It has come around again, fair readers: that endless season of celebrity self-congratulation known as “Awards Season,” wherein the more plebian of us take to our couches with cold gin and sharp criticism to view a seemingly endless parade of beautiful people who were lucky enough to possess so few life skills they ended up in entertainment.
Sunday night was the Golden Globes, a fête put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press, whose taste in movies is speculative, but whose decision to provide free alcohol to rich entertainers and then force them to give thirty-second speeches on a stage in front of millions was flawless. As usual, this event drew more than its fair share of A-listers, expecting to be honored for their vast contributions to humanity, and dressed to the nines in very expensive clothing made, apparently, by blind cats. There were several trends on the Red Carpet, the first of which was “Starfleet Academy Prom,” a look sported by the likes of Kate Hudson, Rosamund Pike and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as by E! News host Giuliana Rancic, who had the unfortunate luck of snagging a dress with a chest cutout that looked suspiciously like a male body part. There was also the “chain maille” look, embraced by Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore, the “Unfortunate Bohemian Thrift Store Shopper” theme seen on Sienna Miller and Claire Danes (who looked like she was attacked coming out of the limo by a group of small but aggressive birds), and “Red Carpet Red,” which happens every year, except that this year, it happend to Lena Dunham, who would have looked better had she shown up to the event in her Rock the Vote nude bodysuit and actually rolled in the Red Carpet. There were also celebrities who bucked the trend: Keira Knightley showed up in a Chanel that might have started life as a Bonpoint childrens romper circa 1986, and Jennifer Lopez showed up in the sparkly caped caftan that I’m sure she wears while she downs whiskey sours on her front porch, dreams of the good old days, and sexually harasses the UPS delivery man.
The event itself began with a humorous monologue by perennial favorites Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who jabbed at the front row and brought the show to an immediate screeching halt with a couple of uncomfortable Bill Cosby sexual assault jokes, which Lena Dunham found so hilarious she clapped wildly, if possibly at her own lack of self-awareness and irony.
The awards themselves proved to defy speculation, as the Girls writer and director lost her Best Actress trophy to the sweet, charming and as-utterly-unlike-Girls-as-possible star of Jane the Virgin, which explores the life of a young Catholic and Hispanic girl who pledges to wait until marriage to have sex, but gets artifically inseminated in an OB/GYN office mixup. Downton Abbey‘s adorable lady’s maid Anna won for her role in the series, and TransParent and The Affair won for best television comedy and drama, respectively. If you’ve never seen either of those shows, you’re not alone. Aside from the Hollywood Foreign Press, as far as anyone was concerned the closest either show came to a television breakthrough was the TransParent creator’s suit, whose pattern was clearly picking up satellite signals.
In the movie category, Julianne Moore picked up a Best Actress Globe for her role in Being Alice, which you only saw if you’re a self-loathing denizen of art house theaters, and Michael Keaton picked up a Best Actor trophy for his part in the motion picture Birdman. He also won an unofficial award for best acceptance speech of the night, as he chose to use his brief remarks to honor people who were meaningful to his life, and not a bunch of people he paid to negotiate his contracts and do his makeup.
Eddie Redmayne picked up a Best Actor award for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and the rest of the awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, were swept up by the cast of Boyhood, who could use the trophies to console themselves as they now have to find something else to do with their summers other than making the same movie over and over again for twelve years. The Grand Budapest Hotel picked up a Best Picture honor as well; Wes Anderson celebrated, no doubt, by downing at least four craft cocktails in mason jars and drunkenly riding his Penny-Farthing down Hollywood Boulevard.
There were other significant moments to the show, of course. The head of the Hollywood Foreign Press, Theo Kingma, received a standing ovation for his declaration that the Golden Globes and all who attended it would stand firm against attacks against free speech in Paris and North Korea, at least until it is required that they actually do something. George Clooney received a lifetime achievement award for his body of work, which mostly consists of him staring either mournfully or evocatively just to the right of a camera. He took an opportunity in his speech to thank his wife, who has a much larger body of work to account for, including finding a real job, for including “marrying a celebrity” on her bucket list. She responded by removing the gloves she’d worn all night to keep from accidentally touching anyone without a Cayman Islands bank account.
In all, I’d call the event a smashing success, and a rousing kickoff to several months events of an almost identical nature. I will be sure to stock up on sweat pants and Bloody Mary mix in order to effectively cover them for you, as always.