Oscar is not the only one capable of surprises.
While the Academy Awards raised eyebrows last week with several nominations, the 70th annual Golden Globes -- presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- on Sunday night proved unpredictable too.
Argo, Ben Affleck's chronicle of a rescue of American citizens from Iran in 1979, was declared best motion picture, drama, beating out the two leading critical favorites, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, in addition to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and Ang Lee's Life of Pi.
Affleck (who didn't get an Oscar nomination) also took best director honors, Tarantino nabbed best screenplay, Jessica Chastain won for best actress in a drama for Zero Dark Thirty, Christoph Waltz won for supporting actor for Django Unchained, and Anne Hathaway won for supporting actress for Les Misérables. That left Lincoln, which went in as a heavy favorite with nominations in most of the major categories, going home with only one Globe, for Daniel Day-Lewis as best actor in a drama.
On the TV side, HBO's Girls pulled an upset win over the likes of Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory in the television series, comedy or musical category. Meanwhile, Girls creator and star Lena Dunham beat out 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler -- who just happened to be the night's hosts -- for best actress, comedy or musical.
Less of a surprise were Les Misérables' win for motion picture, comedy or musical; Amour's win for foreign-language film; and Homeland's dominance of the TV series drama category with wins for series, actress (Claire Danes) and actor (Damian Lewis).
Hosts Fey and Poehler were funny and biting without resorting to prior host Ricky Gervais' more insulting style. In fact, Fey brought his name up, just to gently knock him down. "Ricky Gervais couldn't be here tonight," she said near the beginning of the broadcast. "He's no longer technically in show business."
The two got off some good lines in their opening dialogue. Referring to Zero Dark Thirty director Bigelow, Poehler said, "When it comes to torture, I trust the lady married three years to James Cameron."
Unfortunately, they weren't utilized all that much throughout the broadcast.
Though most of the presenters were forgettable, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell -- acting as if they were familiar with all the films when they hadn't seen any of them -- were two of the better ones.
Day-Lewis had the most eloquent acceptance speech, telling Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner: "Every day I have to live without the immeasurable wealth of your language, which reminds me of the impoverishment of my own."
But it was Jodie Foster's acceptance speech, as she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her career, that was the most moving.
At first, she teased as if she were going to reveal a secret about her life.
"While I'm here being all confessional, I just have the sudden urge to say something I've never been able to say in public. A declaration that I'm a little nervous about. Not quite as nervous as my publicist, huh, Jennifer? But, uh, you know, I'm just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I'm going to need your support. I am single."
She then became more serious. "I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago...In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, co-workers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met. But now, apparently, I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I'm not Honey Boo Boo child.
"If you had been a public figure since the time you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too would value privacy above all else."
It was a wonderfully personal and real moment in an industry that often is neither.
Cary Darling, 817-390-7571