The 2016 Golden Globes on Sunday were chock-full of off-color jokes – mostly supplied by host Ricky Gervais – and some genuine surprises, which may suggest the Oscar race is even more wide open than some may have anticipated this year.
Hosting for the fourth time, Gervais engaged in what has now become his trademark skewering of celebrities.“I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed — not as much as Bruce Jenner. Obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course,” he joked.
“What a year she’s had! She became a role model for trans-people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers,” he added in an uncomfortable reference to a fatal four-car crash Jenner was involved in last February.
Gervais also got in digs on Sean Penn’s controversial meeting with the fugitive El Chapo (calling the actor a “snitch”), Ben Affleck’s reported infidelity, sexual assault allegations against Roman Polanski (he called the child abuse drama “Spotlight” the director’s favorite “date movie”) and Jennifer Lawrence’s push for pay equity in Hollywood (“How the hell could a 25-year-old live on 52 million?”).
The host got political as well. In the night’s lone direct reference to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, Gervais joked that the candidate “can’t wait to deport” Latina actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria.
But perhaps the most cringe-inducing moment came when he introduced embattled former A-Lister Mel Gibson. After alluding to the actor’s infamous DUI arrest in 2006, during which he reportedly made Anti-Semitic remarks, Gervais said “I’d rather have a drink with him in a hotel room tonight than Bill Cosby.”
Gibson embraced Gervais, but then said, “I love seeing Ricky once every three years because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy.” Gervais and Gibson exchanged a few more words, which were largely bleeped, but according to Entertainment Weekly, who had reporters on the scene, the censored remark was yet another reference to Gibson’s alleged controversial remarks a decade prior.
But for movie fans who follow awards buzz, the show offered up some intriguing moments as well. While Best Actor and Best Actress front-runners Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson took home Globes, cementing their status as likely Oscar winners, there were genuine surprises in several of the other categories, including Best Director and Best Picture.
Prior to Sunday, “Spotlight” was seen as a the likely favorite in a competitive Best Picture race, but the bleak revenge drama “The Revenant” was triumphant, as was the film’s director, last year’s Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu.
In the supporting category, actress Kate Winslet won for her performance in “Steve Jobs” and she expressed genuine shock over her victory. Actress Alicia Vikander had been the favorite of most prognosticators to take home that award.
Sentimental favorite Sylvester Stallone won Best Supporting Actor in a film for his comeback role in “Creed” which may give him a boost in the year’s most competitive Oscar race, even though he forgot to thank the film’s writer-director, Ryan Coogler. On the television side, Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” wound up upsetting its own network’s “Transparent’ with surprising wins for Best Actor in a Comedy and Best Comedy series.
When it comes to the movies, the Golden Globes have a mixed track record of predicting eventual Oscar winner or nominees. The Academy Award nominees will be revealed this Thursday though, and at the very least, the Globes can help create momentum or establish dominance for a certain nominee.
If Sunday’s results are any indication, the tide may be turning in the direction of “The Revenant.” Meanwhile, as the credits rolled, Gervais couldn’t resist one last Gibson crack: