It may not surprise you to read the following sentence, but here it is anyway: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are very good awards show hosts! And so tonight's Golden Globes went down smoothly, with jokes that were genuinely funny (unless your name is James Cameron), a handful of surprise winners (congrats, Ben Affleck and Lena Dunham!), one long and legendary speech (here's to you, Jodie Foster), and a healthy dose of Homeland-sponsored jazz. Let's break down the highs and lows, shall we?
High: Hostesses with the Mostestesses
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey killed. They killed. Their monologue was great; their interstitial bits were solid, and the faux nominees, Darcy St. Fudge and Damian Fransisco, were the highlight of the show. So a low for their virtual disappearing act in the second half. Must we trot out Jessica Alba and Jason Statham? Can't that be another spot for the hosts to host? Ah, maybe next year. (Watch our video highlights of Tina and Amy here.)
High: Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain's Oscar Audition Speeches
Thanks to the Comedy/Drama split (a.k.a. the "Get More Famous People at Our Awards Show" trick), your Best Actress Oscar Favorites were in separate categories tonight — meaning both Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain got a chance to show off their acceptance speech skills for Academy voters. They really did not make the decision any easier. Jennifer Lawrence was genuine and surprisingly emotional — though she did manage a First Wives Club shout-out ("I beat Meryl") and a Harvey Weinstein joke — while Jessica Chastain worked the poised, on-behalf-of-all-women angle (with a strong Bigelow shout-out). How you gonna choose just one, Oscar voters?
Low: Anne Hathaway's Attempt to Double Up
Anne Hathaway, you don't get to make two speeches. If you forgot to thank your "team" or whatever, that is on you — no co-opting Les Mis's team win for your own shout-outs. If you forgot to thank someone important, try marrying Jennifer Garner, because high, Jennifer Garner thanking the people her husband Ben Affleck accidentally omitted was actually completely charming and cute.
High: Jodie Foster's Amazing, Neverending Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech
Well, we'll be talking about that one for a while. The full text (with video!) is here.
Low: Robert Downey Jr.'s Jodie Foster Intro
Something about a hamster? Robert Downey, Jr. is as charming as they get, but the Mel Gibson-furry rodent inside jokes escaped us. Also, did that speech really need any intro at all? No, it did not.
High: the HFPA President hitting on Bradley Cooper
Tina and Amy's STD bit was amusing, but tonight's best Hollywood Foreign Press jokes came from the HFPA itself — or rather from its adorable president, Dr. Aida Takla O'Reilly, who cracked that "no one would remember" her name and then proceeded to hit on Bradley Cooper from the stage. Her pick-up line? "Call Me Maybe." Bravo, Dr. Aida Takla O'Reilly. (We remembered!)
High: Bill Clinton's Praise for Lincoln
Bill Clinton's intro for Lincoln was a surprise treat ("Hillary Clinton's husband!" as Amy Poehler put it) with a hearty helping of gravitas. The actual Tony Mendez introducing Argo was a nice touch, too (though maybe next time we can encourage him to speak into the microphone). But low: The other movies had totally blah introductions. No fair! Either everyone gets some kind of special treatment or no one does.
Low: Sacha Baron Cohen's Ricky Gervais Impression
Drink in hand? Check. Appallingly smug attitude? Check. Unfunny joke about Anne Hathaway's upskirt photos? Well, if Ricky Gervais had hosted this year, you know that would've made it into the monologue. Congrats to Sacha Baron Cohen for inheriting the least likable British person role at the 2013 Golden Globes!
High: Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell Taking Everyone Down a Peg
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell's jokey, possibly partially improvised segment about not having seen any of the movies for best actress in a comedy introduced a far, far better concept for Hope Springs. What wouldn't we give for that movie to have actually been about an aggressive lady cop named Hope Springs? Wiig and Ferrell ran a little long, but given how tepid the middle hour of the show was, they were a highlight.
Low: Free Maggie Smith!
We understand that Maggie Smith has better things to do, but still: Maggie Smith, won't you please come to an awards show one day? We miss you.