There is one sacred tradition at the Golden Globes: Nobody gives a rat's ass who wins, because the awards are given by the laughably cred-free Hollywood Foreign Press Association. But the other Golden Globes tradition is the movie stars show up anyway, because they can't resist the combo of free booze and camera time. So last night the Beverly Hills Hilton was wall-to-wall celebrities, all trying to get as wasted as whoever did Helen Mirren's hair. As Amy Poehler and Tina Fey proclaimed in their brilliant opening monologue, "You can smell the pills from here!"
Thanks to Fey and Poehler, it was a surprisingly excellent Golden Globes bash. These ladies are so smiley and charming, they can get away with even nastier barbs than Ricky Gervais did last year. As Poehler said, "I haven't really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty. But when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron." And Tina Fey announced, "Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares."
It was a night of evil glares. Taylor Swift looked none too jazzed at Adele winning Best Original Song for "Skyfall," even though Adele gave another hilarious Ab Fab-worthy speech: "We've been pissing ourselves laughing." (If you're making an awards-show speech and you are not Adele, maybe you should consider not making an awards-show speech.)
But Taylor's side-eye was nothing compared to Kevin Costner's grimace on the red carpet, right before the show. NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked the Hatfields and McCoys star about his new movie Man of Steel: "You'll be playing Superman . . . 's father!" Costner shot her the most pained look since he took that Oscar-night bullet for Whitney in The Bodyguard. There must have been others, though. When Jennifer Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook and said, "Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here," there was a conspicuous lack of any reaction shot, suggesting Harvey Weinstein didn't appreciate the joke. And there was no cutaway to Taylor Swift after Fey told her, "Stay away from Michael J. Fox's son." Jeez, you celebs are so touchy.
You can't take the actual awards seriously, of course. These are the Globes, remember? They nominated The Newsroom for best TV drama but not Mad Men. And they shut out Game of Thrones, even Peter Dinklage, whose acceptance speech was the only memorable moment of last year's Globes. But it was great to see Hugh Jackman win for his vocal stylings in Les Miz, vindicating the 11 or 12 of us who have fond memories of his short-lived CBS musical soap Viva Laughlin, where Hugh got to prance through a casino belting "Sympathy for the Devil." (If you've never seen it, get yer ya-yas out right here.)
Lots of people loathe Anne Hathaway and Lena Dunham, for basically the same reasons (they're young, they're female, they get crazy paid) but they were pretty cool. Bill Clinton swaggered out for a few minutes and exuded so much star power, he made the whole room seem like amateurs; Spielberg's salute looked as dorky as Lionel Richie's thumbs-up in the "We Are The World" video. Daniel Day-Lewis rocked a Mohawk that brought back fond memories of My Beautiful Laundrette. Megan Fox was funny, which This Is 40 never hinted at. Quentin Tarantino won for his Django Unchained screenplay, although he failed to sport any vintage Wu Wear. Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell were a riot, Jay Leno wasn't, Jack Black's mom is hot and Homeland bagged a bunch of trophies. Mandy Patinkin, holla!
Jodie Foster got a lifetime-achievement award, at the age of 50, which seems either way too early or too late, given that she apparently shut down her movie-star hustle years ago. She chose to give her seat of honor to Mel "Sugar Tits" Gibson, who got insane amounts of camera time for his befuddled mouth-breathing expression. She gave a long, rambling, apparently unrehearsed speech about her love life, except Foster seemed confused about whether she was coming out, defensively refusing to come out or claiming she already came out years ago. Her "I have something to tell you: I'm single" groaner was a tired flashback to the dark ages, like when a pre-outness Ellen DeGeneres would say, "I'm left-handed" or "I'm Lebanese." It was a sad reminder of how oppressive the Hollywood closet was for so long.
I loved Game Change, but you know what I love even more? Awards shows where director Jay Roach gets up there and makes his acceptance speech and finds a way to remind everybody he's married to Susanna Hoffs. While the Emmys had excellent reaction shots from the Bangle vixen, tonight Roach thanked "my muse, lover, friend and Jewish rock angel, Susanna Hoffs." Fact: it's never the wrong time to brag to the world you're going home with a Bangle. Today must be one manic Monday in the Roach/Hoffs love shack! Let's just hope that when Jay got home, he heard Susanna say those magic words, "Come on, honey, let's go make some noise."
But the most significant development of the night? Jessica Alba is getting invited to awards shows again! We all missed you, Jessica. In one of the crowd shots, she was chatting away with Harvey Weinstein, and sordid as the details might have been, who knows, maybe that conversation will lead to Quentin Tarantino directing the long-awaited sequel: Honey Unchained!
Here's a clip of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's great monologue. This is how it's done. See you next year, ladies.