Winners & losers at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards

by W. Andrew Powell

After watching the Golden Globes tonight, I couldn’t help but take a few minutes to post something quick, because I feel kind of mesmerized by the results, and what is still to come with the Oscars.

First off, there’s the Heath Ledger debate. During the Globes, Ledger was honoured with the award for best supporting actor for his part as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Going into the awards I had some doubt about his posthumous chances, but that’s because I had it all wrong. Ledger was up for a supporting role, and in that case, there was literally no one else able to compete.

If Ledger had been nominated for the part as a lead actor, I don’t think they would have given it to him, but as a supporting role I finally get it. Which now means I completely understand why there’s all this Oscar buzz.

Next to him, no one else stands a chance. This wasn’t a mind-blowing performance by Ledger, but it was good, and as his last full role in life, it does deserve some recognition. So, in that sense, expect no surprises. If the Ledger is nominated for the Academy Awards, the award will go in his honour.

On a lighter note, there’s the topic of 30 Rock, which won for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical. Now, I love Tina Fey, and I love some of the performances in this show, but I can’t understand why it’s so popular. It’s not even that most of the time funny. And next to Californication, I just don’t buy that it’s a better show.

So, this is just one of those things where I’ll accept that it’s nice that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognized Californication with a nomination, but do they have the final say on whether one show is better than the next? Well, no.

For that matter, I don’t buy that the Emmy Awards know what they’re doing either (they have pretty much snubbed Californication for the big awards), but how often do awards shows get it right?

But the best part of my night has to be seeing Mickey Rourke win at the Golden Globes for his lead role in The Wrestler. (And I know I’m not alone here. My pals Christopher Heard and Chris Alexander are both avid Rourke fans.)

Rourke has had an incredible career, but he had a long, rough period where he basically self-destructed. That said, looking back at all of his films, I can hardly point to any points where he wasn’t doing great work. The films weren’t always very big, but he was always amazing.

(If you want to read an awesome interview with Rourke by Mr. Heard, check it out here: ‘Mickey Rourke rising‘.)

Aside from that, it was great listening to Steven Spielberg talk about his career, and the need for filmmakers to inspire each other. Definitely richly deserved recognition for this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.

And I was a bit surprised to see Kate Winslet win two awards during the course of the night, but very pleased. It couldn’t have happened to a better actress. If you missed it, Winslet won one award for her lead role in Revolutionary Road and for her supporting role in The Reader.

The only other award that made me really smile was seeing Colin Farrell win for best actor in a musical or comedy for the film In Bruges. A brilliant film, and well, you’ve got to love Farrell when he’s really doing his thing.

Otherwise, the last complaint with the whole night was the lack of a host. It made the show feel like a bunch of business we all had to wade through. Having a host does make the night longer, but it would also give the night some structure instead of just handing out a bunch of awards while celebrities got drunk at their tables.

There was at least the matter of the random, sometimes over-the-top jokes by some of the presenters and winners. One of the best examples being when Ricky Gervais happily mocked Winslet’s win, and the HFPA. There were a few others jabs at the HFPA themselves, which I really, really appreciate, even if they were all in good fun.

After all, who are these people, who can apparently make up their own awards and hand them out, and Hollywood actually shows up? The HFPA is, after all, just a special club of questionably noteworthy journalists, but there is no escaping the fact that they are a huge pre-cursor to the Oscars, and after 66 years of handing out awards, they have justifiably proven that they have a knack for separating the cream from the crop.

The Golden Globes also seem to be a good opportunity for celebrities to turn up at a televised event and let their hair down, saying and doing things we don’t always get to see or hear. In that sense, at least, the Oscars could learn a thing or two.

So, what do you say? What do you think of the Golden Globes this year? Or “awards season” in general?

Photo of Kate Winslet © HFPA/66th Golden Globe® Awards.

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Kat January 12, 2009 - 3:08 am

I too am so happy that both Colin and Mickey won.. and Bruce Springsteen’s song.. ! oh man did they ever get that right. I don’t watch Third Rock but Alec Baldwin is so smarmy, especially bringing up his daughter after such horrible publicity around his horrible yelling spree directed at her.

I hadn’t realized that there wasn’t a master of ceremonies.. but wondered why it felt so empty.

Ricky Gervais: although he was overtly rude. .. I do agree that Kate Winslet did overact her humbleness! I’m glad that Brad Pitt didn’t win! I’m just so tired of reading about ‘brangelina.’ They have enough publicity as it is.

Elle January 12, 2009 - 3:46 am

I’m with you on 30 Rock, though I realize that puts me in the minority these days. I too love Tina Fey, but she’s not enough to make me love the show, though I have many friends who do. I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly why, but I’ve just never gotten much out of it. I’m definitely a Californication fan though, and hate to see it snubbed by the Emmys. At least Duchovny got a SAG nom this year, though I’d be very surprised if he won. He’s had many nominations in the past but I’m not sure he ever has. It seems that, despite being a great show, Californication is rather a dark horse candidate these days (it’s more of a “cult hit”, I think, than 30 Rock is).

I also agree about Spielberg. He’s quite possibly my favorite living director (he’s at least one of them), and that tribute was wonderfully put together. I loved hearing him speak about how creative minds can mentor one another and help pass talent on in the business.

Karla January 12, 2009 - 2:50 pm

Just a few more observations:

Loved Sandra Bullock’s snide comment on older men in hollywood going after much younger women!
Loved that Brangelina (and Tom Cruise) won nothing and disappeared immediately after the last award!
Loved that people won because of their talent, not because of their name and status.
Also don’t get the 30Rock craze. Alec is entertaining, but I find the rest boring.

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