Despite being around for 72 years, the Golden Globe Awards have been and likely always will be the redheaded stepchild of awards season. They’re rarely a harbinger for awards to come, mostly because they’re voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association instead of industry professionals, and because they do things like shoehorn Birdman into the Best Comedy/Musical category.
But they’re usually the most entertaining of the awards shows, because the stars have no reservations about guzzling multiple drinks, leading to some truly delightful moments. Returning as co-hosts for the third and last time were Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two former Saturday Night Live cast members whose bond only seems to grow stronger as the years go along.
The co-hosts were not as biting with their quips as they have been the past two years, but they still got off a few great zingers. On Patricia Arquette’s nominated role in Boyhood, which she shot over 12 years, they noted that this proves there are still great roles for women over 40, as long as they’re hired before they turn 40.
And they went after George Clooney yet again, pointing out that his wife, Amal Alamuddin, has accomplished a tremendous amount in her non-Hollywood career, yet it was Clooney who received the lifetime achievement award.
But they reserved their most shocking jokes for Bill Cosby — no surprise given Fey’s history at jabbing the comedian for the rape allegations against him. No recap does their jokes justice, so here’s the video instead:
However, once they got past the opening monologue, Fey and Poehler turned relatively tame, and the usually raucous awards show seemed to follow suit. There was not one boozy presenter or award winner, save for the reliably naughty Ricky Gervais, although even he seemed to censor himself.
That doesn’t mean the night was devoid of memorable moments. Among ones worth remembering:
- A standing ovation for, of all people, HFPA president Theo Kingman after he proclaimed the HFPA’s support of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
- Rapper Common, who co-starred in Selma, gave an eloquent speech honoring the civil rights fight that continues to this day.
- Two other SNL alums, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, who co-starred in The Skeleton Twins, were as funny as always when they presented the award for best screenplay.
- Kevin Spacey, who had been nominated seven previous times before winning this year for his role on House of Cards, tested the censors with the line, “This is the eighth time I’ve been nominated. I can’t believe I f---ing won one.”
- Michael Keaton delivered the most personal speech of the night after winning Best Actor, Comedy/Musical for Birdman, revealing intimate personal details. In paying tribute to his parents and his upbringing, he said his name is really Michael John Douglas, a fact many were sure not to know. He also had the line of the night while choking back tears: “My best friend is kind, intelligent, funny, talented, considerate, thoughtful … did I say kind? He also happens to be my son, Sean.” Keaton may or may not get to deliver another speech this awards season, so it was a pleasure getting a peek inside his soul, if only for a minute or two.
Boyhood was the big winner of the night, taking home three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Arquette, Best Director for Richard Linklater and Best Picture, Drama. Birdman seemed destined for a similar trio of awards after winning for Best Screenplay and Best Actor, but The Grand Budapest Hotel, from Texan Wes Anderson, surprisingly won for Best Picture, Comedy/Musical.
Other winners on the movie side included J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash; Amy Adams for Best Actress, Comedy/Musical for Big Eyes; Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor, Drama in The Theory of Everything; and Julianne Moore for Best Actress, Drama in Still Alice.
On the television side, the Amazon series Transparent made a splash by winning Best Comedy/Musical and Best Actor for Jeffrey Tambor. Showtime’s The Affair won for Best Drama, and Ruth Wilson was honored as Best Actress.
On a local note, Second Thought Theatre alum Allison Tolman, who was nominated for her role in Fargo, was front and center when the series won for Best TV Movie/Mini-Series.