Admit it, if you're watching the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony this Sunday on NBC, you're watching it for the entertainment value. After all, the predictive value of the Globes, both on the Oscars and on next fall's Emmys, is overrated. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of a few dozen journalists that hands out the Globes, announces its movie winners a few days after the Academy voters mail in their nominating ballots, while their TV picks will long be forgotten by the time Emmy voters make their selections six or seven months from now. Besides, Globe voters have been known, on occasion, to pick their honorees more for their appeal to the stargazers at home than for, you know, merit.
AP Photo/Matt Sayles
But they do throw a hell of a party, and they do bring TV and film stars together for a rare night of both red-carpet glamour and tipsy revelry.
All of that makes the Globes a lot of fun to watch. Here are some of the likely highlights you can expect to see on the Jan. 12 broadcast.
1. Tina and Amy, knockin' 'em dead.Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler aced it last year, figuring out how to skewer Hollywood egos and make the folks at home laugh without biting the hand that feeds them (as Ricky Gervais did), so the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hired them to return this year and next. So they won't be nervous, knowing they've already got the gig in 2015. Which, in turn, should make them even looser and sharper than last year.
2. Diane Keaton, subbing elegantly for Woody Allen. The famously Los Angeles-averse director almost never leaves Manhattan to travel to the Oscars, even when he's nominated. You think he's going to break his habit for the Golden Globes, even when they're giving him the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement? So he's sending ex-girlfriend/muse/frequent leading lady Keaton to accept the honor on his behalf. She'll probably wear something odd and masculine that evokes the days when her Globe- and Oscar-winning role in Allen's "Annie Hall" made her a late-'70s fashion trendsetter, but she'll also speak with eloquence and wit about America's most independent, prolific, and uncompromising director.
3. Miss Golden Globes. The HFPA always enlists the daughter of a celebrity to help pass out the trophies and escort the winners offstage. This year, Miss Golden Globes is Sosie Bacon, the 21-year-old daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. Get to know her now, so you'll recognize her in a few years when she stars in "The Closer: The Movie."
4. Random drunken celebrity reaction shots. All of which will be GIFs by Monday morning. (GIF: branaghing.tumblr.com)
5. Movie wins for "12 Years a Slave." For its movie picks, the HFPA tends to follow consensus rather than lead it. So expect a big show of love for Steve McQueen's harrowing drama (it's tied with "American Hustle" as the film with the most nominations, seven). Expect Cate Blanchett to win Best Actress in a Drama for "Blue Jasmine," Jared Leto to win Best Supporting Actor for "Dallas Buyers Club," and a possible two-years-in-a-row streak for Jennifer Lawrence, this time as Supporting Actress for "Hustle."
6. TV wins for "Breaking Bad." For TV awards, the HFPA prefers to lead rather than follow, and it often gets to anoint a series before the Emmys do. This year, however, the group's only shots at getting there first are "Masters of Sex" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." More likely the group will make use of its last opportunity to pay homage to the saga of chemistry teacher-turned-drug kingpin Walter White, with possible awards for Best Drama, Best Actor in a Drama (Bryan Cranston), and even Best Supporting Actor (Aaron Paul).
7. Thank-yous to God, HBO, and Harvey Weinstein. Not necessarily in that order.
8. Countless plugs for NBC stars and shows. Especially the Winter Olympics and the launch of Jimmy Fallon's tenure at "The Tonight Show."
9. Jokes about twerking. Whether Miley Cyrus is there or not.
10. Jokes about selfies. Whether James Franco is there or not.
11. Green stuff in celebrities' teeth. Tabouli is on this year's banquet menu. Just sayin'.
12. In memoriam. The HFPA has an especially tough job putting together a montage of the departed, since it has to include both movie and TV people. If you want a preview of which late, lamented luminaries will appear in the montage, click through this slideshow on the Globes' website.
13. The unexpected. With all the alcohol flowing, and with Fey and Poehler's improv backgrounds, there's always the potential for something unscripted to happen. This is the event, after all, where Jack Nicholson mooned the crowd, where Christine Lahti was in the bathroom while she was named a winner, and where Jennifer Lawrence first crowed, "I beat Meryl."
Granted, the Globes seldom live up to their reputation for wildness and spontaneity, but you never know.
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards airs live Sunday, January 12 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.