The 14 Best Parts of the 2014 Golden Globes

By  · Published on January 13th, 2014

Another Golden Globes is behind us, and what have we learned? The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is full of surprises. Do they really think Jon Voight is great in Ray Donovan, or will they simply always love him for making Angelina Jolie? Speaking of whom, she and husband Brad Pitt were very much missed this year, even with Pitt getting the last shoutout of the night in appreciation for all he did for getting 12 Years a Slave produced – didn’t the show basically end like the awards ceremony equivalent of that controversial Italian poster for the movie?

I may have done really embarrassingly awful with my predictions this year – 11 out of 15 total, 6 out of 14 for movies and 5 out 11 for television – so we’ll see if I’m allowed to do that again next year. Hopefully my live-tweeting was more successful. Give me some feedback, positive or scathing. And also see if you agree with my picks for the best parts of this year’s ceremony and telecast below.

1. Amy and Tina — Once again, the Golden Globes were hilariously entertaining thanks to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey as co-hosts. They have great BFF chemistry and are stellar with the delivery of the jokes, even the not-so-great ones. They could have been on more – I would need to tally up minutes, but I’m sure Ricky Gervais got more screen time and he was so much less likable for viewers and those in attendance. Everyone likes these gals, even Harvey Weinstein, who I’ve never seen laugh so pleasantly than when Poehler, dressed up as Fey’s son, asked if he was his father. Maybe Sochi Bacon wasn’t into them stealing her spotlight, but she looked bored throughout anyway (why do they let these spoiled teens on stage for whatever purpose again?). Some one-liners were a little inside (and gave certain jerks the satisfaction of more attention – and still, the director of the show should be aware of the jokes so he puts, say, Steve McQueen on screen for a reaction when appropriate) but when they were on, they were really on. Also, Poehler’s acceptance speech when she won Best Actress in a Comedy was so sweetly humble. It’s even funnier that there was a joke earlier about Jennifer Lawrence being Poehler, because Poehler is like an older, cuter, smarter, funnier more lovable version of the American Hustle star when it comes to winning awards.

2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus — Kind of a spin-off of the Amy and Tina thing is Louis-Dreyfus’s shtick involving her advancement to film role recognition. When spotted at the table for Enough Said, she’s smoking an e-cig and being all high and mighty. Later she’s “slithered” back with the TV crowd for her Veep nomination and she’s eating a hot dog. It could have been a lame act (just notice how overdone Reese Witherspoon is in her part of it), but Louis-Dreyfus is perfection all the way through. She unfortunately didn’t win either of her categories tonight, but she wins best performance at the 2014 Golden Globes from me.

3. Philo-MANIA — What might have seemed like a thoughtless goof by an actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) who couldn’t be bothered to know the names of all the movies he’s announcing as presenter is possibly the best thing to happen to the under-seen Philomena. Everyone will be done talking about “Philo-mania” by the end of the day after, but they sure are taking about it a lot. Will it lead to more people going to see this wonderful film? Maybe not, but it could. How about it? Let’s start the mania for this movie as a way of putting the goof to good use. And if not, I believe Steve Coogan has the sort of sense of humor where he’d turn it into something great at some point. A little self-parody video as viral marketing wouldn’t hurt. Maybe a special feature on the DVD in which Dame Judi Dench is being chased by her fans, A Hard Day’s Night style? Or would any of that be disrespectful to the real Philomena Lee?

4. Elisabeth Moss Winning for Top of the Lake— If you haven’t watched Top of the Lake yet, you’re just missing out on maybe the greatest piece of visual storytelling of last year, movies or TV. And Moss is remarkable. She also looked amazing in her dark, sparkly dress that seems to be from Hot Topic’s Great Gatsby movie tie-in line but still very cool. She was so Hot Topic-punk rock, too, when she flipped off the mani-cam on E!:

5. V.I. Warshawski — You may have missed the random nod to Sara Paretsky’s female detective novels as Fey and Poehler made fun of the Hollywood Foreign Press, but now we’ve got some extra fuel for our petition for a movie reboot. It’s been 13 years now since the adaptation starring Kathleen Turner bombed at the box office (deservedly so). But you know who could bring her back to the big screen? Amy Poehler! But first, I guess we’ll have to see how badly the Veronica Mars movie does.

6. Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston Finally Winning — It’s hard to believe it took the HPFA until after the series ended to honor these two monuments of modern television achievement. It’s too bad Aaron Paul, who finally received his first nomination this year, wasn’t also so honored (stupid Jon Voight), but at least he got the final word of acceptance: “Yeah, bitch!”

7. The Real Philomena Lee and Niki Lauda — This is a neat idea, bringing on the real people who are being portrayed in all these movies based on true stories (specifically from Philomena and Rush). However, they should have been consistent and had DiCaprio hit the stage with the real Jordan Belford. That sure would have been an interesting moment to get crowd reactions during.

8. Mia Farrow and Roman Farrow Tweeting About the Woody Allen Tribute — Speaking of interesting crowd reactions, the Farrows’ separate tweets regarding the Golden Globes honoring Woody Allen with the Cecil B. DeMille Award and movie montage and celebration were together the most memorable protest of its kind since the sitting on hands thing at the 1999 Oscars when Elia Kazan was given an honorary Oscar. Hers was hilarious; having tweeting throughout the show with reactions to wins, she noted that she was changing the channel to watch Girls with some ice cream right before her former partner was given the spotlight. His was sharper, admitting to not watching but asking the darkly joking question of whether the montage included something about his (maybe not biological) father molesting a 7 year old. Uncomfortable but incredible that we get to witness such reactions thanks to the social media. I bet if Twitter was around 15 years ago there’d have been a hashtag of #sittingonmyhands.

9. The Woody Allen Tribute — Of course, if you aren’t so understandably angry at Woody Allen to not appreciate his film career, the Woody tribute was a nice little reminder of all the great movies he’s made, some of them even in recent years. I was glad to see some all-time favorite scenes from Take the Money and Run, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Bullets Over Broadway and more. And both paying him homage and accepting on his behalf, Diane Keaton in an Annie Hall-appropriate suit was an exquisite representative, especially with her reference to Truffaut and her singing of a tune seemingly only former Girl Scouts are familiar with (hush, haters). I do wish all the other Woody women who attended, including Drew Barrymore, Dianne Wiest, Mariel Hemingway and newbies Sally Hawkins and Cate Blanchett had been involved somehow.

10. Cate Blanchett Wins Best Actress in a Comedy — Honestly, I still haven’t seen Blue Jasmine. It’s at the top of my list, especially now. Sorry, I’ve taken my time with Woody’s movies in recent years. But I loved Blanchett winning. She looked extraordinarily elegant and sounded just the same. I particularly loved when she asked, seemingly in all seriousness, if we at home can hear the play ’em off music. There have been jokes made about that music in numerous awards shows of all kinds for decades now, and she managed to find something freshly witty to say about it. Give her all the awards. She’s wonderful.

11. Dallas Buyers Club Actors Winning For Their Great Years — I haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club either. I will eventually, especially now that it’s won another couple awards, including the very shocking Best Actor – Drama honor for Matthew McConaughey. For now I’d like to think of his win for a great year – no, a great two years – filled with amazing turns in movies such as Mud, Magic Mike, Killer Joe, The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. Jared Leto, meanwhile, was really amazing in Mr. Nobody, which nobody saw and appreciated except apparently Jack Giroux and me. He also had a documentary out this year, his directorial debut about his band’s troubles, which also deserves attention. Maybe it’s not like when old guys are given awards for lifetime achievement, but these two definitely got these awards for 2012/2013-time achievement, in my mind.

12. 12 Years a Slave Wins Best Picture – Drama — I really thought Gravity was going to take the top award of the night, given the Golden Globes’ preference for that sort of thing in the past, even before it seemed 12 Years a Slave was being shut out everywhere (including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress!). But the HFPA didn’t actually hate Steve McQueen’s heavy slavery film. And, surprise, the truly best film in its category won the award. Just forget about the ending on it all being thanks to Brad Pitt.

13. Emma Thompson — I don’t know what that golden thing she was wearing was all about, but Thompson all buzzed on stage presenting with martini in one hand and uncomfortable heels in the other (“this red is my blood”), the Saving Mr. Banks star was the most enjoyable alcohol-induced attendee of the evening. And she got to present an award to…

14. Spike Jonze — How can someone as talented and cool as Spike Jonze be such an awkwardly and adorably humble fellow? I love him even more after that acceptance speech for winning the Best Screenplay award for Her. And of course this win was also for his year’s work, too, I proclaim, including his great cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street and his involvement in Bad Grandpa.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.