03262014Headline:

American Hustle Storms Globes

It was a golden night for Matthew McConaughey, “American Hustle,” and, after a painfully long wait, “12 Years a Slave.”

Steve McQueen’s “Slave” won the top (and final) prize Sunday at tonight’s 71st Annual Golden Globes — Best Motion Picture, Drama — but not before going 0-for-6 in other categories throughout the night.

McConaughey pulled the night’s biggest upset, besting favorites Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) and Robert Redford (“All Is Lost”) in the Best Actor, Drama race. McConaughey, who won for his turn as an AIDS-infected hustler and underground meds-peddler in “Dallas Buyers Club,” no doubt pleased his fans across the globe by stepping to the stage and uttering his trademark phrase of approval: “All right, all right, all right!”

The twisty con-artist caper “American Hustle” notched three major awards: for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, Best Actress, Musical or Comedy for Amy Adams; and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence.

It was the second consecutive Globe for Lawrence, who won Best Actress, Musical or Comedy last year for “Silver Linings Playbook,” also directed by “Hustle” helmer David O. Russell.

Alfonso Cuarón was named Best Director for his blockbuster space epic, “Gravity.” With “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” widely considered the awards season’s two clear-cut frontrunners, many pundits predicted a split in the Best Picture/ Best Director categories, the general consensus being that Cuarón would take directing honors over McQueen in recognition of his film’s groundbreaking filmmaking techniques. Few, however, predicted these would be the only Globes the films would win.

In addition to Best Director and Best Actor, “12 Years” lost out in Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), Best Screenplay (John Ridley) and Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer).

Awards favorite Cate Blanchett emerged victorious in Best Actress, Drama for her riveting role as a distraught widow in “Blue Jasmine,” the latest film from Woody Allen (who himself was the recipient of the Globes’ lifetime achievement honor, Cecil B. DeMille Award, accepted on his behalf by Diane Keaton). Blanchett beat out Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) and Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks”), both considered outside shots, for the prize.

Leonardo DiCaprio had some fun with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s method of differentiating what makes a comedy. Accepting the trophy for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy for his loopy performance in “Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese’s wild three-hour ride about the excesses of stockbrokers in the ’90s, DiCaprio zinged: “I never would’ve guessed I’d win [a comedy award],” before acknowledging fellow “comedians” like Christian Bale and Joaquin Phoenix.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture went to Jared Leto for his turn as the fierce transgendered Rayon in “Dallas Buyers Club.” It was the first Globe for the Thirty Second to Mars frontman, who took six years off from making movies to concentrate on music.

As a whole, the show didn’t lack in entertainment value. Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (who won a Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy on her third nomination for “Parks and Recreation”) once again set a blisteringly funny tone for the telecast with their opening delivery, landing one-liner after one-liner that playfully skewered film and television, and included one particularly amusing gag involving Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an e-cigarette.
With the exception of one well-received dig at George Clooney (on “Gravity”: “It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age”), Fey and Poehler’s shitck was again in good spirits, a far cry from the divisive approach of two-time host Ricky Gervais, who some said “bit the hand that fed him” by taking an edgier and more roast-like approach to hosting duties.
There were some bizarre speeches — viewers still seem unsure what to make of Jacqueline Bisset’s slow-developing, emotional and expletive-laced speech in the show’s early goings after winning Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for “Dancing on the Edge.” The show’s orchestra seemed a little trigger-happy with the cut-off music as well; no fewer than seven winners  (including Bisset) were interrupted by the band, with many acknowledging the slight.

The reliably quotable Lawrence delivered a quick but memorable speech to kick off the evening, giving filmmaker Russell the bulk of credit. Lawrence recalled enjoying “I Heart Huckabees” so much when first seeing it, she “Googled who made it.” The young actress recognized her fellow nominees, in a typically candid — and maybe too honest — fashion: “I did watch all of the movies this year … Not all of them but you know what I mean.”

Other film awards doled: Best Screenplay went to Spike Jonze for “Her” in a minor upset, the favorite “Frozen” took Best Animated Film, “The Great Beauty” won Best Foreign Film, and the music categories were split by “All Is Lost” (Best Original Score) and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Best Original Song, claimed by U2 for “Ordinary Love”).

The beloved, departed AMC series “Breaking Bad,” meanwhile, topped the television categories, winning Best TV Series, Drama and Best Actor (Bryan Cranston). Robin Wright took home Best Actress, Drama for her performance in the Netflix original “House of Cards.”

Also coming up big was the FOX sitcom “Brooklyn Nine Nine” which pulled two major upsets by winning Best TV Series, Comedy and Best Actor, Comedy going to Andy Samberg. Steven Soderberg’s HBO drama “Behind the Candelabra” meanwhile, won Best TV Movie or Mini-Series and Best Actor for Michael Douglas.

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