Boiled down, the Golden Globes are kind of like a high school sports team dinner, with just about everyone getting an honor. This year’s ceremony didn’t change from the formula and had the sort of boozy feeling we’ve come to expect from the Globes (Emma Thompson presented with a martini, Cate Blanchett thanked her waiter for filling her glass with vodka, not to mention plenty of bleeping for excessive cursing), but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s hosting brightened the vibe up. The duo proved to be adept hosts again and made the Globes more fun, with jokes about Julia-Louis Dreyfuss’ sitting in the film section, George Clooney’s preference of younger women, and Matt Damon’s star power. It was funny and clever, sure to please pretty much everyone. The show’s direction was uneven however, with multiple sound and technical glitches. The other presenters couldn’t match Fey and Poehler’s chemistry (the awkward banter between Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick is a prime example and Melissa McCarthy’s Matt Damon joke fell flat and felt like a repeat of Poehler’s earlier that night), not to mention about thirty minutes through the Globes just about cut everyone’s speech short and even trimmed Fey and Poehler’s comic material. Still, the Globes’ ceremony never falls in indulgence of Oscar night; while the tribute to Woody Allen ran a bit too long as well as the walks to the stage, there were no overproduced musical numbers or stage acts that typically plague the Academy Awards. The appeal of the Globes rests on how simple they are and by that standard they’re easily the most watchable award show.
As the awards themselves, they were safe but certainly not undeserving. I was thrilled to see Bryan Cranston and Breaking Bad win after five glorious seasons as well as Poehler finally receiving some attention for her fine role in Parks and Recreation (“I never win anything” she exclaimed on stage). I was very pleased to see Spike Jonze take Best Screenplay for her as well as 12 Years A Slave winning Best Drama. While I didn’t see Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club, I was pleased to see both win, particularly the former who has been having a career renaissance. And while I thought American Hustle was the weakest of the best comedy nominees (I would have chosen her or Inside Llewyn Davis over that), it certainly was not undeserving of its victory.
Okay, now for the mistakes. I think we can all agree giving Jon Voight the Emmy for Ray Donovan, a show that feels derivative of just about ten other anti-hero dramas, over Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad was a big misstep by the HFPA. And while I like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it certainly isn’t in the same league as Parks and Recreation. Leonardo DiCaprio best said the biggest flaw of the Globes this year as he quipped during his award speech, “I never would have guessed I would have won Best Actor in a Comedy,” showing how the HFPA chose films more appropriate for the drama categories than the comedy ones. But you win some and you lose some and by that matter the Globes proved they are capable of learning from their mistakes.