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No Surprise, The Social Network is the Big Winner

Golden Globes Wrap-Up

I really enjoy watching the Golden Globes because it’s an awards show that honors both TV and movies. It’s also so much less pretentious, obnoxious and boring than the Oscars. The audience seated at tables makes for a more convivial atmosphere, for both the guests and the audience. But the television set with its weird dripping jewels background had the look of a ’60s variety special. Hollywood hasn’t been able to update the variety show look for the past 40 years?

Ricky Gervais was in top form as the host, opening the show by wondering not why Sex and the City 2 wasn’t nominated for anything, but why the team who Photoshopped the movie poster was overlooked. He followed that rimshot by dipping way low on the taste-meter by revealing that he and his writers spend way too much time on Internet gossip sites (like the rest of us) by making a gay Scientology joke. But I still think he was a great host, even if he did trash Lost.

For the most part everyone looked tasteful. Yawn. Cher’s name kept getting mentioned in the broadcast, but no one brought the costume-crazy like Cher used to, which made watching awards shows exciting.

Jennifer Lopez wore something unattractive and confusing. Milla Jovovich looked a tad matronly in her all-grown-up gown. I guess when you are always wearing skin tight outfits and kicking butt in numerous Resident Evil movies, dress-up time means you go for a more drapey princess dress. Scarlett Johansen looked pretty introducing Best Supporting Actor- Motion Picture, but she was so much more animated here than in her movies, where she’s alway seems so blank and wooden. January Jones wore the only “hey, what the heck?” outfit, bless her, with cut-outs in all the right or wrong places, depending on your point of view. And bless the producers for bringing her on about halfway through the show to wake us all up.

All of the nominees seemed worthy, and there were no real upsets. That says a lot for the quality of television and movies last year, but doesn’t make for a riveting awards show. It was enjoyable to see deserving favorites win awards, like Steve Buscemi and Boardwalk Empire. Steve Buscemi is who I wanted to win, and he did. Sorry, John Hamm, et al., the dude rocks. Buscemi “talked fast before the sad music came on” and gave a gracious speech. Buscemi’s show Boardwalk Empire also won, I’m happy to say. Murderous and conflicted 1920s gangsters are so much more interesting to me than sexy serial killers, zombies, and ’60s ad men, etc. Boardwalk Empire’s producer seemed happy but surprised at their win, “Holy ‘effin crap. We won a Golden Globe award.”

Christian Bale, looking very Jesus Christ Superstar won for The Fighter. He beat out Michael Douglas, who looked well, but didn’t have much of a chance with his Wall Street movie, and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), Jeremy Renner (The Town), and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech). All men will probably be back for the Oscars, with Rush giving them the biggest competition next time out.

Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore (in way too much shiny rose-colored fabric) presented the award for best TV movie/miniseries. Any one of these could have won the award—Temple Grandin (HBO), Pillars of the Earth (Starz), The Pacific (HBO), You Don’t Know Jack (HBO). Carlos, from Sundance Channel won. Of all of them, this is the one I haven’t seen and on the one network I never watch. I’m not sure if it’s an upset or not. 

My Gleek mom and daughter wanted Chris Colfer to win best supporting actor, TV series and he did. He made a very nice acceptance speech, short and sweet, about ending bullying—it was also the only whiff of anything socio-political in the evening. Glee won three awards. Jimmy Fallon and January Jones lip-synched their introductions for best TV series/comedy, but who was paying attention with January’s red open-front dress? Glee won, and as much as I have had issues with this show, I have to say I’m happy for them all and they definitely deserve it in this group. Competition was 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, The Big, Modern Family and Nurse Jackie.

The absolutely brilliant Jane  (“I am nothing if not falsely humble”) Lynch won supporting actress for Glee. She thanked her wife and family, and nobody clapped or made a big deal. That’s how the show was all night and that’s how it should always be. 

Best Actress – TV Series – Comedy went to Laura Linney (who wasn’t there because her father recently passed away) for The Big C. Sorry, Lea Michelle. Maybe if you’d been in the supporting category, as the whole cast should be. Glee also didn’t win the Best Actor – TV Series – Comedy, which went to Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory, a funny guy in a cute show which doesn’t always get a lot of press. So bravo, Hollywood Foreign Press, for that one.

Other wins were Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), amazing and voluptuous-looking in orange, best actress in a TV Series – Drama. Her win seeming to have pleasantly surprised everyone, including herself. Cher’s song from Burlesque won. The competition were songs from Country Strong, Burlesque, Tangled, and Narnia (there was a song?). Cher can really turn back time. I was sure Tangled had it in the bag. Original score went to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network, which was a pleasant surprise as well. I guess the awards weren’t all that predictable after all. A total surprise was Toy Story 3 winning best animated feature. Again, my money was on Tangled and I hope to have this rectified at the Academy Awards. P.S. No Shrek, but Despicable Me? It was funny when accepting for Toy Story 3 the director asked presenters Justin Bieber and Haylee Steinfeld, “Were you two even born when the first movie came out?” Olivia Wilde in dress bigger than a Disney princess, and Robert Pattinson awarded best foreign language film to In A Better World from Denmark. 

Just when I thought Ricky Gervais should host all awards shows forever, Robert Downey Jr. (in a grey suit and red tie, no tux, looking great) gave him a run for his money. Gervais introduced Downey after running off a list of his film titles “Iron Man, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang … are these porn films?” Downey matched him by opening his introduction of best actress in a motion picture/comedy with, “I don’t know if an actress can do her best work until I’ve slept with her … Julianne … Angie … Annette … Anne … Emma I’d give it to all five of you … right here on this stage” The man’s got timing. Annette Bening won.

By far the best pair of presenters of the evening were Geoffrey Rush in a fedora and an over-enunciating Tilda Swinton wearing white on white on white. Swinton was thrilled to announce that the award for Best Actor – Television Mini-Series/Movie went to Al Pacino for You Don’t Know Jack, a biopic about Jack Kevorkian. It’s amazing when someone of Pacino’s stature can sound grateful for being given “the opportunity” to play a part. Acting is such a strange profession and how precarious. Right after Pacino spoke about the thrill an actor has playing a real person, Claire Danes won in the actress category for Temple Grandin, with Temple sitting next to her and cheering her on from the audience.

Tina Fey and Steve Carell are good together, no matter how poorly their Date Night movie did at the box-office. They introduced the award for best screenplays “they could have written if they had the time,” which was won, of course, by The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin may be good with words on paper, but he botched his acceptance speech for me by condescendingly declaring, “The people that watch movies are at least as smart as the people who make movies.” Thanks a whole bunch.

More highlights: Anne Hathaway and Jane Fonda both tried to bring back the ’80s big-shoulder look. This is not a good idea. Jeremy Irons, going head-to-head with Tilda Swinton in the Brits-enunciate-it-better dept. presented the Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture to Melissa Leo in The Fighter.

What is usually a highlight of the night, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, was actually kind of low-key and more like a roast, with Matt Damon introducing recipient Robert DeNiro by confessing that he wasn’t at all familiar with his movies (just joking, get it?), and a bunch of clips that seemed to feature only about six or seven of his most famous roles. God, I do love The King of Comedy. They were a nice bunch of clips, but not very much Godfather 2, which may be his masterpiece. And what, no Little Fockers? I’m not the only one who had that thought, as DeNiro himself addressed its absence right off the bat, “It’s OK. We all have our jobs to do.” He then proceeded to announce a DVD box-set of all the other movies he did that no one has seen that he will be selling in the lobby after the show (just joking, get it?). It was all a bit much.

Ricky Gervais was missing for too much of the show. In fact, less presenters, more Gervais would have sped it along and spiced things up. Still, it’s not as stultifyingly long as any Oscars I’ve seen. Presenters such as Tom Hanks and Tim Allen remarked on how mean Gervais has become in his comedy. Do they not know the man? His comedy has always had a razor-edge. Hanks and Allen (whiners) awarded Best Comedy – Motion Picture to The Kids Are All Right? Sandra Bullock (not thrilled with the bangs she was sporting, but wearing a beautiful dress) presented Best Actor – Drama – Motion Picture. Colin Firth accepted the award gratefully, equating winning it with avoiding an embarrassing mid-life crisis. “Right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley Davidson.” I think the Oscars will follow this award as well, even with the same tough competition of Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), and Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter).

The show wrapped up with Best Actor – Comedy – Motion Picture going to Paul Giamatti. I guess a double-Depp nomination doesn’t ensure a win. Natalie Portman won Best Actress – Drama – Motion Picture for Black Swan, the only movie in her category that lots of folks have even heard of, even if they haven’t seen it yet.

She was visibly pregnant and I loved the dramatic red rose on the front of her dress, although I wish the dress had been black or white rather than baby-powder pink. The gal’s having a year. Whether it will extend to the Oscars, I’m not so sure. The Oscars don’t separate comedy/musical performances with drama and I think Kidman, Moore, and Bening will be closer to the top of the Best Actress list for that awards show. Natalie had probably the worst speech of the night. “He totally wants to sleep with me!” Actors really do need a script.

The Social Network took home the rest of the awards. Best Director – Motion Picture to David FincherMichael Douglas presented the Best Motion Picture – Drama to a standing, loving crowd. “There’s got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation.” The Social Network won, as I think it will at the Oscars. Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, and The King’s Speech are all wonderful movies, and The Kids Are Alright should be in this category on Oscar night too.

All-in-all it was entertaining and the a pretty good preview of what’s to come Oscar night. I am frankly most excited about Boardwalk Empire, a show I’ve loved since the premiere, but wasn’t sure how much my enthusiasm was shared. I’ve been thinking all along that The Social Network would sweep, and so it has. The big question is whether the Oscars, just limited to movies, can take a cue from the Golden Globes and keep the show to three hours.

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