Ricky Gervais, who slashed and burned in his Golden Globe host role last year, wasn't nearly as punishing this year. Looking dapper in a burgundy jacket and vest, he was naughty, starting a trend toward penis jokes, but not insufferable. In fact, his harassment of NBC was in the tradition of Bob Hope, David Letterman (with CBS), and others. His "beaver" jokes about Jodie Foster were totally inapproriate given she had her two sons with her. But they all seemed to take it well.
It was Seth Rogen who had the most outrageous line of the night as he introduced female nominees: "I am currently trying to conceal a massive erection." That is, until George Clooney suggested that one of the nominees, who appeared nude in his role, could play golf nude without a golf club and with his hands behind his back. And Madonna, who won for best original song, got back at Gervais for sneering about her being "like a virgin," by saying "if I am like a virgin why don't you come out here and do something about it; it's been a long time since I kissed a girl onstage."
Jane Fonda looked sexy and fabulous as a presenter; Meryl Streep looked frumpy but glowed in her acceptance speech for best actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady"; and Jessica Lange, who won for best actress in "An American Horror Story," is still a knockout (although her face looks recently renewed). George Clooney and Brad Pitt appear to be the handsome co-chairs of Club Hollywood who can do no wrong, while Leonardo DiCaprio seems like an outsider. Winners Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") and Steven Spielberg ("The Adventures of TinTin"), who have been to this round-up many times, continue to be gracious and grateful to work in the medium of film.
Michelle Williams and Claire Danes made the sweetest acceptance speeches. For her win as Marilyn Monroe in "A Weekend with Marilyn," Williams was clear that she was a mother first and an actress second. She thanked her young daughter for setting an example of bravery and exuberance for putting up with six months of Williams reading her bedtime stories in Marilyn Monroe's voice. She also noted how lovely it was to receive the same award Marilyn Monroe had won over 50 years ago. Danes, who won best actress for her role in the Showtime series "Homeland," remembered winning a GG award as a 15-year-old and forgetting to thank her parents and was so glad to have the opportunity as a 32-year-old to correct that. Octavia Spencer, who won for best supporting actress as a maid in "The Help," struck a more serious note with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. about the dignity of labor.
Real-life married couple Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy had the best presenters' intro by dispensing with the lame jokes and harmonizing on a clever song about what it's like to be a nominee, their voices blending perfectly.
The women, of course, are spotlighted and picked apart not for their performances but for their fashion choices. Black and white continues to be a theme, and Danes, who won for best actress in a TV drama and Kate Winslet, who won for best actress in the TV miniseries "Mildred Pierce," both carried it off beautifully - Winslet wearing the more feminine ensemble with black silk top and long slim white skirt and a sparkly beaded belt, and Danes rocking a contemporary gown with a white top cut out in back and long black skirt. There were many iterations of white as if Hollywood was reviving elegant innocence in blush, ivory, cream, and nude.
Angelina Jolie had a Snow White thing going with a slim white silk Versace gown that had a slash of red on the bodice that matched her red lipstick and clutch purse, but her arms were too skinny. Nicole Kidman, as usual, was fashion forward in a Versace gown with gold graphics decorating the ivory column. Viola Davis was gorgeous in a wine colored flowy gown with a slit that showed her great legs, and several women wore red variations: Tina Fey in a fuchsia, Juliana Marguiles in wine.
The winners were all over the place - Matt LeBlanc was a long shot to win for best actor in a comedy for "Episodes" (ever seen it?), and Idris Elba (who?) won for "Luther" (what?) for best actor in a miniseries. But multiple GGs went to movies "The Artist" and "The Descendants" and to TV's "Homeland."
Mpre predictably, "Modern Family" won for best televison series comedy or musical. And "Downton Abbey," the latest PBS upstairs/downstairs British presentation, scored the trophy for best mini-series.
The real man of the hour may have been the first award recipient, the dapper Christopher Plummer, 82, for his supporting-actor role in the movie "Beginners." He thanked his wife of 42 years, "the fair lady Elaine, whose bravery and beauty haunt me still."
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