Last night’s Golden Globe Awards marked the first major event of awards season 2011, and for the most part, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association actually got the winners right this year. The Golden Globes have become less and less reliable at predicting Oscar winners over the years given their affinity for nominating lackluster movies that will guarantee the appearance of big stars (i.e. “Burlesque,” “The Tourist”). But this year, it was the predictable yet deserving nominees that took home the Golden Globes trophies.
Check back later this week for my more in-depth look at the ceremony’s best and worst moments, but for now, here are a few key highlights:
“The Social Network” soars – With four wins — best score, best screenplay, best director and best picture – the Golden Globes clearly love “The Social Network” as much as everyone else. It’s picked up a slew of critical awards, and now the film’s Globes win cements its place as a true Oscar frontrunner. This portrait of evolving communication in the Internet generation as told through the story of the founding of Facebook is, in this writer’s opinion, the best film of the year by far. Despite my constant critiques of the Golden Globes, I’m glad the Hollywood Foreign Press gave it the recognition it deserves.
The Globes pull off a few surprises – Sure, most of the winners were predictable. It’s safe to say most people expected wins for Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. But Paul Giamatti pulling off a best actor in a comedy win for “Barney’s Version” against the twice-nominated Johnny Depp and Katey Sagal walking away with the best actress in a dramatic TV series prize for “Sons of Anarchy” were welcome surprises to mix up the broadcast.
Charming speeches – Some of the winners gave fairly cookie-cutter speeches, but the third-hour winners in particular added some life to the broadcast as the ceremony was growing tired. Natalie Portman’s sweet remarks about her parents, her fiancé and her shout-out to Mila “Sweet Lips” Kunis and Colin Firth’s declaration that working with “The King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper and co-star Geoffrey Rush was “a robust triangle of man-love” were particularly strong.
The HFPA recognizes the brilliance of “Boardwalk Empire” – With wins for best TV drama and best actor for Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” is off to a strong awards start following a superb first season on HBO. It’s one of the most original and well-acted shows on television, and while I was personally pulling for “The Walking Dead” for the best TV drama win, “Boardwalk Empire” deserves all the recognition it received.
The HFPA has a little too much love for “Glee” – Jane Lynch is one of the funniest actresses working today and absolutely deserved her best supporting actress award for her work on “Glee.” And even though I was rooting for “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet or “Temple Grandin’s” David Strathairn for best supporting actor, I was happy for Chris Colfer. He seemed genuinely shocked at his win, and his character – an openly gay student who transfers to a private school when bullying at McKinley High gets out of control – is the main reason I’ve kept watching the show this year in an otherwise underwhelming season. But giving the show the best TV comedy prize when the superb “Modern Family” has been far superior this year in every way is just wrong.
Ricky Gervais was a solid host – Last year, I wasn’t a huge fan of Gervais’ hosting style. Normally I think he’s hilarious, but his penchant for heckling is better in small doses. Overall though, he was on more than he was off this year. His opening monologue in particular was great, especially when he poked fun at the awards show itself for nominating certain films based on star power.
The complete list of winners is as follows:
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie – Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama – Katey Sagal, “Sons of Anarchy”
Best Mini-Series or Made for TV Movie – “Carlos”
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Mini-Series or Made for TV Movie – Chris Colfer, “Glee”
Best Actor in TV Series, Drama – Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Best TV Series, Drama – “Boardwalk Empire”
Best Original Song – “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” “Burlesque”
Best Original Score – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”
Best Actress in a Movie, Comedy or Musical – Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Animated Movie – “Toy Story 3”
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Made for TV Movie – Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack”
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Made for TV Movie – Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin”
Best Screenplay – Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or Made for TV Movie – Jane Lynch, “Glee”
Best Foreign Language Film – “In a Better World” (Denmark)
Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy – Laura Linney, “The Big C”
Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy – Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie – Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Cecil B. DeMille Award – Robert DeNiro
Best Director – David Fincher, “The Social Network”
TV Series, Comedy – “Glee”
Best Actor in a Movie, Comedy or Musical – Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”
Best Actress in a Movie, Drama – Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Picture, Comedy or Musical – “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Actor in a Movie, Drama – Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Picture, Drama – “The Social Network”
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Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.