Surprisingly, a lot of acceptance speeches Sunday at the Golden Globe Awards were good. Although the ponderous thanking of agents and executives can become numbing and tipsy celebrity wins (who can forget Jack Nicholson faux-mooning the audience in 1998) are how the Globes built its reputation in years past, this year some speeches took on a deeper level of thoughtfulness.
No one seemed to know where Michael Keaton was going with his Globe acceptance speech for lead actor in a musical or comedy for “Birdman,” least of all Keaton.
It was emotional -- Keaton choked up at one point -- and sincere. Academy voters could want to see more of that when the Oscars roll around next month. (Eddie Redmayne won the dramatic lead actor Globe for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” but his speech wasn’t nearly as powerful as Keaton’s expression of love for his son.)
And then there was Common, a winner with John Legend for original song, evoking Michael Brown and the New York police officers killed on duty while telling the crowd how “Selma” awakened his humanity.
Patricia Arquette appeared down-to-earth and humble when she pulled out her piece of paper to read her speech after her win for supporting actress in director Richard Linklater’s drama “Boyhood.”
“I’m the only nerd with a piece of paper,” she said, proving that not every good speech has to appear as if it’s brewed from the gut and spouted through the heart.
Julianne Moore also went the inspirational route when she thanked “Still Alice” filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland for making a film about a middle-age woman, a demographic Hollywood isn’t exactly clamoring to highlight.
“My mother always told me that a happy person was someone who had work and love,” she said.
Director Wes Anderson, accepting the best film (comedy or musical) award for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” appeared to discover a world of Anderson-ian characters in the roster of Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. members. He rattled off names -- Dagmar, Yukiko, Lorenzo -- and it was like his next script was writing itself.
The only danger now is: How will these people top themselves if they win an Oscar?
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