The Golden Globes offers surprises, laughs and lots of ladies

Oh, hey, anything happen at the Golden Globes last night? Yeah, I know. Nothing much. Just two-time Oscar winner and Hollywood icon Jodie Foster coming out of the closet, in her own oblique and privacy championing way, finally. Yeah, so in case you watched one of the 300 reruns of Law & Order airing simultaneously during the telecast instead, oops.

The 70th annual Golden Globes, long notorious as Hollywood’s biggest party, gave us not only Foster’s historic coming out, but two of the funniest women on TV (if not the universe) as co-hosts and lots of other lovely ladies in pretty frocks. Oh, right, and some people won some stuff.

The night opened with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who had walked arm-in-arm down the red carpet with Fey in a gown and Poehler in a black tailored suit (sans shirt) making them Hollywood’s most attractive prom couple, giving zinger after zinger in a laugh-out-loud opening monologue. Or should we say duologue? Or ladylogue? Nope, not that last one. Erase that. Sounds like they ate too much fiber.

With jaw-dropping – literally – jokes about the douchey James of the world (Cameron and Franco, in particular) the ladies set a blistering pace for funny business. Now that’s how you mix devastating charm with even more devastating slams. A short sampling of some of their best bits:

To Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, Poehler said: “I haven’t been following the controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”

To Anne Hathaway about her Les Miserables performance, Fey said: “I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.”

To Girls creator/actor Lena Dunham, Fey said: “If they’re forcing you to do all that nudity, just tell us. Give us a signal … and we’ll call child services for you.”

And about Meryl Streep being unable to attend because she has the flu, Poehler said: “And I hear she is amazing in it.”

See their entire opening duologue here:

 

Oh, yeah. They were that funny. So funny in fact that their prolonged absences from the stage caused displeasure and anxiety. Like, were they kidnapped at some point by Ricky Gervais for being better, funnier and classier at skewering Hollywood? We want more Tina and Amy and we want it now.

The night’s awards almost seemed an afterthought, almost, as surprises like Foster’s speech and the unexpected, exciting appearance of former President Bill Clinton (that’s Hillary Clinton’s husband, people!) to introduce best dramatic picture nominee Lincoln.

But, fine, if we must, let’s talk about the night’s big winners. In film Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Les Miserables’ Hathaway both gave their practice Oscar speeches, for best actress and best supporting actress respectively. Lawrence was her now-trademark relatable and endearing self (“Oh, what does it say? I beat Meryl!” she said while channeling The First Wives Club) and Hathaway gave a shout out to her humble Princess Diaries beginnings.

Though Lawrence, who won for musical/comedy, faces tough competition from Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, who went earnest and radiant with her speech when winning for best actress in a drama.

For the top prizes Argo beat out front-runner Lincoln for best drama while Les Miserables sung its sad song past all the others to take home the trophy for best musical/comedy.

In TV, Girls won for best comedy its freshman year and propelled Lena Dunham past hosts Fey and Poehler to pick up best actress in a comedy. She thanked all the nominees for deeply inspiring her and getting her through “middle school, mono, a ruptured eardrum and the acute anxiety that populates my entire life.”

Fey later joked about the middle school reference, drink in hand. And then turned her attention to Taylor Swift saying, “you stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son” because “she needs some me time to learn about herself.”

At least Fey and Poheler got to console themselves in the waiting arms of Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, respectively, who helped them through the nervous moments before Dunham was ultimately announced as the winner.

In drama, Homeland and its star Claire Danes took home the hardware for best actress and series. She thanked her seamstress for letting out her pants “every damn week” while she was pregnant filming this season. Perennial class act and no show Dame Maggie Smith won for best supporting actress in Downton Abbey, beating out Archie Panjabi, for playing a gay lady in The Good Wife, and real-life gay lady Sarah Paulson, for Game Change.

The latter’s TV movie at least won for best TV movie/miniseries (and its actress Julianne Moore for best actress in a TV movie/miniseries), and was yet another chance for actor-turned-writer Danny Strong to come onstage and make Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans scream “Jonathan!” while pointing at the screen.

Speaking of the TV movie/miniseries acting categories, did anyone catch the surprise nominees for best actor/actress? I didn’t happen to catch Dog President, but think Darcy St. Fudge, who played a “psychic who solves her own murder” and her co-star Damian Francisco, who played “a professional volleyball player battling restless-leg syndrome,” looked amazing in it.

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