2012 Globes are less than Golden

The controversial Ricky Gervais disappoints in his return as host.

Well, the 2012 Golden Globes have come and gone, and it’s pretty safe to say that the ceremony itself was largely ho-hum. Controversy-yielding host Ricky Gervais, though moderately funny, was entirely too nice to all of the stars in attendance this year. His opening monologue went after easy targets like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber. The old Gervais who would mock celebrities to their faces was largely absent. His jokes failed to get chuckles from such dead-faced stars as Leonardo Dicaprio, Elton John and, most surprisingly, Tina Fey.

There was some great style and some not-so-great style on the red carpet, which is to be expected. Some of the best-dressed included the always stylish Emma Stone and Mila Kunis. Charlize Theron’s look was widely divisive, but her light pink dress combined with a silver headband made her look like a real-life princess.

Stars who missed the mark include Jessica Chastain, who was expected to be a fashion darling this season, but instead looked matronly and old-fashioned. The usually classy and glamorous Lea Michele looked completely out of her element in a silver metallic dress that was entirely too edgy for the squeaky clean “Glee” star.

As for the awards themselves, nothing came as too much of a surprise. Perennial awards favorites George Clooney and Meryl Streep nabbed trophies for their dramatic work in “The Descendants” and “The Iron Lady,” respectively. “The Descendants” also took home the award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, making it a frontrunner in the Oscar race.

In the comedy field, “The Artist” won three awards: Best Motion Picture -Comedy or Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for its star Jean Dujardin and Best Original Score. One of the highlights of the entire ceremony occurred during the movie's best picture win when its canine star Uggie joined his human cast and crew on stage.

Michelle Williams ("My Week With Marilyn") took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. While Williams was wonderful in the film, it’s a major stretch to call the film a comedy or a musical. Charlize Theron for “Young Adult” or Kristen Wiig for “Bridesmaids” would have proven to be much more worthy winners in the category.

Supporting Actor/Actress honors were given to Christopher Plummer for his incredible performance in “Beginners” and to Octavia Spencer for her emotional and spunky turn in “The Help.” Both actors should expect to return to the stage again on Oscar night.

The TV awards were also largely predictable with top honors going to “Modern Family” and Showtime’s new breakout hit “Homeland.”

To make up for Ricky Gervais’ tame material, the stars themselves had to provide the shocks. Meryl Streep caused a bit of a stir when she was bleeped for saying “shit” after she realized she had forgotten her glasses. Her boozy, rambling speech where she acknowledged her fellow nominees and other great female performances was filled with mispronunciations but still managed to be the most entertaining moment of the ceremony.

George Clooney also caused a bit of a stir in his acceptance speech when he called out fellow nominee Michael Fassbender for appearing completely nude in his movie “Shame” by saying he could play golf with his hands behind his back. Unscripted and off-the-wall comments like these truly separate the Golden Globes from the stuffier and more formal Academy Awards.

All in all, the evening was largely inoffensive, and it was a bit of a disappointment to see Gervais go for cheap shots at stars that are already way over-discussed. Hopefully next year’s ceremony will cause a stir again.

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