American audiences must already be bored by all the British award acceptance speeches

Be warned award ceremony audiences - us Brits are masters of the "humblebrag" and awards season provides ample opportunity for us to shine

Share

With five shrieked iterations of “Oh my God” from Adele, and a speech from Jodie Foster so layered with meaning, and so open to interpretation, that it might one day be studied at A-level, the awards season that climaxes with the Oscars is under way.

The Golden Globes is the equivalent of football’s Capital One Cup – it’s a trophy, all right, but it’s not the big one that everyone remembers.

Nevertheless, it does give some indication of who will be doing a lap of honour come the end of the season. This being the case, it may be a difficult time for Americans. They have already had to withstand a Brit telling them what to do with their gun laws, and now, they may have to sit there in their tuxedos, smile indulgently – those whose features still move, that is – and listen to a succession of acceptance speeches delivered in British accents.

On Sunday night, there were leading-actor awards for the Lewis twins – Damian and Daniel Day- – plus a gong for Dame Maggie Smith, three prizes for the British-made Les Misérables, a best-song award for Adele, and even a characteristically on-the-edge cameo by Sacha Baron Cohen, who, just to make the point, presented an award in an over-the-top upper-class British accent.

What an audience of Hollywood’s finest made of Adele is anyone’s guess. On one level, her authentic, girl-of-the-people persona, and her speech full of glottal stops and unaffected observation – “I’ve literally just come for a night out with my friend Ida… we’re new mums…we’ve been p***ing ourselves laughing all night” – is a charming antidote to Hollywood artifice. On the other hand, it may have been a classic example of “humblebragging”, my favourite term of the moment, and defined as “subtly letting others know how fantastic your life is, while undercutting it with some self-effacing humour”.

It is a common phenomenon on Twitter – arch exponents are Stephen Fry and Alan Davies – and, with her speech, Adele may well have boarded that same train. Or maybe I’m just being mean. Either way, she was easier to listen to – and understand – than Jodie Foster, who, in receiving a lifetime-achievement award, chose the moment to give her equivalent of a State of the Union address.

I couldn’t make head or tail of it. Was she coming out publicly as a lesbian? Was she retiring as a lesbian? Was she quitting movies? Had she had a sherbet or two? She made a serious point about how the modern world disrespects privacy – “people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was” – but, in the world beyond, her words may have had a hollow ring. Of course, privacy is a basic human right, and human rights are indivisible, equally applicable to movie stars and road sweepers, but it was difficult to embrace the idea that we should feel sorry for a room full of gorgeous multimillionaires who had just spent all evening congratulating themselves. Next up, the Baftas. Can’t wait…

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recruitment Consultant - IT

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...

IT Technician (1st/2nd line support) - Leatherhead, Surrey

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Technician (1st/2nd line support)...

Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...

C# .NET Developer

£290 - £291 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Manchester C#.NET ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Independent journalist James Moore pictured outside Mile End underground station in east London  

The true cost of being disabled goes far beyond just the physical

James Moore
 

Palestinian natural resources lie beneath this terrible conflict

Shawan Jabarin
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform