Golden Globes 2014: Ranking the acceptance speeches
The Golden Globes honor the best performances on film and television, but the telecast is all about celebrating the best speeches. Here’s how we called it:
1. Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey, Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama: He gave you what you wanted: the jog to the stage, the opening rhyme (“Unexpected but graciously accepted”), and the closing quote (“This movie was never about dyin’, it was always about livin’, with that I say, just keep”). But he also gave you what we needed: He reminded us that this movie was turned down 86 times over 20 years, and thanked his mother for getting him outside to live and his wife for getting outside to work (“I mean, kicked my ass out the door, and said, ‘Go get it. Go get it McConaughey. Go get it, my man, my king'”).
2. Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett’s, Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama: With a few vodkas under her belt, Blanchett was loose enough to mention taking her kids to the Magic Castle that morning, question whether viewers at home hear the music playing winners off or simply think people have panic attacks when they speed up their speeches, and make a Judy Garland barbiturate joke. Also, we could look at the back of her gown all night.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andy Samberg, Best Actor in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy: The win was unexpected to him (even though the Globes do enjoy honoring freshmen), so he had no speech prepared. Instead, Samberg just did the usual “thank you”s but in his own hilarious way. The best moment: When he used air quotes to thank “my team.” He quickly added, “No, I really do love them and respect them.”
4. American Hustle’s Jennifer Lawrence, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Following up her Best Actress win for Silver Linings Playbook with a Supporting Globe for American Hustle, Lawrence took the opportunity to thank David O. Russell. She shared the story of watching I Heart Huckabees for the first time and Googling to find out the name of the man behind it. When praising the fellow nominees in her categories, she insisted she’d seen all the films — “Not all of them, you know what I mean.” We appreciate the honesty.
5. Gravity’s Alfonso Cuarón, Best Director: He had fun with his accent, and thanked star Sandra Bullock for not quitting when she thought he told her, “Sandra, I’m going to give you herpes” when he really meant, “Sandra, I’m going to give you an earpiece.”
6. The Wolf of Wall Street’s Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: DiCaprio opened by noting that he never thought he’d win a Globe in the comedy category (let alone one in which his fellow comedians include the likes of Christian Bale and Joaquin Phoenix). From there, he thanked director Martin Scorsese and gave us the classiest speech of the night.
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dan Goor, Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy: A lovely combination of genuine enthusiasm and preparedness, co-creator Dan Goor thanked his wife and two kids (“even the 2.5-year-old who is a nightmare”) and admitted he was happy he didn’t go to med school after all because this was way better than saving a human life.
8. Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler, Best Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy: If Poehler had actually believed she had any chance of finally winning her first big award, we have no doubt she’d be higher on this list. But, as she said, “I never win, so I can’t believe I won.” Bonus points for making out with Bono.
9. House of Card‘s Robin Wright, Best Actress in a TV Series — Drama: She was completely unprepared (why?) but props for referencing Emmys telecast scene-stealer Merritt Weaver and referring to her costar Kevin Spacey as “the best play date ever.”
10. American Hustle’s Amy Adams, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: This was Adams’ fifth nomination and her first win, so she wasn’t about to let them play her off. She thanked her manager of 15 years, David O. Russell for letting the world know that an Enchanted princess can punch and wear a low-cut gown, and her daughter for teaching her to accept joy and let go of fear. (That little girl reached for Henry Cavill’s butt when her mother was filming Man of Steel, so we believe it.)
11. Behind the Candelabra’s Michael Douglas, Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Douglas set the bar high with his Emmys acceptance speech, but his turn on the Globe stage wasn’t too shabby, either. Douglas brought a touch of Imperial Hollywood glamour, with a shout-out to Papa Kirk (or “Monsieur”). He was the only person all night to successfully pull off referring to a (TV) movie as a “picture.” But he was also chattily lowbrow. To his costar Matt Damon: “The only reason you’re not here is I had more sequins.”
12. Her’s Spike Jonze, Best Screenplay: The Her writer-director started off self-deprecating: “I’m a terrible public speaker, and I’m bad at speaking English.” That cannily set the bar low for an endearing speech that included a profuse thank-you to fellow nominee David O. Russell. When the exit music started playing, he plaintively responded: “Hold on, I just started!” Totes charming.
13. Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul, Best TV Series — Drama: Creator Vince Gilligan walked onstage with his Bad cast and found a way to once again offer heartfelt thanks to the people who made the AMC drama possible — the early adopter fans. Then he handed the microphone over. Quoth Paul: “YEAH, BITCH!”
14. Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared Leto, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Occasional actor, full-time frontman, forever Catalano: Leto’s strange speech befitted his strange career arc, beginning with an assurance that his “Brazilian Bubble Butt” was all natural before seguing into an overshare-y description of how he prepared for the role. (Wax. Full Body.)
15. Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Best Actor in a TV Series — Drama: Cranston finally won his first Golden Globe after his fourth consecutive nomination for playing Walter White. He said his win was a lovely way to say goodbye to the show that meant so much to him. Cranston has won a few Emmys, though…which means we’ve seen him give much more fun speeches than this.
16. All is Lost’s Alex Ebert: Best Original Score — Motion Picture: He got a nice assist from Diddy, who recognized him from St. Barth’s. Yes, Ebert, said, he remembers Diddy coming up behind him, unbuttoning his coat, and telling him to “Let it flow.” Ebert also uttered the choice phrase, “Thank you for letting me try all over your movie.” It was weird.
17. U2 for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘s “Ordinary Love,” Best Original Song — Motion Picture: Everybody in U2 contributed to the band’s acceptance speech — even that guy who never talked! Bono said some very kind and very sincere things about Nelson Mandela, which were very nice and yet which couldn’t help but remind you of that time U2 went on The Simpsons. Oh, here we go.
18. Top of the Lake’s Elisabeth Moss, Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television: The first-time nominee, who flipped the E! Mani Cam off twice pre-show, started off promisingly with a bleeped “holy s—!” But the rest of her speech was very reverent. She thanked her fellow nominees, her manager, and her brother: A hat trick!
19. 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen, Best Motion Picture — Drama: Several winners in the upset-happy awards show claimed they hadn’t even prepared a speech. But considering 12 Years’ frontrunner status, you’d think director McQueen would have at least prepared something. Still, his off-the-cuff speech featured his non-sequitur description of Sarah Paulson as “The Bette Davis of America.” And when he ran out of people to thank, he asked everyone else onstage to shout out names. It was funny. But seriously: Next time, prepare a speech.
20. Ray Donovan’s Jon Voight, Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie: Voight was even more surprised by his win than you were. The veteran actor gave a pleasant, albeit stilted speech, but props for taking a page from the J-Law handbook and insisting that he was “as nervous as everybody else.”
21. Behind the Candelabra‘s Jerry Weintraub, Best Mini-Series or TV Movie: “I have a couple of notes, but I won’t look at ‘em,” said Weintraub. Predictably, rambling and first-name-dropping ensued. “The crew does it all,” he concluded. “I get all the credit. I get to stand here and drink the vodka and hold the statue.” Not much of a speech, but further proof that it’s good to be the king.
22. The Great Beauty’s Paolo Sorrentino, Best Foreign Language Picture: Sorrentino thanked his cast, crew, and family. And he thanked Italy: “A crazy country, but beautiful.” Brevity.
23. Frozen’s Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Best Animated Feature: Very pleasant, very boring. Should’ve had Josh Gad.
24. American Hustle’s Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: American Hustle is a wild, rollicking story about con men, con women, crazy hair, and Jennifer Lawrence dancing to “Live and Let Die.” Roven’s overinflated acceptance speech insisted the movie was about “survival, resilience, and reinvention.” Then the play-off music started and Suckle hopped on the mic for more ambient “thank-you”s. Two words: Bore Ring.
BEYOND ALL QUALITATIVE JUDGMENT: Dancing on the Edge’s Jacqueline Bisset: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-series, or TV Movie: Bisset took her time. She took her time walking to the stage. When she got to the mic, it took her twenty seconds to say anything. People cheered. She laughed and cried while she remembered her first Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer — or, in her own words, “Promising…NEW-COME-AHHH!”
She pulled herself together: “Scottish background to the FRONT!” She tried to tell the story of Dancing on the Edge. “I always wanted to do something with the BBC. And we did this, and it was great.” She gave a shout-out to Chiwetel Ejiofor. She thanked Starz. She thanked her agents British and American. She thanked the people who have given her joy. She got at least one “s—“ through the censors. The music got louder. She pretended (?) she didn’t notice it. She preached forgiveness. She thanked everyone.