Monday, January 14, 2013

The Golden Globes, all this and a President too.

Coming on the weekend following the Oscar nomination announcements, last night's Golden Globe Awards telecast pushed the Oscar buzz, along with Awards season in general, into high gear. Refreshingly hosted by Tina Fey and pal Amy Poehler, the show, famous for not taking itself too seriously, remained relatively light and breezy with only the occasional rambling acceptance speech or flat joke to stall its progress.
To the credit of its producers, NBC's local news programs kicked in precisely at 11pm as regularly scheduled. And for those looking to future events, Ms. Poehler established herself as perfectly capable, and quite appealingly so, of handling solo hosting duties effortlessly. The Academy Awards should take note.

Lucy and Ethel   Tina and Amy.
So here's what the 70th Annual Golden Globes taught those of us who were paying attention to what was happening rather than what people were wearing.

Ben Affleck
First, go see Argo. Ben Affleck had a very nice night. After missing out on an Academy Awards nomination, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the folks behind the Golden Globes, honored Actor/Producer/Director Affleck with awards for Best Director and Best Motion Picture, Drama. If you're handicapping the Oscars, there's nothing to see here but if you're a fan of solid moviemaking, and haven't seen it yet, Argo deserves a place on your "to see" list as both a great night at the movies and a showcase of the talent that will have Affleck climbing award show steps for years to come.

Quentin Tarantino
Next, regardless of the goofy exterior package, Quentin Tarantino has again proved that his talent as a director and storyteller are rooted in his extraordinary talent as a writer. Tarantino's Django Unchained scored Golden Globes for his own Best Screenplay as well as netting the honor of Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz. Tarantino has reached a career point where he must be recognized as one of the finest and most gifted American Screenwriters in Hollywood's history of substantive action films.

Finally, Lincoln. That word used to call to mind only a bearded man in a top hat whose strength and ability to understand historically proportioned events, influenced the course of a young nation. But for movie fans it has also become a touchstone for the careers of Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg. Daniel Day-Lewis indeed won the Best Actor, Drama honor for his work, exactly as he will come Oscar night.

But it was a presenter, not an award, that defined the magnitude of Mr. Spielberg's talent as a movie Producer and Director. To introduce the clip of Lincoln during the show, the presenter who took to the podium was none other than former President Bill Clinton. An entirely appropriate surprise and impressive to the point of show stopping. If this is the guy that introduced Lincoln for the Golden Globes, who on Earth could possibly follow him at the Oscars?

There are other great films that were recognized last night, along with lots of great television. Les Misérables, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook and Disney Pixar's Brave all merit your attention and ticket dollars. As the Oscars approach, there's still time to see why movies remain such a fantastic form of entertainment and that the films honored last night benchmark a trend toward increasingly high standards of artistic and technical quality.

Congratulations to all of those honored.

Thanks to NBC and the HFPA for use of images from last night's broadcast.

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