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Producer and director Ben Affleck, left, talks with fellow Argo producers Grant Heslov, centre, and George Clooney at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California Jan. 13, 2013. (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS)
Producer and director Ben Affleck, left, talks with fellow Argo producers Grant Heslov, centre, and George Clooney at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California Jan. 13, 2013. (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS)

Snubs, rants and zingers at the Golden Globe awards Add to ...

Jodie Foster gave a speech that may or may not have been controversial, Ben Affleck snubbed the wrong guy, Bill Clinton outshone Lincoln, and if anyone misses Ricky Gervais after the job the co-hosts did last night, they’re out of their minds. We’re talking about the Golden Globe Awards, in which 90 people who weren’t born in the United States vote for their favourite entertainments of the year, and all of America turns up. It was a weird night. Here are selected highlights.

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Jodie Foster comes out. We think

If you didn’t see it, basically the actress told the world “Of course I’m gay,” and then defended, somewhat defensively, her right to have never made a big deal of her sexuality. “There won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days, when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her and to everyone she actually met,” she said. “But now apparently, I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honour the details of their life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show.”

That’s a pretty accurate and cutting comment, actually. Foster, who won the Cecil B. Demille Award for lifetime achievement, lived for many years with another woman and raised two happy-looking children with her. Their breakup was big celebrity news, but Foster never made a teary coming-out confession for a national television audience during her career, which is the current practice. Reaction to her speech was mixed between the two poles of Twitter emotion: vitriolic assault and elevation to sainthood. Really, though, the most moving part of her speech was her tribute to her mother, which had many of the women in the audience openly crying. No one`s focusing on that, though, in the 2,000-word “What did Jodie mean?” pieces currently being demanded by editors everywhere.

I wish I had a friend like Jodie Foster

Foster, who joked she was single, brought Mel Gibson to the awards as her plus one. If Hollywood has a persona non grata, it’s the anti-Semitic, rant-prone, troubled Gibson. And yet Foster starred him in her last movie (The Beaver), and told him during speech, “You know you saved me.” Everyone should have a friend that brave, loyal and forgiving.

Bill Clinton does Lincoln

The former president strode out on stage in a cameo to introduce Lincoln as one of the films nominated for best dramatic movie, and the crowd went nuts. Lena Dunham of Girls acted like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert, Stephen Spielberg saluted him, and if Clint Eastwood had been there he would have given the nearest piece of furniture a good talking to. Spielberg’s hagio-pic only won one of the seven awards for which it was nominated (best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, big shock that), but having Clinton read the introductory text usually mouthed by mere actors was pretty good compensation, not to mention a coup for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Spielberg couldn’t believe his luck; you could see it on his face.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association

In case you didn’t know, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the name of the group of 90 people not born in the United States who vote on and give out the Golden Globe Awards. They are noted for, and often slagged for, their love of cheesy fare: Pia Zadora once won Golden Globe. So did Madonna. Hence, many film critics don’t take them seriously. But Bill Clinton does.

Argo do what to myself?!

Not since Hillary Swank forgot to thank her then husband during an Oscar acceptance speech has an award-winner made as big a gaffe. And this is possibly bigger: Ben Affleck, in delivering the usual grocery list of gratitude after winning the best director award for Argo, failed to thank his co-producer, the all-powerful George Clooney. Affleck may have started a new trend when he asked his wife, Jennifer Garner, to thank Clooney for him, and to also apologize, when she went up to introduce a subsequent award. Did anyone else notice that Affleck and Clooney stood at opposite ends of the stage when Argo was named best picture? Just sayin’.

The red carpet interview moment most likely to make viewers poop their pants

“Speaking of a new release, you’ve got a brand new baby!” – Al Roker to Adele

Lena Dunham walks weird. Twice.

Dunham won two awards – best actress in a TV comedy or musical, and best TV comedy or musical – and each time she walked to the stage like a small child wearing skates for the first time. Her gown hid her feet, so it impossible to tell what she had under there. Probably very tall heels. Or maybe very short stilts. Or maybe skates. She should have just taken them off.

Thought No. 1

Tonight was the night most of America found out that Damien Lewis is British.

Thought No. 2

No one in Hollywood can pronounce Les Misérables.

Ricky who?

Co-hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were hilarious. They got off to a slow start when Poehler said, “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.” Not that droll, kind of obvious. But then they started nailing it, delivering solid jokes and riffing on the night’s events and the comments of the award winners in a smart, funny way that was much fresher than the determined cruelty of previous host Ricky Gervais. A few of their best lines

  • “When it comes to torture, I trust a lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.” – Poehler on Kathryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty
  • “Anne Hathaway, you gave a stunning performance in Les Misérables. I have not seen anyone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.” – Fey
  • “Oh my God, what an exciting special guest: That was Hillary Clinton’s husband! – Poehler after Bill Clinton’s surprise appearance
  • “We’re going home with Jodie Foster!” – Fey’s final word

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