2014 Golden Globes Recap: Highlights And Surprises

Above: Memorable moments from the 2014 Golden Globe Awards

If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to the Golden Globes, it’s that you can’t count on anything.

First, TV: Eschewing many established shows in favour of celebrating several series in their first seasons, this year’s Golden Globes spent much of their very entertaining three-hour show turning small screen underdogs into heroes.

It was scandalous to argue that anyone—even Robin Wright, whose performance in House of Cards was excellent—could beat out Scandal’s Kerry Washington for Best Actress in a TV Drama. If anyone had a chance to take the trophy for Best Supporting TV Actor away from Aaron Paul, it certainly couldn’t be Jon Voight, right? Happened.

The team behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine—including Best Actor in a TV Comedy Andy Samberg—were just happy to be nominated in their first season. Even co-host Amy Poehler was obviously unprepared to win Best Actress in a TV Comedy after being overlooked the two previous times she’d been nominated for her role on Parks and Recreation.

And how could we forget Jacqueline Bisset, who, after taking the longest route of the evening to the stage, spent about half of her speech in stunned near-silence and absolutely refused to be cut off as she accepted her Golden Globe for Best Supporting TV Actress.

But the Hollywood Foreign Press loves giving recognition to those who don’t expect it, and it sure makes for a much more interesting show.

With Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the show, taking soft but well-placed jabs at George Clooney, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Captain Phillips’ “Tam Honks,” the show couldn’t help but entertain. The best buds are also the best award show hosts around, tenderly ribbing the nominees—an act Ricky Gervais took to unfriendly extremes—while being earnest and self-deprecating. But their best trick is getting others in on the act, whether it’s convincing Bono to give Amy a back rub, getting Julia Louis-Dreyfuss to act like a diva, ordragging on an e-cig while refusing to take a selfie with Reese Witherspoon. They let Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick—as well as their daughter, who served as Miss Golden Globe for the evening—have a little fun with Amy as Randy, Tina’s “adult son from a previous relationship.”

But a night of nothing but surprises would in it’s own way be tedious, if not a little suspicious, so there had to be a few predictable moments. Everyone in the room knew Breaking Bad and its leading man, Bryan Cranston, would win their respective categories. Jared Leto was such a lock to win Best Supporting Film Actor that he sounded like he’d been practicing his speech in the mirror for weeks.

But let it be said that the Hollywood Foreign Press got the predictable ones right. As far as comedies go, American Hustle was the best one nominated. While Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity was so unique and totally immersive that he absolutely deserved to be named Best Director, 12 Years a Slave was still the best dramatic film of the past year. And it was only right to recognize Spike Jonze’s screenplay for Her as the best of 2013.

You could argue that Lupita Nyong’o created a more impactful performance in 12 Years a Slave than Jennifer Lawrence did in American Hustle, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but few would say Lawrence flat-out didn’t deserve to win Best Supporting Film Actress. Likewise, Chiwetel Ejiofor seemed like a lock to win Best Film Actor in a Drama, but Matthew McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club was so remarkable that the whole world suddenly sees him differently—we’re ready to accept the perpetually shirtless laid-back neo-hippie as a super-serious actor.

That’s why the Golden Globes tend to be a little more interesting than the Oscars: the HFPA doesn’t care what’s popular or buzzy, they pick what they want to pick. Plus, just about everyone, especially Emma Thompson, ends up drunk and missing their shoes eventually.

Tags: Golden Globes

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