Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images) Photo: Handout
We’re going to go ahead and call it – they were the best Globes ever. And not just because our favourites won. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lived up to our high expectations by being not merely funny but ballsy and daring – as all good hosts should be. Poehler, in particular, is not afraid to get down and dirty. As well as the comedy, there was plenty to be moved by too, (Jodie Foster’s speech, anyone? Hugh’s win? Lena Dunham’s vulnerability?) Then, just to keep the unbelievably glamorous and rich from getting too cocky, there were also foul-ups, (Salma Hayek and Paul Rudd’s auto-cue problems). All in all, a jolly good show.
Here now are the highlights:
1.Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killing it. The ladies shone like the expertly talented comedians they are throughout the entire evening. Amy’s stint clinking champagne with George Clooney while sitting atop his lap and Tina’s outrageously shoddy Johnny Depp impersonation were obvious stand-outs but their opening ‘monolgue’ was flawless.
In the most recent comedy issue of Vanity Fair, AA Gill wrote of the distinctive difference between British and American humour. 'British humour is built around mockery. It's bully humour. It's about class and distinction and difference, about identifying weakness and exploiting it ...American humour is the cry of the bullied. It owes much to Jewish humour. The response and the aside, the comeback of powerless to the power. It is the wit and last word of the small man.' And this is probably the best way to describe the difference between Ricky Gervais and Amy and Tina as hosts. Not to say they played it completely safe. After a couple of light chuckles, Poehler let rip with this corker.
"Kathyrn Bigelow is nominated tonight. I haven't really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron."
Bigelow turned away but she was laughing. Heartily.
And Fey followed up with this – "Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in Les Misérables. I haven't seen you so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were onstage with James Franco at the Oscars.”
Hathaway looked down but clearly enjoyed it.
Later in the show, Fey told Taylor Swift to stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son, (Sam, who was doing duties as Mr Golden Globe) before adding ‘No, she needs some me time.’ Has anyone, in the history of telecasts, heard anything so wise?
2.Homeland winning for Best TV series. I’m choosing this as highlight not because it’s surprising or deserved, (although it is a great show) but because, for once in his onscreen life, Brody’s son, Chris, (Jackson Pace), had more than 3 seconds in front of the camera. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a first for the actor who is told to go to his room more often than you can say ‘Carrie don’t be stupid!’ And, standing front and centre, didn’t he relish it?
3. Adele winning for best original song for Skyfall. After high-fiving the most brooding man in cinema, Daniel Craig, the singer sprang up and embraced the moment like she’d just won pub bingo, thanking not just the Hollywood foreign press association, but the entire room for letting her ‘into their world.’ As if Adele, winner of 8 Grammys, with an estimated net worth of $32 million, occupied some other, less rarefied space. Fellow nominee Taylor Swift looked less than pleased when she won but Adele took it all in her stride, announcing that she and her friend had been ‘pissing ourselves laughing’ at proceedings.
4.Bill Clinton’s introduction to Lincoln. The 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton has never been more beloved. I’m not even talking about the standing ovation he received as he walked out onto the stage. Did you see the speech he gave Obama at the convention last year? It included lines like “Though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president.”
So it’s apt then, that Clinton should introduce a movie that’s not just about the abolishment of slavery but a wider comment on the 2012 congress and cultural wars of today. Although, it should be said, the Prez move was just a teeny bit OTT. Even Daniel Day Lewis seemed to recognise this when he quipped in his own speech, ‘If you thought that was showing off, her majesty the Queen of England is about to parachute in in a couple of minutes to make a last minute pitch for Skyfall.’
5. Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell announcing the Best Actress in a movie category and Jennifer Lawrence winning it.
As any fan of Saturday Night Live will tell you, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell are in many ways the male and female equivalent of one another. Both were work horses during their time at SNL; both played myriad characters without ego, and both, while sticking to their signature types, (Wiig leans hard on the almost uncomfortably quirky while Ferrell goes straight for bombastic idiot) were always noted for their ability to disappear into their roles when they had to. So it was a special delight to see them together playing super enthusiastic fans trying to summarise five movies – none of which, it soon became clear, they’d actually seen. Sample dialogue: ‘Ah the silver linings playbook with all the silver.’ And ‘Then Judi Dench goes, ‘You get outta here!’’ “And then that guy comes.” Their off-beat bit brought the house down. One person was not amused – Tommy Lee Jones. When Wig and Ferrell tried to ‘summarise’ Hope Springs, beginning with the pronunciation of Meryl Streep’s name a Mee-rul, Jones turned to stone. Which of course just made it funnier.
The humour continued when Jennifer Lawrence, (J-Law according to Will Ferrell) accepted her award.
Nervous but steady, she thanked Harvey Weinstein for ‘killing whoever you had to kill to put me in this movie.’ And her brothers ‘for being really mean to me but then really loving and supportive.’
6. Jodie Foster’s slightly awkward, meandering but ultimately powerfully moving Cecil B DeMille Award acceptance speech. She began a little nervously, like someone’s mum trying on gags at a 21st birthday party. ‘Hey guys! I’m no honey boo boo child!' But then, the surprise turns - the first, a non-coming out Coming Out Speech that acknowledged what she has indeed already acknowledged but never this publicly: she’s single. Oh yeah, and she’s also gay. Then, she seemed to go on a weird rant about privacy that was dangerously all-too-similar to that weird rant she went on last year about Kristen Stewart. But then! She delivered a sucker-punch that left everyone in the room wet-eyed, paying tribute to her mother with words that seemed as if they were lifted from a novel.
"This brings me to the greatest influence of my life, my amazing mother, Evelyn. Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere and that there are so many things that you won’t understand tonight. But this is the only important one to take in: I love you, I love you, I love you. And I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life. You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally OK to go.
1.Catherine Zeta Jones attempting to sing.
First of all, congratulations Catherine, you look dynamic! I’ve been worried about your, how-can-I-put-this?, well, your face for a while now but you looked refreshingly great. And look, I know you won an Academy Award for Chicago and allegedly you have a background in musical theatre. But lady, you are no Mandy Patinkin. So if you’re going to introduce Les Miserables do not - repeat - do not - take it upon yourself to belt out a few bars before you begin. You just became the drunk aunt at the wedding.
2. Anne Hathaway’s speech
I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved - Anne Hathaway was the best thing about that movie. But oh goodness me - is exactly what Anne should’ve said and then left the building. Only she didn’t, instead, she acted like someone shocked and overwhelmed by her own good fortune. The operative word here is ‘acted’. Anne unfortunately was too ham-fisted in her delivery for us to fully believe and thus be transported along with her. Worse, the hat-tip to Tina Fey’s signature catchphrase ‘blergh’ didn’t land properly, although, granted, that was more than likely a tacit ‘thanks’ for Fey’s earlier joke about Franco. Points though, Anne, for praising Sally Field.
3. Damian Lewis' blasé attitude. You’re still a newcomer Damian! Act like it! This means you don’t call a Golden Globe Award a ‘perk’ okay? Because there are plenty of guys out there who would gladly accept that award for best actor in a television series and be grateful. Why, I can think of one right now. He is a man who doesn’t need to speak out of a tiny, curled up mouth to convey his frustration and loss. This is a man who, year after year has steadily delivered a character that, like Brody, we should hate on paper but we end up rooting for instead. And yeah, the operative word here is rooting. Because that man is Jon Hamm and he missed out and you aren’t fit to wipe his boots!
4. Kevin Costner
Okay, I told myself, when I saw that Costner was posing like someone auditioning for the headpiece on the trillion dollar coin, maybe he’s just feeling important in this moment. The problem was - well, is - that Kevin Costner feels important in every moment. So when he won, for best actor in a mini series for Hatfields and McCoys, he acted like he’d just won the Cecil B. De Mille award for humanity. Kevin, we don’t need to know about your days as a nobody. Because you gotta be a proper somebody for us to care.
Claire Danes, did you just have a baby in a hospital? and by ‘baby’ I guess I mean ‘a million dollar spa treatment’ and by hospital I guess I mean ‘health retreat in the Bahamas’.
Quentin Tarntino was clearly drunk when he accepted his award for best screenplay but you know what? That just made it more enjoyable.
Ben Affleck! They love you, they really love you! Who cares about that Oscar snub when the Hollywood Foreign Press is gunning this hard for you.
Lena Dunham wins! People like to accuse the creator and star of GIRLS of an unyielding precociousness but her genuine giddiness and overwhelming sense of gratitude at winning, including the line about the Golden Globes helping her to feel ‘less alone in the world’ proves once and for all that as freakishly talented as she is, she’s also, really, deep down, a girl who has insecure moments like the rest of us.