I love watching award shows. Not so much for the awards, but for the jokes, occasionally funny acceptance speeches, and the sight of my favourite stars schmoozing with each other and helping me pretend that everyone is who they appear to be, and they are all “friends” who love working together in Hollywood — until they aren’t.
Last night was the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted once again by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler after their rousing success last year. While they were good again, I feel last year’s monologue had better zingers. Which is not to say this year didn’t have a few memorable ones: “Gravity is nominated for best film. 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”; as well as the bawdy one-liner later in the show: “And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.” Entertainment Weekly lists a few more.
Here’s last year’s hilarious monologue:
And here’s this year’s, for comparison.
(To be fair, if the “Tam Honks” joke fell flat, it’s because Tom Hanks looked puzzled, like he didn’t know if they were talking about him. Otherwise, he is usually sporting enough to play along. And they should have cut to more reaction shots. I was waiting for one from the American Hustle table when Tina Fey called it “Explosion at a Wig Factory”, but strangely, there wasn’t.)
In terms of the presenters, there wasn’t a standout Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig moment, though Robert Downey Jr had a good run with his schtick of giving a self-serving presenting speech. It was funny, but he did something similar a few years back, and probably will be asked to do something similar in future whenever presenting, for as long as he remains a huge and charismatic star with the cultivated image of not being especially humble.
As for the winners, I wish Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress and Chiwetel Ejiofor Best Actor in a Drama instead. I adore Jennifer Lawrence and she was fantastic in American Hustle, but I feel that Lupita Nyong’o’s performance as the wretched, abused Patsey was more powerful. And I’m sure Matthew McConaughey was great too in Dallas Buyers’ Club, but Chiwetel Ejiofor bowled me over in 12 Years a Slave. (I also want Michael Fassbender to be Best Supporting Actor, but I have accepted that he probably won’t win here, or at the Oscars, since he refused to play the game and campaign for the award this year.)
I’m generally fine with the rest of the wins, but especially glad that Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for The Wolf of Wall Street. He went absolutely NUTS in that film, and half the fun of it was watching him go off his rails in a role so hedonistic it outshines — or rather, out-shocks — everything he has ever done. In fact, the biggest revelation the film had for me was that he can do physical comedy, especially in the scene where he tries to crawl to his car at the country club. “I skipped the tingly phase and went straight into drool phase. Actually, I discovered a new phase: cerebral palsy phase.” I’ve never laughed harder.
So there it is. Now we countdown to the Oscars on 2nd March.