Host Tina Fey ended the telecast by dubbing the night “the beautiful mess [she and co-host Amy Poehler] hoped it would be.” But was anyone really surprised? The duo's irreverence, easy playfulness and self-deprecation helped kick the broadcast off to a great start with careful, yet still funny skewering of Hollywood’s biggest names as well as the Globe organizers themselves.
"This is Hollywood," the returning Fey explained off the top, "if something kind of works, they'll just keep doing it until everyone hates it."
The opening joke that seemed to get the biggest laughs from the industry crowd? Fey’s description of nominated film Gravity as the movie where "George Clooney would rather float away in space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age."
Add just the right number of Matt Damon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus jokes over three hours, Poehler posing as Fey's "celebrity" son and also making out with Bono, and the ladies can chalk Sunday up as another successful night as Golden Globe emcees. And they still have one more year to go.
Famous for its free-flowing bar — referenced by several stars onstage (see below) as well as hosts Fey and Poehler, who occasionally popped up with wine goblets in hand — the Globes might consider awarding Emma Thompson a prize for being one of Sunday night’s quirkiest presenters.
The British actress and writer arrived onstage to present the screenwriting category barefoot, clutching her Christian Louboutin heels in one hand and swirling a full martini glass in the other.
"I just want you to know, this red," she quipped, noting the shoes' trademark soles, "it's my blood."
The Saving Mr. Banks actress then gamely dived into her martini before tossing her heels to accept the envelope listing the winning screenwriter.
While most of the night’s acceptance speeches were the usual list of predictable thank yous, a couple of actors lit up the crowd by delivering their respective catchphrases.
Best dramatic film actor winner Matthew McConaughey was honoured for Dallas Buyers Club, among his recent spate of critically acclaimed performances. He delighted one and all with his familiar “Alright, alright, alright!” — harkening back to his early stoner role in Dazed and Confused — as he took the stage to accept his trophy.
Earlier, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan thanked fans in his best TV drama win speech, but turned the mic over to series co-star Aaron Paul for some final words. Paul responded with his character Jesse Pinkerman’s trademark declaration "Yeah, bitch!" to supportive hoots from the crowd. (Incidentally, it wasn’t the only impromptu "swear" that made it on-air: Jacqueline Bisset and Elisabeth Moss also responded to their respective acting wins with minor cursing.)
Best gently soused, mildly controversial acceptance speech of the night? Likely Cate Blanchett’s admittedly vodka-fuelled, rambling thank you upon winning one of the night’s final honours: best actress in a dramatic film for Blue Jasmine. The celebrated Aussie went from referencing Judy Garland being plied with barbiturates to wondering if audiences at home could hear the music that was ushering her offstage.
One of the night’s major faux-pas took place outside of the gala itself, when the E! Entertainment network bizarrely listed Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis in 1991 as a "fun fact" — a move that exploded into a Twitter uproar.
The information was shown as part of a graphic during the E! live stream of its red-carpet coverage, but was not actually televised. The network subsequently apologized to the Canadian-American actor (a TV comedy acting nominee Sunday night), saying in a statement that it regretted the insensitive graphic.