71st Golden Globes – Another Golden Night
The ceremony had started three years prior with a dual monologue (dualogue?) by Golden hostesses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The two SNL “graduates” lived up to expectations with an intro that mixed self-deprecating humor and good-natured ribbing of the celebrities that filled the ballroom. “Good evening to all the women and gay men watching at home.” They opened, before welcoming “Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o and ‘Hollywood treasure Tam Honks’”. They continued: “We are back again this year. Because this is Hollywood where if something sort of works they remake it until everybody hates it.” That set the tone for an evening that showed why the golden Globes have a well-earned reputation as being the most relaxed award show and best party in Hollywood. Jennifer Lawrence’s award for Supporting Best Actress for American Hustle marked the actresses second win after last year’s Globe for best actress in Silver Linings Playbook (she was also nominated for her role in 2011’s Winter’s Bone). Amy Adams soon would follow her co-star on stage to collect the Best Actress Comedy or Musical award. American Hustle would close the night with the most Globes – three – when it later won Best Comedy or Musical Motion Picture.
Another winning film was Dallas Buyers’ Club that scored well deserved wins for both male Lead and Supporting Actors, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, for their roles as unlikely activist AID patients in 1980’s Texas. Spike Jonze won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for his intimate and thoroughly original future tale of love and technology Her. The evening would hold more science fiction: The director of a tale of outer space – but actually also an exploration of the inner reaches of the soul – Gravity would be awarded the Globe in the directing category. His film pushes the boundaries of visual imagination that is an integral part of cinema since the days of Mélies, and the HFPA felt it was the kind of leap forward in filmmaking that had to be recognized.
Wolf of Wall Street won best actor for its protagonist, Leonardo Di Caprio who in yet another collaboration with Martin Scorsese delivered what voting members felt to undeniably be one of the best performances of his career. The film was also nominated in what arguably could be considered the most competitive category of the night: Best Comedy or Musical. It contained movies of vastly different tone but of almost uniform excellence. American Hustle would prevail but members were hard put to remember such close competition in recent times. Never perhaps has there been as illustrious a list of “losers” as Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Wolf of Wall Street and Nebraska. Of course we prefer to think that there are no real losers on Globe Nights only contributors to a celebration of film and television, especially in a year like this one that produced so many great movies and shows.
That goes for the Foreign Language category as well in which five extraordinary films competed or the Globe. In the end the prize went to Italy’s The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) by Paolo Sorrentino, already a Cannes and European Film Award winner and a short listed Oscar contender. In a night of surprises and uncertain outcomes, the closest thing to a sure thing was Cate Blanchett’s Globe for Best Actress Drama for amazing portrayal of a woman unhinged in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and sure enough the resplendent Aussie beauty won the Globe – it was her third win (with 8 total nominations).
The TV side of the proceeding meantime was just as exciting and saw several breakouts of new series, a hallmark of the HFPA that has a tradition of launching innovative shows. Universal’s new comedy Brooklyn 9-9 not only won best series but also was good for a Globe given to Andy Samberg by his old SNL cohort Seth Meyers. Showtime’s Ray Donovan won an award for Jon Voight who received an ovation from the room and two groundbreaking series, Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake and Netflix’s House of Cards both earned Globes for their leading ladies, Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright. At the same time the HFPA awarded prizes to acclaimed shows like Behind the Candelabra (Best TV Movie and Best Actor for Globe favorite Michael Douglas), and Breaking Bad (Best Actor for Bryan Cranston and Best Series), a Golden farewell to a series that has unquestionably made television history.
So as the stars poured out of the ballroom and into the parties to continue the celebration late into the night, the 71st Golden Globes went into the books, another great night, which is now part of Hollywood memory. Among the moments we will remember are race car driver Niki Lauda presenting the trailer for Rush, Laura Dern introducing her nominated 77-year old dad, Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson showing up on stage, red pumps in hand (and chucking them off) and Diane Keaton serenading Cecil B deMille recipient Woody Allen a cappella on that same storied stage.