. ”Tina Fey and I had an agreement that if Barack Obama won, I would speak for the show from now on,” Morgan declared, ”I’m the face of post-racial America. Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!” Cate Blanchett and the rest of us can definitely deal with it if the show continues to be that funny.
Kate Winslet’s Double Win
Sure, she’s one of the greatest actresses of our time and has the award nominations to prove it, but she faced stiff competition in the Supporting Actress category. Penelope Cruz looked like the clear rival to Winslet, as she has won much acclaim for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Winslet’s win was a nice reward as she appeared genuinely surprised and honoured to take home the gold. Her win in the Supporting category almost seemed to instantly open the door for Anne Hathaway or the formidable Meryl Streep to best her in the lead Actress-Drama category. Lo and behold, at the end of the night, Winslet emerged triumphant again as she emotionally accepted her second award. Perhaps she’s finally through with being the Oscars’ perennial bridesmaid.
Ricky Gervais – Are You Havin’ a Quaff?
Not only did he tell everyone to be quiet, he also did it with a half-consumed glass of beer in hand. It must have been some good beer since he helped himself to another gulp in the midst of his presentation for Best Film- Musical or Comedy nominee Happy-Go-Lucky. After cracking a few of the night’s funnier quips, he proved why it’s best to leave the jokes to the professionals.
Of course, you can’t have highlights without a few low points.
Unfunny Funny Guys
Both Seth Rogen and Sasha Baron Cohen took the stage as awards presenters and instead of delivering what could have been some top comedy, they both delivered cringe-worthy one-liners. Rogen’s attempt to make a joke at the expense of the night’s Best Actor- Drama winner Mickey Rourke received a forced smile from Rourke’s Wrestler co-star Marisa Tomei who looked like she’d rather be anywhere else. As for Cohen, an outdated Madonna joke pretty much fell flat, receiving only a few polite laughs from the crowd…with the exception of Drew Barrymore who could be seen laughing hysterically in the background.
Colin Farrell Fairly Incoherent
From his strange award presentation to his rambling acceptance speech for Best Actor- Musical or Comedy, Farrell made many bewildering comments. After sniffling through the presentation for Best Foreign Film, Farrell had the urge to share, “I still have a cold…It’s not the other thing it used to be…” Talk about too much information. Farrell was back onstage later to accept his acting trophy and was visibly shocked to have won for his role in the darkly comic In Bruges. Obviously unprepared for the win, he rambled aimlessly as the audience was left to follow him through his stream-of-conscious thought process where he mentioned everything from irregular vote counting in Florida to his Bono-inspired words of wisdom “‘Curiosity is love; it’s ignorance’s nemesis.” Next time a heartfelt “Thank You” will suffice.
David Duchovny Makes it a Little Awkward
It hasn’t been a good year for David Duchovny. After going through a much publicized stint in rehab for sex addiction and rumours of his and wife Tea Leoni’s infidelity running rampant in the tabloids, he then loses the Golden Globe for Best Actor- Musical or Comedy to Alec Baldwin. But he’s not mad. And he wants you to know that. He also wants you to know that he has a very happy and normal family life with his wife and children. Thoroughly making co-presenter Jane Krakowski uncomfortable with his awkward small talk, he pointedly informed viewers of a text message he received from his wife. With lame jokes this lame, it’s no wonder he lost the award.
Steven Spielberg Drones on With Joy
The guy may have built a critically and commercially successful career for himself as a director, writer, and producer, but man, is he boring. Spielberg’s acceptance speech was like watching paint dry. Friend and fellow director Martin Scorsese presented the award to Spielberg, and you’d think that two cinematic geniuses could come up with something a little more interesting. At least they didn’t have E.T. present the award.
List of Winners:
-Picture, Drama: Slumdog Millionaire
-Picture, Musical or Comedy: Vicky Christina Barcelona
-Actor, Drama: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
-Actress, Drama: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
-Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
-Actor, Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell, In Bruges
-Actress, Musical or Comedy: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
-Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
-Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
-Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
-Animated Film: Wall-E
-Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
-Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
-Original Song: “The Wrestler” (performed by Bruce Springsteen, written by Bruce Springsteen), The Wrestler
-Series, Drama: Mad Men
-Actor, Drama: Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
-Actress, Drama: Anna Paquin, True Blood
-Series, Musical or Comedy: 30 Rock
-Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
-Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
-Miniseries or Movie: John Adams
-Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, John Adams
-Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Paul Giammatti, John Adams
-Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Dern, Recount
-Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Wilkinson, John Adams
-Cecil B. DeMille Award: Steven Spielberg.