8:06 PST: And with that, ladies and gentlemen, we conclude for the evening. Thanks for keeping me company!
7:57 PST: Thank goodness for 12 Years A Slave’s win. There’s so much discussion of the political and ethical importance of the film. But Steve McQueen’s accomplishment goes far beyond that. It’s a strikingly gorgeous film. McQueen elicited astonishing performances from his cast, and may yet make Lupita Nyong’o a star. On every level 12 Years A Slave is a reminder of what filmmaking can be, and many things political filmmaking can aspire to.
7:48 PST: Matthew McConaughey had an incredible 2013, and is starting off with an incredible 2014 in True Detective, about which I will have more to say tomorrow. But it is hugely frustrating, in an overwhelmingly white night, not to see Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is the centerpiece of a great American drama, up there right now.
7:44 PST: “And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.” Seriously, Tina?
7:37 PST: This pretty much confirms my sense that American Hustle has a good shot at winning Best Picture. Not sure I have much else to say about what I thought was a frustrating movie that would have been much better if it focused on the relationship between Carmine and Irving.
7:29 PST: I assume it doesn’t even need saying at this point, but the lack of attention to 12 Years A Slave in these awards thus far is worrisome on every level.
7:27 PST: As I mentioned earlier this evening, I have a lot of exceptionally complex thoughts about The Wolf Of Wall Street that I will try to work out for you over the next couple of days. But when Leonardo DiCaprio jokes that he never saw himself winning Best Actor for work in a comedy, he’s right. He totally upended his previously humorless reputation in Wolf, and I hope it opens up his career.
7:20 PST: Wow. What an incredibly giant night for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The comedy is young, but I do think it’s a rich ensemble, both in diversity as mentioned before, and in comedic range. Terry Crews as a pussycat, Stephanie Beatriz’s goth ex-ballerina, Melissa Fumero’s recovering nerd, and Joe Lo Truglio as a hipster without the outer trappings of it are all wonderful. And Andre Braugher’s deadpan gay police captains is a hilarious obliteration of the molds both of black captains on TV, and of the monolith of the white gay man on TV. I can’t wait to see where it goes next, as long as Fox is wise enough to renew it.
7:17 PST: I profoundly wish there had been a way for Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen to share the award for directing. Gravity, as I said in my Golden Globes preview, feels like the first movie to understand that 3D should pull you into the screen, not merely toss things out at you from it. And 12 Years A Slave is an achievement on so many artistic and political levels. Recognizing both men’s work would have been a powerful illustration of all the things the movies are capable of.
7:09 PST: I would respect Diane Keaton more if she were not doing this. Any of this.
6:46 PST: Amy Poehler wins Best Actress for Parks and Recreation. Even in a year that was more uneven than this show has been in the past, Parks and Recreation remains a tremendously important statement in support of optimism, kindness, and public service. And Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt’s relationship, which took another step forward last year when the two married, is a remarkable portrait of a feminist marriage. As Leslie put it in her vows, “The things that you have done for me to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.” The dream of relationships in which men are equally capable of sacrificing for their wives, and doing so with love, grace, and huge faith in their partners is a quiet revolution in television.
6:48 PST: “The only reason I’m here right now is that I had more sequins,” Michael Douglas, who won for playing Liberace, shouts out his co-star in Behind The Candelabra, Matt Damon, who played Liberace’s lover, Scott Thorson. They were both very good in the movie, but Douglas’ performance in particular is a reminder that dignity and grandeur can be overrated. He’s so good precisely because he gets at the substance and darkness that silliness can disguise, and the way that ridiculous behavior can be powerfully manipulative.
6:34 PST: I like Brooklyn Nine-Nine a whole bunch, but that show is a good example of how Fox’s diversity mandate is reaping dividends. He may be the star, but he’s the sixth-best thing about that show, far behind Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, and Melissa Fumero (also Joe Lo Truglio). Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a much, much stronger show than it would be with all of these actors playing against and playing with various stereotypes about race and ethnicity. And the show is the kind of reflection of New York that folks wanted Girls to be as a result.
6:29 PST: If you like Her, I highly recommend Speaker For The Dead, the sequel to Ender’s Game, which is full of beautiful, compassionate writing about artificial intelligence. With all the caveats about Orson Scott Card’s politics being the worst and ways you should offset purchasing his work if you don’t get the book from the library that I always make in place of course.
6:28 PST: “This red? It’s my blood,” says Emma Thompson, showing off the bottom of her heels, and continuing her and Meryl’s joint campaign against painful shoes. I love her so dearly.
6:17 PST: There is probably no award that will make me angrier tonight than Robin Wright’s nod for playing Claire Underwood in House Of Cards, especially when Julianna Margulies is nominated for a role that obliterates the cliches about political wifehood and Lady Macbethdom (not to mention the other nominees). House Of Cards, if it were more violent, might be the show that best exemplifies the ways in which people have mistaken some of the elements of the Golden Age of television for actual greatness themselves, no matter how poorly they’re executed. It was probably inevitable that House of Cards would walk away with something tonight, but that it happens in this category is a reminder of how frustrating it is that this utterly mediocre show has gotten so much recognition, rather than Orange Is The New Black, the show that really represents Netflix’s ability to upend the conventions of Hollywood content.
6:08 PST: Amy Adams’ win for American Hustle confirms Matt Zoller Seitz’s theory that the movie is heading towards a big Oscar night. It’s an interesting, though not unprecedented, performance by Adams. The origins are all there in Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, in which she’s really good and sexy and funny. The core of sadness she brings to Sydney Prosser here is really fascinating.
5:55 PST: U2 winning for “Ordinary Love” brings up all of my frustrations with Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. There are radical insights in that film and a refusal to be sentimental about Mandela that is hugely bracing. But it should have been a two-part movie. If we can have two movies about Mesrine, a minor figure in French history, we deserve five hours of Idris Elba as Mandela.
5:38 PST: “I was always very grateful that the show resonated with American audiences, but now through this, and the Hollywood Foreign Press, people around the world will be able to share in Breaking Bad’s mirth and merriment,” Bryan Cranston jokes about the close of the show that gave him a performance of a lifetime. I’m really curious to see how the Univision adaptation, and any subsequent foreign adaptations, of Breaking Bad turn out, in part because it’s such an essentially American piece of storytelling (as are the best of the great shows from the Golden Age of television), about class, and masculinity, and American ideas about masculinity, and our relationship to Mexico. If Tony Soprano came too late for the classic era of the mafia that he’d seen in movies, Walter White came too late for the Westerns that he’s heir to. I’m endlessly curious about how those ideas are received overseas, and I have no idea how you retell the story in a different setting.
5:37 PST: I would really like to buy Tina Fey and Amy Poehler some wine and talk to them about how they really feel about The Wolf of Wall Street, which I saw last night, and about which I have many extremely complex thoughts and emotions. I will write about this tomorrow.
5:34 PST: “Thank you all for your integrity,” Amy Poehler says deadpan, after she and Tina Fey make a serious of increasingly hilarious jokes about who the HFPA consists of. Seriously, Veronica Geng would have been proud of that last fake name Tina Fey rattled off.
5:25 PST: If you haven’t seen Top Of The Lake, it’s really amazing how Elisabeth Moss obliterates Peggy Olsen in her role. It’s also a PSA for finding out if Sundance is in your channel lineup. They’ve got one really interesting show in their after-death-row drama Rectify, and a tough, fascinating drama coming up in The Red Road.
5:23 PST: Behind The Candelabra is really, really brilliant and scabrous. It’s also part of an underdiscussed current in Steven Soderbergh’s work: a concern with male body image. Not to mention, of course, that it’s an incredibly sad portrait of what happens to people’s relationships when they’re forced underground, and the kinds of abuses people can inflict on each other when both partners in a relationship don’t have legal protection.
5:16 PST: While this speech is going on, I want to go back and note that I think Tina Fey’s “Black List” joke was in both poor taste and ineffective. Barkhad Abdi was a cab driver before his work in Captain Phillips, but he’s entered an industry that may be even tougher on him than on a white woman like Fey, and I don’t think there’s any guarantee he’ll get to work at the same level again. It would have been nice to see Fey and Poehler treat him with the same sort of solidarity that they extended to their fellow actresses, rather than suggesting that his success here is a reason the folks in attendance should bang the limo driver before he gets famous.
5:13 PST: Hayden Panettiere was really, really robbed in this category. Of the nominees, the Juliette Barnes is so hard-edged, and so often unpleasant, not least because the reasons she takes cringe-inducing actions are so justified. And her class anxieties and sexual appetite are treated with unusual kindness by the show.
5:11 PST: Jennifer Lawrence wins the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle. It’s a fun performance, but like a lot of that movie, overdone. I wish it had been Sally Hawkins, who is overshadowed by a similarly aggressive performance by Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, but turns in this lovely, delicate work that has a ton to say about class and cruelty and kindness.
5:10 PST: If Fey and Poehler refer to Hanks as “Tam Honks” for the entire evening, I will be so happy.
5:06 PST: Tina Fey says of Matthew McConaughey that: “For his role in Dallas Buyers Club, he lost 45 pounds, or what actresses call being in a movie.” Some of these slaps, like the one about Jonah Hill’s penis, haven’t gone over particularly well, but that seems to elicit some sounds of relief in the room. It’s also a reminder that the sort of weight loss that seems shocking when men do it is actually something actresses are dealing with every day. So odd to try to extrapolate out what this entire room of women would look like if their jobs didn’t require them to weigh a certain way.
5:04 PST: “There are still great parts for Meryl Streeps over 60,” is the second great truth expressed in this monologue already.
5:02 PST: Amy Poehler talks about all the stars present, from Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o “to American treasure Tam Honks,” and you have to laugh or you’ll cry.
4:45 PST: Hi everyone! The Television Critics Association press tour takes a break this evening so we can all tear our hair out over what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decides to anoint as the best film and television of the year. I’ll be here all night talking about the best and worst of the awards choices, jokes, speeches, and schtick. And if you want to know which decisions are liable to make my head explode, my complete guide to who should win the Golden Globes is here.