Harbingers of spring take many forms -- bulbs peeking through barren flower beds, groundhogs ripped from underground hideaways and, for folks like me, the Hollywood awards season. This last phenomenon officially kicked off last night as the beautiful, the buzzed about and even the Borats gathered as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out the Golden Globes.
For many awards devotees, me included, the Globes are a favored treat. There is a casual, nurturing aura organic to the event, as if no one is unwelcome -- not even TV stars or Sharon Stone -- and no fashion flub is really that dire -- even Cameron Diaz's stark new look or Jeremy Irons's pajama tux ensemble. The round tables, the free-flowing alcohol and the constant background conversation give the night a familial feeling. We know this scene. This is a cousin's wedding, a favorite uncle's wake. We are bemused by Abigail Breslin's evident pride in her big girl clothes and we look fondly, approvingly on Jack Nicholson's 16-year-old daughter -- serving as the night's "Miss Golden Globe."
The Globes are generally considered a good indicator of next month's Academy Award winners and, like any other attempt to handicap a contest, the formula works sometimes. Still, I revel in the Globes for their own sake, not for any insight into what may happen the next time these people gather to give out statues. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite moments from last night:
-- Jennifer Hudson accepting the award for best supporting actress, musical or comedy: "You do not know how much this does for my confidence." (More Memorable Quotes)
-- Justin Timberlake's impersonation of Prince, who wasn't present when he won for "Happy Feet's" best original song.
-- Bill Nighy, who said until he'd received one, he'd always thought of the Golden Globes as rather meaningless. (More British Wit)
Oddly, none of my favorite moments included obnoxious pre-show host Ryan Seacrest, who -- if an award for most-contrived, annoying and corny banter existed -- would have won.