The Golden Globes Awards “are just like the Oscars but without all that esteem,” host Ricky Gervais said during last night’s Golden Globes telecast, his third stint hosting the annual show. The ceremony—featuring awards handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press—includes some nice surprises as well as great disappointments.
Here’s a look at the big winners and losers of the evening.
Winners: The Artist and The Descendants
Both films are likely to be major Oscar contenders, and both left the Globes with renewed momentum. The Artist collected awards for best comedy or musical, best actor (Jean Dujardin) and best score. Meanwhile, The Descendants collected two awards: best actor in a drama (George Clooney) and best drama. Their wins likely foreshadow their future success at the Academy Awards and could lead to more moviegoers checking out these two smaller films.
Losers: Moneyball and The Ides of March
Despite the fact that it was nominated for four awards, Moneyball walked home with zero awards. Even Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Stan Chervin didn’t win for their brilliant screenplay. Woody Allen took home the award for best screenplay for his wonderful comedy, Midnight in Paris. The Ides of March, the political thriller directed and co-written by George Clooney, also went 0-4 during the evening but Clooney didn’t leave the show empty-handed (see winners).
Winner: Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
Michelle Williams took home the award for best actress in a comedy or musical for her wonderful performance in My Week with Marilyn. Williams, who deserves an Oscar for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, gave an excellent and heartfelt acceptance speech. She thanked her family and noted that she considers herself “a mother first and an actress second.” She also showed her distinct humility by talking about how thankful she was that the Hollywood foreign press put in “my hands the same award that Marilyn Monroe won” more than 50 years earlier.
Loser: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Yes, Streep walked out with the award for best actress in a drama for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but her speech was a mess. For some of it, her words were bleeped out and the other parts weren’t much better as she attempted to name all of the other nominees in her category. Plus, conservatives were outraged on Twitter afterwards because Streep didn’t thank the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. Streep did, however, thank the people of England who “let me tramp all over their history,” an odd note to strike when talking about portraying their nation’s former prime minister.
Award Show Humor
Winner: Ricky Gervais
One of the most controversial aspects of the Golden Globes was its host. Many predicted he would make a lot of jokes at the expense of the Hollywood stars and starlets in the audience. With celebrities prepared for it this time, the room seemed more comfortable with Gervais’ act and he made a few great pointed jokes about the Globes and the network they aired on. He followed that up by making another joke about Johnny Depp’s film, The Tourist. He asked Depp himself if the actor had seen the film, one of the funniest moments of the evening. Depp admitted that he hadn’t.
Loser: Seth Rogen
Rogen, whose film 50/50 garnered two nominations, was one of the presenters at the Golden Globes. Having earned more credibility as a serious actor for his performance in that film, he could have used this opportunity to present himself as a mature actor willing to walk away from his sophomoric past. Instead, he used his turn at the mic to make a lackluster joke about being sexually aroused standing next to Kate Beckinsale.
A few other winners and losers made the night worth watching. The new Showtime series Homeland was a huge winner, taking home awards for best drama and best actress in a drama (Claire Danes). Also, Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer were big winners as well, taking home the awards for best supporting actor and actress for their work in Beginners and The Help. In a surprise win, Oscar winner Martin Scorsese took home the award for best director for Hugo. Conservative actor Kelsey Grammer also emerged as a big winner, taking home the award for best actor in a drama for his work on the Starz drama Boss.
However, the ceremony’s highlight for me might have been Morgan Freeman taking home the Cecil B. Demille Award. Speaking eloquently about his career and graciously about presenters Helen Mirren and Sidney Poitier, Freeman was a class act.
It’s not often that an actor is so impressive when he doesn’t have a script, but Freeman seemed genuine and gracious in accepting the award. Watching him speak was the best part of a satisfying but sometimes underwhelming– I still wish Albert Brooks had won for Drive– Golden Globes ceremony.