As soon as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler compared being married to James Cameron with torture and referenced Quentin Tarantino as “the star of all my sexual nightmares,” you knew that the 2013 edition of the Golden Globe Awards was going to be different. Sharp, witty and pointed without attacking their audience, the cohosts succeeded in delivering one clever moment after another, never shirking their duties but actually looking for ways to get more exposure.
Let’s face it, hosting an awards show like this is a pretty easy gig – you do an opening monologue, show up four or five times throughout the three-hour evening to punch things up when they start to lag and you’re done. Yet, you got the impression that Fey and Poehler were begging for more stage time as their bits were packed with one zinger after another. You couldn’t help but wonder what sort of comedic bombs were sacrificed due to time constraints. Equally clever were the women’s insistence on inserting themselves as fake nominees before some of the awards were announced (Fey’s character was up for a role in which she was suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome) or when they were seen canoodling with the likes of George Clooney. All in all, these consummate pros brought a sense of class and decorum to the show that it desperately needed.
As for the winners in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s film categories, there were more than enough upsets to continue to muddle the Oscar race. There were no surprises in the acting categories as Jessica Chastain took home Best Actress in a Drama, Daniel Day-Lewis was named Best Actor in the same category, Hugh Jackman was named Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and Jennifer Lawrence was his counterpart as Best Actress. That Les Miserables won Best Picture in the Musical or Comedy and Anne Hathaway was named Best Supporting Actress was expected as well but the fact that Argo was named Best Picture and Ben Affleck was named Best Director, just as they were at the Critic’s Choice Awards earlier in the week, continues to defy logic.
What does this mean for the Oscars? Hard to say, as neither the critics nor members of the Hollywood Foreign Press vote for them, however with Argo in the spotlight and Affleck becoming an unintentional martyr for having been denied a Best Director nomination by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, it could be argued that the film's picking up momentum. One thing for sure, more than a few Academy members will go back and give Argo another look, perhaps thinking they missed something during their first viewing or reconfirming their initial favorable opinion of it. Either way, the fact that the film that seemed to fade and its maker are now in the winner’s circle takes some wind of the sails of Lincoln, Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook, all of which are now considered the favorites to take home the Best Picture award.
In recent years, the Academy Awards have been an anti-climactic exercise as all of the earlier awards shows had seemingly stole their thunder by already citing the films and performers that would take home the Oscar. If anything, these earlier ceremonies have helped make the Academy Awards relevant this year by doing nothing but providing a muddied look at the film field. With six other cinema awards ceremonies to take place before the Oscars, among them the Director’s Guild Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards, there’s still time for a clearer picture to emerge before the ceremony takes place on February 24.