Welcome to the debut of a new awards show feature, The Short Form. The Short Form exists to condense a whole night of buzz into a quick easy cheat sheet so that you, the reader, can sound like you spent your Sunday night watching an awards show without actually bothering to watch it, which considering how sloppy last nights 71st Annual Golden Globes were may be considered a blessing.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler slay again: It’s not very often that I find myself cracking up at awards show monologues, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had me consistently laughing through their tight ten-minute opening set from jokingly calling Matt Damon trash to effortlessly rattling off foreign actors names only to trip on Tam Honks (I mean, Tom Hanks). After the brief monologue we mostly saw quick set pieces, whether playing off of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s daughter being named Miss Golden Globes (unfortunate joke implications aside) or drinking from Gold cups while watching Julia Louis-Dreyfuss hop from TV section to film section. Bonus kudos to Amy for taking home the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy series for her work on Parks and Recreation.
From a logistical standpoint the show was a mess: While immensely entertaining, the show from a mechanical perspective was a disaster. Aside from the painfully long walks to the podium (the “hurry up” music could have started on some of the winners while they were walking to the stage), we saw some awkward camera cuts, some poorly executed seven second delays (Jacqueline Bissett’s speech came off on the air as a bunch of silence and an expletive), and a full blown transmission glitch as the show was entering the home stretch. The most glaring glitch in a night full of them was a teleprompter error that forced a stagehand to rush a script on screen while Jonah Hill stood awkwardly waiting for his lines.
Looking ahead to the Oscars: On the movie side the love seemed to be spread around. 12 Years a Slave seemed to underachieve, only scoring one award for it’s seven nominations, but the one award it did win was for best picture – Drama. Dallas Buyer’s Club scooped up a pair of acting awards on the drama side of the ledger. Even fringe contenders such as Gravity, Her, Wolf of Wall Street, and Mandela : Walk to Freedom grabbed an award tonight. The real winner of the night, however, was American Hustle, which scored acting awards for Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence as well as Best Musical or Comedy.
Meanwhile, on the TV side: Tonight was unequivocally Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s coming out party. It managed to take not only best comedy actor in Andy Samberg, but also best comedy – an award that the Emmy’s reserve for Modern Family and Modern Family alone. Meanwhile, Breaking Bad took two of three of its awards on it’s last victory lap including Best Drama and Best Actor in a TV drama (for Bryan Cranston). Behind The Candelabra also scored a couple of Golden Globes, but much like Breaking Bad this was no big surprise considering the love the movie received during last year’s Emmys.
On the Red Carpet Front: Tonight’s red carpet alternated between red and black dresses with plunging necklines and gold and black classy numbers with seemingly minimal variation between the two. That being said, there were a couple of intriguing numbers, including Julia Roberts’ perplexing business shirt under a black dress get up and Drew Barrymore’s flowing rose-petal dress. Tangentially related, I was not a fan of Matt Lauer’s sunglasses during the red carpet segment, as he often seemed like somebody trying to perform a bad blues singer impression.
The Night in Speeches: Our early speeches were dominated by the nerves, whether it was Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Moss awkwardly stammering to lead off the night or Jacqueline Bissett’s half bleeped out speech that didn’t start till the music kicked in. I loved Vince Gilligan’s speech during tonight’s Breaking Bad victory lap in which he called out Aaron to give an unbleeped “Yeah bitch!” (in the event that Paul didn’t win best supporting actor, the last possible award that Breaking Bad could win).
On the presenting end Matt Damon charmed an audience calling back to Fey and Poehler’s opening speech (and being the show’s unofficial punching bag) and Diddy implored a crowd to get drunk which was convenient seeing how it would dovetail into U2’s pretentious yawner. The winner of the night seemed to be Emma Thompson, who gave her presentation carrying her shoes, nursing a martini (that seemed to have comically over-sized olives) and talking about the nuisance of writing a great screenplay.
Diane Keaton’s speech to accept the Cecille B. DeMille lifetime award was simultaneously, bizarre, neurotic and sweet, although it’s killer line got eaten by the censors and it ended on an odd little song. Still, if Woody couldn’t be here to accept it, it felt right for one of his most renowned co-conspirators to accept it in his place. We also got pretty bizarre speeches from Cate Blanchett for Best Actress in a Drama picture (including a joke about prying Judy Garland with barbituates) and Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor (including anecdotes about his mother and his wife making him go out and do stuff).
Finally standing out for it’s reason and sobriety was Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech after winning Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for The Wolf of Wall Street in which he noticed how none of the the nominees in that category were really comedies or musicals. Despite being given the played off rush treatment, DiCaprio used his presentation as an extra bargaining chip in his back pocket in order to finish his list of thank yous.
In summation: I don’t think I could say this any better than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s close at the end of the night – “This is the beautiful mess we hoped it would be”. America’s drunkest dinner party proved to be just that, with it’s long rambling speeches, rosy cheeks, plunging necklines, and sheer confusion.