Monday, January 12, 2015

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards Recap

Another year, another Golden Globes ceremony in the books. This year saw the Hollywood Foreign Press Association spreading the love, with Boyhood leading all winners with three awards in film, and Transparent, Fargo, and The Affair winning two television awards apiece. The show ended up being rushed at the end, thanks to going over on time, but for the most part moved at a pretty leisurely pace.

A few quick thoughts on the ceremony:


  • Amy Poehler and Tina Fey took advantage of their final hosting gig to really do some daring comedy. The North Korea stuff was typical and kind of a drag, but the Bill Cosby jokes really went there. Good for them for doing so, even if maybe this wasn't quite the audience to do it for (Jessica Chastain looked flabbergasted).
  • Did anyone else have trouble with the sound during the presentations of each Picture nominee, or was that just Time Warner Cable being the literal worst again? Something was off there.
  • The best part of the montage celebrating Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award recipient George Clooney? Including his brief appearance (well, vocally) in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. The best part of his acceptance speech? His touching words to his wife, Amal Alamuddin.
  • Salma Hayek had no idea how to react to Kevin Hart onstage, a feeling that I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. He's such an unpredictable presence, something that he has yet to bring to one of his movies.
  • Nothing really exciting happened this year, did it? There were a few shout-outs to freedom of speech, but otherwise, nothing that anyone's going to really be talking about tomorrow (except for maybe those Cosby jokes).
  • Scratch that: Prince presented Best Original Song. It was every bit as glorious as it sounds.
  • The big winners on the film side tonight were The Grand Budapest Hotel, which got a huge profile boost, and Icelandic composer Johann Johansson (The Theory of Everything), who may be the one to beat in that race now. Gone Girl was probably the most hurt, taking away nothing tonight when it's profile needed to be strongest.
  • On the television side, Amazon Instant Video is the big winner, with its production Transparent taking home two awards, including Best TV Series - Musical or Comedy. That's huge for the online giant, essentially establishing it as the Showtime to Netflix's HBO. The losers, then, were the traditional "Big Four" networks - ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. They were completely shut out, with even The CW taking home a prize (Best Actress in a TV Series - Musical or Comedy). There's no doubt that there's an exciting shift happening in the television landscape, and it's being reflected at the Globes.
A complete list of winners, with commentary, after the jump.


BEST PICTURE - DRAMA

Boyhood

I don't think I ever would have thought that a Richard Linklater film would pick up this kind of mainstream awards traction, no matter how deserving of it the film was. And yet here we are, with Boyhood as the victor tonight, continuing it's impressive run through the season. Winning here, however, has a history of not following up with a Best Picture Oscar. Will Boyhood be able to buck the trend, or is this good news for another contender?

BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA

Julianne Moore, Still Alice


I don't want to jinx it by saying it now, but...maybe Moore is finally about to win an Oscar? I hope this doesn't end in Jennifer Aniston claiming the Oscar for a movie (Cake) that no one has seen yet (half-joking). She seems well on her way to the podium, and she's a deserved winner tonight.

BEST ACTOR - DRAMA

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

This isn't too surprising, since Redmayne has seemed like the frontrunner in this category ever since the movie opened. It does kill a little bit of Jake Gyllenhaal's (Nightcrawler) momentum to lose here; he's still perhaps the biggest wild-card in the bunch in terms of Oscar chances.

BEST PICTURE - COMEDY/MUSICAL

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Now here's a rather pleasant surprise! Granted, I do believe that Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a better film and deserved the win, but the fact that a Wes Anderson film has claimed this major award is fantastic. I'm genuinely impressed with how this film has fared all season long. Maybe I've been underestimating it as an Oscar contender? Moreover, it's just surprising that this is the Anderson film that's broken through. Not that it's bad or anything - it's very much the opposite - it's just, I don't know, I wouldn't have guessed that this would be the one to connect.

BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY/MUSICAL

Amy Adams, Big Eyes

It shouldn't really come as a surprise that Adams won, despite her modesty in her speech. It perhaps seemed like Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) could prevail here, but Adams is clearly having her moment as a terrific actress. I'm not convinced that she's a threat for an Oscar nomination, but it's nice to see her recognized.

BEST ACTOR - COMEDY/MUSICAL

Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


No surprise here. Though Fiennes would have made a great alternate, Keaton had this one in the bag courtesy of his incredible, career-best performance. He's a sure-thing Oscar nominee, but can he repeat this showing in late February?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Arquette has been thoroughly dominating the season so far, so it comes as no surprise that she claims the Globe as well. It's also great that Arquette - an under-utilized, excellent actress - is being recognized for her gifts. Her performance in Boyhood is truly incredible to watch, and deserving of this award.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

No surprise here, since Simmons has been on a roll with the critics groups and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down yet. He seems likely to keep it up all the way to the Oscars' podium, too. I'm personally excited about his win. He's been one of my favorite character actors for years now, and it's fantastic to see him receiving major attention now.

BEST DIRECTOR

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Linklater's awards tour continues with Globe win. It's terrific to finally see him receive this kind of recognition, since he's long been one of America's best working directors. It's also a shame that there's likely no way that the Academy will follow suit with this incredible roster of nominees, though.

BEST SCREENPLAY

Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

A phenomenal screenplay for the win here. For all of the attention placed on the cinematography, direction, and acting, the screenplay really is the remarkable foundation for this gem of a movie. I'm glad to see it get recognized. All told, this was a strong category regardless.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

How to Train Your Dragon 2

So do we think that maybe this has a better shot at Oscar than The LEGO Movie? Both are almost certainly going to be nominated, so maybe the race comes down to the two of them now. Similarly, how much of this is in recognition of the first film in the franchise, a truly impressive gem that had the misfortune of competing against Toy Story 3 four years ago?

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Leviathan (Russia)

I have to say that I am surprised to see this film prevail, especially given how late it sent out screeners and opened in theaters, to say nothing of the competition from critical favorites Ida and Force Majeure. It's still alive on the Oscars' finalist list for the same category, so could we have maybe been underestimating it?

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Johann Johansson, The Theory of Everything

It would have been really bold of the Globes to give the win to Antonio Sanchez for his inventive, unique, and Oscar-disqualified score for Birdman. Or if they had awarded Hans Zimmer's terrific Interstellar score. Instead, they went with Johansson, who's score is nice but not the most impressive in this bunch.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Glory," music and lyrics by John Legend and Common (Selma)

Common's speech was inspiring, and this song is wholly deserving of its win. Can it carry over to the Oscars as well? Here's hoping.

BEST TV SERIES - DRAMA

The Affair

The critical consensus was that The Affair started strong as the season's best new show, only to have flown off the rails by the end of its first season (a statement that could, honestly, be applied to just about any Showtime drama). So it's a bit surprising that the Globes still went with this show. It'll be interesting to see how it fares at the Emmys and next year.

BEST ACTRESS - TV DRAMA

Ruth Wilson, The Affair

Wilson always strikes me the most for her role as a psychopath on BBC's Luther several years ago. I've only heard good things about her performance on The Affair, but I do wish that Robin Wright (House of Cards) or Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder) could have won as well.

BEST ACTOR - TV DRAMA

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Spacey delivered a commanding performance in season two of the show, even if the show itself sometimes failed to live up to it. How did I not know that Spacey had never won a Golden Globe until now?

BEST TV SERIES - COMEDY/MUSICAL

Transparent

I haven't watched Transparent yet, but I've wanted to, especially since creator Jill Solloway was so terrific when she worked on Six Feet Under. This is a huge win for Amazon Instant Video, which has now established itself as a real "network" to be reckoned with. I'm looking forward to finally carving out the time for this show.

BEST ACTRESS - TV COMEDY/MUSICAL

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin


A big win here for both Rodriguez, who has so much talent and promise, and for her show, which is a critical sensation but in desperate need of ratings (it still picked up a second season, though). Moreover, it breaks up the monotony in this category, which is certainly a welcome change.

BEST ACTOR - TV COMEDY/MUSICAL

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

All told, all three of the Globes' TV Comedy/Musical categories were big wins for little networks. It was likely inevitable that Tambor would win in this category, but it remains a happy occurrence nonetheless.

BEST MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE

Fargo

A rather impressive show of restraint from the Globes, since the temptation to go all-in on True Detective was surely there. That's now an Emmy and a Globe for Fargo, and, coupled with the ecstatic reviews, I guess I'll have to finally check the show out.

BEST ACTRESS - MINISERIES/TV MOVIE

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman

There's been a lot of buzz around Gyllenhaal for this role, so I'm not too surprised that she won. Yet as much as Fargo was loved tonight, I'm a little shocked that Alison Tolman didn't take home the Globe.

BEST ACTOR - MINISERIES/TV MOVIE

Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo


And once again, the Globes - like the Emmys - pick someone else over Matthew McConaughey (True Detective). Thornton's win once again cements that I'm going to have to finally watch this show.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR TV MOVIE

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

I don't really watch Downton Abbey, so I don't really know much about her performance. Was she helped by the show's recent return (and apparent return-to-form)? Her speech was very sweet, though. I'm sure I'll need to check the show out now.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR TV MOVIE

Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

I really am surprised that Bomer was their representative of The Normal Heart in this category. It's not that he's a bad actor, or that his performance was bad either. It's just that he wasn't given all that much to work with, and there were other supporting performances (Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello) that were more impressive. Congrats to him, all the same.

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