Pretty good Golden Globes, am I right? Two great hosts made for a hot room. There were some surprise wins, which is always a plus, and a handful of moments we'll be talking about for a while. And, of course, everyone's going to be reading the HFPA's tea leaves to see what can be gleaned about the Oscar race. So here goes: the Top 5 Moments of the night, plus the Top 5 takeaways that we might be able to apply to the Academy Awards.
TOP FIVE MOMENTS
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
As most of us predicted, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did a stellar job as co-hosts. The Golden Globes don't really need hosts, and for years and years they never had one, but if NBC is going to insist, I would much rather have Tina and Amy's playful antics than Ricky Gervais's persistent knife-twisting. The former "Weekend Update" co-hosts nailed one zinger after another in their opening monologue (dialogue?), including absolutely slaying the room with a joke about torture, Kathryn Bigelow, and James Cameron. That broke the ice in a major way, not the least of which because the room seemed a little bit unsure how they were supposed to respond to "Zero Dark Thirty" and its various hot-button issues. For joke of the night? Faux-drunkenly faux-thanking Lena Dunham for beating them. "I'm glad we got you through middle school."
Jodie Foster Comes Out Her Way
There was just a LOT going on in Jodie's acceptance of her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime-achievement award. After a charmingly motormouthed and scattershot series of thank-yous and observations about her age and place in Hollywood, Foster ramped up to an announcement that many people have been waiting for for years: a public coming out. In the same moment, Foster gave it to us -- indignantly, and with a sense of resentment that she had to do it at all. And yet...it was her choice to do so. You got the sense that Foster really thought this might be the last time she'd be given a podium from which to speak to the world, and even in that moment she was ambivalent about opening up her personal life (she also managed to make the first public acknowledgment that she and her longtime partner had separated). In all its complexity, it was a wonderfully human moment from a celebrity who has fought hard from a very young age to keep her own humanity close to her. On a personal level, as a Jodie Foster fan for many years, and as someone who thinks that every public coming out is vital and necessary, however ambivalent the moment was, I was so happy to have witnessed it.
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell Get Unfamiliar
The presentation of Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy turned into the best "Garth & Kat" sketch of all time, with the "SNL" alums riffing their way through the nominated actresses, vamping like crazy because who's ever heard of this "Mariel Streep" anyway? It's obviously the best I've liked Will Ferrell in years. The flu that kept Meryl Streep away from the Globes is already my most despised entity of 2013, but now even moreso because it robbed us all of the priceless reaction shot we might have gotten to this bit.
He may have been denied an Oscar nomination, but Ben Affleck emerged as the man of the hour on Globes night. Winning Best Director and delivering a charming speech that resisted the temptation to play into the "Poor Me" narrative that's already forming around him. He even managed to get away with sending his wife out to thank George Clooney and Grant Heslov after he forgot. All the better for Jennifer Garner fans, too, as the more memorable moments for her, the better.
Anne Hathaway's Time Has Come
Everybody knew the speech would be coming, and if you've been paying attention, you know the wave of backlash against her is strong. But with an extended shout-out to Sally Field's trailblazing career, Hathaway pretty much nailed her speech and kept her tendency towards "actressy" business to a minimum. True, you couldn't say the same about her addendum delivered at the top of the "Les Mis" Best Picture win, but that can be one to grow on.
(Also: Bonus Best Moment, TV-wise to Lena Dunham's pair of speeches, which were so charming and refreshingly genuine. Any woman who can reference thanking Chad Lowe is a woman after my own awards-loving heart.)
TOP FIVE TAKEAWAYS
ArGo Vote for Us
Well! After seemingly losing a whole bunch of momentum on Thursday morning, "Argo" sure has come roaring back, with Best Picture and Best Director wins at the Critics Choice Awards and now at the far more prestigious Golden Globes. So...does this mean "Argo" is back in position to make a run at "Lincoln" and Best Picture? Well...maybe. It's important to remember that in the last ten years, the Globes haven't had a great track record at matching up with Oscar, at least in Best Picture. Only twice since 2004 has the Oscar winner for Best Picture also been the Globe winner. Similarly, the Globe winner for Best Director has lost the Oscar four out of the last five years (five of six, now, as Affleck can't win Oscar). But...you saw the reaction of the room to Affleck, right? You were reminded that George Clooney is a producer, right? Affleck's Best Director snub has a chance to be a pivot point for an underdog campaign that could really find some traction. You'll be hearing it a lot in the next five weeks: no film has won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination since "Driving Miss Daisy." But with the weird shake-up in the voting schedule this year, this could be the anomaly we've been waiting for.
Jessica v. Jennifer
With both frontrunners for the Best Actress Oscar sure to take home Globes in separate categories tonight, I was very much looking to see if either Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain might be able to tilt the scales on the strength of a killer speech. No such luck, as both women delivered classy, endearing speeches. Maaaaaybe Lawrence was a smidge more memorable in pivoting from comedic (thanking Harvey Weinstein for killing who he needed to kill to get her up there) to heartfelt, back to comedic again (thanking her mean brothers). But I think we're in for a race to the very end.
Take This Waltz
So I guess we have a frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor? The Globe winner is in no way an iron-clad lock for the Oscar (ask Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, or Clive Owen), but up until now, the entire category was so lacking in narrative that at the very least Waltz’s Globe win is something tangible. I expected DiCaprio to win and keep the category inscrutable at least until SAG, but it was his “Django” co-star who stepped to the front of the line.
More good news for "Django," as Tarantino scored an upset victory over Tony Kushner and "Lincoln." Tarantino won't have Kushner to worry about in the Original Screenplay category at the Oscars, but the win tonight sure gives Mark Boal and "Zero Dark Thirty" reason to be concerned. As for Kushner, his defeat here is probably going to be spun as a reason for "Lincoln" supporters to be concerned, but I honestly can't see him losing Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Once again, they were phenomenal. Maybe the takeaway is that Oscar producers should not give up on their years-long quest to get Fey to host. Sweeten the deal with Poehler and maybe next year they can get to the work of making us forget about Seth MacFarlane.