Golden Globe Winners and Losers

We wanted some questions answered at the Golden Golbes last night and we got them with some distinct winners and losers from a pretty tame (lame?) ceremony that was so exciting that I Redbox’d Dinner for Schmucks and watched it instead for most of the night:

WINNERS

Sucks for Jesse Eisenberg, but he'll have other chances.

sucks for Jesse Eisenberg, but he'll have other chances.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Easily the hands-down favorite to win the best picture Oscar, and it’s not even that close. Right now we’re talking about an epic upset if it doesn’t win best picture. It wasn’t just the win for best picture drama Sunday night at the Globes, it also won best director and best screenplay — the three biggest awards it had the best shot at. Forget about Andrew Garfield, forget about Jesse Eisenberg, those were pipe dreams at best, whether they deserved the awards or not. There is probably the perception that they haven’t been around long enough to pay their dues and that they’ll be back again in later years. But for the movie, director David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin to win their categories — and Trent Reznor too, of all people — the message was clear at the Globes that people liked Social Network the most. The Oscars probably will too.

it's a two-person race now

it's a two-person race now

OSCAR ACTRESS FAVORITES. There has to be a first. A first major awards show to speak up and say, “I don’t care how crazy and borderline incomprehensible your movie might be, screw it — your acting performance was the best.” That was the Golden Globes for Natalie Portman. She already was the odds-on Oscar favorite for best actress, but the question was there. Could the Academy recognize her for such a raw and perverse role in which she indulged in hallucinated lesbian acts, self-mutilated, self-pleasured, starved herself to those hallucinations and maybe or maybe not killed herself? Well, the Globes can. So the Academy doesn’t have to be the first to say it. Option B is to go for the safer role, which, for the first time ever, is a gay woman. Who would have ever thought that 20 years ago, that the “safe” pick in the “safer” role is a lesbian doctor! That’s progress if I ever saw it. And since Annette Bening won in the best comedy/musical category, you can safely cross everyone else off your list of best actress candidates at the Academy Awards.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE. By the time the Emmys roll around, things might be different. But for BE to be the first TV show to knock off Mad Men since it premiered — and for Steve Buscemi to beat a very, very crowded field for best actor — sends a pretty clear message that there’s a new sheriff in town. It might be a blip on the screen, the Globes are historically kind to a freshman series. But that fact that BE is decidedly American — mafia, gambling, Prohibition — it’s not the type of show the foreign press usually goes for. Mad Men is officially put on notice that it might not have its reserved seat available at the podium for the Emmys in September.

GLEE: It’s been an argument on the Internet, at awards shows and even in my house: Is Glee’s second season as good as its first? For some reason, I seem to be the only one it is. Well, now me and the Golden Globes, which honored it for the second year in a row as best comedy/musical TV show. It’s not the side of the argument I thought I’d find myself on, but I’m pretty comfortable hanging out there. Getting the best show wasn’t it, the show also swept the best supporting acting categories. Since everyone on the show seems like a supporting character, it’s a credit not just to winners Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch, but to the entire cast. And don’t worry, there is plenty of time to get back on the Glee bandwagon before the post-Super Bowl episode coming up.

KATEY SAGAL. Sons of Anarchy has never gotten the award-show love it should have. And even though it didn’t deserve any this year, Sagal is the exception (I talked about this at lengthlast month). The best actress field wasn’t nearly as crowded as it has been the past few years, but her win jumps off the page. Usually, if you’re on for three seasons and haven’t gotten any major nominations, you can pretty much forget about getting any award recognition other than from the North Stockton Motorcycle Club. So far Sagal not only to be nominated but to beat out last year’s winner (Julianna Margulies) and another former winner and six-time nominee (Kyra Sedgwick) is pretty impressive and hopefully means she’ll at least get an Emmy nomination.

LOSERS

KING’S SPEECH. If it wasn’t going to win here, it’s not going to win anywhere. This is the foreign press, the same group that has given recognition to inferior foreign movies and gummed up the prediction process for the Oscars. That’s right, Atonement. I’m looking right at you. Colin Firth managed to win his best actor award amid a pretty weak list of acting candidates where no one has really distinguished themselves from the pack. There wasn’t one performance than stands out from the pack in the Globes field — maybe when Jeff Bridges gets an Oscar nomination for True Grit that will change — so Firth’s win is a questionable one at best. He was a lock for the Golden Globe, not so much for the Oscar. And if King’s Speech got pummelled by Social Network in every other category here, cross it off your list as a contender for best picture at the Oscars. There, now you only have to deal with nine movies.

it's only a movie, people. james franco still has his arm.

it's only a movie, people. james franco still has his arm.

127 HOURS: It was already starting to generate some bad buzzbecause of, oh, you know, James Franco sawing his own arm off. It’s gotten such bad blowback that director Danny Boyle has gone on the offensive against people who are just bluntly not seeing the movie because of that scene. Now that it was shut out of its three nominations, it’s no longer a lock to get a best picture nomination or for James Franco to get a best actor nod.

DEXTER AND SHOWTIME: One year after taking home best actor for Michael C. Hall and best supporting actor for John Lithgow at the Globes, the show was shut out and seemed like little more than an afterthought. That’s pretty much how it went all night for Showtime versus HBO. The pay-TV torch was supposed to be in the process of being passed — or wrestled away — but HBO put its stamp on the night with the double wins for Boardwalk Empire and its wins for its TV movies. That’s a field Showtime hasn’t bothered with yet, but until it does, then HBO is going to be able to put extra stamps on these awards shows it can’t compete with. Especially with BE breaking down Dexter like it did.

MAD MEN: This is not the position Mad Men is used to, but it went 0-for-the-show last night, failing to pick up a single award in its three nominated categories for the first time since it premiered. It’s also the first time it didn’t win best drama, and three of its Emmy stalwarts — John Slattery, January Jones and Christina Hendricks — weren’t even nominated. Either the show is getting worse, critics don’t like it anymore or they’re just giving someone else a turn. I’m going with that last possibility, thanks.

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