In the awards show canon, the Golden Globes have secured themselves a lofty place just below Oscar. How is it that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which once called Pia Zadora “New Female Star of the Year” for her role in the soft-porny Butterfly, is now arbiter of taste and soothsayer of the Academy Awards?
For that, there is no answer. The Golden Globes at least used to be fun, a place where Jack Nicholson would keep his sunglasses on indoors, beam that shark-grin of his, and all the other celebrities would get hammered and make ribald jokes. Now there isn’t even a hint of sauciness.
The biggest joke of the night came in hosts’ Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s opening laff-fest, as Poehler said of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, “When it comes to torture, I trust a lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”
There was a big gasp from the crowd, presumably of the OMG variety. That gag—which at least was funny, because James Cameron is a taskmaster, lolz!—came at the expense of one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and her marriage that ended more than 20 years ago. Those are some big risks you’re taking, Golden Globes writers. Big risks.
The show this year seemed to be a mild rebuke of the Ricky Gervais-hosted era, when the star was lambasted by his thinner-skinned peers who forgot their shit stinks, too. Who doesn’t like a good Robert-Downey-Jr.-is-a-drunk joke told to millions of people? Robert Downey, Jr., apparently, who this year had to suffer through only a lame gag that he’s so talented he can play Iron Man in three different films. Yuk yuk!
The jokes weren’t all busts. Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig had five good minutes botching the plots of five movies before announcing Jennifer Lawrence (“J-La”) as winner of Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. Lawrence kept it going as she quipped, “What does [my award] say? I beat Meryl!”
Adele was fun as she was unable to control her shock and glee at winning Best Original Song for “Skyfall,” telling the audience she and her friend had been “pissing themselves laughing.” (Note: Taylor Swift did not look pleased at losing the award. Ha.)
But if the Golden Globes truly predict what happens at the Oscars, it’s a mixed bag. Ben Affleck won Best Director for Argo Sunday night, but isn’t nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director. With Argo winning Best Drama (really?) and Les Misérables winning Best Musical or Comedy (ugh), get ready for a really boring Twitter fight as tweens across the world get ready to denounce a possible Argo win over Les Miz.
With all the grousing, though, there is one thing the Golden Globes do that the Academy Awards don’t: They keep moving and they don’t have wretched musical numbers. Maybe they’re better than the Oscars telecast after all.