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The 2014 Golden Globe Awards’ Best and Worst Moments

From soaring highs (Amy and Tina!) to awkward lows (teleprompter fails), a full recap of Hollywood’s booziest night

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Only one awards show can deliver that special blend of booze and ego that makes a three-hour telecast feel like. . . well, an entertaining three-hour telecast. Under the brilliant leadership of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, last night's 71st Annual Golden Globes Awards had it all: jokes about pubic hair and herpes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus puffing an e-cigarette, esteemed actresses literally holding their shoes above their heads onstage. As Rob Sheffield put it, the night "turned into a rowdy celebrity pageant of Wasted Ladies Kicking Ass." When the rivers of champagne finally stopped flowing, we were left with these 20 highlights and lowlights.

See Also:

The Most Memorable Moments in Golden Globes History

By Caryn Ganz, Kory Grow and Blaine McEvoy

Diane Keaton Golden Globes

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

HIGH and LOW: Diane Keaton’s Speech

La-di-damn-da Diane, can you just play Annie Hall forever? Keaton, graceful as ever at 68, was on hand to accept the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award on behalf of Woody Allen, who despite friendly recognition from the Press, has consistently refused to attend (or acknowledge) awards through the years. Keaton and Allen worked together on eight films between 1971 and 1993, most notably Annie Hall and Manhattan. (To his credit, Allen has cited Keaton as his muse during his early career). And Keaton returned the favor with a moving tribute to one of Hollywood’s funniest, most prolific filmmakers. She earnestly thanked Allen for creating roles for strong women characters, shouted out Truffaut and rocked a stunning lady-tux, But then, saying that her and Woody's 45-year friendship fills her with "pride and affection and even love," she sang the Girl Scouts song. "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the others gold" she crooned in a lilting soprano. And then she sang another verse. We couldn't look away.

Leonardo Dicaprio Golden Globes

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HIGH: People Being Able to Take a Joke

During the hostesses' opening monologue, Amy Poehler zinged Matt Damon, "Matt, on any other night, in any other room, you would be a big deal. But tonight, and don't take this the wrong way, you're basically a garbage person." Damon chuckled in his seat. "It's me, the garbage man," he said when he took the stage to introduce Captain Phillips as a Best Picture nominee. Later, The Wolf of Wall Street winner had his turn in the wringer: "And now, like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio," Tina Fey said. Leo took the stage beaming and gave her a friendly nod. Maybe the rivers of booze made everyone feel more forgiving, but this felt like a watershed evening in Having a Sense of Humor About Yourself. 

Steve McQueen Golden Globes

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HIGH: ’12 Years a Slave’ Finally Gets a Big Win

Going into the night, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle led the film categories with seven nominations apiece, and each won Best Motion Picture (drama for 12 Years and musical or comedy for American Hustle). But whereas Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence nabbed trophies for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, 12 Years failed to pick up any more accolades. That’s a bit of a blow for director Steve McQueen and his star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, the British duo that punched us in the face this fall with their stunning true story of Solomon Northup, a black man living free in New York in 1841 until he wound up as human chattel in the Deep South. But even more remarkable was Lupita Nyong’o’s loss to Lawrence. Nyong’o, 30, just graduated from Yale. Here’s hoping she can steal that “America’s sweetheart” title away from her new rival.

Bryan Cranston Golden Globes

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HIGH: Bryan Cranston Finally Wins for ‘Breaking Bad’

Although Breaking Bad has been winning Emmys since as far back as 2008 (for its pilot) and once snagged a SAG award, the series has long been snubbed by the Golden Globes. That changed last night, when the now-defunct show won two: Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, for actor Bryan Cranston. "I was always very grateful that the show resonated with American audiences but now through this and the Hollywood Foreign Press, everyone around the world will be able to share in Breaking Bad's mirth and merriment," he said, joking. Aaron Paul, naturally added, "Yeah, bitch!"

Jonah Hill Margot Robbie

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LOW: Teleprompter Fails Aplenty

It’s the 21st century, y’all, where Snapchat and Lulu dominate the dating scene and the best films tackle the love between a man and his operation system. And yet the tech team hidden deep in the catacombs of the Beverly Hilton struggled all night with their teleprompter (you know, that couldn’t-be-less-sexy cousin of the camcorder that’s been a nuisance since the Eisenhower administration). In short, it completely shat the bed for Jonah Hill and his Wolf of Wall Street co-star Margot Robbie. (After some awkward ad libbing, they were handed their lines on a piece of legal paper). And earlier, Matt Damon walked onstage without his trusty eye glasses (and without a monitor anywhere near the stage), leaving every NBC exec with a pay grade below Steve Burke to pray for their messiah’s return. (To his credit, Damon played off the cuff quite cooly). Maybe the west coast Geek Squad should take a hint from their east coast brethren at SNL who (wait for it) still use hand-written cue cards.

Amy Adams Golden Globes

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HIGH: Amy Adams’ Sweet Speech

Everyone once in a while, an actor gives an acceptance speech that's so earnest and charming, it instantly makes everyone want to be their BFF. On a night when so many folks at the podium attributed their flubbed thank yous to nerves, Adams stood out for her poise and tenderness. "David, you write such amazing roles for women," she said to her American Hustle director, David O. Russell. She remarked it was practically the 15-year anniversary of "moving out to L.A. thinking, like, I don't know, maybe I'll get a commercial or something" and thanked the manager who sent her on her first audition with true tenderness. When the get outta here music swelled, Adams wagged a finger at the camera: "You can not play me out of talking about my daughter," she said. "I love you so much, thank you for teaching me to accept joy and let go of fear."

Robert Downey Jr Golden Globes

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HIGH: Robert Downey Jr.’s Bizarro Bit

"No matter whose name is called when I open this envelope, tonight I'm leaving here a winner," Robert Downey Jr. began his presentation of the nominees for Best Actress in a Motion Picture in the Comedy or Musical category. It got weirder from there: If Amy Adams wins, "and I get a racy photo of us backstage, Gucci lets me keep the tux," he joked. If it's Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "I chat her up and ride her coattails straight into Tina's afterparty." A Julie Delpy victory would reaffirm "the artistic integrity of sequels." A trophy for Greta Gerwig would allow him to "finally stop associating her surname with a film about an angry inch." And if the prize went to Meryl Streep, "I could supplement my income by leasing her a shipping container to put it in with the 200,000 other awards she's received." He capped his intro, "Let's see how this plays out for me." How Hollywood!

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HIGH: “The Andy Samberg”

Seth Meyers had the honor of presenting his SNL pal "The Andy Samberg" with a Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical) for cop show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Samberg, who seemed genuinely stunned, was adorably speechless. As in, he had no speech prepared at all. "Oh no!" he exclaimed. "You guys, the Globes, right? Who knew?" he riffed (to sadly very little laughter), so he just started thanking people. "You know, the guys who came up with the show. . . the cast is awesome. . .the crew really good. The writers kick A." He capped it off with a shoutout to his wife, Joanna Newsom. 

Alfonso Cuaron Golden Globes

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HIGH: An STD Joke Makes the Telecast

Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón jested about his "thick accent" and told an illustrative story during his acceptance speech. "Sandra, you are the most amazing collaborator," he said to his film's star, Bullock. "I want to thank you for not quitting when you thought that I had told you, 'Sandra, I am going to give you herpes.' When I really meant to say, 'Sandra, I'm going to give you an ear piece.'"

Jacqueline Bisset Golden Globes

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LOW: NBC’s Censor Sleeping on the Job

It's a well-known fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press likes to ply its attendees with readily available alcohol, but rivers of champagne usually don't make their way backstage to the censor. That may be the only reasonable explanation for why NBC broadcast Jacqueline Bisset saying "shit" clearly in the middle of her mumble-mouthed speech. (Not so for the censor at E!, who managed to switch scenes quickly after its host, Giuliana Rancic, encouraged Elisabeth Moss to flip the bird in their "Mani Cam.") Later, a good portion of what Diane Keaton had to say in her tribute to Woody Allen was completely covered up for seemingly no reason.