Gary Susman
January 16, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Better Late Than Never Award goes to…

Kristin Davis

Kristin Davis is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Sex and the City”

WHY? Until now, Davis was the only fab femme of ”Sex and the City” who was routinely snubbed at awards time. Now that the series is winding down, however, Globe voters have finally shown her some love. How, after all, could they not notice Davis’ deft handling of Charlotte’s radical transformation this year, from wallflower to wild woman, Gentile to Jew? Davis’ recognition gives hope not just to overlooked actresses, but overlooked guys — after all, more men resemble bald, paunchy Evan Handler, who plays Charlotte’s new husband, than they do ”Sex” studs Kyle MacLachlan, Chris Noth, and Blair Underwood.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie)

Image credit: Sean Penn: Merie W. Wallace

The Thanks for Keeping Your Day Job Award goes to…

Sean Penn

Sean Penn is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Mystic River”

WHY? Penn ignited a backlash when he played diplomat in Iraq, and his stints in the director’s chair have resulted in relentlessly bleak movies (”The Pledge,” ”The Crossing Guard”) that have scared moviegoers away. But when he sticks to acting, there’s no one more electric. He proved that twice this year, with his portrayal of a guilt-wracked heart transplant patient in ”21 Grams” and his Globe-nominated turn as a neighborhood guy driven to extremes by his daughter’s murder in ”Mystic River.” We’d hate to run into these guys in a dark alley, but we hope Penn will keep showing up to play them.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama)

The Second Banana Award goes to…

Bitty Schram

Bitty Schram is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Monk”

WHY? Tony Shalhoub gets all the glory (and last year, a Golden Globe) for his brilliant portrayal of obsessive-compulsive sleuth Adrian Monk. But without the all-important support of Schram’s Sharona Fleming, Monk’s perpetually exasperated assistant, the neurotic flatfoot might never leave the house. Catering to Monk’s every phobia is a full-time job, which Sharona juggles with a full personal life that includes raising a preteen son and dating a succession of deceptive cads. Schram pulls it all off with grace and aplomb, and while wearing some of the tightest blouses and skirts on basic cable. Sharona may feel underappreciated, but it’s good to see Globe voters haven’t made that mistake with Schram.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series)

The Unsung Hero Award goes to…

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Angels in America”

WHY? ”Quiet dignity” and ”former drag queen” aren’t phrases usually heard in close company, but they effectively paraphrase Wright’s performance in ”Angels in America.” As the nurse Belize, whose presence links far-flung plot strands, he serves as the chaotic story’s conscience. That Wright carries off the role with apparent ease is no surprise; not only has he astonished viewers with his range and power in projects as diverse as ”Basquiat” and ”Shaft,” but he also won a Tony for playing Belize on Broadway a decade ago. And while critics lauded costars Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson for assuming multiple roles in the HBO miniseries, Wright’s double duty is often overlooked (that’s also him as Mr. Lies, the diabolical travel agent hallucinated by Harper [Mary-Louise Parker]).

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie)

The Most Dramatic Makeover Award goes to…

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Monster”

WHY? Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for wearing a putty nose in ”The Hours,” and Renée Zellweger earned laughs with her Krispy Kreme-enhanced bod in ”Bridget Jones’s Diary,” but it’s all just skin-deep next to Theron’s makeover for ”Monster.” The former runway model shaved her eyebrows, grew a beer gut, be-freckled her face, greased her hair, and stained her teeth to play real-life streetwalker-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Of course, Theron’s startling transformation would have seemed like just another stunt had she not also convincingly conveyed her character’s paranoia, loneliness, and rage. Could this be the same willowy blond arm candy from ”The Legend of Bagger Vance” and ”The Italian Job”? Like Hilary Swank in ”Boys Don’t Cry,” Theron transformed not only her image but her career.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama)

The Thoroughly Modern Maturity Award goes to…

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Thirteen”

WHY? Wood made a career out of frightening her mother (and moviegoers in general) in 2003. She starred in ”Thirteen” as a young girl who spirals out of control as mom Holly Hunter watches helplessly, and as the kidnapped pioneer girl tracked by mom Cate Blanchett in ”The Missing.” Fans of TV’s ”Once and Again” already saw Wood excel as a girl plagued by anorexia and sexual confusion. In person, the 16-year-old is said to be eerily mature, though she recently told EW: ”I hope I won’t be stereotyped as the Girl That Plays All the Dark Roles. I’m not all miserable. I just want to do things that are real. Something that will stay with people for more than five minutes. Something that will be remembered.” She needn’t worry.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Movie Drama)

The Remember ”Coupling” Award goes to…

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”The Office”

WHY? As the few of us who get BBC America on cable know, Gervais is the creator and star of ”The Office,” in which he plays David Brent, the middle-management twit whose ignorance of his underlings’ contempt is almost poignant. The show’s mockumentary style and spot-on satire have made it the most squirmy-funny workplace comedy since ”The Larry Sanders Show.” Which is why we’re worried about the upcoming American remake; we know how poorly the similarly incisive Britcom ”Coupling” made the transatlantic translation. Any chance Gervais can get himself a smooth transfer across the pond?

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series)

Image credit: Alicia Silverstone: Fox photo

The Why Aren’t You Watching? Award goes to…

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Miss Match”

WHY? Silverstone’s starring role on NBC’s ”Miss Match” was supposed to be one of 2003’s great comeback stories. After all, as divorce lawyer-matchmaker Kate Fox, the 27-year-old actress has proved as delightful and clever as she did nearly a decade ago, when she played a similar character in the movie ”Clueless.” Plus, her show is a fizzy cocktail that hews closely to the formula of series creator Darren Star’s other show, ”Sex and the City”: sex, sociology, and shoe shopping. Unfortunately, Friday night’s mismatched ratings battles have seen Silverstone clobbered by rival cuties Amber Tamblyn (”Joan of Arcadia”) and Kelly Ripa (”Hope and Faith”). Maybe a Golden Globe would give Silverstone a fighting chance.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series)

The Double Threat Award goes to…

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Lost in Translation” and ”Girl With a Pearl Earring”

WHY? Johansson’s been making movies for a decade (”The Horse Whisperer,” ”Ghost World”), but her starmaking turns in two films this year have moviegoers recalling Lauren Bacall’s startling debut in ”To Have and Have Not.” Like Bacall then, Johansson is 19, blond, curvy, husky-voiced, and mature beyond her years. In both ”Lost in Translation” and ”Girl With a Pearl Earring,” she enchants middle-aged men (Bill Murray’s lonely movie star in ”Lost,” Colin Firth’s Dutch master painter Vermeer in ”Earring”) without really doing anything but being her fiercely independent self. We don’t know what the secret was that she carried at the end of ”Lost,” but we’ll be watching Johansson with hopes of finding out.

(Golden Globe nominations: Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, ”Lost in Translation,” and Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, ”Girl With a Pearl Earring”)

Image credit: Alec Baldwin: Jim Sheldon

The Most Welcome Comeback Award goes to…

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”The Cooler”

WHY? It’s apt that Baldwin’s return to form came in ”The Cooler,” a movie about a loser (William H. Macy) whose bad-luck streak comes to a dramatic and unexpected end. For maybe a decade (ever since he gave up the role of Jack Ryan to Harrison Ford), Baldwin has been his own cooler, starring in flops or taking paycheck supporting roles in dismal movies (like this year’s ”Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat”). But his performance as ”Cooler”’s old-school casino boss — a character Baldwin reveals as a vicious, manipulative, ultimately tragic dinosaur — proved Baldwin can command the screen with a brutal, incisive presence in a way that he hadn’t done since his powerful cameo in ”Glengarry Glen Ross.” As we say at the blackjack table, hit us again.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture)

Image credit: Amber Tamblyn: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

The Divine Providence Award goes to…

Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Joan of Arcadia”

WHY? What if God was one of us? Then He or She would probably enjoy checking in on a regular basis with Tamblyn’s perfectly adorable teen mystic. Which, in fact, God does, offering Joan Girardi such cosmic advice as: Get a job. Learn chess. Figure things out for yourself. In other words, stuff that a typical teen would probably do anyway without ”Joan of Arcadia”’s celestial gimmick. But that’s Tamblyn’s secret heavenly gift: making ordinary adolescence into the stuff of compelling TV drama. As for the 20-year-old actress’ ability to turn her popular show into a long-running hit series, we’ll take it on faith.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Drama Series)

The Hot Flashes Award goes to…

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”Something’s Gotta Give”

WHY? After Kathy Bates’ fearless Jacuzzi skinny dip in 2002’s ”About Schmidt,” last year it seemed that middle-aged women of all shapes and sizes bared all onscreen. Globe nominee Holly Hunter did it in ”Thirteen”; mature nudity is a major plot point of ”Calendar Girls,” for which Helen Mirren nabbed a nod. But nobody had a funnier nude scene than Keaton, accidentally flashing Jack Nicholson in ”Something’s Gotta Give.” The real revelation was that Keaton still has all the daffy charm of her ”Annie Hall” days.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy)

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