Hollywood Returns to Glam With Globes

The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards were more secure than a White House state dinner.

A full staff of LAPD officers, private security teams and undercover agents put so many restrictions in place they made the CIA seem a more lenient bunch. For the first time, journalists and the like were not allowed to park at the venue, and instead were shuttled there, thumb-printed, scanned and poked.

And for all these efforts, the show went off without a hitch.

Of course, we could talk about the winners, and we will, but truth be told, the fashion is the topic of conversation at any hip water cooler. And so it was all about elegance, with most women in long gowns and men in tuxedos or formal suits.

It seemed the celebs on hand were happy to get back to dressing up after the last big awards event, the Emmys, made them appear in "business casual" attire. Although there were many women who looked lovely in basic black, the ladies that dared to be different stood out.

Kim Cattral kicked it up a notch in an orange/peach gown with beaded halter around her neck. Jessica Alba and Annette Bening were daring and seductive in white satin tuxedos. Ladies in red included Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Juliana Marguiles, Jennifer Garner and Sela Ward, who not only revealed a flair for her color choice, but also for showing a torso full of flesh.

The Duds

Of course, there were a few "Hello... did you get that at a fire sale?" numbers.

Sarah Jessica Parker had one of them, only it was Lagerfeld for Chanel and probably anything BUT on sale. A black fitted sequined gown made up the bodice, surrounded by an oversized wrap around skirt-like bottom that was big enough to hide fellow Sex and the City cast members.

She also had a kooky flower in her newly cut coiffure.

Others skating close to the edge included Rachel Griffiths, who wore a pink gown with beads and feathers hanging about the neck. I guess the polite thing to say would be, "Well, it certainly was different."

She also had hair extensions.

Another bird of a different feather was Miss Cameron Diaz, whose red and blue horizontally striped, strapless gown might have helped her in the chest department, but the dress did little else for her, or anyone for that matter.

And speaking of doing nothing, Sissy Spacek looked like she did absolutely nothing to prepare for the evening. She had on a black oversized pantsuit with an off-white satin buttoned-down shirt underneath. Her hair was in a bun and hanging around her face, and she had on little makeup or jewelry. Many would call it "au natural."

It looked more like, "au lazy."

Sporting Silver

It was easy to see how Beverly Hills could've run out of silver ties, as they were snatched up by most of the male celebs.

Those sporting tuxedos with silver ties included James Franco, Denzel Washington, Charlie Sheen, Eric McCormack and Robert Downey Jr. The men who went the way of the bowtie included Steven Spielberg and Jim Broadbent, who as an Englishman surely would've been caught dead in nothing less. Fellow Englishman Sting decided on a more casual look, with a gray pinstripe suit and open white shirt.

Behavior-wise, all were at their best, despite free-flowing alcoholic beverages, including fine champagne. As the Golden Globes are one of the few events where imbibing happens before, during, AND after, one would expect to see people getting giddy and often messy.

While some of the actresses admitted to being a little light-headed from one too many during the ceremony, for the most part a subdued, well-mannered crowd of beautiful people filled the Beverly Hilton ballroom.

Harrison Ford, honored with the Cecil B. DeMille award, may have been the exception to this, as he seemed a wee bit lit. His speech was a little slurred. Of course, it could've been dry-mouth from nerves, but with all that liquor abound and his new young and lively gal pal Minnie Driver keeping him busy, it could be that Harrison felt there was good reason to have a liquid celebration.

And the Winners Are...

And, oh yes — the winners. By the end of the evening, it had been deemed "The Aussie Invasion."

The reason: Australian winners included Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Rachel Griffiths and Judi Davis.

As per usual, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, made up of fewer than 100 members, went off the beaten track in many categories. This is to say, their choices were anything but expected by those in the industry.

With best television series drama nominees like The Sopranos, West Wing, and CSI, the HFPA chose to go cutting edge by selecting newcomer Six Feet Under.

Other surprising selections included Charlie Sheen beating out Kelsey Grammer, Eric McCormack and Frankie Muniz for best actor in a comedy series.

Kiefer Sutherland was pegged best actor in a drama series, despite such weighty company as Martin Sheen and James Gandolfini. Best director for a motion picture went to Robert Altman for Gosford Park.

This was a true shock, as Altman was up against the favorite Baz Luhrman for Moulin Rouge, as well as David Lynch for Mulholland Drive, Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings and even the great Steven Spielberg for A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

But then, as if to say, "Oops we'll fix that," Baz Luhrman still walked away a winner as Moulin Rouge was named best motion picture, musical or comedy.

The expected winners included Sissy Spacek, who pulled out best actress in a drama honors for her role in the small-but-poignant film, In the Bedroom, Nicole Kidman, who grabbed best actress in a musical or comedy for Moulin Rouge, and Russell Crowe, who walked away with the best actor in a drama honor for A Beautiful Mind, which was also named best motion picture drama.

On the traditional side, the HFPA followed the Television Academy leaders with their choices of Sex and the City as best television comedy, and star Sarah Jessica Parker as best actress in a comedy series.

As far as what happened after the show... it was anyone's guess, as nine parties took place in the hotel. They were, of course, private — but clearly chock full of stars as the notables immediately bustled into the lobby and headed in different directions to party the night away.

Overall it was a star-packed night and it was easy to see that Hollywood is happily settling back into what it does best: celebrations and awards, awards and celebrations.

Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.