In their last year hosting the Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler once again presided over a show jam-packed with feminist one-liners.
Fey and Poehler zinged Russell Crowe’s recent assertion that the lack of roles for women older than 40 was nonsense. If you missed it, Crowe said last year: “To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21 year old. Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that’s bulls—, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be. If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor. If you are trying to pretend that you’re still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn’t work.”
Referencing Patricia Arquette, who is 46, and the fact that it took 12 years to make the film, Poehler quipped: “‘Boyhood’ proves there are still great roles for women over 40, as long as you get hired when you’re under 40.”
There were nods to shapewear and chemical peels and diets and the requisite plucking and primping necessary to be red-carpet ready — and the chance that, after it all, one might end up on a worst-dressed list.
“Steve Carell’s ‘Foxcatcher’ look took two hours to put on, including hairstyling and makeup,” Fey said. “Just for comparison, it took me three hours today just to prepare for the role of Human Woman.”
Fey and Poehler anchored what was largely a good night for feminists watching the Golden Globes — aside from a snide joke early on from Jeremy Renner about co-presenter Jennifer Lopez’s cleavage. About to open the envelope to announce the best actor in a TV movie or miniseires, Lopez asked: “You want me to do this? I got the nails.”
“You’ve got the globes, too,” said newly-single Renner.
But moving on, here are the best feminist Golden Globes moments of 2015:
When “Access Hollywood” asked Fey if she and Poehler would be doing Cosby jokes at the Golden Globes, she responded, “Oh heck yes.”
Behold: “In ‘Into the Woods,’ Cinderella runs from her prince, Rapunzel is thrown from a tower for her prince, and Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby,” Poehler said to a chorus of shocked “ooooooooos.”
“I don’t know if you guys saw this on the news today, but Bill Cosby has finally spoken out about the allegations against him,” Fey said, before she and Poehler brought out their Cosby impressions.
Fey continued in Cosby’s trademark halting cadence: “I put the pills in the people, and the people did not want the pills in them!”
A huge roar went through the room when Rodriguez won. Hers was the little show that could, expertly constructed and delivered, and this television season’s critical darling. It’s drawn praise for being unmistakably Latin — and for not being condescending or pandering. Rodriguez’s win was the first Golden Globe for the CW network in a role written by a woman.
“This award is so much more than myself,” Rodriguez said. “It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes. My father used to tell me to say every morning that today is going to be a great day. I can and I will. Well, Dad, today’s a great day. I can and I did.”
Somewhere, Christopher Hitchens is turning over in his grave, probably shouting about how this bit wasn’t funny.
“Here we are in 2015, about to announce the best actor in a comedy or musical,” Tomlin said.
“It’s nice at last that men are getting the recognition they deserve for being good at comedy,” Fonda shot back.
“I agree,” Tomlin said. “Finally we can put at rest that negative stereotype that men just aren’t funny.”
“You’ve come a long way baby!” Fonda concluded.
“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year,” Fey said. “Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”
Raucous applause and laughter.
Clooney gladly played co-conspirator with Fey and Poehler at past award shows. He’s always game for a good bit, as Poehler detailed in her memoir “Yes Please.” He was a good sport about taking heat for the embarrassingly terrible reviews “The Monuments Men” drew, but he closed his acceptance speech with an earnest, swoon-worthy tribute to his partner. Perhaps it doesn’t count as feminist, but it was definitely one of the best segments of the night.
“It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love, even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life,” Clooney said. “And when your whole life is 53 years — Tina and Amy, start the jokes — Amal, whatever alchemy that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”
Gyllenhaal was excited about parts being written for actual, complicated women.
“I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the wealth of roles for powerful women in television lately,” Gyllanhaal said. “And when I look around the room at the women who are here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not, and what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary and it’s what’s turning me on.”
Arquette’s speech, which she read from a piece of paper with her reading glasses, was one of the simplest of the night. She directed her attention to “Boyhood” director Richard Linklater after winning the Golden Globe for best supporting actress.
“You placed in my hands the part of Olivia, an under-appreciated single mother,” Arquette said. “Thank you for shining a light on this woman and the millions of women like her, and for allowing me to honor my own mother with this beautiful character. … My siblings, Rosanna, Richmond, Alexis and David, and my friends who watched my kids while I was trying to build a career as a 20-year-old single mother.”
When Jill Soloway, creator of “Transparent,” accepted the Golden Globe for best TV comedy and Jeffrey Tambor accepted his for best actor in a musical or comedy, they both thanked the trans community in emotional speeches.
“I want to thank the trans community,” Soloway said. “They are our family and they make this possible. This is dedicated to too many trans people that died too young. It’s dedicated to you, my trans parent, if you’re watching at home right now. I want to thank you for coming out because in doing so you made a break for freedom and you told your truth. You taught me how to tell my truth and make this show, and maybe we’ll be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love. To love.”
Jeffrey Tambor included a shout-out in his speech to Jenny Boylan, the first openly trans co-chair of GLAAD’s (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) board of directors. He also thanked trans artists Rhys Ernst and Zachary Drucker, who also work on “Transparent.” “Thank you,” Tambor said. “You led me through the steps to find more of Jeffrey than I’ve ever known in my entire life.”
MORE GOLDEN GLOBES
PHOTOS: Golden Globes red carpet 2015