2011 Golden Globes: Expected Wins, Unexpected Antics

2011 Golden Globes: Expected Wins, Unexpected Antics

Any combination of celebrities, a red carpet and endless champagne is sure to provide genuine entertainment, as was the case with the sixty-eighth annual Golden Globe Awards that took place last Sunday. The night celebrated the best of the year’s film and television, and though the winners of the awards themselves were not particularly surprising, it was the controversial, on-stage behavior of certain celebrities that ultimately stole the show.

British comedian Ricky Gervais returned as the host of the Golden Globes for the second year in a row, a decision that turned out to be ut­terly disastrous. His performance last year was full of crude jokes and uncomfortable attacks on celebri­ties, and although the producers probably hoped he would censor his antics this year, Gervais did just the opposite. His cutting humor was even more exaggerated and at times sophomoric, particularly when he took a vulgar Hugh Hef­ner joke too far during his opening monologue. The audience respond­ed with a mixture of uncomfort­able laughs and booing, most likely because many of its members were the targets of jokes themselves. Whether you appreciated Gervais’s atypical humor or found it repulsive, it is unlikely he will return next year, as the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Associa­tion (HFPA) Phillip Berk deemed the host’s performance as “totally unacceptable,” according to Reuters.

Another celebrity receiving some criticism for his behavior is Rob­ert DeNiro, who delivered an unusual speech after accepting the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award. Rather than following the typical acceptance speech format, DiNiro seemed to model his after a standup comedy routine, making cracks at HFPA critics, Little Fockers and even the Department of Homeland Security. Though it was unex­pected, DeNiro’s comedic speech certainly filled some of the holes left by Gervais’s lackluster performance.

Gervais and DeNiro did not entirely steal the attention from the awards themselves. The big winner of the night was The Social Network, receiving awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. Based on its success at the Globes and other past award shows, the Facebook flick seems to be an overwhelming favorite for the upcoming Oscar Awards.

The rest of the awards were equally unsurprising. Natalie Portman earned the Best Actress Award for her role in Black Swan, a perfor­mance that has received nonstop praise since the film’s release. Vet­eran Collin Firth took home the Best Actor Award for his role in The King’s Speech, and Christian Bale deservingly received the Best Sup­porting Actor Award for his raw portrayal of a crack addict in The Fighter. Perhaps the most unexpect­ed awards of the night went to the heartfelt The Kids are Alright, which won both Best Motion Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Annette Benning) for a Comedy or Musical. This film could be an unexpected contender in the Oscar race.

In the world of television, Glee took home the majority of the awards for a comedy series, whereas Boardwalk Empire dominated the drama series categories. Perhaps the most touching moment of the eve­ning was Chris Colfer’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor Comedy or Musical. Colfer, who plays the memorable Kurt Hummel in Glee, concluded his remarks with an inspirational message to vic­tims of bullying. Though Glee and Boardward Empire deserve all their recognition, other notable series like Mad Men and Modern Family unfortunately walked away empty-handed.

The excitement of the Golden Globes came mostly from the antics of its controversial host, whereas the awards themselves were overall predictable. Hopefully, the Oscars will offer more surprises, making this year’s season of award shows as entertaining as can be.