Jan 14, 2013

Thoughts on the Golden Globes 2013

Whether by accident or cheeky design, the Globes have played out like the Oscars That Weren’t, with the Academy-snubbed Ben Affleck picking up Best Director, and Argo picking up Best Film, while the Oscar-bound Lincoln limped home with its single win for Daniel Day-Lewis. The Globes have always hewed to their own course — but it does drive home how daft it was for them to have neglected Affleck in the Best Director category. They denied themselves their favored David-Vs-Goliath storyline, and gave it to the Globes instead. The HFPA saw their opportunity and pounced. 

It was a good night for Harvey Weinstein whose campaigning for Django Unchained netted two wins (for Tarantino’s script and Christoph Waltz in Supporting Actor), also for Les Miserables (two acting wins, For Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway) and for Austrians (with, in addition to Waltz, Michael Haneke taking home Best Foreign Film). Schwarzenegger’s presence gave it away. Whoever thought the maker of Funny Games would take an award from the auteurs behind The Terminator and Rambo? Waltz's win was the first sign that it was not going to be Spielberg's night. Then Best Score went to Life of Pi’s Mychael Danna. By the time Day-Lewis took the stage there was a palpable sense of relief from the Spielberg camp. He gave the best speech, delivered with his usual hunched humility, and filled with deft word choices —  “I hunt and scavenge and drop it like a mouse at [Rebecca’s] feet” — lovely, “Quicksilver,” “Impoverished” — that lent incisiveness to his bouquets.

Anne Hathaway was as self-lacerating as Jennifer Lawrence was fearless. “I beat Meryl!” she said huskily, collecting her best Comedy/Musical Actress. But for a slight quiver in her voice, she could have been addressing her hair-stylist. “Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today.” Lena Dunham gives a speech just like her show: layer after layer of irony peeling back to reveal little, pink pockets of chubby vulnerability. Costner looked magnificent — new hair? — and sounded mournful. And Affleck kept his ego on the mat, delivering the fastest speech of the evening, as if keen not to offend even the auto-cue, calling his fellow nominees “exceptional talents” and sounding like he meant it.

Is Lincoln wounded? A little. But the Academy have already defanged the Globes big winner. This is a weird race.

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