Sunday, January 15, 2012

THE GOLDEN GLOBES FOR ONCE ARE QUITE GOLDEN

Sunday night was the 69th Annual Golden Globes, and within a minute host Ricky Gervais bit the hand that was feeding him, remarking that the Globes were like the Oscars, only without the esteem. A few minutes later he made a naughty joke about Jodie Foster’s movie “The Beaver.”  Not the Oscars, indeed.
That being said, most of the show was pretty respectable this year. There were no truly jaw-dropping insults from Gervais. And aside from too many jokes about Melissa McCarthy’s character taking a dump in a sink in the comedy “Bridesmaids”, and some censors working quickly to bleep out Meryl Streep of all people, the show was rather staid and even conventional. One could say it bordered on tasteful. Most of the humor showed true wit, as when George Clooney came out with a cane to mock his friend Brad Pitt’s recent ailment. (He did make an off-color joke about Michael Fassbender of “Shame” golfing without his hands later in the broadcast, but it wasn’t too outrageous.)

Even if the humor wasn’t all that dangerous this time, there still remained something edgy about the Globes broadcast. As it does every year. Maybe it's that tiny room at the Beverly Hilton that all those celebs from the world of TV and film are squeezed into. Or the free-flowing booze that never stops pouring throughout the show. And then there's the often unusual taste level the Hollywood Foreign Press Association shows in bestowing their honors. But in 2012, there were a lot fewer surprises than there usually are.
As expected, “The Artist” won three Globes with wins for Best Comedy, Score, and Actor in a Comedy (Jean Dujardin). Most of the other wins in the acting categories were expected too like George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer. Martin Scorsese’s win for Best Director of "Hugo" was something of a surprise, but not if you’ve seen that marvelous film. And nobody thought Madonna would win anything for her universally panned “W.E.” which has yet to open in Chicago, by the way. She scored a surprise victory in the best song category. Though not surprisingly, her acceptance speech was typically Madonna-esque with that odd combination of jitters and hubris she always expresses.
The tribute to Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement winner Morgan Freeman was quickly done and deft, something the Globes hasn’t always done in salutes like that. I still cringe thinking about the atrocious jokes uttered during the Robert DeNiro tribute a few years back. And the pacing of the show was sharp with nothing dragging, and all A-listers acquitting themselves quite nicely on stage including Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Colin Firth, just to name a few.

For me, the highlight of the show was seeing the cast of “The Artist” get up on stage together to celebrate the Best Comedy win with their director/writer Michael Hazanavicius and producer Thomas Langmann. Best of all, Uggie, the movie's scene-stealing dog went up too, and he performed some adorable tricks with leading man Jean Dujardin. The audience loved it and proved once again that if the Academy members could cast a write-in vote as Best Supporting Actor for the canine, they would! Woof!
And for those of you who watch these events for the fashions, to my eyes it seemed that Charlize Theron more than anyone else, looked the most stunning on the red carpet. In fact, I'll go so far as to predict that she’ll be the choice of a lot of critics and fashion experts for best dressed at this year’s Globes.

Here are the winners in the film categories:

Best Drama – “The Descendants”
Best Comedy – “The Artist”
Best Director – Martin Scorsese “Hugo”
Best Actor (Drama) – George Clooney “The Descendants”
Best Actress (Drama) – Meryl Streep “The Iron Lady”
Best Actor (Comedy) – Jean Dujardin “The Artist”
Best Actress (Comedy) – Michelle Williams “My Week With Marilyn”
Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer “Beginners”
Best Supporting Actress - Octavia Spencer "The Help"
Best Screenplay – “Midnight in Paris”
Best Foreign Language Film – “A Separation”
Best Original Score – “The Artist”
Best Original Song – “W.E.”
Best Animated Feature – “The Adventures of Tintin”

So what implication does all this have for upcoming awards shows?

Well, the usual suspects will likely continue to be called for more accolades. “The Artist” remains the frontrunner for Best Picture at the Oscars. And Billy Crystal certainly has his work cut out for him hosting the show, especially after such an entertaining Globes show. It was the most respectable show the Hollywood Foreign Press has put on in years. In fact, some might say that the show even had esteem

2 comments:

  1. Jeff, thank you for a terrific "Highlight Reel" for those of us who didn't catch the show! Something tells me we'll be seeing more of George and Jean as awards season progresses. And the delightful Uggie!

    Here's Uggie onstage as you described, in this three-minute Golden Globes video just posted tonight. Uggie's performance is at the 2:10 mark:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQZU3RwyPBY

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  2. Thanks Fan!

    Out seeing a movie, perhaps? Well, thankfully you can always catch shows and clips online or from a DVR. And go Uggie, go! I'd love to see he and Jean Dujardin repeat some of their 'banter' at the Oscars.

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