Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Globin' It

Even though I think Oscar prognostication has gotten out of control, I do enjoy the major awards shows. They're shared cultural events, like the Super Bowl, or the introduction of a new Doritos flavor. All I want from The Golden Globes is a few good speeches, a few fashion disasters, some drunken revelry, and maybe an award or two that I can get behind. And because the Globes has kind of a weird agenda–having largely to do with who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wants to love them this year–the winners are often more unpredictable and even deserving than any other awards show. (They're especially good at honoring quality television shows, years before the Emmys get around to noticing them.) And I enjoy watching the two worlds–movies and TV–mix for a night. It's odd how diminished a TV star looks next to an honest-to-goodness movie star, even though more people probably see and enjoy what the TV star does.

So here's The Golden Globes from my couch-bound perspective: a quasi-live category-by-category breakdown of the justices and injustices, and the wackiest speeches, interspersed with a few comments about the nature of the show itself.

Fashion Note #1: Nothing spectacularly crazy on the red carpet, though I'm perpetually amazed how even "serious" actors pose like models as they're walking down the rug, arching their backs and showing off the silhouette, so to speak.

Show Note #1: Did I hear that lyric right in the "One Night Only" song? Was it "we pretend to care?"

Best Supporting Actress (Movie): My choice would've been Emily Blunt, but I don't have a problem with Jennifer Hudson winning. I haven't seen Dreamgirls. I hear her big scene is good. But contrary to the revisionist history, she was lame on American Idol, and I'm not expecting big things from her in the future. Mark it.
The Speech: "You don't know what this does for my confidence." Pretty funny, whether it was meant to be or not. Dedicating the award to Florence Ballard was a nice touch. Good speech overall, with not too many thank yous, and some heartfelt expression.

Best Song: My choice is … well, none of these. Not even Prince. That Seal song wasn't so bad, though it sounds more or less like every other Seal song.
The Speech: None. "I guess Prince couldn't be here." Nice save, Justin Timberlake. Almost makes up for lamely trying to extend George Clooney's "Leonardo DiCaprio" gag. (Aside: Where's the DiCaprio reaction shot? Was he out sneaking a smoke, or was the director asleep at the switch?)

Show Note #2: No performances of the songs? I know it speeds the show up, but I don't mind a little musical interlude on an awards show, if the music's good. (On second thought, this year I should probably be grateful for small favors.)

Best Supporting Actor (Series/Miniseries/TV Movie): Hiro's my man. I never saw Elizabeth I, so I can't speak to Jeremy's Iron. (That's an anagram.) The Golden Globes are known for slamming incongruous performances and movies together, but this may be the biggest catch-all of all.
The Speech: "I live in Ireland, and I forget all of you." The audience is only mildly amused, but Irons tells a good story. The Brits almost always give good speeches. They don't give a shit about what the Yanks think.

Best Actress (TV Drama): I was with Kyra Sedgwick all the way, so this is great. Still not wild about her accent in The Closer, but the character's classic.
The Speech: Too many thank-yous, but the line about making Jack Nicholson laugh is cute. Nicholson seemed a little confused, though. Maybe he was still fuming at Irons for sneaking a smooch off his daughter.

Show Note #3: No clips? See I don't get that. Again, I know it speeds the show up, but if you don't give the viewing audience some sense of what these people did to deserve their moment on stage, all you've got are a bunch of celebrities giving speeches. (Although it's amusing how they're trying to cover the gap by giving extra-long descriptions of each person.) Anyway, I hope there's more variety to come.
Update: Clips for the Best Drama nominees have arrived, so that's something. Although that Babel clip is really just a trailer.

Show Note #4: No Dick Clark, for obvious reasons. Still, I'll miss the weirdness of Clark popping up in odd places, chatting up bemused superstars who never can seem to figure out why The World's Oldest Teenager™ is asking them questions.

Fashion Note #2: Is Naomi Watts wearing a bedazzled blue tube? And why can't she say Spanish names?

Fashion Note #3: Renee Zelwegger, looking dapper! I always feel like she just spent the afternoon in 1962, and then beamed in for the telecast.
Aside: I interviewed that HFP dude for a Hollywood Reporter story. He was kind of brusque.

Best Supporting Actress (Series/Miniseries/TV Movie): If she can't win for The Devil Wears Prada, Emily Blunt may as well win for this thing I never saw.
The Speech: Short and sweet, with a zippy vocabulary.
Aside: I interviewed Blunt for HR too. She was a sweetheart.

Best Actor (TV Drama): I could've gone with Laurie or Paxton, so I'm good with Laurie winning.
The Speech: Always enjoying hear Laurie use his real accent. And the man gives a clever speech, for the second year in a row.

Show Note #5: Just saw Rachel Weisz hanging around. Can you have her and Emily Blunt in the same room? Won't one absorb the other?

Show Note #6 I can never figure out the rationale behind the awards-giving order on these shows. Do they just throw darts at a flowchart? What's the argument against grouping the obviously synchronous awards?

Fashion Note #4: The trends: For the men, black neckties. For the ladies, plunging necklines. So the guys look rumpled, and the gals look fidgety.

Best Animated Feature: Hey, there's clips! I was pulling for Cars, though it's the weakest Pixar feature to date. I also thought Monster House was surprisingly good, but I'm happy about Cars, because John Lasseter is one of my heroes.
The Speech: Lasseter's such an evangelist for his chosen medium. He's a good dude.

Best Actress (Movie Musical Or Comedy): No surprises here. Streep was great in this. And even better in A Prairie Home Companion, so I'll consider this a combined award.
The Speech: Hollywood veterans always give good speeches, too. Giving it up for the femmes … a nice touch. Adding a few comments about donating the movie's clothes and seeing great films at your local theater … even better. Moral, but not jerky.

Show Note #7: Nobody's laughing at Ben Stiller, because no one's paying attention. This is the flaw in the "hey everybody, get drunk" Golden Globes strategy.
Aside: So they did two Best Drama clips, and now a best Comedy? Organize, people!

Best Miniseries/TV Movie: I've seen none of these, but I've heard good things about Broken Trail, directed by "neglected auteur" Walter Hill. I've also heard good things about Elizabeth I though, so good for them.
The Speech: Blah, blah, tea. Blah, blah, crumpets.

Best Supporting Actor (Movie): Boy, I really didn't see as many movies as I should've at the end of the year, since I've only got three-fifths of these perfs under my belt, and I'm not nutsy about any of them. I was pulling for Eddie Murphy, hoping a win will push him to do some real work again.
The Speech: Murphy won't talk to the press, so it's odd to see him in public as himself for a change. I would've liked to have heard him say more.

Fashion Note #5: What's up with Sarah Jessica Parker's scraggly hair? Is it the right move to introduce a movie about fashion without picking up a hairbrush first? Meanwhile, Sienna Miler's hair has crazy braids, but at least it's done.

Best Actor (Miniseries/TV Movie): Haven't seen any of these besides Thief, which Andre Braugher was terrific in. But why not Nighy? For his Davey Jones in Pirates Of The Caribbean alone, he should get some hardware.
The Speech: Is he a Brit? Then the speech is awesome, naturally.

Best Actress (Miniseries/TV Movie): Goddamn, that's a lot of Helen Mirren.
The Speech: Does she have two speeches written, one for each TV nomination? Or three, including the movie yet to come? She's the hardest-working award-winner in show business.

Fashion Note #6: Hey, Cameron Diaz, did that dress come with a free cake? I've seen potato chips with fewer ruffles.

Best Screenplay: Hmmm … a bellwether award? I liked The Queen, but it's no The Departed, screenplay-wise.
The Speech: An exception to the classy Brit rule. A tad overbearing, yes? And awkward. What the hell was that, Peter Morgan?

Best Actor (TV Comedy): Can't go wrong with anyone here, really, except for Shaloub. But good for Baldwin. He kept 30 Rock afloat while it found its groove. That's quite a public service.
The Speech: Baldwin's old-school showbiz all the way. He may be a jerk in his private life, but he's a gem publicly. Too many thanks, but I give him a pass because he's wearing an autism pin.

Show Note #8: Lost's Hurley, lookin' burly.

Best TV Comedy: I still resent Desperate Housewives being in this category, even though it's been better this season. Haven't watched Ugly Betty since the debut, which was fine but didn't hook me, and I've never seen Entourage or Weeds. (Is the latter really a comedy?) I wanted The Office to win, naturally. This is the first time tonight I've been a little bummed.
The Speech: Too many people, too busy. It always seems a little pathetic to me when TV folks go apeshit en masse over a Golden Globe. Sweet finish, though, reminding everyone that the show's success has meaning to a large, under-recognized American community.

Show Note #9: What was that Prince joke all about, Jamie Foxx?
Update: Hey, Prince is actually in the house!

Fashion Note #7: I think Sharon Stone's dress may have been made out of a black hole.

Best Foreign Language Film: Kind of buried the lead with Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood, huh? Anyway, I'm a Pan's Labyrinth man all the way, so Clint's win was doubly disappointing.
The Speech: Nice Jennifer Hudson joke, though. (Again: Where's the reaction shot? I just saw her a second ago, so I know she's there.)

Fashion Note #8: Hey, Jeremy Irons is wearing a duster. Cooooool!

Show Note #10: Shaggy-haired Hugh Grant makes a joke that nobody seems to get (or hear): "It's so easy to get caught in your car in this town."

Best Original Score: I like Alexandre Desplat generally, so this is fine with me, even though I haven't seen the movie or heard the score. I interviewed both Hans Zimmer and Gustavo Santoalla, and they were both great to talk to, so I was kind of pulling for them.
The Speech: This speech is, how you say? … "Boring."

Best Actress (TV Comedy): I was pulling for Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, because she's really good, and I was kind of pulling against America Ferrera, because her aw-shucks not-me-ism seems overly cute. Not fair of me, I know, but there it is.
The Speech: Decent speech though … not a dry eye in the house from the ladies. Now I feel bad for being mean.

Show Note #11: The hostess seems to have no idea why (or even that) she's supposed to be talking to America Ferrera. Man, that was painful to watch.

The Cecil B. DeMille Award: I always enjoy this lifetime achievement thingies, mainly because I like seeing stars salute each other. I like to believe that everyone's all palsy. I also dig the clip packages. And Beatty's certainly worthy. I wish he'd acted more, and hadn't been sidetracked by directing and producing, though the results there were frequently strong. Why isn't there a decent Dick Tracy DVD?
The Speech: First off, Tom Hanks was Mr. Charm. In another reality, he could've been a talk show host. As for Beatty, he was a little weird, and kind of doddering, until he got to the point. (Before he mentioned it, I was telling my wife that Beatty hadn't really been in all that many movies, given how legendary he is. He made what he wanted to make, and took the time he needed to make it.) On a personal note, since Beatty's never spoken about Altman or McCabe & Mrs. Miller since the movie wrapped, I hoped he might take this chance to at least mention it in passing. Still bitter, I guess. (Or maybe it was just beside the point.) Still: Beatty's Hollywood royalty. Not many like him left.

Commercial Note #1: Holy crap. Digitized Orville Redenbacher. That's so wrong.

Best Director: C'mon, Marty! Yay, Marty!
The Speech: I dig Scorsese directing the audience. "Whoa whoa! Sit down!" Also, talking up the HFPA's film preservation activities. "The Red Shoes! By Michael Powell!" And thanking Andy Lau … awesome.

Fashion Note #9: Reese Witherspoon has lost more than a husband. Eat a muffin, Reese! Something.

Best Actor (Movie Musical Or Comedy): You've got to pull for Sacha here, just to see what he'll say.
The Speech: Very funny. Definitely worth it. Reminded me of one of my favorite Borat lines: "My moustache still smells of your testes." Still not convinced that Borat has anything to say, but … funny.

Best Musical Or Comedy: I'm keen on Thank You For Smoking, but I didn't think it had a chance. I did expect that either Borat or Little Miss Sunshine might upset Dreamgirls, though. I guess I need to see Dreamgirls at some point.
The Speech: Cut him off quick, huh? Ah well, it was a dull speech anyway. New Hollywood guys never know what to say once they get past thanking their lawyers.

Best TV Drama: I'm so over Grey's Anatomy. Seemed like they exhausted all the permutations of romantic pairings by the end of Season Two.
The Speech: They're not giving anyone any time now, are they? Damn that Warren Beatty!

Best Actress (Movie Drama): I've got no problem with Mirren winning, though Maggie Gyllenhaal was really great in Sherrybaby.
The Speech: I couldn't pay attention to the speech, because I was too dazzled by Mirren's décolletage. Va-voom! Total GILF.

Best Actor (Movie Drama): I think Forrest Whitaker is great in The Last King Of Scotland, though I was pulling for Leo (in The Departed, natch). Still, it's been a great year for Whitaker, including The Shield, of course.
The Speech: Disappointing. You've been around for a long time, Whitaker. You should be able to keep it together better. (Aside: Does a bad Golden Globes speech affect someone's Oscar chances? One wonders.)

Show Note #12: Did Alec Baldwin just make a whoopity-doo sound at the sight of Schwarzenegger?

Best Movie Drama: Wow. No awards all night, and then the big one for Babel. I guess there was a reason why it was nominated so much. I respect Innaritu, and look forward to seeing more films by him, but this movie was a letdown–too overbearing by half. I guess it's a slam-dunk Oscar nominee now.
The Speech: Funny opening line. Good speech. I wish one of the other two amigos were making it.

Thank you and good night, Hollywood. Everyone gather back here in an hour for the west coast feed.