In typical booze-fueled fashion, the Golden Globes came and went last night, creating the tiniest of ripples on a long journey to the Academy Awards. Before I begin to break down some of last evening's surprises in the movie categories, I'd love to throw a shout out to my favorite drama series of all-time, Breaking Bad. A Golden Globe win has been long overdue for the show itself and its leading star, Bryan Cranston. Congrats to everyone involved!
Now, let's set our focus back on the film-side of things and recap what transpired last evening (For a Full List of Winners Click Here). In the highly regarded Best Picture and Best Director competitions we're finally getting a clearer view of how these races are taking shape. The Globes have all but confirmed that 12 Years a Slave has the upper hand over Gravity, while American Hustle is the true wildcard player involved. It's interesting to note that the Hollywood Foreign Press elected to reward American Hustle for two of its four nominated performances, while 12 Years a Slave was shut out in all three of its performances. Either way it should be a hard fought battle to the finish line between these two apparent frontruners. As for Best Director, Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron took home the statue in a well-deserved victory. It's looking like he's the head of the class right now with Steve McQueen and David O. Russell knocking on the door, but all signs keep pointing to Cuaron being the big winner on Oscar night.
The Best Actor race took an interesting turn yesterday evening when the HFP handed Leonardo DiCaprio a shocking win in the Best Actor-Comedy/Musical category over presumed favorite, Nebraska's Bruce Dern. The Wolf of Wall Street star humbly accepted the award and praised his longtime directing companion, Martin Scorsese, as well as the rest of his cast members. The win makes Leo an interesting player in the very crowded Best Actor race, which could be bad news for Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) or Robert Redford (All Is Lost) who are also fringe players battling it out for those final two spots.
One of the evening's finest moments came when Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) edged out Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) in the Best Actor-Drama category. McConaughey has reinvented his career and the Globes have honored him for the impressive transformation. He topped my Personal Picks for 2013 in the Best Actor race and I hope to see the trend continue on to the Academy Awards, because McConaughey is certainly deserving.
Another surprising twist at last night's event was the kink that Amy Adams (American Hustle) threw into the Best Actress race. A field of five had felt all but set with the legendary Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) hanging on for dear life with the final spot. However, in a head-to-head showdown for the Best Actress-Comedy/Musical category, Adams shockingly took the win and Streep walked out of the building empty-handed. This leaves many of us wondering just how safe Streep should be feeling about her assumed Oscar Nomination. Either way, Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) continues to motor past the rest of her competition in the Best Actress-Drama category en route to what feels like an assured Academy Award victory in early March.
The Globes have officially left their mark and a huge congratulations is in order for all of last night's winners. Oscar Nominations will be unveiled on the morning of Thursday January 16th, and we'll have most of these questions answered by then. Stay tuned!