Stars align for Hollywood’s biggest night

For the first time in three years, the Golden Globes were hosted by new faces. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, British comedian Ricky Gervais hosted the award show. Gervais’ jokes were controversial, crude and politically incorrect, but always funny in a painfully true kind of way.

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By last year, though, Gervais seemed to be running out of steam and he was criticized for not being funny enough. Gervais declined to host the award show a fourth time, and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Tina Fey (30 Rock) were brought in as the new hosts.

They quickly proved themselves a nice change from Gervais’ biting sarcasm. They had written good jokes that, while tamer than Gervais’, were no less funny, and they had an easy, charming charisma that engaged and entertained the audience. After their stints on Saturday Night Live, the two comedians seemed at ease in front of the crowd, and the biggest complaint about the award show seems to be that they were not given enough screen time.

This year’s collection of Golden Globe nominations and wins showed the growing popularity of political dramas in film and on television.

Nominations and wins were given to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, the TV movie Game Change, the miniseries Political Animals and the popular television drama, Homeland.

Lincoln received seven nominations including for Best Motion Picture-Drama, Best Screenplay and Best Director, though it only took home one award for Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln. Zero Dark Thirty followed with four nominations, but no wins. Game Change took home the television awards for Best Television Movie and Best Actress in a Television Movie, while Homeland received the awards for Best Television Series, and Best Actor and Actress. Political Animals received two nominations, but no wins. Past favorites at the Emmys and Golden Globes such as Modern Family and Downtown Abbey were passed over in favor of Homeland and HBO’s comedy series Girls.

The biggest win of the evening went to Ben Affleck, who won Best Director for Argo. Affleck was not nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, and many have considered that the biggest snub this year. When Affleck won the Golden Globe, he received a standing ovation.

The best speech of the night was Anne Hathaway’s tribute to Sally Fields after Hathaway was chosen over Fields for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. She thanked Fields for showing her that an actress can break out of typecasting to take on bolder roles and succeed. Fields started out as the flying nun, while Hathaway became famous for her role in the Princess Diaries. The speech creating the most buzz is Jodie Foster’s acceptance for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Foster’s dialogue tended to ramble as she gave scathing criticisms of reality television and paparazzi, but it was also funny, nostalgic and a touching tribute to her mother who is suffering from dementia. The controversy over it has come from the fact that it is her first major coming-out speech and that she seemed to be saying that she is retiring from acting for good.

Overall, the award show offered a great night of entertainment, due mainly to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s contributions. The Academy Awards on Feb. 24 will have a hard time meeting the high standards set this past Sunday.