...was actually kinda fun. I enjoyed it. What a total surprise.
After years of filling its role as the "Hollywood Drunken Fun Night," and especially after last year's strike-induced "News Conference" bit of ridiculousness, the powers-that-be were obviously aware that the Golden Globes were in need of a major recharge as they re-entered the public consciousness.
The result? A quieter gathering (in spite of the post-commercial audience rustling). More focus on the work and less focus on overt showmanship. Smart choices in nearly all categories. A handful of fabulous, uninterrupted acceptance speeches. And one of the most satisfying Globes shows in years. Well done, HFPA...much as I hate to say that.
I frequently try to quell the notion that the Golden Globes directly influence the Oscars, but in this, the most abbreviated awards season ever (thank you, awards season powers-that-be), and the most wide open, the Globes may well help solidify--if not define--some of the trends we've already begun to see transpire...
Slumdog Millionaire won big again...no surprise. It has gone from being the odds-on favorite to the clear favorite, now with the potential to sweep the Oscars in a number of categories. It is now on the other films in the race (specifically Ben Button and Frost/Nixon, and to a lesser degree Milk) to start pushing if they want to stay in the race. But Slumdog has passion on its side, and a very Obama-esque "righteous wind at its back."
Kate Winslet was a double-winner, for actress and supporting actress. The liklihood of repeating that feat on February 22 is very slim, but not outside of the realm of possibility for the first time ever. She is spectacular in everything, and has never won anything. The Academy wants to give her an Oscar...and she may wind up with two in one year.
Ledger was posthumously honored again...and I hope when the Academy does the same, they will provide a better clip montage than the one the Globes used.
Sally Hawkins gave one of the most genuine acceptance speeches I've ever witnessed. She may have locked her Oscar nomination with that one. In addition, Kate Winslet gave tremendously beautiful and gracious speeches for her wins. Colin Farrell was honest and humble and great.
Mickey Rourke won, which certainly gives him a tremendous push going forward, after he had fallen a bit behind Sean Penn. He also said "balls" a lot, which is incentive enough for the Academy to award him--his on-stage acceptance speech will be as entertaining as his on-screen performance was powerful.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona won in the musical/comedy category, which was a surprise given the clear love in the room for In Bruges. There is obviously still a little brown-nosing of legends (in this case, Woody Allen) left in the HFPA.
Oscar nominations are just over a week away, and the Globes will have more influence this year than any before...and any in the future. But that may have to do with riding the waves that have obvious been building. Slumdog will win. Danny Boyle will win Best Director. Simon Beaufoy will win Best Adapted Screenplay. There may be one or two other awards thrown in to give Slumdog the mini-sweep. Why? Because It Is Destiny. It Is Written.
Kate Winslet will win something...which category she will win, and how many she will win, is still anyone's guess.
It's Rourke versus Penn for Best Actor...give the edge to Rourke for now, but that could change...and a split vote could trigger a surprise in the order of Frank Langella.
Adjusted Oscar Charts are on the way...plus, more movies for godssakes...Gran Torino, The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road...
Make way for the Top Ten, everyone....