There was plenty of Glee in Hollywood where the TV show about a song-filled high school walked away with all the TV comedy awards at the Golden Globes – the first major awards ceremony of the year.
The British comedian and creator of The Office, Ricky Gervais, hosted an evening of glitz and glamour for a second successive year, opening with a nod to the increasing number of 3D films, and suggesting that the only film of the past year without 3D characters was The Tourist. This raised the question of how the film got three nominations – was it because the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just wanted to spend the evening with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp? It certainly couldn’t be the fabled bribes, he suggested, because who would see tickets to a Cher concert as a bribe? “It’s not 1975,” he quipped.
After Gervais had started digging his comedic claws into more of Hollywood’s favorites, the evening launched with Christian Bale taking the Best Supporting Actor trophy for playing the drug-addicted brother of boxing champion Micky Ward in The Fighter. The film also picked up the prize for best supporting actress; Melissa Leo played the mother of the pair.
The top acting prizes went to Colin Firth for playing King George VI in the drama The King’s Speech, Natalie Portman for the ballet drama Black Swan, Paul Giamatti for the comedy Barney’s Version and Annette Bening for the lesbian comedy The Kids Are All Right, which also took the prize for best comedy. Best Drama went to The Social Network, which also took the prizes for best director, for David Fincher. Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for the same film also won him a Golden Globe. And the film picked up the best score, for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
The HFPA’s annual awards ceremony also honors the best achievement in television, where, as in the film categories, the main prizes are handed separately to dramas and comedies. Katey Segal’s performance in Sons of Anarchy earned her the best actress award for drama. Steve Buscemi took the best acting award for Boardwalk Empire, which also won best TV drama. Glee took the prize for Best Comedy series, as well as best supporting actor in a comedy, for Chris Colfer, and Jane Lynch was the best supporting actress for the same show.
The best actress in a comedy series was Laura Linney, the star of The Big C. And Jim Parsons, from Big Bang Theory, was awarded the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV comedy.
Bridging the gap between television and films are categories for mini series and TV movies. Olivier Assayas’ biopic of the terrorist Carlos the Jackal, Carlos, won the main prize in this category, with Al Pacino taking the Golden Globe for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for playing another real-life character, the euthanasia doctor Jack Kevorkian, in the TV movie You Don’t Know Jack. The best actress in this category went to Claire Danes for her portrayal of another real person, the Autistic Author-scientist Temple Grandin.
Other awards included Toy Story 3 for Best Animated Feature, the Danish film In A Better World took Best Foreign Language Film, Cher’s song You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me was Best Song, for Burlesque.
The highest point of the ceremony, however, was when Robert De Niro got up on the stage to receive his Cecil B. Demille award from Matt Damon, who said that he hadn’t heard of De Niro before he was recruited to work with him on The Good Shepherd.
The audience was treated to a three-minute montage of his best work. Subsequently, De Niro joked that this montage made him look as if he had made nothing but hits.
In their speeches, tonight’s winners expressed their gratitude to their collaborators and to The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for recognizing their work and their talent.
The Golden Globe Awards, which are considered by many in the industry as significant indicators for next month’s Oscars, are voted for by the 85 HFPA members, who also organise the ceremony and co-produce the show with Dick Clark Productions. More than 19 million tuned in to watch the show last year on NBC, and many expect the number to be even higher this year.
The Golden Globe Awards ceremony is the biggest and most glamorous event in the Hollywood calendar. Earlier, more than 200 stars from Hollywood and beyond marched along the red carpet, dressed in their finest gowns and dripping with diamond and other jewellery, as they were showered by camera flashes and their names were shouted by screaming fans.
Surrounded by so many of their peers, the stars seemed to be at ease, loitering around the ballroom or sipping drinks in the outdoor bar and chatting with colleagues and friends. In fact, the Golden Globes ceremony is one of those rare events where one bumps into stars more than into mortals. You become so used to it that I didn’t raise an eyebrow when I saw Robert De Niro in the mirror waiting behind me to wash his hands in the restroom.
Right after the ceremony, six parties, held by different studios, kick off in different venues inside the Beverly Hilton hotel, honoring their nominees and tonight’s winners.
The ceremony is over but the party has just begun. The Golden Globes event is undoubtedly the best party in town.