The Golden Globes are often full of surprises, and this year was no exception, especially as the many TV categories added an extra layer of unexpected wins.
FILM AWARDS: BIGGEST SURPRISES
“12 Years a Slave’s” best drama win was probably the biggest surprise of the night, as many awards observers thought the film hadn’t appealed to the Hollywood Foreign Press with its very American theme and relative lack of star power, despite its near-unanimous critical acclaim. But the final win was a fitting capper for a show that had any number of counter-intuitive moments.
Completely shut out were “Nebraska” with five nominations, “Captain Phillips” with four, “Inside Llewyn Davis” with three, “Philomena” with three and “Rush” with two, including best drama motion picture. What that means for Oscar nominations isn’t entirely clear, given the difference in sensibilities between the fewer-than-100 writers for foreign publications in the HFPA and the thousands of industry members celebrating their peers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Proving that extreme weight loss is indeed the path to winning, Matthew McConaughey’s drama actor win nonetheless surprised, given the Hollywood Foreign Press’ love of established mainstream stars like fellow nominees Robert Redford and Tom Hanks. Co-star Jared Leto’s supporting actor win had been seen as more probable.
The mixed reaction to “August: Osage County” could have been the reason Meryl Streep went home empty-handed for comedy actress — Amy Adams surprised some observers with her “American Hustle” win instead — though perhaps already having won eight Golden Globes with 28 nominations took the sting out of her loss. The other nominees — Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig and Julia Louis-Dreyfus — fell into the “lucky just to be nominated” category.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Globe for supporting actress surprised some who thought “12 Years a Slave’s” Lupita Nyong’o delivered an impressive performance, but both are likely to garner Oscar noms and can fight it out once again in March.
Many thought “Let it Go,” from “Frozen,” was robbed of a prize for best original song, but the Hollywood Foreign Press clearly wanted see Bono at its ceremony, and it got him, voting for “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” It was also a victory for Harvey Weinstein, who normally collects trophies by the armful for Weinstein Co. films, whose movies were otherwise completely shut out.
Though Cate Blanchett’s drama actress prize for “Blue Jasmine” surprised absolutely no one, the real Philomena Lee was in the audience ready to accept the award for Judi Dench, who was filming out of town. A speech from Lee would have been a nice moment, even if Dench has already won two Golden Globes.
TV AWARDS: BIGGEST SURPRISES
Amy Poehler’s comedy win for “Parks and Recreation” was heartily approved — and a sort-of thank you for her capable and amusing hosting — yet surprising, considering HBO’s more critically-beloved comedy thesps Lena Dunham and Julia Louis-Dreyfus that were in competition, as well as Edie Falco, a three time nominee for “Nurse Jackie.”
Jacqueline Bisset was another surprise, winning TV supporting actress for the little seen Starz telefilm “Dancing on the Edge,” especially since Emmy favorite Sofia Vergara has been nominated four times for “Modern Family” but has never won a Golden Globe. Bisset’s meandering, spacey speech provided one of those off-the-cuff moments that make the Globes so fun.
“House of Cards” and “Masters of Sex” were up against nearly insurmountable competition in universally adored “Breaking Bad,” so it’s not surprising both well-respected series were mostly shut out, with both Bryan Cranston and the show winning for actor and TV drama.
Widely-heralded performances from Aaron Paul in “Breaking Bad” and a deliciously-disguised Rob Lowe in “Behind the Candelabra” lost out to Jon Voight for supporting actor, drama in “Ray Donovan.” It was a bit surprising considering the show’s mixed reviews, though Voight is the kind of old-Hollywood talent the HFPA respects.
In its first season, New York cop comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” pulled off two surprises, one for comedy actor for Andy Samberg and one for best comedy, beating “Girls,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Though the “Saturday Night Live” alum is a popular comedian, nominees Jim Parsons, Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle and Michael J. Fox were all considered more likely winners.
Though Robin Wright’s drama actress win for “House of Cards” wasn’t too shocking, many thought Taylor Schilling had a better chance for her searingly loopy convict in “Orange is the New Black.”
But that’s what makes the show worth watching — the surprises, snubs, bleeped-out profanities and flashes of wit, heart and hopefully, drunkenness.