It’s only January 14, but I guarantee that the 2013 Golden Globes will be the best awards show of the entire year. Why? Because the Golden Globes are gloriously useless, and its attendees are aware of that fact. That’s why everyone onscreen appears to be having a great, fun time filled with unrehearsed moments. The Golden Globes combine the gaudiness of “Night of 100 Stars” with the hilarious posturing of a student council election. Frankly, we should call them the Pia Zadora’s Choice Awards. Respect. Or don’t! Both options are completely acceptable and fun.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were your ravishing emcees, and I’d hate to regurgitate what everyone has said (and has been saying) about these deeply, heroically funny women, but whatever: They were flawless. Sharp, gentle, biting, and irreverent, and always at surprising moments. I slapped the wall during the opening monologue (duologue?) when Tina said that Ricky Gervais couldn’t attend because “he is no longer technically in show business” and when Amy snarked that she supported director Kathryn Bigelow and her movie Zero Dark Thirty because “when it comes to torture, I trust the woman who spent three years married to James Cameron.” Finger-snapping sauciness. Perhaps the best was when Tina complimented Anne Hathaway’s performance in Les Miserables, noting, “I haven’t seen someone look so abandoned and alone since you were on the stage with James Franco at the Oscars.” Perfection. No, wait — perfection was Glenn Close’s reaction when Amy declared, “Look how drunk Glenn Close is.” I’ve enclosed the resulting phenomenon below.
My eternal crush Christoph Waltz walked off with the first award of the night for his supporting work in Django Unchained, a movie I didn’t care about. Loved his short haircut, though. He’s like if Ralph Fiennes had a dastardly brother who enters every room with a snicker.
Homeland and Game Change garnered armfuls of trophies, and it’s hard to argue there. Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Ed Harris, and Julianne Moore diplomatically owned their big moments, and I assume Maggie Smith — who won for her unforgettable supporting work on Downton Abbey — would’ve been just as diplomatic had she attended. I have to give Adele credit for her adorable speech, since she indeed took home the Best Original Song trophy for her drippy, opaque “Skyfall.” The young chanteuse said that she was “pissing herself laughing” in the crowd, enjoying the night off from motherhood duties. Look, I really like her. She can sing. And she can also make jokes, which is important. But I long for the Grammy heydays of people like Carole King, Alanis Morissette, and Lauryn Hill, since their lyrics were as distinct and cool as their voices. I still think Adele is the one kind of female artist that misogynist straight dudes approve of — the unthreatening balladeer whose work is, above all else, pretty. That’s not a slam on the obviously talented Adele, but it does make me wonder if her output is sometimes more canny than genuine.
Kevin Costner gave a strange but heartfelt speech for his Best Actor in a Miniseries win for Hatfields & McCoys, talking about his first time at the ceremony when Gregory Peck won the DeMille Award. Hmm! And the lovely-as-hell Jennifer Lawrence wooed me with her expected Best Actress in a Comedy win for the garishly exploitative Silver Linings Playbook. The precious girl quoted The First Wives Club when she peered at her statue: “It says, ’I beat Meryl!'” Which she did. That’s a nervy dame. That’s a nervy dame who is invited to play Celebrity at my house.
Lena Dunham was probably the night’s greatest success story, enjoying wins both for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Girls and Best Comedy Series. Her speeches? Fine. Her hilariously awkward walks to the dais in towering heels? Endearing. Mysteriously, my one problem with the very enjoyable Girls is Lena Dunham’s so-so acting choices, as I feel she plays down her character Hannah’s intelligence a bit too often. I’d have been cool watching Amy or Tina take the Best Actress title — though I’m fine settling for their hilarious pantomiming in the audience before the big reveal. Here’s Amy being kickass again.
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway beamed at the podium for their Les Miserables wins (and for the movie’s Best Musical or Comedy victory too), and the unsurprising triumphs for Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty and Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln felt like definitive pre-Oscar omens. I can’t say the same for the Oscar-unloved Ben Affleck, who took home Best Director and Best Picture for Argo. The movie is a crowd-pleaser by a celebrity filmmaker, so it’s sort of the ultimate in Golden Globe attractiveness. But I’m burying the lead here; the biggest story of the evening was Jodie Foster’s somewhat revealing, mostly bizarre speech after she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in lifetime achievement.
Let’s start with this: I have loved Jodie Foster in the movies. Clarice Starling is an icon all her own, and I think Jodie deserves equal praise for her work in Contact, Panic Room, Taxi Driver and even Anna and the King and the effing weird The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. The Accused, not so much. Carnage, hell no. But the woman is a one-of-a-kind talent and presence, and thanks to John Hinckley Jr. and tabloid reports about Foster’s unfortunate-seeming father, we know she’s endured far too much personal drama in public. I can’t fathom what that chaos does to a person. Neither can you, I assume.
I sympathize there. But when the stunning Jodie ended her already-legendary speech, I found myself puzzled by her intentions.
I think she meant to clarify her understandable need for privacy, but she ended up sounding confused, hostile towards the wrong people, and frankly, kind of mean. As she stepped up to the mic, she cited Molly Shannon’s old Sally O’Malley sketch from SNL and announced she was 50 years old. Cute. Then she talked about the “family” of fellow film artists seated around her, noting, “We made movies together, and you can’t get more intimate than that.” Love it. Then came this soliloquoy, which I’ve stolen from Vulture’s transcription:
So when I’m here being all confessional, I guess I just have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration… that I’m a little nervous about, but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But you know, I’m just gonna put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m gonna need your support on this. I am… single. Yes I am, I am single. No, I’m kidding. But I mean, I’m not really kidding, but I’m kind of kidding. Thank you for the enthusiasm. Can I get a wolf whistle or something? I hope you guys weren’t hoping this would be a big coming out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, co-workers, and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now apparently, I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me, it never was, and it never will be. But please don’t cry, because my reality show would be so boring. I would have to make out with Marion Cotillard, I would have to spank Daniel Craig’s bottom, you know, just to stay on the air. It’s not bad work if you can get it though.
First of all, is it really that funny to joke about how your publicist — the one you’ve chosen to represent you — is terrified at the thought of your coming out? And possibly domineering about it? Foster has been repped for years by the shark Pat Kingsley, and because of his scariness, the press has enabled Foster’s closeted public persona. More importantly, I cannot fathom why Jodie Foster clearly equated a celebrity’s coming-out with becoming Honey Boo Boo Child. She’s insinuating that out celebrities seem clownish, and worse, that that’s a justified opinion. I do not believe Jane Lynch is clownish, nor do I think she’s lost an invaluable amount of “quaintness” by being out. Jane is brave and cool. Gayness is not dirty, nor is it freakish or trashy. I guess Jodie Foster is declaring that she only goes public about important things, and for her, that means remaining friends with Mel Gibson. He was seated beside her. Ugh.
The rest of her speech had sweet moments, including when she thanked her “modern family” (including “ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most-beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard) and announced with indecipherable certainty that her next chapter in life would begin with a turning point:
This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting, and now what? Well, I’m never going to be up on this stage again. On any stage, for that matter. Change, you’ve gotta love it. I will continue to tell stories, to move people by being moved: the greatest job in the world. It’s just that from now on, I may be holding a different talking stick. And maybe it won’t be as sparkly. Maybe it won’t open on three thousand screens. Maybe it will be so quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle. But it will be my writing on the wall: Jodie Foster was here, I still am, and I want to be seen, to be understood, deeply, and to be not so very lonely. Thank you, all of you, for the company. Here’s to the next fifty years.
She clarified in a press conference that she will still be an actress, but obviously Foster anticipates a career shift.
She’s a genius. She’s made great movies. She’s entitled to say or reveal whatever it is she wants about herself, and again, the John Hinckley stuff makes her case for privacy arguably a very specific one. But I also think we have a right to point out when a public person — who is apparently talking about her sexual orientation — is regurgitating ancient, hostile notions and insulting public figures who are out. To be honest, the Honey Boo Boo reference felt like a desperate denial of what Foster realizes is the truth: that explicity coming out in public is a noble, empowering choice, and one she didn’t make. Some people loved the speech. I thought it was a perplexing version of everything we’ve heard time and again from purposely vague, un-out celebrities. That’s a particular bummer coming from a woman who claims she wants to be “understood, deeply.”
What’d you think of the GGs? And Jodie’s speech? My vote for the cutest man in the room: Max Greenfield, looking superfly as hell.
Greenfield with wife Tess Sanchez
Photos: Getty Images