The latest from Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Connelly, and more
Russell Crowe, Golden Globe Awards 2002
Credit: Russell Crowe: Kathryn Indiek / ImageDirect

There may be no better evidence that 2001 was a bummer of a year than last night’s Golden Globe Awards. The usual party atmosphere, and the amusingly tipsy acceptance speeches, were sadly absent. Former bad boys Charlie Sheen (”Spin City”) and Kiefer Sutherland (”24”) accepted their Best Actor statuettes with nary a wisecrack. The ladies of ”Sex and the City,” with the exception of orange-clad firecracker Kim Cattrall, wore understated black. And even the fun-loving Russell Crowe droned on about enlightenment and inspiration. Where’s King of the World blowhard James Cameron when you need him?

At least things got off to a goofy start with a cover of Jennifer Lopez’s ”Waiting for Tonight,” awkwardly rewritten as ”Waiting for the Globes.” With snappy lyrics like ”Will Smith is packing a punch!” and ”Here are our accountants!” it ranked as one of the most painful theme songs since ”The Facts of Life.” La Lopez better have an honorary Golden Globe in her future for this massacre alone.

Once the show began, ”Alias” star Jennifer Garner brightened up the room with the best acceptance speech of the evening (and the only one to reference ”Dude, Where Is My Car?”). After taking a self-deprecating crack at the lousiest credit on her résumé, she went backstage to take the starch out of her bright red Vera Wang dress. ”My husband is ready to cut the train off he’s so over it,” she sighed. ”But a lot of famous people have stepped on it. Ewan McGregor made a mess out of it and so did P. Diddy.” Garner was a little more serious about whether or not she’s signing on for a role in the Ben Affleck action movie ”Daredevil.” ”I don’t know if you saw Ben tonight, but he looks pretty handsome, so that seems like a good proposition,” she hinted.

Ben may have looked spiffy, but his brief salute to Harrison Ford was embarrassingly wooden. Then again, the spotlight-shy Ford was also noticeably uncomfortable accepting his Cecil B. DeMille Award. ”I wondered why I wasn’t better in what I was seeing,” he grumbled of the through-the-ages montage, which bizarrely focused on flops like ”Mosquito Coast” and breezed past classics like ”Blade Runner.” ”It’s very hard to look back and be happy with what you do.” And to think, they didn’t even show his cameo in ”Jimmy Hollywood.”

Still, Ford’s nowhere near retiring. ”This is a great business to grow older in,” he said, adding that he hopes to make movies for the next 20 years. ”It’s not like the rodeo that beats you up so bad you can’t go anymore.” Although ”Indiana Jones” is hardly a cardio cake walk, Ford says he’s game for a fourth installment. ”I’m ready. It’s just a matter of whether or not George [Lucas] and Steven [Spielberg] want to.”

”A Beautiful Mind” cleaned up, snagging four awards (”Moulin Rouge” came in a close second with three), but the real winner was the Land Down Under. Australians Russell Crowe (”A Beautiful Mind”), Nicole Kidman (”Moulin Rouge”), Rachel Griffiths (HBO’s ”Six Feet Under”), and director Baz Luhrmann (”Moulin Rouge”) all took home the gold. ”It’s lucky I’m Australian, isn’t it?” joked Crowe of the Aussie fever (actually, he was born in New Zealand, but why be picky?). ”It’s an indication that we may be a long way away, but we’ve got all of the modern technology and we try to keep up with you.” The Down Under movement didn’t stretch far enough to cover ”Lord of the Rings,” however. The New Zealand production, nominated for four awards, went home empty-handed.

For Luhrmann, ”Moulin Rouge”’s strong showing (it also won for Best Score) was a triumphant told-you-so to an industry that had initially scratched its head over his genre-busting musical. ”So many people didn’t think we would make it, and we were reminded of that over and over,” he sighed. ”And so many things happened, acts of God. My father died on the first day of filming. Nicole broke a rib and her knee and her life changed as well. And through it all, the mantra was ‘the show must go on.”’ The director isn’t predicting that his show will go on to Oscar gold, however. ”We can only hope that the musical is nominated,” he shrugs. ”That’s enough for us, because it says this form can be judged alongside drama.”

Luhrmann’s leading lady Nicole Kidman wasn’t worrying about winning a naked golden guy, either. Not only did she take home a Golden Globe for ”Moulin,” she could gloat knowing her ex’s ”Vanilla Sky” lost in its two categories (Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song). But Kidman was only reflective about the soap opera that was 2001. ”Over the past year I’ve learned that, in a weird way, the best of times and worst of times come together, and it keeps your feet on the ground,” she said, adding that she planned to dance at the Globes after parties. ”It’s 2002, so I’m really looking forward to THIS year.”

Though this wasn’t the most carefree Golden Globes in recent memory, it may have been the most family-friendly. Garner waved to her parents in West Virginia, Will Smith’s son Trey exploded into a wriggling ball of glee when his father’s name was mentioned in the Best Actor category (the award ultimately went to Crowe), and Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Connelly gushed over her 4-year-old son Kai and wished her dad a happy birthday to boot. ”My son said, ‘If you win, will you say my name?”’ Connelly recalled. ”But he didn’t have to ask. I would’ve anyway.” Ever since Hilary Swank won an Oscar (and forgot to mention her loving husband, Chad Lowe), it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

Though Sept. 11 wasn’t the inescapable presence it was at last year’s Emmy Awards, the attacks were far from forgotten. ”I screened this movie the week of the anthrax attacks and the bombing of Afghanistan, and it took me out of that depression,” Sting said of ”Kate & Leopold.” Best Actress winner Sarah Jessica Parker expressed her subdued mood fashionably. ”I always feel like we have a duty to represent New York in a way,” she said of her strapless black dress. ”Although sitting shiva is over, there is still a sort of sadness. And I thought there was something nice about wearing black.” Noble sentiments all, but let’s hope next year’s show has less sober pondering and more drunken rambling.