Golden Globes 2015: Wins, Losses, and Draws

The Golden Globes: take stars from both movies and TV (although that distinction doesn’t matter as much any more), add alcohol but no food, and stir with the rabble-rousing irreverence of the host(s). The result is always unpredictable, and this year it yielded a relatively sedate, heartfelt ceremony filled with surprise wins. You can find the full list of winners in both film and television categories here, but below is our take on the winners, the losers, and what got caught in between.

WINS:

TheAffairNewbie TV: In a year with few clear awards frontrunners, the Golden Globes had the opportunity to award the new and the innovative – and for the most part, they rose to the challenge, particularly with TV. Freshman entires The Affair and Transparent each brought home a series and an acting award (Ruth Wilson and Jeffrey Tambor). With the Transparent win, Amazon Studios staked their claim as a major player. In addition, the CW brought home their very first Golden Globe when Jane the Virgin star won Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical. While the Emmys love the old favorites, the Globes took the path less traveled, and we like the results.

Tina & Amy’s monologue: Aside from a poorly received series of Bill Cosby jokes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler managed to deliver their swan song monologue with panache. The two funny ladies blended the right amount of snark and sly, using the industry luminaries as targets but without descending into malice. It wasn’t groundbreaking humor, but the tone was spot on.

DressesRed and sparkles: The two biggest red carpet trends of the night – vibrant blood red and a plethora of sparkles – were everywhere, replacing the bright blue of the Emmys. Even the men got into the mix with David Oyelowo’s fantastic sparkly tuxedo. Some, like Uzo Aduba, managed to combine the two trends to brilliant effect.

DRAWS:

The North Korean HFPA bit: Margaret Cho’s recurring appearance as a North Korean member of the Hollywood Foreign Press was sometimes funny, especially since it resulted in the pictured Cumberbatch photobomb. However, it got boring and overwrought quickly, and toed the line of being racist. Worst of all, it was the easy gag and smacked of laziness.

MaggieSincerity: Most of the acting award winners eschewed humor or brevity (with the exception of the curmudgeonly Billy Bob Thornton), opting instead to deliver long, sincere tributes to their loved ones and colleagues. Some, such as Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kevin Spacey, demonstrated a talent for being both heartfelt and concise. Others, such as Patricia Arquette, Amy Adams, and Michael Keaton – whose teary tribute to his son was moving yet very long – kept going to the point where sweet became rambling.

george-and-amalAmal Clooney: The accomplished, brilliant woman who married into Hollywood royalty made her award season debut, and comported herself with grace and dignity while looking stunning. After all, only the most elegant Brits can pull off elbow length white gloves on the red carpet. That didn’t stop her from being subjected to the indignities of a fawning, slightly drunken Giuliana Rancic interview (if the Clooney family doesn’t have a restraining order on her yet, now’s the time) and what must have been the unsettling experience of always being on camera, as all cuts to her husband George included her in the frame.

LOSSES:

NUP_166887_0381Presenter banter: Aside from a strong introductory presentation by Jennifer Aniston and Benedict Cumberbatch, and a very-much-called-for joke by Jeremy Renner about Jennifer Lopez’s own Golden Globes, presenter banter fell flat. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are funny people, but their bit about misremembered movie lines just didn’t land. As usual, the later presenters’ introductory remarks were collateral damage from the overlong acceptance speeches.

HBO: HBO had the most nominations this year, with 15 shows and actors from its network in contention. Despite this, the award show titan only brought home one award, Matt Bomer’s trophy for Best Actor in a TV Mini-series or Movie for The Normal Heart. Critically acclaimed series such as True Detective, and Olive Kitteridge went home empty handed, and none of the other series. Showtime, FX, and Amazon Studios all managed to snag two categories, leaving HBO on the outs looking in for a change.

The Imitation Game: Despite being nominated for five awards, the Alan Turing biopic failed to triumph in any of the categories in which it was a contender. In the film’s best chance for a win, star Benedict Cumberbatch lost to The Theory of Everything‘s Eddie Redmayne, which could be due to the HFPA’s affection for roles requiring physical transformation (not to diminish Redmayne’s excellence). While there is no overlap between this voting body and the Oscar’s, the film’s shutout will be fresh in people’s minds when Oscar nominations are announced on Thursday.