It was a night of firsts at the 71st annual Golden Globes, as numerous first-timers walked away big winners – from Bryan Cranston and Amy Poehler to Matthew McConaughey and Amy Adams.
One thing that wasn’t unfamiliar, though: Poehler and Tina Fey co-hosted the show for the second year in a row. “We are so happy to be back,” Fey said. “We’re hosting for a second time, because this is Hollywood, and if something works they’ll just keep doing it until everyone hates it.”
Perhaps that’s why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to hand out awards to so many newbies this year.
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 in its respective category (drama for 12 Years a Slave, and musical or comedy for American Hustle). While 12 Years a Slave failed to win any other awards, American Hustle‘s Adams and Jennifer Lawrence each walked away winners (for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, Musical or Comedy, respectively), making it the most successful film of the night in terms of sheer numbers.
While Lawrence has won before, it was the first win (after five nominations) for Adams, who beat out fellow nominees Meryl Streep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julie Delpy and Greta Gerwig. The win marked a big anniversary for the actress: 15 years to the day since she moved to Hollywood.
But the real coup came in the form of indie AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club, which nabbed first-time wins for stars McConaughey and Jared Leto (Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, Drama, respectively).
“All right, all right, all right,” McConaughey said upon smoothly picking up his trophy, referencing his very first role in 1993’s Dazed and Confused. After thanking his mother for not letting him watch TV – “don’t watch somebody on TV do it, go out there and do it for yourself” – he said, “This film was never about dying, it was always about living, to that I say: just keep.”
McConaughey beat out Robert Redford and Tom Hanks while Leto overtook Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender.
On the TV side, Breaking Bad went out on a high note after ending its five-season run in September, winning two of the three awards it was up for, including Best Drama Series and the first win for star Cranston. Of the long-time-coming win he said, “This is such a lovely way to say goodbye to the show that meant so much to me.”
But like Dallas Buyers Club, the night belonged to Brooklyn Nine-Nine on the TV side, as it surprisingly won Best Musical or Comedy Series over The Big Bang Theory, Girls, Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. Star Andy Samberg also took Best Actor, Musical or Comedy, over Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle, Michael J. Fox and Jim Parsons.
Other firsts included Poehler finally nabbing a Best Actress trophy for her starring role on Parks and Rec. “I’ve never won anything like this!” she exclaimed after giving U2’s Bono a kiss that made the musician blush.
After five nominations and 47 years in the business – and being named “promising newcomer” by the HFPA at the beginning of her career – Jacqueline Bisset won for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for the BBC’s Dancing on the Edge.
After taking several minutes to make her way to the stage – the HFPA seemed to enjoy seating winners at the back of the room and making them enter from stage left – Bisset was so overcome with emotion, she couldn’t speak. But after giving herself a pep talk – “Scottish background to the front!” – she managed to earn the first bleep of the night when she cursed.
In another first (and another bleeped speech), Elisabeth Moss overtook Helen Mirren, Jessica Lange and Helena Bonham Carter for Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie, for the Sundance Channel’s Top of the Lake.
And the firsts just kept on coming. Robin Wright won her first Globe for Best Actress in a TV drama for House of Cards (and inadvertently exposed her pasty). It also represented the first win for Netflix, which exclusively releases the series on its on-demand streaming service.
Other winners included Leonardo Dicaprio for Best Actor, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical for The Wolf of Wall Street. “I never would have guessed I’d win for best actor in a comedy,” Dicaprio quipped. Jon Voight won Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for Ray Donovan; Michael Douglas won Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for playing Liberace in Behind the Candelabra; and Cate Blanchett earned Best Actress, Motion Picture, Drama for Blue Jasmine, over Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Judi Dench.
In its only win, box-office hit Gravity grabbed the Best Director trophy for Alfonso Cuaron. Meanwhile, Woody Allen – by way of Diane Keaton, who accepted the trophy on his behalf – won the honorary Cecil B. Demille award.
In terms of music, U2 won Best Original Song for “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Alex Ebert won Best Original Score for All Is Lost.
While firsts ruled the night, so did flubs – as numerous faux pas (and scripted bits) added to the chaotic charm of the show. A very pregnant Drew Barrymore “got sent out [onstage] wrong,” Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie got handed their lines on a piece of legal paper when the teleprompter went haywire, and Emma Thompson took the stage to present an award with her shoes and a martini in hand.
At the end of the three-hour telecast, co-host Fey summed up the event succinctly with Poehler by her side: “This was the beautiful mess we hoped it would be!”