American Hustle left a messy Golden Globes as the big winner on Sunday (January 12), capturing three major awards, including best comedy. But voters stayed true to form and spread their love around, handing best drama to an otherwise ignored 12 Years a Slave and best director to Alfonso Cuaron, for Gravity.
The two female stars of American Hustle, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, both picked up acting awards. Jennifer Lawrence beat out Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave, who was viewed as the leading contender, in the supporting actress category. “I don’t know why I’m so scared,” said a shaking Jennifer.
Not long afterward, Amy Adams captured the best actress prize.
List of Golden Globe Award Winners:
Dallas Buyers Club received two acting prizes, for Jared Leto as supporting actor and for the heavily campaigned Matthew McConaughey as best actor in a drama. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine won a best actress award for Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen took home the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award, though he was predictably absent from the ceremony.
Globes voters even found room for Leonardo DiCaprio – even if they had to stretch.
“I never would have guessed that I would have won for best actor in a comedy,” said Leonardo DiCaprio, who won best actor for his performance in the rather grim The Wolf of Wall Street.
Some of the bigger surprises, however, came from television.
“Oh, no! I didn’t prepare anything!” said a clearly flabbergasted Andy Samberg, a best comedic actor winner for the Fox series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show later emerged as a surprise winner as best television comedy, besting HBO’s Girls.
Amy Poehler, returning as co-host along with Tina Fey, was almost as flummoxed when her name was called as best actress in a comedy for Parks and Recreation. She delivered the type of rote, I’d-like-to-thank-my-manager speech that, in her hosting role, she might have skewered. (It was her first big acting prize.)
Breaking Bad made back-to-back trips to the stage, winning trophies for best drama and best actor, for Bryan Cranston. Bryan, nominated four times for his role as a teacher who was also a crystal meth dealer, received a raucous standing ovation for his first victory. The prizes were a double defeat for Netflix, whose House of Cards was a hot competitor in the categories.
Saving some face for the Netflix series was Robin Wright, who received the Globe for best actress in a TV drama (and managed to recover from a slight wardrobe malfunction).
The chatter in Hollywood, of course, was instantly as much about the snubs as the winners. Nebraska, Philomena, August: Osage County and Captain Phillips were shut out, even though each arrived at the ceremony with multiple nominations.
The telecast was peppered with minor mishaps, including bleeped expletives, a miscued teleprompter and long walks to the stage, even for those seated at stage-side tables. To make up time, or at least not eat up any more time, producers awkwardly interrupted most of the winners with music – trying to hustle Amy Adams off the stage, for instance, as she was accepting her award. She managed an elegant speech nonetheless.
A ponytailed Jared Leto was not as lucky, starting his speech by trying a slightly off-color joke about waxing his body that drew nervous giggles from the crowd. Producers played him off with more music.
Spike Jonze won best screenplay for Her, about a man who falls in love with his computer. Spike Jonze managed to thank a few Hollywood insiders and neatly summarize a problem that many of his fellow winners seemed to suffer: “I’m bad at speaking English,” he said, “and it’s the only language I know.”
The Italian film The Great Beauty won in the foreign language category.
In some ways, the trophy race was almost a secondary draw: A big portion of the TV audience and many of the honorees, at least judging from their red-carpet comments, were here to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler follow up their much-praised performance last year and try to outwit themselves as hosts.
Fortunately for them, a season that has found Sandra Bullock and George Clooney lost in space, Robert Redford lost at sea, and Meryl Streep lost in a pill-popping haze provided ample material. “It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age,” Tina Fey said of Gravity.
The hosts stayed almost completely on topic, swapping inside movie humor – some that worked, some that didn’t – and avoiding political humor. There was no grand moment when they or the movies seemed to say something about anything other than themselves. “This was the beautiful mess we hoped it would be,” Tina Fey said, closing the show.
By and large, the entertainment industry has stopped laughing at the Globes and their idiosyncratic organizer, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Made up of about 85 mostly freelance journalists, the writers’ group now only occasionally strays into puzzlements that used to be commonplace (Pia Zadora, New Star of the Year, 1981). Heading into this year’s ceremony, some awards analysts marveled that voters actually seemed to nominate the year’s most worthy films and performances.
Sunday’s ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel here arrived with somewhat gloomy skies and the threat of strong Santa Ana winds, befitting the moody pictures hoping to leave as winners – films about violent servitude (12 Years a Slave), AIDS in the 1980s (Dallas Buyers Club) and baby-selling nuns (Philomena). Jonah Hill’s nearly choking to death on Quaaludes (The Wolf of Wall Street) qualified as a lighter moment.
Portions of the 30,000 square feet of red carpet flooded in the afternoon after a light apparently set off a fire sprinkler. (Eight men in gray sweatshirts promptly arrived with vacuums and squeegees.)
Later, if actresses weren’t in white, they went for bold colors: Lena Dunham wore canary yellow, while Reese Witherspoon was in aquamarine. Taylor Swift, a best-song nominee for Sweeter Than Fiction from One Chance, a movie that has yet to open widely – and a cranky target last year of teasing by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – wore red and black.
There was a notable absence: Woody Allen, who made clear in advance that he would not personally accept his promised lifetime achievement award. A singing Diane Keaton accepted it on his behalf.
The Globes are scrutinized each year for clues about which people and films will win at the Academy Awards. In truth, they do not predict much. This year, Oscar nomination voting ended on Wednesday. The results will be unveiled on Thursday morning, leaving the Golden Globes in an Oscar safe zone, limiting the effect of minor victories or major gaffes.
Still, even the perception of momentum will be seized upon by prognosticators, who could point to the Globes’ best-drama victory for Argo last year as a prelude to its Oscar for best picture six weeks later.
And the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s golden trophies are valued here, partly because of the bragging rights that will help lift the more heavily honored films at the box office. Studio marketers will race to put out ads on Monday morning (January 13) trumpeting wins.
Behind the scenes, publicists and show planners had been in a tug of war over seating in the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton, which can handle only about 1,000 guests – a tight squeeze, as the nominees, agents, executives and associated retinues added up quickly. The annual jostling has been aggravated by new players like Netflix.
For Netflix this is enemy territory. HBO, a Globes perennial, typically owns much of the floor, and Sunday was no exception, even though it had only nine nominations, down from 17 last year.
The after-parties also became a battleground this year. Netflix paired with the Weinstein Company for an event at a far-flung corner of the hotel. HBO, ceding nothing, draped the hotel’s poolside Circa 55 supper club and its adjoining patio in gold and red print cloth, with what appeared to be jaguar-skin settees.