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the globes

The Five Best Parts of the 2011 Golden Globes

So the Golden Globes — they happened! As promised, by none other than Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais was a merciless host, a fact that seemed to upset the actors in the audience, but made for pretty good viewing at home. Certainly, Gervais was the most surprising part of the evening, seeing as almost all of the front-runners (Portman, Benning, Firth, The Social Network) behaved like front-runners are wont to do, and won. Here are what were the five best parts of the evening.

Ricky Gervais
Debates are breaking out all over Twitter right now about whether Gervais's delightfully caustic, Armond White–esque return to the Globes will be panned tomorrow. Well, certainly not by us! The Scientologists and stars of The Tourist in the room might not have enjoyed Gervais's bruising one-liners tonight, but screw 'em. They're rich and they can take it.

Robert Downey Jr.
Coming onstage after an intro from Ricky Gervais that reminded everyone about his time at the Betty Ford Clinic, Robert Downey Jr. showed what a great actor can do with stage patter: make it bearable. “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far,” he quipped before getting down to presenting the Best Actress in a Comedy award. “I don’t know if an actress can do her best work until I’ve slept with her,” RDJ said, somehow sounding charming and sleazy in exactly perfect amounts. (Also, Emma Stone was really up to the joshing, turning in some stellar, perfectly timed knowing nods.) He finished with a well-delivered double entendre: “I’m saying, if I could, I’d give it to all five of you.”

Jane Lynch
Lynch, who won the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy award (beating out Sofia Vergara and her globes), played the Tina Fey role at this year’s awards: The funny female winner who actually prepared a funny speech. Lynch, who looked great (nice makeup, Sue!), got in some deadpan zingers: “I am nothing if not falsely humble, so I would like tonight to share this with Ian Brennan … He created Sue Sylvester and every heinous, insane line that comes out of my mouth was written by him. He’s a deranged young man. [To Brennan] This is yours too, though I will be holding on to it.” She also talked about the 14-year-olds “vibrating out of their bodies” who love the show, and “when I’m not eating and I don’t mind being bothered, I’ll give them a moment of my time.” Nicely done, Jane. If not for Helena Bonham Carter’s outfit and amazing eye roll during Melissa Leo’s batty acceptance speech, you would definitely have had the comedic performance of the evening.

Everybody From The Social Network
If The Social Network's Scott Rudin, David Fincher, and Aaron Sorkin weren't locks to win Oscars before tonight, they probably are now. The famously hotheaded loudmouths toned it down and turned in a trio of adorable, self-deprecating acceptance speeches that made us wish that damn orchestra had given them each another minute. And that Trent Reznor sure cleans up nice, doesn't he?

The Bad Best Actress Speeches
The only major Oscar category that still seems like a question mark this year is Best Actress, in which Black Swan's Natalie Portman currently has the slight edge over The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening. But because they were nominated in different categories tonight — Portman for drama and Bening for comedy — each actress had a chance to inflict a knockout punch by delivering a superior acceptance speech. Thankfully, though, both gave crappy speeches (see below!), meaning we still have a race. Thanks, ladies!

Photo: Getty Images