Though the Hollywood Foreign Press Association still seems like this strange mystery organization, they do know how to throw a good party.
With seemingly endless bottles of bubbly on hand and a dinner-table setting, the stars get to mingle in a casual atmosphere -- unlike the Oscars with its stuffy theatre seating and alcohol-free, four-hour length.
So, let’s celebrate the great things about that big movie and TV party that heralds the beginning of awards season.
Ten great things about the Golden Globes and five lame ones.
1. Tina and Amy
The number one best part of the Golden Globes were the joint hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Their jokes were hilarious, pointed and cutting takedowns of celebrities without being cruel for the sake of cruelty.
They took down big guns, like James Cameron, and played funny with newbies Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham.
It was such a joy to have funny people at the helm who know how to entertain and work well together.
High fives to you, ladies.
2. Wiig and Ferrell
Funny will always win out and the next funniest part of the evening also involved a pair of SNL alums.
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell killed it during their presentation of the nominees for best comedy film. Their improvised sketch about how the “did” watch the nominated films was hilarious, awkward and a fitting intro to any comedic film.
This performance was a lesson to awards producers: book people who can improvise, are funny, and if need be can read a teleprompter believably.
3. Bill Clinton
Yeah, former president Clinton showed up to present best drama nominee Lincoln. And the crowd went mental.
People were standing and whooping and clapping. It was like a rock star stepped into the room. And he pretty much is.
4. Jodie Foster’s DeMille Award speech
First off, let me say that it would be an interesting precedent for closeted or pseudo-closeted actors to only come out if they win a Golden Globe.
Jodie’s speech ran the gamut of emotions, from grateful to scared to loving and angry. She came out of the closet (again), quit acting (maybe) and spoke eloquently about her children, ex-partner and mother ailing with dementia.
It was personal and strange and unlike what lifetime achievement awards are usually all about.
5. Taylor Swift’s Bitchface
These young performers just don’t know how to lose yet.
Ever since the Kanye incident Swift has been accumulating rewards like songs about ex-boyfriends. But when she lost at the Globe to Adele Swift could not hide her anger and her extreme bitchface proved it.
Girl was not having it. And it was funny. And we all enjoyed it.
Could anyone be cuter and more lovable than Adele? She was so genuinely happy and giddy and talked about her and her friend just popping over for the ceremony on a girls’ night out.
Two new mums out on the town collecting huge trophies and being a delight.
And the contrast between her joy and the anger of Taylor “Stinkeye” Swift made it all the more enjoyable.
7. Lena Dunham
Yup. Take that, everyone! First-time nominee and winner Lena Dunham took home awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Best Comedy and looked adorable and great.
Tattooed and tottering in heels, she delivered two heartfelt, funny and sincere speeches. People who’ve been in the business much longer have fared much worse in front of microphones and television cameras.
Hooray for Lena!
8. Quality Speeches
For the most part the speeches were short, entertaining, crazy or cut off just in time.
In addition to the aforementioned Dunham, others were equally entertaining and wonderful. Jennifer Lawrence said she beat Meryl Streep and was glowing and great.
Daniel Day Lewis was eloquent. Quentin rambled and rolled with abandon.
And there were many absent winners, so we didn’t have to endure as many speeches as usual. Unplanned, but a nice touch nonetheless.
9. Drunk Quentin Tarantino
The real charm of the Golden Globes isn’t that television and movies are mixing it up together, it’s that they get to mix it up together like they’re at a really, really fancy joint frat house and a sorority party. Where Moet is readily available.
Tarantino took full advantage and early on gave a hearty fist-bump to a tablemate. He was running at full speed when he won for Best Screenplay and then later on gave us a note-perfect spit-take when his name was announced as nominee for Best Director.
Keep this guy drunk all awards season long.
10. On Time
For once the great hosts, quick transitions, odd-ball introductions and entertaining speeches kept the show from running long.
And better yet, it didn’t drag on and on and on like a bloated blockbuster.
1. Action Heroes
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone appeared on screen and I said, “these guys are so unintelligible that they’re going to try and out mumble each other."
Lo and behold, their entire bit was them trying to joke about their unintelligibility.
Thanks for the non-joke guys. And they were presenting the foreign language award, which is both highly appropriate and totally upsetting.
2. Sacha Baron Cohen
He was stellar in Les Miserables, and often adds a touch of joy and whimsy and fun to an awards show. But his turn as presenter for the Best Animated Film award was all over the place.
Partially because it was full of gross and weird double entendres and sexual innuendo and essentially he presented an award for children’s films.
Better luck next time.
3. Jodie Foster’s DeMille Award Speech
Yeah, it kind of needs to be on both lists. So while there was something beguiling and fascinating about her proclamations about her sexuality and her acting career (she quits, but will still make films) her mother and her family, there was also a bitter anger that was a bit unappealing.
It’s fine for someone who’s been working and famous her whole life to be bitter about issues of privacy and the celebrity machine, but did she have to trash talk American treasure Honey Boo Boo and her fellow gays who chose to come out in a different way than she does?
To talk about their private lives if they feel like it? Mixed bag, Foster.
Also, you’re still friends with that creepy Mel and it’s really hard to forgive that business.
4. Lack of Maggie Smith
I know. I know. She’s an older broad who lives across the pond and can do as she pleases.
But it would be so wonderful to have her there for once, taking home an award in person and giving out some sass to all the annoying young whipper-snappers.
Someone, somewhere, needs to figure out how to get her on an airplane and into a glamorous ball gown and on that stage.
Until Downtown Abbey gets cancelled she’ll be winning every year.
5. No In Memoriam
All awards shows need a hazy montage of those we’ve lost during the previous year.
And yeah, I know they never do it, but I can dream. I can dream, can’t I?