Golden Globes – A Night of Surprises and Snubs


In a year when many people felt that the Hollywood Foreign Press got it right in terms of their annual nominations, the night of the Golden Globes, Sunday, January 12, was still one that was full of surprises.

Going into the show, two movies stood out, tied with the most nominations, David O. Russell’s American Hustle and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, and since they were separated by different categories–Comedy/Musical and Drama respectively–there didn’t seem like there would be a lot of crossover competition between them. Except for in the supporting categories, which don’t designate by genre.

And that’s where the first semi-surprise took place (but not really) as Jennifer Lawrence from American Hustle beat out 12 Years a Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o–okay maybe that was a bad phrase to use–to win her second Golden Globe in a row for a David O. Russell film. Now that win wasn’t that surprising, because the Hollywood Foreign Press are generally international journalists and they’re known for going with big stars over unknowns and you can’t get much bigger right now than Ms. Lawrence, who is coming off an Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook and starring in the highest-grossing movie of the year The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The unknown Lupita Nyong’o didn’t stand a chance even though she gives a much better performance.

Later in the night, Amy Adams would win the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical–again for American Hustle–over many favorites including Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and even Meryl Streep, and that may have been an even bigger surprise thought it reaffirmed the HFPA’s support for Russell’s movie over others.

But then things started getting weird because other awards one would think would go to American Hustle, specifically screenplay and director, both to David O. Russell, were spread out among other movies like Spike Jonze’s screenplay for Her (Warner Bros.) won in that category, then the well-deserved direction of Alfonso Cuaron for his outer-space thriller Gravity (Warner Bros.) allowed him to win Best Director.

And as far as the other comedy nomination for American Hustle, Christian Bale’s leading role in the film, that ended up being ignored in favor of Leonardo DiCaprio’s controversial performance as Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall, which was fine since he was at the Globes to present a later award anyway.

American Hustle did end up ultimately winning in the Best Picture ? Musical or Comedy category and it fared better than its dramatic competition 12 Years a Slave, but those couple of omissions did make one wonder about the movie’s strength going into the rest of awards season.

One of the nicer surprises of the night was seeing both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto win their respective categories of Actor in a Drama and Supporting Actor for their body-changing performances in Dallas Buyers Club, a movie that wasn’t even nominated in the Best Picture Drama category! But they basically edged out both nominees from American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave, who were represented in both categories.

Some of the other “shockers,” if you will, took place in the musical categories which didn’t seem particularly competitive this year and yet, the original score most thought would win with ease didn’t and one of the favorite movie songs of the year was snubbed entirely.

Winning the Original Score category was Alex Ebert’s music for JC Chandor’s All is Lost (Roadside Attractions), a beautiful score mind you, but not one that seemed to be on many radars, unlike Steven Price’s score for Gravity.

More surprising was that original song, which most assumed would go to “Let It Go” from the Animated Feature winner Frozen, a song everyone absolutely loves from that hit movie. Nope, instead it went to the U2 song “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Company). Who knows if they won that honor just because the HFPA knew that the whole band was going to be at the awards show or because of Mandela’s recent passing or because it was the first new U2 song in many years or what, but it was rather amusing when Bono thanked Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who actually had his own horse in the race with “Atlas” from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Probably one of the biggest shockers of the night didn’t even involve an award as much as a presenter when Emma Thompson came out to present Best Screenplay, holding her shoes in one hand and a martini in the other. Was she drunk? Probably, and she was quoted as saying “Martinis get me through boring awards shows.”

Although Johnny Depp was not nominated for anything this year–and normally he is nominated for something in the Comedy/Musical category–he did in fact show up at the last minute to present Best Picture Drama to Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which was the first and only win for the dramatic film about slavery received despite receiving just as many Golden Globe nominations as American Hustle.

So what happened there? Did the Hollywood Foreign Press like the movie? Obviously enough to give it its top honor, but one has to imagine that the movie is losing a little bit of steam going into the last months before Oscar night if none of the actors who all give great performances or John Ridley’s screenplay are worthy of a Golden Globe.

While I don’t really follow the TV categories too much, it certainly must have been a huge surprise for Andy Samberg to win Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for the new FOX show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” as well as that winning for Comedy/Musical, since it seemed like such a low-key release compared to some of the other shows released this past fall. But you know what? Good for him. He took a simple police comedy premise and turned it into a show that people enjoy, although one can’t help remembering when “Arrested Development” won that same prestigious award back in its heyday and was soon cancelled and off the air.

That’s it for now. Look for our recap and assessment of the Oscar nominations once they’re announced on Thursday morning, January 16, and we’ll probably have a couple more of these things leading up to Oscar night on March 2.

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