It’s been said that Academy members pay no attention to the Golden Globes. The people who say that, however, are probably wrong. Surely a Globe upset in the Best Comedy or Musical category for The Hangover will make more than a few Oscar voters less reluctant to make room for that raunchy laugh riot in a year when there will be ten Best Picture nominees. And I can’t help thinking Sandra Bullock’s Globe win for The Blind Side immediately makes her a major contender, if not the front runner, in the Oscar race for Best Actress. (Full disclosure: I raved about The Hangover months ago, and Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side weeks ago, in reviews I wrote for the showbiz trade paper Variety. I caught a lot of grief from some hoity-toity types for both reviews. Just goes to show you: I am one of America’s tastemakers, and don’t get sufficient credit for it.)
Consider Nine officially deep-sixed
Without even a Best Song consolation prize to its credit, it’s fairly safe to assume that Harvey Weinstein’s Nine—already struggling at the box office, and losing more screens every week—has been dealt a fatal blow by its Golden Globes shutout. Of course, Harvey’s other big picture, Inglourious Basterds, didn’t fare much better, earning only a single Globe for the inevitable Christoph Waltz. But, hey, that movie is already available on DVD after a long and profitable theatrical run. Nine, by sharp contrast, is still trying to hang on for one or two showings a day in the smallest auditoriums of the largest megaplexes. (By the time the Oscar nominations are announced next month, it may already be available through Video on Demand.) Yeah, even all those ads with Penélope Cruz in her scanties didn’t help.
Oh, Ricky, What a Pity!
Did the producers conspire to keep Ricky Gervais offstage as much as possible without replacing him as host altogether? The twinkly-eyed cheekiness of his opening monologue held the promise of an entire evening rife with unfettered naughtiness. (Even his predictable digs at low-rated NBC and The Great Jay Leno Misadventure had the kick of 100-proof vitriol.) And he seemed to take exuberant delight in making the sorts of comments (“One thing that can’t be bought is a Golden Globe—officially!”) that one might expect from a jolly jokester who’s really not interested in ever being asked back for a repeat. But that simply wasn’t enough; for unconscionably long periods, Gervais more or less disappeared, as though backstage stagehands were physically restraining him. Indeed, at one point, he was invisible for so long that I almost forgot he’d been hired for the gig in the first place. It was around then that I found myself thinking, “You know, what this show really needs is a bit by Ricky Gervais…”
They've got the look
The brief shot of Tina Fey’s incredulous expression as Toni Collette—and not Fey—was announced as Best Actress, Comedy or Musical in the TV category. The brief but annoyed glance between Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler as it dawned on them that Gervais had neglected to plug their upcoming movie (The Bounty Hunter) while very wittily introducing them to present an award. Sophia Loren gliding across the stage to a standing ovation, showing them all how a real movie star takes over the room. Priceless.
By any other name
In Striptease, a 1996 movie that defines the term “guilty pleasure,” a strip club bouncer (Ving Rhames) tried to convince a clueless thug that Meryl Streep once worked as an exotic dancer under the name ChestyLaFrance. Fourteen years later, Streep amused her Golden Globe audience by confessing that, after hearing T-Bone Burnett’s acceptance speech (he co-won Best Song for “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart), she would prefer to be known henceforth as T-Bone Streep. Anything you say, my little lamb chop.
From Paul McCartney, introducing the Golden Globe for Animated Film: “Animation is not just for children. It’s also for adults who take drugs. So let’s look at the films that were made by drug-taking adults.”
Worst Presenter Ever
Did you get the feeling that Felicity Huffman really didn’t want to be there?
Second Worst Presenter Ever
Was it my imagination, or did Arnold Schwarzenegger mispronounce Avatar about, oh, I dunno, seven or eight times during his introduction?
Things to come
Did you feel a little restless around the time the seventh or eighth clip from a Best Film nominee was shown? Well, keep in mind: As mentioned earlier, there will be ten Best Picture nominees this year at the Oscars as well. Consider yourself warned.
For the record
Here are all the Globe winners:
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Martin Scorsese
Best Motion Picture — Drama: Avatar
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: The Hangover
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christoph Walz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Foreign Film: The White Ribbon (Germany)
Best Director — Motion Picture: James Cameron, Avatar
Best Screenplay — Motion Picture: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Best Original Song — Motion Picture: T-Bone Burnett, “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
Best Original Score — Motion Picture: Michael Giacchino, Up
Best Actor Television — Drama: Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Best Actress Television — Drama: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Best Supporting Actor Television Drama: John Lithgow, Dexter
Best Supporting Actress Mini-series: Chloë Sevigny, Big Love
Best Actress Television Series — Comedy: Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Best Actor Television — Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Actor Mini-series: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
Best Actress Mini-series: Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Grey Gardens
Best Television Series — Drama: Mad Men
Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical: Glee
Follow longtime Houston movie critic Joe Leydon on his movingpictureblog.