The Golden Globes must be used to feeling like the appetizer before the Oscars. Sure, they give us something to chew on for a couple weeks each year before the Academy Award nominees are announced, but they’re forgotten as quickly as the caesar salad before a sirloin steak.
With that in mind, each January the Hollywood Foreign Press Association takes about three hours to take some attention away from the Academy by putting on a fun, loose party and giving some love to those overlooked by Oscar. They end up picking plenty of predictable frontrunners, but there always seems to be a bit of “look at me” tucked into a category or two.
This year, Argo and its lead actor/director/producer/mastermind Ben Affleck got some proper respect, with the film taking home Best Drama and Affleck awarded Best Director. This after being partially snubbed by the Academy Awards”Argo is up against eight other nominees for Best Film, but Affleck was ignored for both acting and directing prizes. Surely Argo is a deserving film and the Academy slipped up by not giving Affleck his due, but there had to be a hint of attention-seeking in highlighting a director so obviously ignored by the Oscars.
On the other hand, there were few surprises to be found in the acting categories. Daniel Day-Lewis won for his role in Lincoln and Anne Hathaway won for Les Miserables”a feat they’ll likely repeat on Oscar night”although where Day-Lewis was wonderfully articulate in his speech, Anne Hathaway again lost a few style points for her breathless, pretend-stunned performance. She tends to walk a fine line between earnest and overzealous, and on this night she planted both high heels on the wrong side of that line.
Likewise, Oscar favourites Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence took prizes for their roles in Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook respectively. It’s going to be nearly impossible for the Academy to choose between them, as they’re both supremely awesome, talented women playing unique roles to perfection. Even for fans, how do you choose between Celia from The Help and Katniss from The Hunger Games?
On the TV side, the critically acclaimed Homeland nearly ran the table, taking home Best TV Series Drama, Lead Actor in a TV Drama (the endlessly charming Damien Lewis) and Lead Actress in a TV Drama (Claire Danes, who is now four-for-four at the Globes dating back to her role on My So-Called Life). Only Supporting Actor Mandy Patinkin was denied, passed over in favour of Ed Harris’s performance in the miniseries Game Change.
The most inexplicable win of the night went to Don Cheadle for House of Lies”as Time TV columnist James Poniewozik Tweeted, “Don Cheadle deserves awards for many, many things. HOUSE OF LIES is not one of them. ª#GoldenGlobes.” Considering he was competing with past winners Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons, as well as critic-fave Louis C.K., it’s safe to say very few people, Cheadle included, expected him to win.
Finally, in a brave vote for both fearless nudity and for the new guard of empowered women in the media, HBO’s Girls shrugged off the criticism of its first season to win Best Comedy Series, while star/writer/director/producer Lena Dunham won Best Lead Actress in a Comedy. Her speech”after jokingly being referred to as “Lisa Dunham” by presenter Aziz Ansari”was perfectly reverent to her fellow nominees, whom Dunham admitted “are women that inspire me deeply, and have made me laugh and comforted me at the darkest moments of my life. Julia [Louis-Dreyfuss], Tina [Fey], Amy [Poehler] and Zooey [Deschanel] respectively got me through middle school, mono, a ruptured eardrum and the acute flood of anxiety that populates my entire life.”
While the Oscars will have their share of memorable moments, they’re not likely to replicate what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association pulled off on Sunday night”a fun, lively tribute to the finest in film and television that didn’t take itself too seriously. Let’s see Oscar follow that performance.