Sunday, January 13, 2013
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards brought in co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to replace the possibly too unpredictable and irreverent Ricky Gervais. These are funny women but with the tired and bland material they were given they were no match for Gervais. But Poehler's open to the waist dress did signal one trend at the awards show -- lots of cleavage. Don't hemlines go up and necklines go down when the films are less exciting? Well that seemed to be somewhat the case at this awards show.
The night started well with Christoph Waltz winning a much deserved best supporting (it should have been best actor outright) actor award for "Django Unchained." He seemed genuinely surprised and began by saying "Let me gasp" before thanking his writer-director Quentin Tarantino. Then repeating the line from his character, he pointed the audience to freedom and the North Star. Nice way to start but it gave me hope for better awards than were to come.
Jennifer Lawrence won a best actress in a comedy or musical for "Silver Linings Playbook." She was definitely the best thing in a nice but overrated film. When she came up to the stage and looked at the award she said, "What's it say here, I beat Meryl." In reference to her beating out veteran actress Meryl Streep. Hers was a very genuine and entertaining speech. She seems to be the only competition Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty") has at the Oscars.
Quentin Tarantino picked up a screenplay award for "Django Unchained" and seemed genuinely surprised. One of the differences between the Golden Globes and the Oscars is that the Globes are given out as nominees eat and drink. So Quentin seemed a little drunk as he went up a bit stunned and thanked his magnificent actors.
The best presenters ended up being Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, co-stars in two "Expendables" films. They handed out the Golden Globe for best foreign film and argued about whose English was more difficult to understand. Their lively banter is what "The Expendable" movies should be all about but are sorely lacking in. The Austrian Arnie was happy to give the award to fellow countryman Michael Haneke for "Amour."
Jodie Foster, always looking classy and speaking articulately, accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award. She has spent 47 of her 50 years in the film industry working her way up from Disney child star to Academy award winning actress to director. She thanked the actors she had worked with but saved special thanks for the crew members she has made movies with because there's "nothing more intimate." She joked about making this a "coming out" speech but noted that when you spend more than four decades of your life in the public eye you "value privacy above all else." Congrats to Foster, she is a talented woman... but I don't get her affinity for Mel Gibson, whom she sat next to at the awards. (She did recently direct him in "The Beaver.")
Acting in a drama went to the favorites: Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln" and Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty." Day-Lewis is one of our finest actors but "Lincoln" was a bland historical epic that barely challenged his skills. He gave a lovely speech. Chastain seemed very nervous and surprised. Her comments about her director Kathryn Bigelow highlighted why I like Bigelow's films so much. She refuses to make overtly "feminist" films and instead just gives us films where women challenge conventions. Another good speech.
"Les Miserables" nabbed awards for Anne Hathaway for best supporting actress (perhaps for cutting her hair and losing weight), best actor in a musical or comedy for Hugh Jackman (entertaining speech), and best comedy or musical. I can't understand the film's acclaim. The play was powerful but the film reduced the epic drama to a bunch of star show pieces shot in suffocating close ups. Gone was the scope of the drama and the dynamics of the characters interactions. "Moonrise Kingdom" was a far worthier film in the comedy/musical category.
The rest of the night belonged to "Argo." The smartly made film pushed no boundaries and displayed no innovation but it was entertaining and a very safe choice. It had none of the controversy of "Django Unchained" or "Zero Dark Thirty." It took home an award for Ben Affleck as director and as best motion picture drama.
Will this prove to be a harbinger of what's to come at the Oscars? Probably. The awards mirrored the recent Broadcast Film Critics' Critics Choice Awards that ere given out on Thursday, and those awards have been a consistent predictor of recent Oscar races.
The Oscars are still more than a month away with voting ongoing. The Oscars will be telecast on February 24 with "Family Guy's" Seth MacFarlane.
Here is a complete list of the 70th annual Golden Globe awards (which include awards for television):
PICTURE, DRAMA: "Argo"
ACTRESS, FILM DRAMA: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
ACTOR, FILM DRAMA: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY: "Les Miserables"
ACTRESS, FILM MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
ACTOR, FILM MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, FILM: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, FILM: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
SCREENPLAY: "Django Unchained" by Quentin Tarantino
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Amour"
ANIMATED FEATURE: "Brave"
ORIGINAL SCORE: Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"
ORIGINAL SONG: Adele, "Skyfall"
TV DRAMA: "Homeland"
ACTRESS, TV DRAMA: Claire Danes, "Homeland"
ACTOR, TV DRAMA: Damian Lewis, "Homeland"
TV COMEDY: "Girls"
ACTRESS, TV COMEDY: Lena Dunham, "Girls"
ACTOR, TV COMEDY: Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES: "Game Change"
ACTRESS, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Julianne Moore, "Game Change"
ACTOR, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Kevin Costner "Hatfields & McCoys"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, TV: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, TV: Ed Harris, "Game Change"
CECIL B. DEMILLE AWARD: Jodie Foster