By Vinnie Lione-Napoli
Arts & Entertainment Co-Editor
The 71st Golden Globe Awards, which aired two Sundays ago on NBC, honored the best in film and television of 2013, one of the strongest years in recent memory. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned as co-hosts and have been confirmed as the hosts for next year’s show as well.
Fey and Poehler delivered once again as hosts, piecing together an entertaining monologue that poked light fun at more than a few of the celebrity attendees.
While the Oscars in March will undoubtedly clear up much of the ongoing debate, the Globes were moderately successful this year in distributing awards to a wide variety of movies and shows, allowing most of the frontrunners to take something home.
Last year’s festivities managed to provide more of the promising nominees—-seven of them, including all five of the Best Motion Picture-Drama candidates—-with an award in one of the 12 main film categories.While this year’s show only managed to provide an award of some sort to two of the dramatic grand prize nominees and three of the more comedic ones, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) made another admirable attempt to spread the wealth wisely.
“American Hustle,” David O. Russell’s latest film, was the biggest winner of the night, nabbing three wins for the film itself, lead actress Amy Adams and supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence. These wins provided Adams with her first Golden Globe following four losses and Lawrence with her second consecutive award following her incredible performance in Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”
While he was not nominated for his directorial work last year, Russell was given a nod for his excellent work in this year’s “Hustle.” However, none of the competitors, including Alexander Payne of “Nebraska,” Paul Greengrass of “Captain Phillips” and Steve McQueen of “12 Years a Slave,” could hold a candle to the masterful directorial work of Alfonso Cuaron on his space drama “Gravity.”
“Hustle” was joined by Payne’s black-and-white road trip film “Nebraska” as a nominee in the Musical/Comedy category. Other “comedies” rounding out the field include Spike Jonze’s delicate 21st century romance “Her,” the Coen brothers’ folk-soaked “Inside Llewyn David” and Martin Scorsese’s relentlessly bold “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
“12 Years a Slave” scored the top prize in the dramatic category, beating out chief competitor “Gravity” as well as Tom Hanks vehicle “Captain Phillips,” British drama “Philomena” and Ron Howard’s slightly forgotten Formula One racing film “Rush.”
Leonardo DiCaprio emerged victorious in a Best Actor-Musical/Comedy race that was notably crowded with talent. His portrayal of vice-ridden stockbroker Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street” earned him both his tenth Golden Globe nomination and second victory.
Others in contention were Christian Bale of “Hustle,” who had previously won a Golden Globe and Oscar for his supporting role in Russell’s “The Fighter” and Joaquin Phoenix of “Her.”
The dramatic leading male acting award was given to first-time nominee Matthew McConaughey for his turn in “Dallas Buyers Club,” edging out Tom Hanks among others. Jared Leto of the same film also beat out his competition for a supporting actor win.
Cate Blanchett, a strong favorite for the Oscar in March, picked up a Golden Globe for lead actress in a drama for her work in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” Blanchett, a Golden Globe winner for the Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There,” beat out four other prior winners, including Sandra Bullock and Kate Winslet.
“Her,” not to be shut out of the festivities, picked up a Globe for Best Screenplay. Writer/director Jonze undoubtedly charmed the HFPA with his sweet and clever take on humankind’s interactions with technology.
The musical awards, Best Original Score and Best Original Song, went to the maritime one-man survival story “All Is Lost” and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” respectively. “Ordinary Love,” the winning song, was performed by U2, making this the legendary band’s second Golden Globe Award after their victory in early 2003 for their contribution to Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York.”
Additionally, Disney’s “Frozen” was named Best Animated Feature Film while the Best Foreign Language Film was given to the Italian film “The Great Beauty.”
The most decorated television programs of the night were AMC’s masterpiece “Breaking Bad” and Fox’s police comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” both receiving a Best Series and Best Actor award for each genre.
While “Breaking Bad” was considered a favorite for the dramatic category, “Brooklyn” came as more of a surprise, beating out prior winners “Girls” and “Modern Family.”
Bryan Cranston’s acclaimed performance as a teacher-turned-drug-lord in the final season of “Breaking Bad” earned him his first Golden Globe, while comedian Andy Samberg won for “Brooklyn.”
The HFPA showed the ingenious “Parks and Recreation” some love by finally awarding Poehler with a Golden Globe for her role as Leslie Knope. Fey personally congratulated her co-host and friend following Poehler’s humorous kiss with Bono of U2.
Robin Wright won the award for lead actress in a dramatic series for her performance in Netflix’s “House of Cards,” beating out Taylor Schilling, another Netflix nominee for “Orange Is the New Black,” among others.
The HBO film “Behind the Candelabra,” depicting the last few years of pianist Liberace, landed two Miniseries/Television Film wins for star Michael Douglas and for the movie itself.
Elisabeth Moss, consistently ignored for her role on AMC’s “Mad Men,” picked up a Globe for her portrayal of a detective in the Sundance miniseries “Top of the Lake.”
Additionally, both Jon Voight and Jacqueline Bisset received supporting awards for their roles in the Showtime series “Ray Donovan” and the BBC drama “Dancing on the Edge,” respectively.
Time will tell if any of the lucky films will see repeated success at the Oscars this March.