The Golden Globes have come and gone, but the acceptance speeches will live on forever. Well, the good (and really bad) ones, at least. And as far as this year’s show went, here’s how we felt the acceptance speeches ranked:
1. Fargo‘s Billy Bob Thornton, Best Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-series
We’ll let Billy Bob speak for himself: “These days, you get in a lot of trouble no matter what you say. Do you know what I mean? You can say anything in the world and get in trouble. I know this for a fact. So I’m just going to say thank you.”
Did you expect anything else?
2. Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez, Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical
A shocking first-time win for Gina Rodriguez—and the CW network—gave us the type of speech we always love: A tear-filled, genuinely moving one. After thanking God for making her an artist, Rodriguez went on to thank Mark Pedowitz, President of the CW, her cast and crew, and her family. Somehow finding composure, she talked about how the award “represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.” She ended strong with: “My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today is a great day. I can and I did.”
3. Transparent‘s Jeffrey Tambor, Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical
You knew Tambor was going to give a good speech when he started with, “Oh this is big. This is much bigger than me.” He then thanked Transparent creator Jill Soloway for changing his life for the better before telling his wife he wouldn’t be “standing here,” or rather, “standing” without her. Tambor wrapped up by dedicating his performance and his award to the transgender community.
4. George Clooney, Cecil B. DeMille award
Clooney knows how to give a speech, and this one was filled with charming self-deprecating comments, a nod to small films, funny quips about the Sony hack, talk about all of his many loses, and a brief tribute-of-sorts to both Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams. After congratulating all of the nominees in the room for getting to do what they’ve always dreamed of and “be celebrated for it,” Clooney turned things to his new wife. “It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love,” Clooney said, making women everywhere melt to the floor. “Amal, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.” And to top off a great speech, he turned to the marches in Paris. He left the room with “Je Suis Charlie.” Well done, George.
5. Whiplash‘s J.K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor
First thing, Simmons told the audience to “shut up” because he only had 45 seconds. From there, he continued winning by thanking his Whiplash co-star Miles Teller, who “inspired me every day to want to scream at him and hit him in the face.” He then ended things off by thanking his wife for their “adorable, above-average children.”
6. Birdman‘s Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Best Screenplay
There’s no way to be entirely sure what Iñárritu said, but he said it fast, and man was he passionate.
7. House of Card‘s Kevin Spacey, Best Actor, TV Drama
You know a speech is going to be good when it starts: “This is just the beginning of my revenge.”After eight years of being a nominee, Spacey finally took the stage to cuss, celebrate, and tell a maybe-too-long story about Stanley Kramer. The good news? The story’s takeaway was solid: Spacey wants “to be better.” Also, he gets points for having his drink in his hand the entire time. This is the Globes, after all.
8. The Theory of Everything‘s Eddie Redmayne, Best Actor, Drama
You have to love the excited first-time winner for admitting he spent the night fawning over other actors, and apologizing specifically to Robert Duvall. On top of that, Redmayne gave genuine thanks to his co-workers before moving on to his new wife, who cut her honeymoon short to return to LA and now, their honeymoon ends with a night to remember. Good spin, Eddie.
9. The Normal Heart‘s Matt Bomer, Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Bomer’s thanks were heartfelt and succinct, to everyone from Ryan Murphy to his screen partner, Mark Ruffalo. Adding in a bit of humor, Bomer also thanked his husband and three kids, saying: “I love you putting up with me when I was 130 pounds and really grumpy when you ate pizza in front of me.” Finally, “To the generation that we lost and the people we continue to lose due to this disease, I just want to say we love you, we remember you.”
10. Selma‘s John Legend and Common, Best Song
Taking an inspiring approach to the speech, Common came prepared: “As I got to know the people of the Civil Rights movement, I realize I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity, and I thank you, Ava.” Sure, John didn’t get to say much, but still.
11. Big Eyes‘ Amy Adams, Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
There’s just something hard to hate about someone who really didn’t think they were going to win, and tonight, that was Adams. She was so ill-prepared she “didn’t even reapply lip gloss.” That’s when you know it’s bad. But she was still able to scrounge something together that appropriately thanked her director and co-stars, while also inappropriately mentioning someone’s womb.
12. Tranparent, Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Executive producer Jill Soloway, and her super groovy suit, thanked all the necessary folks before dedicating the award to Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen who recently committed suicide in Ohio. She ended with: “And it’s dedicated to you, my transparent, my Moppa. You are watching at home right now, and I just want to thank you for coming out because, in doing so, you made a break for freedom. You told your truth. You taught me how to tell my truth and make this show, and maybe we are going to be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love. To love.”
13. The Honorable Woman‘s Maggie Gyllenhaal, Best Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-series
Starting off by talking about the wealth of roles for powerful women, Gyllenhaal gave her take on the state of things: “When I look around the room at the women who are in here I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. What I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual woman in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary, and it’s what’s turning me on.” Finally, she gets props for her final comment to her husband, “who is a lover of complicated women, obviously.” Well played.
14. Birdman‘s Michael Keaton, Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Sure, Keaton’s speech was a little long, and he included about 10 too many adjectives, but not only did he inform probably 70 percent of the world that his real name is Michael Douglas, but he also teared up when discussing his best friend—his (very attractive) son. Also, you can’t help but love him for saying this through his tears: “Sorry. Shoot. Two things I said I wasn’t going to—cry and give air quotes. Damn.”
15. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
In the most Wes Anderson of Wes Anderson speeches, the director focused on thanking the important people: The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose names he read off with numerous accents.
16. Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette, Best Supporting Actress
Prepared with a list, Arquette’s speech wasn’t anything spectacular, but she did thank Meryl Streep for hugging her, adding, “I hope your DNA transferred to me.” She also offered up a serious component to her remarks, thanking everyone who helped watched her kids when she was a 20 year old trying to build a career.
17. Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt, Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Froggatt dedicated her speech to the amazing women who have reached out to her following her character’s rape storyline in the hopes that they will now feel like “the world hears you.” She also used the words “dream come true,” which is both a good and a bad thing.
18. Boyhood‘s Richard Linklater, Best Director
It was evident that, for Linklater, his speech was dedicated to everyone who worked on the film, all 450 of them. He gave credit where it was due before thanking his parents “who gave me so much love and support.” Finally, “I want to dedicate this to parents that are evolving everywhere and families that are just passing through this world and doing their best.”
19. The Affair‘s Ruth Wilson, Best Actress, TV Drama
Wilson’s speech had the essentials: Thanking the writers, and of course, telling Dominic West that his “ass is something of great beauty.”
20. Still Alice‘s Julianne Moore, Best Actress, Drama
Moore is no stranger to speeches, and for this project, she was as frantic as usual. But she did manage to give thanks to filmmakers Wash Westmoreland and Rich Glatzer. And she gets points for her ending line: “My mother always told me that a happy person was someone who had work and love, and I want to thank Rich and Wash for this extraordinary opportunity to work. And I want to thank Bart and Cal and Liv for all that love.”
21. The Affair TV series, Drama
Sarah Treem gave a less-than-memorable speech that was played off and only saved by her final statement to her husband: “If I have learned anything from writing a show about an affair, it’s how sacred and valuable and essential our marriages are.”
22. Boyhood, Best Motion Picture, Drama
Linklater quickly turned the microphone over to Jonathan Searing, the man who invested so much money into the project, who very sweetly gave all the credit back to Linklater and his cast. It was nice, but a bit boring.
23. The Theory of Everything‘s Jóhann Jóhannsson, Original Score
Jóhannsson gave the necessary nod to the film’s great material and performances before sharing his award with all of the musicians and technicians who helped create the score. Short and sweet.
24. Fargo, Best TV Movie or Mini-Series
Noah Hawley said something about changing the world and how there’s more to life than money, but it was all a bit too serious. Hey, at least it was short.
25. Leviathan, Best Foreign Language Film
This opening line from Andrey Zvyagintsev was great: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. We are absolutely happy.” The rest? Eh.
26. How to Train Your Dragon 2, Best Animated Motion Picture
Bonnie Arnold got played off. For good reason.