You can always count on some surprises at the Golden Globes but this year the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. really served up the shockeroos.
1. By the time the Best Comedy/Musical Picture category came up, we pretty much thought that “Birdman” was a sure thing. After all, it had won Actor (Michael Keaton) and Screenplay and we assumed that “The Grand Budapest Hotel” would be shut out. But the Globes choose to spread the wealth and give this Wes Anderson charmer the top prize.
2. Then again, we should have known “Birdman” might not win that race. We had kept hearing that the HFPA was crazy about the film and, in particular, writer/director, Alejandro González Iñárritu. But it was our second place pick for Best Director — Richard Linklater — who won for helming Best Drama Picture champ “Boyhood.”
3. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” was down in third place in our predictions center with 25/1 odds well behind “The Lego Movie” (2/9) and “Big Hero 6” (8/1) to win Best Animated Film. But the DreamWorks blockbuster prevailed and now has the opportunity to really shake up the Oscar race.
4. That win for Russia’s “Leviathan” in Best Foreign Film was a surprise but didn’t quite come out of nowhere as it was in third place in our predictions center at 20/1 behind Poland’s “Ida” (2/9) and Sweden’s “Force Majeure” (9/1). “Leviathan” tackles the corrupt regime of Vladimir Putin and members of the press may have been eager to reward a film that made this kind of critical statement. What remains to be seen now is if the film gets nominated at the Oscars on Thursday and can it ride this momentum to a win there.
5. None of us were talking about Maggie Gyllenhaal winning TV Movie/Mini Actress for “The Honorable Woman.” She was down in fifth place at 33/1, far behind frontrunner Frances McDormand who had 2/11 odds to win for “Olive Kitteridge.” McDormand has yet to win a Globe, though she has an Oscar (and a Tony). Gyllenhaal’s win was just one of several to performers who portrayed characters dealing with social issues.
6. Among these was Joanne Froggatt who won the catch-all TV Supporting Actress trophy for her sensitve portrayal of a victim of sexual assault on “Downton Abbey.” As with Gyllenhaal, she was ranked fifth at 33/1, far back of Emmy champs Uzo Aduba (“OITNB”) and Kathy Bates (“AHS: Freak Show”) at 4/9 and 15/2 respectively.