There’s no question the Globes is genuinely a great party; there’s nothing else quite like it. But in this ultra-competitive year, the way they came down Sunday night — spreading the love all over the map — the Globes has done little to clarify an increasingly confusing contest. Best Director presenter Ben Affleck told me he thinks the race will really start to take shape when the guilds start handing out trinkets next weekend, particularly the Producers Guild. I think he’s right. But right now, we have the Globes, so let’s deal with the ramifications:
With major awards distributed to a wide group of movies including three for the night’s big winner, American Hustle, two for Dallas Buyers Club, and one each for Blue Jasmine, The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Great Beauty, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Her, All Is Lost and Frozen, not much can be said about any definitive trend lines from this one. There was a different movie winning Picture (American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave), Director (Gravity) and Screenplay (Her), and that really shows how divided voters are about this year’s impressive lineup of movies. Everyone has a favorite, but there’s no consensus. That was the conclusion I came to in talking to Globe voters over the weekend and it was borne out by the results of their show.
Certainly American Hustle continued to gain momentum with its Best Picture – Comedy or Musical win, the least surprising award of the night in my opinion. Critics favorite 12 Years A Slave saved face just when it counted the most by not getting completely shut out of its seven nominations and winning its one and only award at the very end for Best Motion Picture – Drama — just when it seemed all was really lost for this one at the Globes. It doesn’t matter that it was the only category it was able to cash-out in, because it was the one that counted and now Fox Searchlight can take out ads blasting “Golden Globe Best Picture Winner” all over the top of them. Now that’s golden. When I caught up with 20th chairman Jim Gianopulos after the show at the Fox party, he was clearly on a high. “We came in on the 14-yard line and took it home,” he said, knowing the Best Picture title is all that matters. Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley was also clearly relieved after watching the critically acclaimed picture go 0-for-6 all evening only to come in and win the big one. Now, the studio’s only task will be convincing those reticent Academy members to actually watch the film once it gets a gaggle of nominations on Thursday. The Globes win will help in that cause. There is still a significant number of Oscar voters who don’t seem to want to put themselves through the experience, thinking it might be too brutal. Let’s hope this gives them impetus to put the screener in the DVD player.
Dallas Buyers Club also helped its cause at these Globes by cashing in on both its nominations: major ones for Best Actor – Drama Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto. This sets both up nicely for the Oscars in extremely competitive categories and even continues to boost McConaughey’s chances, perhaps moving him into frontrunner status. The other Best Actor winner, for Comedy or Musical, Leonardo DiCaprio, is also helped enormously by his win. I had heard the Hollywood Foreign Press didn’t love Wolf Of Wall Street, but the DiCaprio win says otherwise and would seem to indicate we haven’t heard the last of Leo this season. I certainly hope not since this is arguably DiCaprio’s role of a lifetime. He deserves it, and an Oscar snub would be unacceptable. Only problem is at least two worthy Best Actor contenders are going to get snubbed no matter what happens. It is just too dense a race. I caught up with a very happy DiCaprio afterwards at the Weinstein party (there was a heavy Paramount contingent there) as he sat with friend Bradley Cooper. He was clearly over the moon about it after 10 nominations and only one win.
Jennifer Lawrence‘s Supporting victory for Hustle was expected and it is becoming more possible she could become a back-to-back Oscar winner at age 23. Wow. And Amy Adams‘ victory for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical over the likes of her Doubt co-star Meryl Streep might also mean she edges out that 17-time nominee and three-time winner for the fifth slot in the Best Actress Oscar race on Thursday. After getting shut out at BAFTA last week and now losing at the Globes, Streep is becoming vulnerable, something thought impossible just a few weeks ago. We’ll soon see. Alfonso Cuaron‘s Directing victory for Gravity figures, and even Spike Jonze‘s Her triumph for Screenplay makes some sense. At the Oscars, there are two screenplay categories so Jonze could find himself in good shape there, too. And as animated film, Frozen, with a Globe in hand, looks like the one to beat there.
It was nice to see U2 pick up the best song prize for Mandela’s “Ordinary Love”, a song with a stunning lyric that genuinely earned this band its second Globe and sets it up nicely for Oscar if the quirky music branch gives it a nomination. When I caught up with Bono on the red carpet before the show, he had lowered expectations. “What do you think is gonna win?,” he asked me. I said he should, but it could be the Disney song from Frozen since that is, well, Disney, and they have a good track record. He said he heard the same thing. “We’re just Irish boys. We don’t get out much. It’s just fun for us,” he said with a good attitude about the whole thing. When I caught up with him later at The Weinstein Company’s lavish after-party, he and the band were clearly thrilled with their Globe. It was as he said, a “personal” win for them considering their relationship with Nelson Mandela, the subject of the song. As for the “big” victory party of the night, that had to be Sony Pictures which grabbed three wins for Hustle and another for Cate Blanchett’s lead performance as Best Actress -Drama in Blue Jasmine from their Sony Pictures Classics division. The studio had a smaller party outside of the Beverly Hilton (where most of the other post parties were going on) at Craig’s Restaurant on Melrose. David O. Russell was partying late eating Chocolate Pizzas to celebrate (even though he lost both his writing and directing noms), Adams was there, the Captain Phillips gang and Sony and Anapurna execs (including Megan Ellison) were obviously in a great mood with new momentum. SPC’s Michael Barker and Tom Bernard were understandably elated by Blanchett’s victory but disappointed their The Past lost Foreign Film to The Great Beauty. Past director Ashgar Farhadi and his star Berenice Bejo took it all well though and seemed to be enjoying the more exclusive party Sony decided to have than the gargantuan after-events at the Hilton thrown by Warners/In Style, Universal-NBC, HBO, AMC, Fox and Weinstein. Many from the Sony party then headed to CAA’s at Sunset Tower.
Related: Golden Globes: Wins By Film & Studio
Still with Oscar ballots in before any of these awards were known, it’s anybody’s guess what the ratio of agreement between the two groups will be. This much I can tell you: The Golden Globes like to bill themselves as the party of the year, and it is truth in advertising. There are few awards shows that are more fun that this one. The champagne flows throughout and the stars seem to be having a genuinely good time in the Hilton Ballroom. It’s smart of the HFPA to keep it in this tight and familiar space even though they could fill a venue twice its size easily with all the ticket requests they have. And that red capet is genuinely impressive. I ran into Robert Redford right smack in the middle of it. “I was here in 1966 as a promising newcomer. I think they weren’t very old then. I actually had no idea who they were,” he recalled about his first encounter with the Hollywood Foreign Press nearly a half century ago (he got that “newcomer” award for Inside Daisy Clover). I was sorry he didn’t get another one Sunday. It would have been a great moment, but the competition is killer.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have this hosting act down to a science. They were terrific and the show had a number of nice moments, but nobody takes it too seriously. That’s how it should be. Now on to the Oscar nominations. At the Weinstein/Netflix after-party, Harvey Weinstein, who is used to winning more than just the one Best Song Globe he took tonight, dismissed the impact of the Globes by flatly telling me the only results he really cares about this year are the ones that will be revealed at the Academy later this week. He’s confident. And if he isn’t, he might want to talk to Chris Hemsworth because among those at the Globes, it was the Thor star who will be helping to announce those nominees on Thursday. “I may just add a few names of my own, ” Hemsworth teased when I asked him if he was excited to be revealing Oscar’s big list.
Now that would be even more interesting that the Golden Globes, don’t you think?