By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer
“Let’s face it, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without any of that esteem,” host Ricky Gervais said, opening the Golden Globes Sunday night. The awards show, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, honors both film and television.
Gervais returned after a controversial hosting gig last year. Anyone expecting a repeat of last year’s performance might have been disappointed. He was a little tamer this time around and wasn’t exactly the bitingly hilarious host we saw last year. When Madonna turns around one of your jokes and makes it funnier, you know something’s wrong. When Gervais poked fun at her song “Like a Virgin,” she told him to “come over and do something about it.”
The first award of the night, for Best Supporting Actor, went to the legendary Christopher Plummer for the lovely film “Beginners.” Best Supporting Actress went to Octavia Spencer for her wrenching performance in “The Help.”
George Clooney took home the award for Best Actor in a Drama for his exceptional performance in the Alexander Payne-directed “The Descendents.” It wasn’t really a surprise to see Meryl Streep win for her strong performance in “The Iron Lady.” In the race for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, Jean Durjardin won for his inspired and boundless performance in “The Artist,” and Michelle Williams won for her role as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn.”
It was a lovely surprise to see Woody Allen win Best Screenplay for the enchanting “Midnight in Paris,” which is probably one of his best films in a long time. Steven Spielberg accepted the award for Best Animated Feature for his film “The Adventures of Tin Tin.” But it was another legendary director, Martin Scorsese, who won Best Director for “Hugo.” The two big film awards of the night weren’t really surprises. “The Artist” won Best Picture Musical or Comedy, while “The Descendants” won Best Motion Picture Drama.
Television had a pretty good year, so the nominees at this year’s awards were all pretty deserving. Some of the biggest snubs were in the TV categories, though.
I refuse to acknowledge the Best Supporting Actor in a TV show/Mini-series, which was won by Peter Dinklage from “Game of Thrones.” Seriously, no nomination for one of the best actors on TV, Walton Goggins on “Justified?”
Jessica Lange’s deliciously demented character from “American Horror Story” won her the award for Best Supporting Actress. One of the biggest surprises of the night was Kelsey Grammer winning for the rarely seen “Boss” in the Best Actor/Drama category. For many people, Damian Lewis was a lock. His enthralling performance on “Homeland” was one of the high points of TV this year, and Jeremy Irons was a wickedly good Pope on “The Borgias.”
“Homeland’s” win for best TV Series/Drama took away some of the sting of Damian Lewis’ loss, while “Modern Family” won Best TV Series/Comedy. Some of the other big surprises in TV were Matt LeBlanc’s win in the Best Actor for a Comedy Series category for the Showtime show “Episodes,” and Laura Dern for the comedy “Enlightened.”
Idris Elba won for Best Actor in a mini-series for the BBC production “Luther,” while Kate Winslet walked away with the Best Actress award for her beautiful performance in “Mildred Pierce.” The BBC’s stunning drama “Downton Abbey” won for best Mini-Series/TV film.
All in all, this year’s Golden Globes were a mix of surprising wins, shocking snubs and predictable wins.