Live-Snarking The Meanest Golden Globes

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I am live-blogging (more like live-snarking) the 68th Annual Golden Globes starting at 5 PM PT tonight based on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 2011 nominations last month. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your comment. Warning: Not for the easily offended or ridiculously naive.

Ricky Gervais Assesses His Golden Globes Performance

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

Scott Rudin immediately pays tribute to the Sony Pictures moguls. “Amy Pascal and I started together as kids 30 years ago. We’ve spent our entire lives together waiting for a night like this.” (She once worked for him.) Rudin then ushers seated Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield onstage to join everyone else associated with the Facebook origins pic. This is clearly The New And Improved Scott Rudin trying to erase his image as the ashtray-throwing abuser and replace it with that of the kindness-embracer. Because he knows full well that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences members don’t vote for people they don’t like. It’s one thing to lobby (or pay off) the Hollywood Foreign Press for a win tonight. It’s quite another to swing Academy members. Rudin’s longtime nemesis Harvey Weinstein, too, is trying for a niceness makeover in support of his Best Picture Oscar contender The King’s Speech. The next six weeks are gonna be ones for the record books as this comedy of manners plays out as a farce.

Cancer-stricken and now cancer-survivor Michael Douglas comes out and the audience leaps to its collective feet. “There’s just gotta be an easier way to get a standing ovation,” he says. He looks good if a bit unsteady.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: COLIN FIRTH, THE KING’S SPEECH

Like Natalie Portman, Colin Firth has been the frontrunner and this win just confirms that. “Right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley-Davidson,” he quips and calls his relationships with co-star Geoffrey Rush and director Tom Hooper “my two other sides of a surprisingly robust man love”. Harvey Weinstein is raptly attentive when  Firth singles him out for “putting me in an improbable number of good films. We’ve had 20 years together which is not bad going for a showbiz marriage. Thank you, Harvey.”

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision, Gilbert Films; Focus Features

A near sweep for this dramedy in this category, which the Golden Globes has and the Academy Awards doesn’t — and should. Funny how the folks onstage can’t remember all the producers’ names. It’s easy: just recall all the managers and boyfriends and brothers involved.

Gervais goes on and on about presenter Tom Hank’s credits. “The other is Tim Allen.” Funny moment.

Hanks shoots back: “Like many of you, we recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian.”

“Neither of which he is now,” chimes in Allen.

It’s official: the room has turned against Gervais. Which is why I’m liking him more and more as the night drags on. But trust me, tomorrow the phones at NBC and Dick Clark Prods will be ringing off the hook with angry agents and managers complaining how this was the meanest awards show in Hollywood history and explaining why their clients won’t attend next year’s Golden Globes because of it. Maybe that will convince the powers-that-be to clean up the most corrupt awards-giving group in Hollywood history. More likely, NBC and Dick Clark Prods will follow the path of least resistance and just fire Gervais and all the writers.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: NATALIE PORTMAN, BLACK SWAN

Interesting how the audience gave a big whoop when presenter Jeff Bridges came to Natalie Portman’s name when reading the list of nominees: she now an Oscar shoo-in after what was once considered a very tight race for Best Actress. But Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams also had noisemakers so maybe she’s coming on strong. Portman’s speech was so bloodless until the pregnant actress spoke about her fiance Benjamin Millepied who choreographed Black Swan: “You might remember him in the movie as the guy when they ask, ‘Would you sleep with that girl?’ And says, ‘No.” He’s the best actor. It’s not true. He totally wants to sleep with me.” And then she giggles like a schoolgirl.

Interesting how she says director Darren Aronofsky would tell her after a few takes, “Now do one for yourself.” He really does coax extraordinary performances.

Chris Nolan is shown as the Inception clip is played. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Warner Bros waited too long to campaign for this pic this awards season. As a result, it’s already been overshadowed by The Social Network and The King’s Speech and The Fighter and Black Swan and True Grit — which is ridiculous.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL - PAUL GIAMATTI, BARNEY’S VERSION

And here we all thought the HFPA had promised this award to Johnny Depp for either The Tourist or Alice In Wonderland if he just showed up. Even Giamatti looks shocked. “This is a tiny movie that has done tiny business. “I almost think a mistake has been made because the other gentlemen in this category are my superiors in every regard as men and as actors,” he says humbly,” also warning the audience that “I’m a little jacked up because I ate 5 boxes of the free Godiva chocolates.”

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: GLEE (FOX), Ryan Murphy Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television

So much sucking up at this awards show, so little time. Exec producer Ryan Murphy gives shout-outs to Dana Walden and Gary Newman of Twentieth Century Fox TV and Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice of Fox Broadcasting before he’s rushed off-stage. To jump the shark, no doubt.

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE: DAVID FINCHER, THE SOCIAL NETWORK

This is turning into The Social Network sweep. He’s reading from notes about “popping Propecia like Chiclets” and “Jon Benet Rudin”. The audience laughs, and Rudin guffaws, but I don’t get it. Fincher thanks Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton and refers to himself “as a bitter man with a lot of opinions”. It’s clear that Fincher, who’s one of the most disliked directors in Hollywood because of his relentless arrogance is attempting to recast himself this awards season as warm and fuzzy and most of all humble. “I’m personally loathe to acknowledge the kind of wonderful response which this film has received,” he says, waiting a beat, “for fear of becoming addicted to it. So, suffice it to say: it’s been really nice.”

They let Megan Fox out of the Witness Protection Program tonight to intro The Tourist clip.

Robert De Niro receives the Cecil B DeMille Awards, but Matt Damon at first appears to win the booby prize for worst intro ever. That is until the audience in the ballroom and at home realized he’s just joking. “I actually don’t go to movies a lot because I spend much of my time making them. So I had no idea who Robert DeNiro was until 5 years ago when he asked me to be in his film The Good Shepherd. So naturally I needed to educate myself on who this guy was. So I started asking around.” Then Damon launches into some impressions from DeNiro films — but of other actors, not DeNiro. “And who could forget Taxi Driver where he was literally unrecognizable as a blonde 13-year-old hooker. He just disappears.”

After a clip reel tribute, the camera stops zooming in on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt long enough to spotlight De Niro, who says to Damon, “And I loved you in The Fighter.” He very obviously reads from the teleprompter. He notes that the HFPA made the announcement he’d receive the DeMille award “well before you had a chance to review Little Fockers. I saw those. It’s OK. We all have our jobs to do.” And paychecks to support Bob’s extravagant lifestyle.

De Niro, too, insults the HFPA members “who pose for pictures with the movie stars. I’m sorry more members of the Hollywood Foreign Press aren’t with us tonight, but many of them were deported right before the show… along with most of the waiters … and Javier Bardem.” Ouch! Yup, this is the meanest awards show ever.

De Niro kinda shows himself to be the asshole we always suspected he was. He even goes on to criticize the clip reel shown. Did he hire a dialogue writer to punch up his speech? If so, big mistake, Bob.

Increasingly the stars sitting at the dinner tables look as if they’re in a trance. Or comatose. Or are they just jonesing for their Crackberrys?

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: MELISSA LEO, THE FIGHTER

“My god, all that and kissed by Jeremy Irons!” Melissa Leo exults. “Look, Ma, I’ve got a Golden Globe!” (Again, someone on stage who thinks that means something. We need to deprogram these thesps.) Leo made a humorous reference to being in a hotel room with director David O Russell. But she hits the career jackpot with a shout-out to Paramount mogul Brad Grey. You’re looking at the next female lead in Transformers 4, trust me.

Increasingly, Jeremy Irons keeps doing an over-the-top impression of Jeremy Irons. Next stop: Danny Gans’ replacement in Las Vegas.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: JIM PARSONS, THE BIG BANG THEORY

Well, Jim Parsons better have a food tester join him on set Monday after he referred to the writing staff as “my writers” and then tried to correct himself by saying: “…My writers, how crass. The truth comes out.” Remember that the Teamsters supported the WGA strike. So don’t get into any cars to drive you to Warner Bros this week, Jim.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL: LAURA LINNEY, THE BIG C

[UPDATE: The reason Linney wasn’t there is because her father died.]

Helen Mirren, intro-ing The King’s Speech clip, notes that it was partially funded by “the British Film Council incidentally tragically no longer exists”. Actually, she’s referring to the UK Film Council and this film appears to have been its swan song. Background here.

OK, this crappy show is going on so long that I have to take a bathroom/feed-the-cat-and-myself/stretch-out-my-legs-and-back break. But you lucky people can just turn the channel. I deserve hazard pay for this because I’m convinced we’ve broken through some space-time continuum and I’ve missed the premiere of Transformers 3. Now I’m the lucky one.

Gervais acknowledges what we all know to be true: the Best Foreign language Film is “a category that nobody in America cares about”. But he notes how it’s an opportunity for the HFPA to showcast young and perfect teeth presenters Robert Pattinson and Olivia Wilde.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: IN A BETTER WORLD (DENMARK), (Hævnen) Zentropa Entertainment; Sony Pictures Classics

This pic didn’t screen for the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences until January 13th but winning the Golden Globe instantly improves its chances since the overall response to this year’s batch of Foreign Language films has been lukewarm. Sudan’s government accused Danish director Susanne Bier — who gives a shout-out to CAA — of making an anti-Islamic film even while she was still shooting. It’s a charge Bier has denied. “The movie doesn’t address religion in any shape or form,” she tells Deadline’s London editor Tim Adler. In a Better World, she says, is set in an unspecified part of Africa and was actually shot in Kenya. Bier wants to steer clear of any religious controversy – only last month 5 men were arrested for planning a machine-gun attack on the Danish newspaper which printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

In a Better World follows a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic Denmark town and his work at an African refugee camp. He and his wife, who have two young sons, are separated and contemplating the awfulness of divorce. The doctor and his wife come together when their oldest son is involved in a dangerous act of revenge. The idea sprang from a conversation Bier had with her screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen about how living in Scandinavia gave you a false sense of security about what the world was really like. Meanwhile, Jensen had already written a few scenes featuring police interrogating children. Bier says: “It asks whether our own ‘advanced’ culture is the model for a better world, or whether the same disarray found in lawlessness is lurking beneath the surface of our own civilization. Are we immune to chaos, or obliviously teetering on the verge of disorder?”

Given its modest DKK30 million ($5.4 million) budget, In a Better World wasn’t overly difficult to finance through the usual Danish soft money sources. “At that budget level, it’s relatively easy to make the film you want,” she says. TrustNordisk, its sales agent, has sold In a Better World to more than 50 territories, including North America. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in April. It has grossed $7.2 million so far, having been released in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: JANE LYNCH, GLEE

“I am nothing if not falsely humble,” she says, dedicating the Golden Globe to writer Ian Brennan “a deranged young man … who created Sue Sylvester and every heinous insane line that comes out of my mouth was written by him. This is yours too although I will be holding onto it.” The HFPA has jumped on the Glee bandwagon big-time, but so did the Emmys and everyone in media. It’s official: Glee has jumped the shark. (And not just because exec producer Ryan Murphy has okayed that upcoming Bieber-licious boy band episode timed to his biopic.)

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE: AARON SORKIN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Sorkin took the old-fashioned dialogue of The West Wing and married it to young and cool actors in this Facebook founding movie, and for that reason he’s a lock for Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. This more general category could have been a shocker but wasn’t. Sorkin gave shout-outs to Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton “who believe that the people who watch movies are at least as smart as the people who make movies”. WME gets  a big mention as well as Scott Rudin “who is the best living producer of movies and he gives the dead ones a run for their money, too.” He praised director David Fincher for “making scenes of typing and sometimes scenes of just talking about typing look like bank robberies”. He even sucks up to Mark Zuckerberg. In another words, Sorkin gives a real brown-noser of an acceptance speech.

Gervais says he cast presenter Steve Carell in the American version of The Office and then calls him “ungrateful” for leaving their “cash cow” of a show. All while smiling. This might just be the meanest awards show in recorded history. Or the most honest. I can’t tell the difference.

Wow, what a butched-up Zac Efron intro’ing The Kids Are All Right clip about a lesbian couple and their family.

This show is becoming as interminable as the Oscars.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: CLAIRE DANES, TEMPLE GRANDIN

Again, Claire Danes won the Emmy for this HBO film and she’s the hottest actress nominated in this category so… no surprise. Not to imply it’s not deserved because the movie and Danes were definitely a cut above. Especially for giving that lovely tribute to her late agent Ed Limato “who should be here. I love him. I miss him.”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: AL PACINO, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

A no-brainer choice. Of course the HFPA wouldn’t miss an opportunity to have Al Pacino take the stage even if he already won an Emmy for the HBO film directed by Barry Levinson “who did so much for this movie and found an eloquence and did so much for me,” Pacino says onstage. “He had a real feeling for Jack.”

Sly Stallone intro’s The Fighter clip. He looks like he’s had corrective plastic surgery for all those previous plastic surgeries. Or is that just the special Vaseline’d lens making him look less bizarro?

How many times are the cameras going to zoom in on Angelina Jolie leaning her head on Brad Pitt’s shoulder? That girl knows how to work it. She attends envelope openings for her movies and right now The Tourist is making its way around the world trying to make up internationally for its domestic drubbing at the box office.

The show comes back from commercial with the audience laughing. This is the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened. Obviously there’s better stuff being said off-camera than on. This may be the first time I wish I’d been at the GG dinner instead of just live-blogging from home. I Because what I’m watching on air is a smarmy borefest.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL – ANNETTE BENING, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

Since the Golden Globes splits these film and actor categories into drama vs comedy/musical, performances like Bening’s get awarded. She notes how her co-star Julianne Moore convinced her to do the pic. “And to the 1962 winner of Most Promising Actor, my husband Warren Beatty.” He blows her a kiss. (Note to Warren, do a character part or two. Get behind the camera again. Don’t obsess over Dick Tracy.)

Robert Downey Jr then becomes somewhat classless himself, even if joking, and says “I don’t know if an actress has done her best work until I’ve slept with her”. Then proceeds to name “Julianne” (Julianne Moore), and “Angie” (Angelina Jolie), and Annette (Annette Bening), and “Anne” (Anne Hathaway). Working blue moment: “I’d give it to all 5 of you.”

Gervais makes truly tasteless and classless digs at Robert Downey Jr, first asking if the titles of his past films are porn films, and then noting “the people in this room probably know him best from the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail.” C’mon, there’s gotta be a statute of limitations on mentioning someone’s decades-old rehabs, right? On the other hand, that may be what the TV audience is thinking. Downey comes out and really blasts Gervais. “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?” He gets the biggest laugh of the night.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: TOY STORY 3, Disney * Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich looks at Bieber and fellow presenter Hailee Steinfeld and says, “Wow, were you two even born when the first Toy Story came out?” This win falls into the “like, duh” category. Disney’s Rich Ross and Bob Iger and Pixar’s Jon Lassiter all get shout-outs. Unkrich called TS3 “an animated movie that beat with a human heart”.

OHMYGOD, it’s Justin Bieber. Oh, I love me some Justin. He’s so… Wait a minute, my mind was just taken over by all those 11-year-olds who comment on Deadline anytime we mention The Bieber in a shameless plug for his Internet traffic. Ugh.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE: TRENT REZNOR, THE SOCIAL NETWORK – ATTICUS ROSS

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE: “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME” — BURLESQUE – Music & Lyrics by: Diane Warren

As if the Golden Globes would have missed a chance to honor a trashy film like this one. Why anybody bothered to make Burlesque or give it such a wide release might be a mystery. Until it’s revealed that Screen Gems chief Clint Culpepper greenlighted his boyfriend’s $55+ million passion project. (Their on-set strife over budget, schedule, and creative decisions resulted in the most expensive film in Screen Gems history, and word is they’re now broken up after 20 years. Awkward.) But novice director Steven Antin deserves at least some credit for bringing back Cher to the big screen: they both dated David Geffen, and the mogul urged Cher to take the role. She hasn’t had a major film since 1999′s Tea With Mussolini and is a bonafide national treasure along with Diane Warren. But am I the only one who can’t stand Christina Aguilera’s hammy vocal stylings? Thankfully, Cher sing this one. So menschy of Diane Warren to dedicate the Globe to murdered Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.

We have a winner, folks, for most awkward presenter pairing so far tonight; Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo clearly has no talent for improv, which doesn’t bode well for her stint as a judge on American Idol first airing next week. Not to worry. That contest show is scripted to within an inch of its life anyway.

We just saw Andrew Garfield unveiled in his Spidey suit last week, and now he’s onstage intro’ing The Social Network. Yes, he really is that skinny. We already know he can act. But what’s the verdict on him in Sony’s Spider-Man reboot? Afterwards, Ricky Gervais calls TSN his favorite film of the year then makes a lame Paul McCartney-Heather Mills joke at facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s expense.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO) Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions, HBO Entertainment

Again, the Golden Globes was able to get out in front of the Emmys by honoring this show that didn’t debut until after those TV awards. The HFPA will get ink for this, which is the name of their game. If you ask me, this big-budget series is a well-written snoozefest lacking the punch of The Sopranos and loaded with too much polish. “Holy effin’ crap, we just won a Golden Globe award,” creator, exec producer, and writer Terry Winter says onstage as if that means something. Marty Scorsese is MIA because he’s filming Hugo Cabret in London. I’m surprised, for ratings, the HFPA/NBC/Dick Clark Prodns didn’t present Scorsese by satellite like the American Cinematheque recently did. Winter gives a shout-out to HBO’s Richard Plepler, Bill Nelson, Mike Lombardo, and Sue Naegle, calling the pay channel “no better place to work”. And tells his friends and family back in Brooklyn, “I can’t believe I’m sitting at a table with Al Pacino either.”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: STEVE BUSCEMI, BOARDWALK EMPIRE

This was a foregone conclusion that HBO’s big budget mob series from Marty Scorsese would be well awarded tonight. After all, it didn’t air in time for the 2010 Emmys, so the Golden Globes can get out first in awarding it. There is something swell in seeing this character actor take center stage as a leading man. “I hope we do it for years and years and years,” Buscemi says, reading from his notes. He calls creator, exec producer, and writer Terry Winter the “heart and soul” of the show and says, “I am indebted to you for the rest of my life.” Deserved.

So now the President of the HFPA is intro’ed, and Philip Berk who writes for “Galaxy and Filmink Australian”. I’ve never heard of either media outlet. As I keep telling you, these are not the journalists from The Times of London or Le Monde because they get blackballed if they try to join the HFPA; these are marginal media players. Berk takes the stage and immediately gets in his own dig at Gervais for insulting the organization. “Ricky, the next time you want me to qualify your movies — go to another guy.” But a top Hollywood publicist emails me, “Could the thank you speeches be any more humiliating?” so the industry is taking note of all the bad PR tonight for the HFPA. I smell a shake-up in the offing.

So far no horrible bloopers, faux pas, get-ups, or other Hollywood nonsense. NBC and Dick Clark Productions are putting on just another soporific and sophomoric awards show. Where’s the fun in that? We already have the stultifying Oscars, for crissakes. Truly I don’t understand why the public watches the Golden Globes  or any of these self-congratulatory kudoscasts when they’re not paid to (like me).

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: CHRIS COLFER, GLEE

The kid looks absolutely stunned. “I think I just dropped my heart between Natalie Portman and Julianna Moore, so if anyone sees that, please give it back to me.” He calls exec producer Ryan Murphy his “fairy godfather”. Colfer, who’s been outspoken on the subject of gay teens getting bullied in school, makes a pointed reference to that in his acceptance speech. “Screw that, kids!” Immediately, a top Hollywood publicist email me,  “Chris Colfer has such presence for a young man. Finally some class.”

Gervais introduces Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s Dad”. Ouch! So does that make Demi Moore then Ashton’s Mom and not wife? This makes my head hurts.

BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: CARLOS (SUNDANCE CHANNEL)

Again, this selection is completely surprising, especially up against HBO’s Temple Grandin, You Don’t Know Jack, and The Pacific mini-series. Perhaps HBO didn’t lavish enough attention or expensive under-the-table goodies on the HFPA? This is what happens when an organization is thought to be corrupt: every move becomes suspect. The camera zooms in on Tom Hanks, The Pacific‘s executive producer, and boy does he look angry! After all, that WWII epic cost $200 million… I love the way the guys who won totally ignored the orchestra music playing over them to signal it’s time to get off the stage NOW.

Miss Golden Globe is intro’ed, Gia Mantegna who in keeping with tradition is the relative of a well known Hollywood personality, in this case film and TV actor Joe Mantegna. Let’s just saw that in previous years the selections have been the relatives of true legends.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: KATEY SAGAL, SONS OF ANARCHY

This is a shocker since this FX cable series doesn’t have anywhere near the hype of competitors like rival series from AMC’s Mad Men or CBS’ The Good Wife or TNT’s The Closer whose star Kyra Segwick won the 2010 Emmy.

First award handed out:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: CHRISTIAN BALE, THE FIGHTER

Christian Bale took the stage unshaven with very long hair and proceeded to further humiliate the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in his acceptance speech. “I never really knew who those guys were. I’d always leave the press junkets going, ‘Who are those oddball characters in that room?’ I just sat there and they were always arguing amongst themselves and I would go, ‘Hello? I’m here’. And now I know who you are, and suddenly I realize how wise and spectacular and perceptive those guys really are. What a bunch of characters.” He thanked Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter‘s star and producer, for driving the production. (“You can only give a loud performance like I gave when you have a quiet anchor.” Bale also gave a shout-out to the film’s financier Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh as well as original developer/now distributor Paramount.

Host Ricky Gervais took the stage and was even more blasphemous towards the antics of Hollywood and especially the tarnished reputation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than he was last year. I love it. “It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” He spoke how it was a big year for 3D “except the characters of The Tourist … I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Because I haven’t even seen The Tourist. Who has? It must be good because it’s nominated, so shut up,” when the audience openly groaned. And I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going round that the only reason it was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with JohnnyDepp and Angeline Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.” Again, the audience groaned. “All that happened is that some of them were taken to see Cher in concert. How the hell is that a bribe? (…Because it’s not 1975)”.

Gervais also took aim at the Sex And The City 2‘s foursome of actresses who were trying to hide their ages in the poorly performing sequel. “I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects team would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

Gervais mentioned Jim Carrey’s indie film I Love You, Phillip Morris where “two heterosexual actors pretend to be gay. So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists then.” When the audience seemed shocked, Gervais noted, “My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke.” He went on to call two new cable TV dramas “great”, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and AMC’s The Walking Dead, the latter a segue into a joke about the Playboy founder Hugh Hefner who is getting married at age 84 to a 24-year-old blonde beauty. Then Gervais began simulating oral sex onstage, quipping, “I warned ‘em.” He also made reference to ABC’s Lost finale during which “all the questions were answered. I’m pretty sure the fat one ate them all.” And finally he got in a jab at Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic ranting, introducing Scarlett Johanssen by noting that she’s a Jew. “Mel Gibson told me that. He’s obssessed.”

BACKGROUND: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this is a completely meaningless awards show from a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for ratings. Not only have journalists like myself for years been attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its exclusionary membership policies and too-cosy relationship with studios and networks, but an Oscar-winning documentary director (Vikram Jayanti in his 2004 film The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret) has called the group a bunch of “freeloaders” who know more about hors d’oeuvres than auteurs and select winners based on “who kisses butt best”. As recently as Friday, the HFPA was accused in a lawsuit filed by its former publicist (who for 17 years used to be paid to protect the group’s image) of accepting “payola” – like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations — and other questionable business practices. Even though the charges are denied by the HFPA, the lawsuit alleges what we’ve all known: that the Golden Globes and the organization behind it have zero integrity. Hollywood filmmakers and TV producers who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. Even the small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who belong to the HFPA won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige media outlets across the world. That’s because the HFPA clique don’t want to dilute the financial bonanza they receive from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about each year’s movies and TV shows. The organizations who put on the Golden Globes — NBC and Dick Clark Productions — could clean up the HFPA but choose not to. That’s because everybody is making gobs of money, including the HFPA which pockets an estimated $30 million in broadcast fees for the awards show. Instead, the entire entertainment industry props up this pathetic broadcast because it’s seen as a night-long marketing tool. And, FYI: only once in the last six years has the winner of one of the Golden Globe best film prizes gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars (2008′s Slumdog Millionaire) though that came after an 8-year Globe/Oscar winning streak. So I refuse to treat these nominations with any seriousness. (And if you don’t want that, then for crissakes stop reading me now…) In fact the only reason I can think of to tune in is because, over the years, Jack Nicholson has mooned the audience, Jim Carrey has talked out of his butt, Christine Lahti was locked in the bathroom, and other unscripted weirdness occurs at this intimate dinner. Including 1982′s low point when Pia Zadora’s husband bought her best “New Star Of The Year”.

    1. The HFPA is a joke. Glad Mike Russell is bringing it all out in the open in a lawsuit. Hope it goes to trial. Ricky Gervais is pulling no punches tonight, and it’s wonderful.

      1. The only thing that will be exposed in the lawsuit is Michael Russell. He’s the dirtiest one there. The cleanup started with his ouster.

        Hello Michael or Stephen. Karma rights all things.

      2. I agree, Ricky Gervais is doing a great job of pissing people off :) And by the way, he was not simulating oral sex as the article said. He was imitating Hefner’s 24-year old girlfriend looking away and gagging as she reached back and touched his man parts :)

      3. 100% correct. Mike Russell and Steve Locascio are two of the nicest, most honest people in this business. The best part is that the HFPA members are so corrupt and arrogant that they’re charging head-first into this lawsuit. If the HFPA members had any sense they’d realize that proceedings in open court (guaranteed media attention) are a really bad thing for them, all their dirty laundry dug up during discovery and then aired out in public?

        1. Were they “nice” people, they wouldn’t have jacked everyone, including the celebs, by filing suit and releasing it to media 3 days before the show. That was clearly malicious. Now everyone has a reason to hate them.

          The HFPA now has nothing to lose and will fight it tooth and nail. All Russell and Locascio have done is completely ruin their own futures. They not only kiss and tell, they “kiss and lie.” Read their Rip Off Reports or past lawsuits against them.

          They should be very, very afraid of the HFPA’s counter suit.

    2. Kudos to Robert Deniro, his speech was short and sweet and funny. The man has a funny bone; who knew?
      Robert Downey was right to strike back.
      Gervais was an embarassment and honestly, you could see it in his performance….he seemed to be embarassed by what he was saying…maybe too many drinks backstage?
      I get the feeling that the Foreign press doesn’t know who to ask to host the show anymore.
      Everything went as predicted. I regret that True Grit isn’t getting any awards love…it’s one of the best movies of the year and hopefully Oscar won’t overlook it as so many other awards have.

        1. Love when I see people calling True Grit horrible. It lets me know that they have terrible taste and I should never listen to them.

          1. To each his own, but I couldn’t understand a single word Jeff Bridges said. Does he have a speech impediment?

      1. Yeah, I like how Robert Downey struck back about Ricky being too mean spirited… then goes on to talk about how he’d like to have sex with all the women in his category, on stage at the same time with his wife and the audience watching… Yeah, great guy… really classy. Can’t have it both ways you whiney self important actor.

        1. I agree about Robert Downey Jr. I couldn’t believe my ears at first..I thought what bad taste and his poor wife had to sit through that. I think most of what was said by Ricky and other presenters was prescreened for the most apart and hired him to rip people apart. He did say in his commercials for the Globes that he was going to be mean and insulting…and that was a commercial approved by the HFPA. Mean spirited is the way of most younger people these days, just look at any forum to see it…and they wanted to bring in a younger audience so they went with what cathes their attention…just like Glenn Beck and ‘Reilly and all the other pundits do. Only people to blame is yourselves for making that kind of comment acceptable and the only way to make money..sad situation in this country when the vitriol hits the award shows even. I bet Ricky ad libbed his bits about the HFPA knowing cause he wanted people to know what they are like, knowing he wouldn’t be back and not caring.

          1. I agree, Downey was brilliant. I didn’t like the viciousness of the host if you can call him that. He later tried to defend his awful behavoir by saying he was hired to “Roast,” people. He didn’t get it, The Awards are Not “a Roast,” They are the “Awards,” for supposedly gifted performance. If he’s going to host next year, or any other Don RIckles type that belongs in Vegas, I refuse to watch the show and I’m sure alot of others will do the same.
            Cel

      2. “.he seemed to be embarassed by what he was saying”

        Hah. No, he was taking pleasure in making the audience shuffle in their seats and groan. His performance was purely for those at home who also think that this award show is a corrupt hollywood circle-jerk.

        He was brilliant.

        1. If those “at home” think the GGs are “a corrupt hollywood circle-jerk,” then why would they be watching? If if they aren’t watching, then how can his performance be “for them?” Let us know if any logical reasoning should accidentally happen to seep into your brain crevices anytime soon.

          1. Because they’re watching to see the drunk actors do stupid, outrageous things. Not a serious awards show, but one where the acting talent feels less pressure (awards mean less) and has more fun (free booze).

      3. Being NOMINATED is ACKNOWLEDGMENT. But there was superior film making this year that deserve the awards more. Its like being nominated against Avatar in technical awards last year. Yeah, you’re film was great, but Avatar just did it better. You were still acknowledged via your involvement with being nominated.

      4. “True Grit” was released outside of the Golden Globes nomination window. Its absence has nothing to do with anything but the calendar

    3. Ricky did a great job. He told it as it is. If the celebs don’t like being targets, clean up your act or get out of the kitchen. DeNiro was great, maybe the HPFA and NBC will ban him too. What a joke Hollywood is. Ricky said it to their faces instead of a Tabloid headline. Grow up.

      1. Ricky attacked people who didn’t even deserve it. I have read every single post and your post is the most childish. I think you need to heed your own advice. Grow Up yourselve will ya! RG is tasteless and that kind of humor isn’t the norm in America okay, He needs to keep it in the UK.

    4. I completely agree with this and thought that the blog was extremely funny. I believe that Gervais was insanely hilarious and gave Hollywood what it deserves.

      One thing I will say though: I believe that Katey Sagal deserved that Golden Globe. That is one that they definitely got right.

  1. You are absolutely right about the HFPA … all hacks and stringers, very few actual on staff real journalists belong (nor wil their employers allow them to!). And yes, they are guilty of all the allegations and then some … crooked as the day is long. The only thing is, they do throw a great party and the alcohol flows very freely leading up to the during the awards so they’re famous for great celeb off the cuff speeches and moments because almost everyone who attends is blotto.

  2. And then there’s the traffic jam on the West side… taken together, it’s really not the fab night it pretends to be.

  3. This is the first time I’ve ever participated in live-snarking the Globes. Looking forward to having a very good time, despite the fact that there’s no TV set in the room where my computer is. :)

  4. LOVE the straight-to-the-point-no-bullshit TRUTH about the HFPA. Deadline should consider making a drinking game for the Golden Globes. It would make them much more entertaining to watch.

    1. I don’t think if you’re invited to a party you then insult your hosts. Something aint right with that. It’s like almost every other presenter had something snarky to say about the HFP….which is too bad because the show is generally an entertaining awards show, and they get all the stars out.

      1. Good heavens, has no one here ever seen a live roast? They had him last year so they certainly knew what they wee doing. I’ve family in the business, and so many take themselves so seriously – no wonder the young ones are all messed up. If they’d learn to laugh about their public lives (which they pay a rpetty penny to MAKE public) they would do better work and live happier lives.

  5. Love your annual Golden Globes snarking can’t wait! Couldn’t agree more with everything you said. The fact they nominated The Tourist & Burlesque for multiple awards just shows what a ridiculous awards show it’s become.

  6. I wasn’t going to watch but my friend informed me that Ricky Gervais was hosting again. I’ll watch a bit of him, maybe if I continue I will watch on mute, and would rather read this site than endure the utter falsity and pretension of both the Globes and the Oscars.

  7. At least they booked a good host. Gervais won’t have any qualms about bruising the feelings or egos of those in attendance. The Oscars promise to be doubly coma-inducing this year with Hathaway & Franco keeping all industry bridges sopping wet.

  8. Ricky Gervais hosting ANYTHING is just a piss-take! So up himself and aint been funny 4 years..

  9. Well, I tuned in for the preview red carpet show and its a snooze..Way better when you had Joan Rivers or Kathy Griffin doing it, everybody needs a loose cannon in the room, or why tune it?

  10. Golden Globes: Not only is it the best little whorehouse in Hollywood, they don’t provide free STD testing for its media whores.

  11. Not surprised.

    Hollywood is a big liberal institution. When they say “keep an open mind”, they’re not talking about themselves – be it politics or what would make a good movie.

    The film industry is like every other industry – it’s filled with aging dinosaurs who are paranoid that some young upstart will come knock them off the mountain. Solution? Use your position and authority to keep all the young ‘uns down.

    I’m reading in the news that Hollywood moguls want to resurrect dead stars like Marilyn Monroe rather than find new talent. I guess it’s cheaper and easier, but what a kick to the teeth of people trying to break in. It just reflects Hollywood’s insular, cliquish attitude.

    And it’s why the movie industry is crashing. Instead of making good, quality products they make ego stroking pieces that no one wants to see (except them.)

    So of course these awards are about who kisses the most rear end.

    1. Actually recreating deceased stars with CGI is much, much more expensive than hiring flesh-and-blood actors. (And not too convincing: Young Jeff Bridges in Tron looks like a walking waxwork.) So I wouldn’t worry about that for a while. Hollywood cares only about money.

      Well, money and politics. But mostly money.

    1. according to variety live feed, he said “I just saw De Niro sitting there and told him he was shit”

      1. “The” shit, honey, it’s a big difference.

        Something about being honored to be in the same room too.

        Awkward, but oddly adorable.

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