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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. (more…)