“Welcome, you bunch of despicable, spoiled, minimally talented brats.”
With that inspired greeting, Tina Fey kicked off the 72nd Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 11. Fey and her co-host, fellow comedian and SNL alumna Amy Poehler, hosted the show for their third and final year. The duo has been praised for its brilliant hosting and unfiltered commentary, and whomever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association taps to host next year’s show will be hard-pressed to match their success.
This year’s Golden Globes upheld its tradition of edgy decisions and semi-intoxicated celebrity attendees. Benedict Cumberbatch, beloved of the Internet, literally jumped out of his seat at the opportunity to present the award for Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture with Jennifer Aniston. J.K. Simmons won the award for his role in “Whiplash.” Comedian Ricky Gervais, who hosted the show from 2009 to 2011, giggled tipsily throughout his presentation of the Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical award, which was given to Amy Adams for her role in “Big Eyes.”
The night’s big winners were “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s latest film, and “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s epic 12-year project. They took the awards for Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical and Best Motion Picture — Drama, respectively. Linklater also won the award for Director.
George Clooney was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, an honorary Golden Globe Award bestowed for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Past honorees include Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor and Harrison Ford. Clooney gamely put up with teasing from the show’s hosts regarding his recent marriage to successful human rights lawyer Amal Ramzi Alamuddin Clooney. He delivered a swoon-worthy acceptance speech in which he thanked his wife, saying, “Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”
These winners deserved their awards, but they were ultimately safe bets. “Boyhood” won the 2015 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture, which “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was also nominated for, and Linklater won a second award for his direction of the film. The two films and Linklater received Oscar nominations, as well.
The Golden Globes’ major film awards were unsurprising, but the winners for television certainly made up for them. “Transparent,” the Amazon Studios-produced story of a transgender woman and her family that is streamed online by Amazon Instant Video, won Best TV Comedy or Musical. It was the first Best Series win by a streaming service, but, more importantly, the award recognized a provocative, diverse and progressive series. Jeffrey Tambor won the award for Lead Actor — TV Comedy for his sensitive and respectful portrayal of Maura, the show’s transgender protagonist.
In another unexpected decision, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave the award for Lead Actress — TV Comedy or Musical to Gina Rodriguez, star of The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Rodriguez was the only non-white actor or actress to be honored during the show, and it was The CW’s first-ever win. These historic wins may not reflect an industry-wide trend yet, but they’re steps in the right direction. Hopefully, in the next few years the other awards shows will follow suit.