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

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Boyd Tonkin
Rebel fighters walk in front of damaged buildings in Karam al-Jabal neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 26, 2014.  

The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination

Ed Miliband
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone