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December 21, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Golden Globes ratings hit decade record

Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and the cast of American Hustle accept their award for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical.

Unexpected winner Hustle leads show, favourite12 Years takes best drama

The Nielsen ratings company says the Golden Globes awards ceremony hit a 10-year high in viewership. According to national figures released yesterday, the NBC telecast, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-hosting for a second year, was seen Sunday by 20.9 million viewers. That’s an audience growth of 1.2 million viewers (or six percent) over last year’s show.

NBC said the telecast is currently the season’s most-watched awards programme, topping the CMA Awards, Emmy Awards, American Music Awards and People’s Choice Awards. Fey and Poehler are set to return to the Globes in 2015. Fey explained their return engagement this year by noting, “This is Hollywood, and if something kind of works they’ll just keep doing it until everybody hates it.”

Not these returnees, who again presided with seeming effortless sass and hardly a joke off-target. During their shared opening routine, Fey’s zinger about George Clooney and his penchant for dating younger women may have been the most riotously received wisecrack in recent awards-cast history. In a reference to Gravity, she said: “It’s a story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

Emma Thompson played up the Globes’ boozy reputation by arriving on stage barefoot to present the screenplay award in very non-Emmy, non-Oscar style, with her Christian Louboutin high heels in one hand, her martini in the other. “I just want you to know, this red,” she declared, pointing to the shoes’ trademark red soles before tossing them over her shoulder, “it’s my blood.”

Accepting her trophy as best supporting actress for the miniseries Dancing on the Edge, a clearly surprised Jacqueline Bisset voiced a lengthy, rambling acceptance that triggered the get-off-the-stage music. Still talking undeterred, Bisset fired off a profanity that began with the words, “And the people who have given me...” Oddly, TV viewers didn’t hear that first part of her statement. It was bleeped. But what did get through TV sets loud and clear was the forbidden S-word.

Who gets Oscar boost

The Golden Globes are typically Hollywood’s bawdiest awards show — “a wonderful mess,” said co-host Tina Fey of this year’s bash. But in the end, after all the boozy banter, the 1970s corruption tale American Hustle got a very serious push toward Oscar glory, picking up three major awards.

Benefiting the most from Sunday night’s Globes as focus shifts to the Academy Award, David O. Russell’s con caper locked in best comedy, best actress (Amy Adams) and best supporting actress (Jennifer Lawrence).

Not that early-season favourite 12 Years a Slave isn’t still in the running. Though it earned only one award, Steve McQueen’s historical epic took home the night’s top honour: best film drama. But American Hustle seems to have emerged from the 71st annual Golden Globes as the film to beat.

The Globes have flipped awards season momentum before. Though Ben Affleck was denied an Oscar nomination last year for directing Argo, he did win best director at the Globes and his film went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards. In 2009 Katherine Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker lost in the best film category to James Cameron’s Avatar at the Globes.

With the Oscar nominations coming Thursday, lost-in-space saga Gravity, which earned Alfonso Cuarón the best director Globe, could pick up some additional pull with likely nominations in the craft categories, which the Globes don’t recognize.

Besides American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Globes, also favoured other fact-based films from US history: the 1980s-era AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club and the high-finance extravaganza The Wolf of Wall Street, which both won top awards.

Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won their first Globes for best dramatic actor and best supporting actor. DiCaprio, a nine-time nominee, picked up his second Globe for best comedy actor for his turn as a provocative stock broker in Martin Scorsese’s nearly three-hour Wolf.

Cate Blanchett took home the best comedy actress award for her portrayal of a fallen socialite in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

Herald with AP, online media

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