I stated at the end of yesterday’s post that any write-up of this year’s Golden Globes telecast would be short and scattershot. Here’s me trying to make good on that claim. For a more in-depth reflection on many of the Globes’ quirks, see my write-up from last year.
Overall, Ricky Gervais as host was once again fine if hardly stellar. Most of his
barbs didn’t have the bite that I think he wanted them to, as he — and NBC, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — seemed to promote his return this year as a
go-for-broke train wreck waiting to happen, which is quite a silly thing. Gervais was, y’know, invited back. Of course he comes with a certain amount of edginess, but he’s a professional and there must have been negotiations and he knows how far he can push it. This isn’t an accidentally “tweeted” nude photo; it’s three hours of prime-time network programming on a Sunday night. We can all feign anticipated shock only so far.
My favorite bit of his was probably the extended riff during his opening monologue on “Jodie Foster’s Beaver”. It’s an easy, built-in joke — but what made it so funny here was the repetition and, especially, the cut to Foster’s (literal) thumbs-up of the bit. As it’s much better heard from the source than retyped, I suggest the video clip of the monologue [dead link] currently up at NBC’s website.
After Johnny Depp was introduced, Gervais asked him if he’d watched The Tourist. I suppose that Depp’s no was meant to come off as telling, and for many it probably did, yet folks who’ve seen or read interviews with Depp likely know that Depp generally doesn’t watch movies he’s made. So, okay, The Tourist was bad, and Gervais’ jab at it last year has been vindicated, and Depp’s a good sport. It’s still kind-of mean to pull this on him in front of millions of TV viewers who don’t know about Depp’s aversion to seeing himself onscreen, as that lack of knowledge is what Gervais is counting on to make Depp’s reply more damning of the film and justify last year’s The Tourist jokes.
I’ve been getting a bit tired of Gervais’ satisfaction with himself, to be frank. I don’t mind the put-on smugness within his act so much as the actual smugness of him “out
of character” — inasmuch as there’s a distinction — making a big deal of being unapologetic about that smugness, which makes it all harder to take.
Since I appear to be faring terribly with the brevity thus far, I’ll just direct you to a list of winners [dead link] before I move on to select commentary on the rest of the night.
All screencaps © 2012 Dick Clark Productions, NBCUniversal
Media, and/or The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The categories seemed more random than ever this year, apart from slotting the pair of Best Picture categories, Drama and Comedy or Musical, as the finale bookend of Casual Minute with George Clooney. It gets particularly whiplash-inducing because the Globes cover both film and television.
Gerard Butler — already hard for me to take seriously — hit new levels of absurdity in line delivery when,
Can words describe how archaic it is to have a Miss Golden Globes? Even if you take out the torso-oriented double entendre that Bette Midler so memorably brought to the fore one fine year, it remains awfully sexist. “Look! The fledgling model/actress daughter of a Hollywood star of some magnitude! What an honor for her to be done up in a nice dress and not say anything like proper eye candy!” Sigh...
I still haven’t seen HBO’s Mildred Pierce, but its nominations reminded me that it was helmed by Todd Haynes, writer/director of the beautiful Far from Heaven.
For that matter, I wish I’d seen a lot of other films and television programs nominated, if only to judge them properly. Most of the TV stuff was HBO, BBC America, and Showtime fare I’ve not more than heard good things about.
Even so, I can’t believe that Kelsey Grammer’s or any other performance by a male actor on TV last year was more award-worthy than Bryan Cranston’s on AMC’s Breaking Bad.
“If I were to write a song right now, it would be a tap-dance number,” said Ludovic Bource, winning the Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture. The Artist had in the aggregate the most charming acceptance speeches of the night, perhaps owing to English not being the filmmakers’ first language and their general appreciation for the appreciation of this love letter to old Hollywood by present-day Hollywood.
Michelle Williams won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for My Week with Marilyn. So did they declare My Week with Marilyn a comedy or a musical? ’Cause I saw it and I didn’t think it was either one (which is not damning it with a snide remark; I don’t think it was intended to be).
In his acceptance speech for playing Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage concluded by mentioning “a gentleman in England I’m thinking about — Martin Henderson; Google ’im.” This ensured a snake-eating-its-own-tail Google result that had Dinklage’s plea returned highest in those results; the topic also trended on Twitter, as discussed in the first Google hit I clicked, which explains who Henderson is.
Dinklage’s category was, by the way, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting
Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television. As I opined last year, the male and female versions of this category cast so broad a net across genres and types of programming as to make comparisons absolutely impossible. Dinklage was up against Eric Stonestreet of ABC’s Modern Family, for instance, while Jessica Lange of FX’s American Horror Story beat out a field of five that included Sofia Vergara in Modern Family and Evan Rachel Wood in Mildred Pierce. At bare minimum one of those things is very not like the others.
Downton Abbey and BBC America’s Luther are also infamously still in the Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television categories despite having run for more than one season.
The award for Animated Feature Film went to The Adventures of Tintin. I bet it would’ve been Rango if I hadn’t started typing “Rango” just before the winner was announced — based purely on expectations, not on having seen any of the nominees, although of course I have to remember that it’s kind-of impossible to be sure of a specific Globes victory since the voting pool doesn’t even reach the triple digits in number.
Since Midnight in Paris writer/director Woody Allen wasn’t there to pick up his hardware for Best Screenplay, I’d love to have seen somebody come in with a Woody impression to accept on his behalf — Jon Stewart (not really a mimic, but he does a recognizable Woody) didn’t attend, so maybe Jimmy Fallon could’ve pulled it off.
My own award for Best Presentation goes to Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy for their quick a cappella ditty [bad link].
While I still have fond memories of Dustin Hoffman’s mangling of the lyrics to No Doubt’s “Hey Baby” at the Grammys several years ago, I wasn’t prepared for the bout
of foot-in-mouth disease that led him, after he read off the names of such relative young’uns as Claire Danes and Mireille Enos, to ad-lib “my generation” when he got to Madeline Stowe in Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. Hoffman was born in 1937, Stowe in... well, that might be rude, so I’ll simply observe that it was a couple of years after Hoffman left college to pursue an acting career. Never mind that we’re living in a world where a woman is suing IMDB for revealing her birth date on the grounds that the knowledge will make it harder for her to get cast in certain roles; Mr. Wishful Thinking was just plain wrong on the math by rounding Stowe’s age up from “late Baby Boomer” to “whatever the generation born before Hitler invaded Europe is called”.
The high-five between Tina Fey and Jane Lynch on “Penis joke!” was a bit forced but still a darned sight funnier than oh, say, Ricky Gervais introducing Madonna with a reference to a song older than all the kids in Modern Family put together. Who knew that it was possible to root for Madonna — or that she could think so quickly on her feet as to reply with an invitation for Gervais to get back on stage because it’d been a while since she kissed a girl?
Props go to the always game Helen Mirren, lamenting her lack of roles opposite Cecil
B. DeMille Award recipient Morgan Freeman with the line, “For God’s sake, I could’ve been a penguin.” I’m so glad that they showed a clip from The Electric Company in his career-highlight reel — “I love / to take a bath / in a casket...” — even if there was no Easy Reader.
I was thrilled to see Martin Scorsese get the Best Director nod for my favorite film of 2011, Hugo, and I don’t expect Globes Best Picture winners The Descendants or The Artist — both of which I hope to see in the very near future — to change my mind in terms of rooting for Hugo to be crowned champion at the Oscars. Again, I realize that the HFPA is a small group of journalists and that the Globes aren’t really a predictor of the Oscars except by chance. I just think that the life of every man, woman, and child on this planet would be enriched by seeing Hugo and want the word of its magnificence spread as widely as possible.
Although I’m happy for ABC’s Modern Family I can’t help thinking that NBC’s Community and Parks and Recreation should both at least have been in the running if not actually holding the trophy. Disagreement with the slate of nominees to begin with is a key frustration in any batch of awards. Sofia Vergara and Steven Levitan’s bilingual acceptance speech [dead link], however, was classic comedy, with Levitan soon straying far afield in his translation; even with a generous B in my one semester of college Spanish I know that Vergara was not promoting the fact that TV writers “may look pasty and nervous and out-of-shape but they are the greatest lovers I’ve ever had”.
Perhaps the best line of the entire night came from the star of The Artist, Jean Dujardin, upon his win: “As Douglas Fairbanks would say, ‘ .’”
I haven’t seen The Iron Lady yet, but we all know that Meryl Streep is a shoo-in at
every awards show this season — due to her impressively chameleonic skills and the fact that her acceptance speeches, like the one she gave last night [dead link], strike the right note between humility and faux humility desired by her peers as well as showcase some tastefully mock-blasphemous humor. Her opening remark that “Ricky Gervais’ deal fell through and they came to me to play Margaret Thatcher” counts as a side-splitter in this crowd.
The bleeped moment is excised from the clip of her speech online, but as Streep ascended to the stage I was thinking that I’d love to see her go off on a profanity-laced tirade — “Oh shit...” upon realizing she forgot her glasses.
So that’s my attempt to stick to a lightning-round approach. Given the amount of time and mental energy it takes to write up a relatively breezy dispatch like this, I can’t help but think that it would’ve been time and mental energy much better spent on any number of other things — such as putting up another one of the many blogposts awaiting my attention or watching the entirety of Mildred Pierce.
[FYI: The comments section has taken a turn towards the NSFW.]
Related: All That Glitter • Crystalized • Funny Business
Ha ha ha! Do you want us to get off your lawn? ^__^ReplyDelete
(I love it when you get grumpy.)
Not surprisingly, we covered much of the same ground and liked/disliked many of the same things.ReplyDelete
This isn't an accidentally "tweeted" nude photo; it's three hours of prime-time network programming on a Sunday night. We can all feign anticipated shock only so far.
I was perhaps a bit less forgiving of Gervais than you, but this is a great point. Anyone who went into this expecting something totally risque and over-the-top was fooling themselves. By the time the network is promoting the outrageousness, you know it's not going to be that outrageous.
My favorite bit of his was probably the extended riff during his opening monologue on "Jodie Foster's Beaver"
That was great, and like you, it was nice to see Foster (an actress who can, sometimes, take herself too seriously) get into it as well.
It gets particularly whiplash-inducing because the Globes cover both film and television.
And I understand that they don't want to lump all the TV awards at one end of the show and the movie awards at the other, but there has to be some more logical way to order them.
Most of the TV stuff was HBO, BBC America, and Showtime fare I've not more than heard good things about.
Even so, I can't believe that Kelsey Grammer's or any other performance by a male actor on TV last year was more award-worthy than Bryan Cranston's on AMC's Breaking Bad.
That one surprised a lot of people I think. The best rationale I've seen is that Grammer's status as a beloved sitcom star trumped everything else, as the HFPA seems enamored of such things.
I bet it would've been Rango if I hadn't started typing "Rango" just before the winner was announced — based purely on expectations, not on having seen any of the nominees
I was also surprised at TinTin's win (which is the one nominated animated film I've actually seen) until I remembered how big TinTin is outside of America and that this is the Golden Globes, and then it made more sense.
Mr. Wishful Thinking was just plain wrong on the math by rounding Stowe's age up from "late Baby Boomer" to "whatever the generation born before Hitler invaded Europe is called".
First of all, ha! Secondly, I somehow completely missed what Hoffman was doing there, which is indeed rather bizarre and inaccurate. I did love that he thanked his wife and agent for giving him the strength to present the award though.
Although I'm happy for ABC's Modern Family I can't help thinking that NBC's Community and Parks and Recreation should both at least have been in the running if not actually holding the trophy.
Again, ditto. Left up to me, I'd give the award to either Community or Parks and Rec over Modern Family (not that I don't enjoy Modern Family), but since I know that won't happen, I'd happily settle for nominations for both.
Teebore: Not surprisingly, we covered much of the same ground and liked/disliked many of the same things.
I see that. Maybe next time I'll just shut up and reply to your post. 8^) It'd also be fun to do a two-in-one review of something like this sometime.
Teebore: The best rationale I've seen is that Grammer's status as a beloved sitcom star trumped everything else, as the HFPA seems enamored of such things.
Yeah... I'm not sure how I continue to fail to immediately explain away everything in my head with "It's the HFPA, stupid!" but I do. I might've linked to this in my Globes post last year, but for you (or, really, anybody less knowledgeable about the HPFA reading this) here's a look at how much wool is pulled over our communal eyes as we buy into the Globes as a precursor to the Oscars or frankly as anything legitimate at all other than a tradition / self-perpetuating phenomenon.
Teebore: I somehow completely missed what Hoffman was doing there, which is indeed rather bizarre and inaccurate. I did love that he thanked his wife and agent for giving him the strength to present the award though.
I liked that, too, which is one reason why I didn't pile on a mention that Stowe is only a few years younger than his second wife. Having been divorced myself I'm not about to throw stones in that department; there are times, sadly, when dissolving a marriage is the right thing to do and I can't begrudge someone finding partnership again.
I was just musing on the TV stuff and realized that there may be another explanation for quirks in that area. We know that the HFPA membership isn't entirely from the highest echelons of overseas arts-&-entertainment journalism — part-time stringers apparently account for a good part of it.
How many writers do you know who seriously cover film and television who aren't critic-at-large gadflies?
I'm not aware of anybody who isn't dedicated to covering one discipline or the other at a major media outlet unless they're of the type that gets to pick subjects from throughout the entertainment realm as it moves them but in return of course isn't tasked with being up on everything. The Globes voting then is almost certainly made up of people who either cover TV or movies, being ignorant of the other except in what they choose to follow per their own taste, or people who cover both but not comprehensively. Either way — if all 90-or-so members of HFPA draw up the ballots and vote in every category (and if they don't, well, we're talking even a smaller voting pool) — you're gonna wind up with some understandably ill-informed nominations, "favorites" pretty much by design. And that's not a knock on the HFPA journalists themselves per se; if, let's say, the staff of Entertainment Weekly were running similar awards we'd have the same problem, as most only cover one area or cover everything but catch-as-catch-can based on assignments or interest.
Hey, El Qué — Thbbbpppptt!
You guys are getting all insightful with the whaddayacallit "inside baseball" and meanwhile I'm still cracking up over the fact that Blam actually labeled this post with "Jodie Foster's Beaver".ReplyDelete
I hope that was a raspberry, Blammo.ReplyDelete
I still haven't seen HBO's Mildred PierceReplyDelete
Nice period detail, a bit draggy in parts... Kate Winslet is good as always. You get to see Evan Rachel Wood starkers, although she's wearing a toupee on her hoo-hah. Spoiler alert! Maybe it's Jodie Foster's?
Of course it was a raspberry, and thanks so much for elevating the level of discussion as always...
She really had to wear a toupee on her hoohoo? What, a comb-over wouldn't suffice?ReplyDelete
Hahaha! I kill me and that was gross and inappropriate and I apologize. And, I always read "toupee" as "toopy".
"Hey, nice toopy on yer hoo-hee!"
Oh my god. Ignore this. All of it. This didn't happen.
@Joan: I believe the technical term for a pubic wig is "merkin".ReplyDelete
And that's one to grow on!
@Teebore - By God, you're right! According to Wikipedia, merkins were originally worn by ladies who wanted combat lice and prostitutes who wanted to cover up their STDs. Why is it called it a Merkin I wonder? I bet the original inventor hated a guy named Phillemon Merkin.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I knew it was called a merkin, but it's so weird to have a proper name for such a thing. I like "cooch rug".ReplyDelete
a comb-over wouldn't sufficeReplyDelete
You probably found this out during your research, Joan, but many wimmenfolk actors today would have to don a merkin to avoid the anachronism of a bald or carefully landscaped pubic area when appearing in a period piece (which just took on a whole new meaning for me, but I'm gonna let that slide). In an upcoming movies set in the hippie days, Sienna Miller has a nude scene that would normally call for a merkin but instead they're apparently going to enhance her bush with CGI.
*dies from laughter*
Blam's going to kick us out if we don't keep it down over here :D
I've just added a note to the end of the post warning about the anything-goes tone in these comments.
Joan: merkins were originally worn by ladies who wanted combat lice and prostitutes
You're missing a "to" in there, which hilariously changes the gist of that sentence. "All right, troops, listen up: Combat lice on the left; prostitutes on the right. The pros will distract the enemy, y'know, doing what they do, and that's when the lice attack. You guys who were attracted by the ladies in the merkins? Last chance to get out! I won't say we don't need combat lice; we do, bad — but this ain't no place for the uncommitted. Now's the time to decide whether you're a civilian louse, content to live the life of Riley on some woman's privates, or the kind of louse who makes that life possible for other lice by defending this here country." (scattered giggles) "I said 'country', damn it!"
Hahahaha! I die!ReplyDelete
Last night, on The Soup, they were talking about merkins! It's kismet! Lucy Lawless was on and was pretending to hawk her new line of them. Apparently, there is some reality star who is actually designing and selling them. She makes some out of actual fox fur... I just, it's just... weird. I don't understand anything anymore - I feel bewildered and a little frightened by the whole thing! I'm like an old grandpa: "Back in my day, only flea-ridden women and diseased whores tricked me with these coochie cozies!"ReplyDelete
The ship has sailed on the Globes, but I did want to come back and respond to a few non-merkin related things.ReplyDelete
It'd also be fun to do a two-in-one review of something like this sometime.
How many writers do you know who seriously cover film and television who aren't critic-at-large gadflies?
That's a good point. One more knock against the HFPA. ;)
Unless you and Teebore want your posts about what-have-you to bombarded with merkin comments - I insist on being a part of one of them. Just a paragraph so's I can works my magic!ReplyDelete
First: I sought out that episode of The Soup and I can't believe I never thought of "Muff Muffs".ReplyDelete
Second: Blam and Teebore's Three-Way with Joan Crawford — You could sell tickets to that thing. Sponsored by Lucy Lawless's Muff Muffs!
Bwahahaha! You're terrible! I mean it - absolutely filthy!ReplyDelete
I like you more each day.
Wow. Just... Wow.
Is this a good place to mention that Orly Taitz is back in the news?ReplyDelete
@Joan: Unless you and Teebore want your posts about what-have-you to bombarded with merkin comments - I insist on being a part of one of them.ReplyDelete
But what if we want both, you AND merkin bombardment?
@Teebore - You wants it? You gots it!ReplyDelete
First I'd like to thank Arb for not complaining that we've been vaguely planning to do some two-in-one reviews for, like, years now. He's one of the few people with whom I have successfully written in an integrated fashion, although strictly back-and-forth stuff obviously requires much less work. One day I'll be caught up enough in my new-comics reading to do that with him... I hope.
Oscars night would probably be too overwhelming a place with too quick a deadline to start. Teebore and I may tend to have similar reactions, but the sheer scope of the telecast and the fact that he'd probably like to get his post up the next day (whereas I have no guarantee of watching the show on time let alone writing it up in short order thanks to my ongoing stuff) make it a likely no. I'll E-mail you guys privately with another suggestion.