Hollywood kicks off its shoes

Posted: January 14, 2014

WATCHING THE Golden Globes to see who won is like reading Playboy for the articles. You can do it if you want, but you're probably missing the point.

We watch, if we watch, for the party, for the spectacle of famous people, some of whom haven't eaten in a day or two, becoming gradually more inebriated and saying and doing unexpected things. Or for the moment when the wrong thing comes up on the teleprompter and presenters have to scramble.

And, of course, last night for Amy Poehler and Upper Darby's Tina Fey, who hosted the show for the second year and acquitted themselves with loopy aplomb, like the cool designated drivers for all of Hollywood.

"Everybody keep drinking, it'll be over soon," ordered presenter Sean Combs, less than an hour into the three-hour show.

The awards, whose winners are chosen by a small, eccentric group that, frankly, gets it right (and wrong) about as often as the supposedly more qualified Emmy and Oscar voters do, may be mostly an excuse for Hollywood's best, brightest and most ebullient to party, but it doesn't mean the evening didn't produce genuine winners:

First bleep of the evening: To an emotional and borderline incoherent Jacqueline Bisset, whose win for Starz' "Dancing on the Edge" - predictable only by those who realize that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members are suckers for an accent - eventually led her to step in a word that's a no-no on NBC.

Biggest booster of lip-reading education: Diane Keaton, whose own very long bleep - during an otherwise lovely tribute to Woody Allen - left viewers asking, "What?"

Best obligatory shot at that handsome punching bag, George Clooney: To Fey, who described the movie "Gravity" as "the story of how George Clooney would rather float away in space and die rather than spend one more minute with a woman his own age."

Best shot at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association: To Poehler, whose deadpan, "Thank you for your integrity," was a gentle but pointed reminder that the ethics of the group's members have occasionally been questioned (although never their ability to throw a party).

Second-best shot: To Robin Wright ("House of Cards") who, in thanking the HFPA in her acceptance speech, added, "You guys are a gaggle of characters, I've gotta say."

The Jennifer Lawrence award: To Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"), just for being Jennifer Lawrence and for her usual artless acceptance speech, this one ending: "Don't ever do this again. I'm so scared."

Best use of expensive footwear by a presenter: To Emma Thompson, who strode out onto the stage barefoot. "I just want you to know that this red - it's my blood," said a barefoot Thompson, holding up scarlet-soled Christian Louboutins that I have a feeling she's probably going to have to pay for now (if she hadn't already).

Best use of Bono by a Golden Globes winner: Poehler, seen in the audience receiving a massage from the U2 singer when her name was called as a winner for "Parks and Recreation," engaged in a serious (OK, maybe not so serious) lip-lock with him before racing to the stage. No wonder she seemed excited. "I never win, so I can't believe I won," she burbled happily at one point.

Funniest speech that could have used captioning: By "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron, who made fun of his very thick accent in his acceptance, demonstrating that he once made it sound as if he were telling star Sandra Bullock he'd give her "herpes" when he meant he'd give her "an earpiece." Or at least I think that's what he said.

Most explicit introductory imagery: To Fey, who intoned, "Like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to [presenter] Leonardo DiCaprio."

Email: graye@phillynews.com

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Twitter: @elgray

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