Golden Globes 2016: The Best Moments
Raja Sen’s favourite bits from what was, overall, a glitzy but forgettable awards show.
Look, it’s not like the best films won. (Clearly the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did not watch, or did not understand The Big Short.)
The Golden Globes, however, are not seriously considered awards.
They are less about who wins than who makes the most memorable face or who says the most outrageous thing.
Here, thus, are my favourite bits from what was, overall, a glitzy but forgettable awards show:
Ricky Gervais speaks up for equal wages for men and women
Image: Host Ricky Gervais. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Gervais’ opening monologue wasn’t much to write home about, the comedian trying desperately to shock his way to laughter by talking about Caitlyn Jenner and Transparent actor Jeffrey Tambor. But the one gag that struck a chord was when he spoke about how he believed completely in men and women getting paid exactly the same to do exactly the same job.
‘I’m getting paid exactly as much as Amy and Tina were last year,’ he tittered smugly, and while it was a fine line, he didn’t come close to doing the same job as Poehler and Fey.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s eye-roll
Image: Lady Gaga walks up to receive her award. Photograph courtesy: Golden Globes
Leonardo DiCaprio’s surprised eye-roll after Lady Gaga brushed by his arm on her way to accept her trophy became a rage on the social network.
The moment left everyone guessing about his peculiar expression and whether the nudge by Gaga was intentional.
Gael Garcia Bernal strolling smilingly onto the stage, utterly dazed
Image: Gael Garcia Bernal accepts the award for Best Actor – TV Series, Comedy for Mozart in the Jungle. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Mozart In The Jungle, an uneven but quirky Amazon show about classical musicians, has a great cast and that might be one of the reasons why the HFPA picked it as the best comedy series of the year.
The idea Mozart beating out fellow nominees Transparent, Veep and Silicon Valley, all stunningly good, is patently ridiculous, which was reflected in the priceless expression Bernal, one of the show’s lead actors, wore on his face as he stumbled incredulously onto stage behind the rest of the pack.
Later in the night, he won a Best Actor trophy for the show.
Standing ovation for Sly
Image: Sylvester Stallone accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Creed. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Sylvester Stallone has been a frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actor race this year for his terrific work in Creed but the minute presenter Patricia Arquette took his name, the floor erupted.
Stallone walked to the stage and there was a hearfelt standing ovation for the 69-year-old actor and also, as Sly acknowledged, for the character of Rocky Balboa who has, over seven films, been one of the screen’s most enduring best underdogs.
It was a touching moment which would have been perfect had Stallone not forgotten to thank Creed director Ryan Coogler or leading man Michael B Jordan.
All those knocks to the head, eh Rocky?
Aziz Ansari reading a book
Image: Aziz Ansari. Photograph: People Magazine/Twitter
As sight gags go, Master Of None star Aziz Ansari nailed it.
As his name was being called as a nominee for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Ansari — in deference to the rightful category frontrunner (who happens to be, alas, in the wrong category) — hid behind a mocked-up hardcover book titled Losing To Jeffrey Tambor With Dignity.
As it turns out, Tambor didn’t win — but this gag sure did.
Alan Cumming’s googly-eyed dumbstruck reaction to the Mel Gibson joke
Image: Host Ricky Gervais and presenter Mel Gibson speak onstage. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Gervais, in 2010, took an infamous (and elegantly timed) dig at the Australian actor: ‘I drink as much as the next man,’ Gervais said, beer in hand, ‘unless the next man is Mel Gibson.’
At which point Gibson, cued to present an award, strode out looking foolish, having been openly mocked about his many, many drunken transgressions.
This year Gervais introduced the Mad Max star with a feeble Bill Cosby joke, but later, standing next to him, asked him what ‘sugart**s’ (a weird and inappropriate term Gibson had, while intoxicated, used for a female police officer during his scandal) really meant.
It was a shocking moment, certainly, but for me, more than the bleeped out line itself the magic lay in the effect it had on Alan Cumming in the audience, his big round glasses nearly flying off his face, rendered dumbstruck by utter awe.
Tom Hanks and his impression of Denzel Washington
Image: Tom Hanks speaks onstage. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Hanks can do anything, and as he presented the Cecil B De Mille Lifetime Achievement award to his Philadelphia co-star Washington, he started out with a great Denzel impersonation before going on to herald the actor as one of the finest leading men of all time.
Washington, looking either very overwhelmed or very sheepish, brought his family up on stage to accept the award, couldn’t read his speech because he didn’t have his glasses, but, in a rare moment of applause for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, thanked them sincerely and said ‘They’ve always made me feel like a friend, or like part of the party.’
The time the stoic presenter broke form to laugh
Image Taraji P Henson, winner of Best Performance in a Television Series – Drama for Empire. Photograph Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
The Best Actress in a Drama Series award went to Taraji P Henson for Empire, and, because she won for playing a character named Cookie, she took two handfuls of cookies and started handing them out to people around her and on the way to the stage.
The Globes presenter, who normally robotically mentions the number of nominations and wins per person, seemed to only get the joke when reading out the name of her character, at which point he couldn’t help chuckling.
No matter what else was staged, this certainly wasn’t rehearsed.
David O Russell and his red cheek
Image: Director Ridley Scott, winner of Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Martian. Photograph: Mark Davis/Getty Images
Ridley Scott won Best Picture (Comedy) for The Martian, beating out David O Russell’s Joy, but that didn’t stop Russell from warmly congratulating veteran director Scott while himself proudly wearing a big scarlet kiss-mark on his cheek given by his Joy star Jennifer Lawrence.
J Law, winning the Best Actress (Comedy) award for Russell’s film, professed her undying gratitude to the director and said she’d like to be buried next to him.
The moment of the night
Image: Quentin Tarantino accepts the award for Best Original Score – Motion Picture for The Hateful Eight on behalf of Ennio Morricone. Photograph: by Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
The best score this year is, without question, Ennio Morricone’s sweeping and majestic theme that holds Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight in place, and it rightfully won Best Score.
Morricone wasn’t around but Tarantino picked up the award for the composer, and immediately declared Morricone the greatest composer of all time.
‘And I don’t mean movie composers, that ghetto. I’m talking Mozart, I’m talking Beethoven, I’m talking Schubert.’
It was a ludicrous, poorly-worded statement coming from a giddy fan, but it hit Leonardo DiCaprio hard and the actor — who played a memorable slave-owner villain in Tarantino’s Django Unchained last year — couldn’t help giggling at the director’s insane bombast, shoulders shaking with mirth.
That one beautiful quote
Image: Alejandro G Inarritu accepts the award for Best Director – Motion Picture for The Revenant. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Alejandro González Iñárritu is on a roll.
The Mexican filmmaker swept the awards season just last year with the miraculous Birdman, and now won big for The Revenant, which picked up Globes for Best Director and Best Picture (Drama).
During his acceptance speech, the director acknowledged the famously gruelling winter schedule the film forced onto him and his crew but then brushed it off with the line of the night.
‘Pain is temporary but a film is forever.’