An Ugly win, a missing Prince, a cranky comic we've come to expect the unexpected on the night Hollywood lets its hair down:
10. Ugly Betty was the belle of the ball
In a town overrun with tanned, taut former prom queens, America Ferrera, the shapely actress who plays frumpy secretary Betty Suarez on ABC's hit TV show Ugly Betty, was a surprise Best Actress winner, and her show's Outstanding Comedy nod also caused a stir. Ferrera, who looked altogether lovely collecting her award in a purple frock, said she hears from girls who are inspired by Ugly Betty, a character who "truly brings a new face to television." Girls, what you see is the face of a woman in Hollywood who consumes carbohydrates. And that is a beautiful sight, indeed.
9. The night's best arm candy? A primate
By the time Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin made it to the Weinstein Company party at the Beverly Hilton's Trader Vic's restaurant, two hours after the ceremony ended, the 10-year-old actress had handed off her teeny heels and even teenier purse (which had nothing in it) to her agent. Sunshine's cast went home trophy-less so the only thing that survived on Breslin's arm was a stuffed monkey. "This is George," the actress said, introducing her plush date. Plenty of stars with whinier companions no doubt envied Breslin's choice.
8. Traffic is trouble in Los Angeles
OK, so this one was only a surprise to Prince, who arrived at the ceremony too late to pick up his trophy for "The Song of the Heart," his original tune from the animated film Happy Feet. Presenter Justin Timberlake had to improvise when the Purple Rain singer got caught in Beverly Hills gridlock. "I guess Prince couldn't be here," said Timberlake, who then crouched as if to mimic the petite pop star, adding, "so I'd like to accept this award on his behalf." We guess we should be grateful Timberlake wasn't accepting an award for J. Lo, or we can only imagine what he would have shown us.
7. Clint quoted an Idol
Accepting a trophy for his World War II drama Letters From Iwo Jima, veteran Globesman Clint Eastwood traded gravitas for a groovy toss-back to a newcomer's speech earlier in the show. "You don't know what this does for my confidence," American Idol runner-up Jennifer Hudson said when she collected an award for her performance in Dreamgirls at the top of the show. When Eastwood repeated Hudson's line, it was with a wink. But no matter. Dirty Harry quoting an Idol runner-up is a sure sign of the apocalypse.
6. The Nutty Professor got serious
While Brits Hugh Laurie and Sacha Baron Cohen supplied the night's wittiest quips, comic Eddie Murphy turned in a snoozer of an acceptance speech for his supporting actor win as Dreamgirls' James "Thunder" Early. Surely beating Jack Nicholson warrants more than a couple shout-outs to his producers and agents? Backstage, when quizzed on jokes about his film career, Murphy snapped, ""Have I become that uncool?" No, Eddie, but it wouldn't hurt to write a few funny lines in case you get another crack at this speech thing at the Oscars. Or, there's always showing up in a fat suit...
5. Gold was the new black
Sienna Miller, Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Prince, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Reese Witherspoon all sparkled in shimmery and sunshiny tones. Also impressively bronze was Drew Barrymore's skin, which appeared exfoliated and spray-tanned to the exact hue of the night's golden prize. Perhaps now that diamonds are politically incorrect (thanks Leo!) stars are finding other ways to shine.
4. Better call in the dialogue coaches before the Oscars
We expect willful ignorance from Joan Rivers, but not the rest of you nobody could pronounce those foreign names. Naomi Watts flubbed Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu; Meryl Streep gave Spanish film Volver a nice plug but rhymed it with Oliver; Barrymore botched composer Alexandre Desplat's name badly enough when announcing the Best Score category that co-presenter Hugh Grant snatched away the winner's card with Desplat's name, saying, "Yeah, it's in French." Remarkably, everyone could pronounce that Kazakh fellow Borat's name just fine.
3. Big stars stand up for the little guy
In her speech accepting an award for the very commercial The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep urged audiences to ask their local theater owners for more independent films, like Volver. After accepting a Globe for his NBC show 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin praised an indie he had no part of, Half Nelson, backstage. The only person to stand up for big-budget multiplex-seat-filling films was Ben Stiller, who plugged his blockbuster Christmas movie Night at the Museum. Thank God someone remembered what this night is all about.
2. The British are coming! The British are coming!
The U.K. posse including Helen Mirren, Hugh Laurie, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Irons and Bill Nighy were the night's big winners and big charmers. Why this makes us want to throw tea into the Beverly Hilton pool, we have no idea. But we're pretty sure we can talk the Latin posse (three Mexican directors, Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek), into helping us. If not, we'll have Governor Schwarzenegger look into their immigration status.
1. Brangelina's plan for world domination
Evidently it has nothing to do with blinding people with their hotness. (Actually we think that's a power one of those actors from Heroes was trying to wield on the E! cameras.) When asked on the red carpet how many kids he and Angelina Jolie would have, Brad Pitt said, "We're thinking soccer team. Start our own country, enter the World Cup. And dominate it." Sounds like a nice goal, Brad. See you and Maddox at the game.