OK, I have to ask: Was Leonardo DiCaprio the only major star not inebriated at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not so prudish as to deny that the party-hearty ambiance of the annual Golden Globes extravaganza is what sets it apart from the sometimes interminable slog of the Academy Awards telecast. And, yes, I freely admit: I laughed as much as anyone else watching when Emma Thompson sauntered onto the stage, barefoot and brazenly swilling a martini, to bestow one of the glittering prizes during the NBC-telecast festivities Sunday evening.
But damn! I have been to extended-family reunions where I haven’t seen as many sloshed partygoers in attendance. And keep in mind: My family is Irish-American.
I have been to extended-family reunions where I haven’t seen as many sloshed partygoers in attendance. And keep in mind: My family is Irish-American.
By the time Cate Blanchett took the stage during the show’s final half-hour to accept her much-deserved Globe as Best Actress in a Drama for Blue Jasmine, it was way past time for even the pretense of sobriety on the part of award-winners. “I had a few vodkas under my belt,” Blanchett nonchalantly acknowledged, “and here we are.”
By contrast, DiCaprio seemed downright stately when he trotted into the winner’s circle after being named Best Actor in a Comedy for his splendiferously over-the-top portrayal of slimeball stockbroker Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Not only did the superstar have the self-awareness to acknowledge the absurdity of his winning in a “comedy” category. (Yes, I know: That’s how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association arbitrarily divides things. But still…) DiCaprio also evidenced effortless graciousness while acknowledging equally worthy competitors (including presumptive sentimental favorite Bruce Dern of Nebraska) in the category.
Indeed, you might say DiCaprio was toasting his fellow actors – but not quite the same way Thompson toasted the obviously uncomfortable Louboutin shoes she ultimately tossed aside.
As for the actual Golden Globe awards – well, by and large, they went to the right people, and the right movies. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence certainly deserved their laurels for American Hustle. (Wish I had a dollar for every snarky Twitter reference to the “globes” Adams displayed in her low-cut attire for the evening.) Likewise, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto got what they deserved – i.e., awards – for their excellent performances in Dallas Buyers Club.
12 Years a Slave pulled something of an upset by landing the Best Drama award – a “surprise” that was surprising primarily because the movie was shut out in all other categories, including Best Actor – Drama, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
But, of course, awards handicappers inevitably will ask: Will that victory help the movie’s chances for a Best Picture win at the Academy Awards? Maybe, maybe not. It should be noted that if any movie got any real momentum out of Sunday evening’s Globe show, it more likely was American Hustle, which copped the Globe for Best Comedy, along with the aforementioned Actress and Supporting Actress nods. We’ll have a better idea of how the race is shaping up Thursday morning, when Oscar nominations are announced. But remember: Unlike the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, members of the Motion Picture Academy don’t differentiate between comedies and dramas.
Some other observations about Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast:
HOSTESSES WITH THE MOSTEST: Making their second appearance as Globe show co-hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler offered a steady stream of snark without seeming too mean-spirited or venomous. Funniest wisecracks? Probably a tie between their take on Gravity – “George Clooney would rather float into space and die rather than spend one more minute with a woman his own age!” – and this modestly shocking introduction: “'And now, like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Funniest wisecrack: “George Clooney would rather float into space and die rather than spend one more minute with a woman his own age!”
(It’ll be interesting to see whether there’s any protest from the professionally outraged regarding Poehler’s greeting to stars in the audience “and to all the gay men and women watching at home.”)
BEST TRULY SHOCKED ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: First, an absolutely gobsmacked Jacqueline Bisset takes her own good sweet time walking to the stage, like someone in a trance, to pick up her Best Supporting Actress in a TV-Movie or Miniseries (or whatever the hell they call it) for Dancing on the Edge. (Please don’t ask, I didn’t see it either.) Then she gasps “God!” and just, well, stands there for several seconds. By the time she finally begins to get her act together, the orchestra starts the “Get off the stage, pronto!” music.
Her response? Well, for starters, she slips “shit” past the censors. And then, even as she trends bigger than Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair on Twitter, she tells us that forgiving anyone and everyone who ever does you harm is the greatest beauty secret of them all. You know what? Judging by how smoking hot the lady still looks, I’d say she’s done a lot of forgiving in her time.
WTF: As Kate Beckinsale stood alongside Sean Combs and Usher Raymond to give the movie score and song Golden Globes, all I could think of was a Sesame Street tune: “One of these things is not like the others…”
NAUGHTY BIT: Jim Carrey somehow made “cunning” sound like the filthiest word in the English language, bless his heart.
LAMEST AWARD INTRO: So a sandbag supposedly fell on Melissa McCarthy’s head backstage, and she now thinks she is Matt Damon, and…. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Not surprisingly, the chronically awards-averse Woody Allen didn’t show up to receive his Cecil B. DeMille Award. But never mind: The Globe show organizers offered a smartly selected montage of clips from Allen’s movies anyway. And Allen’s long-time friend Diane Keaton – who, truth to tell, sounded as though she, too, had been imbibing – was on hand to offer an unapologetically rambling but sweetly eloquent tribute to the prolific and prodigious filmmaker. The highlight of her speech was, aptly enough, a quote from Allen himself:
“One of the nice things about writing or any art is that if the thing's real, it just kind of lives. All the success over it or the rejection, none of that really matters because in the end, the thing will survive or not survive on its merits. Immortality via art is no big deal. Francois Truffaut died. His films live on, but that's not much help to Francois Truffaut. As I've said many times, rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fellow man, I would rather live on in my apartment."
Hey, I’ll drink to that.