Monday, January 14, 2013

My review of the Golden Globes

Wow. Did Steven Spielberg not tip well? Why else would the Hollywood Foreign Press (i.e. waiters at the Palm) deny him useless trophies for a movie that’s not just important, it has the Amblin logo. Imagine a contest where God Almighty loses to Ben Affleck. Blasphemy!

But that’s the Golden Globes, where anything can happen and usually does because there are only like sixteen people eligible to vote. If Rick Santorum can win the Louisiana primary, Don Cheadle can beat Louis C.K. for Best Actor in a TV Comedy.

Of course, how much credibility can an organization have when its spinster president calls out to Bradley Cooper from the stage, “Call me maybe!” Or when Best TV Comedy is presented by Jay Leno?

And yet, I am once again reviewing the Golden Globes even though taking them seriously is like taking TV wrestling seriously. Helping me this year is my lovely biting daughter, Annie and her warped writing partner, Jon. Let the snarks fly!

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the best women hosts of the Golden Globes since Eydie Gorme. Their opening monologue had some great jokes, the best being Amy saying to ZERO DARK THIRTY director, Kathryn Bigelow “When it comes to torture I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”

The no-bra look was in. Lots of real golden globes on display this year. Amy Poehler pulled it off. So did Katherine McPhee and Eva Longoria, but Jessica Chastain did not. She looked like gift-wrapping that had become loose.

This was a big night for Adele. As Jon noted, it was her first Golden Globe and the first song she ever wrote that wasn’t about a breakup.

Taylor Swift looked pissed that Adele won. But when you think that CMA awards and ACM awards are meaningful I guess you think Golden Globes are too.

That set looked like the lobby of the old Dunes Hotel in Vegas. All that was missing was Sammy Davis Jr. being told he had to leave.

Two of the Best Drama nominees – ARGO and DJANGO UNCHAINED – were funnier than any of the Best Comedy nominees.

Annie noted that the clips from LES MISERABLES just showed people running. But that makes sense. Other than Anne Hathaway they can’t show anybody singing.

The teleprompter malfunctioned while Salma Hayek and Paul Rudd were presenting. And they covered beautifully. Both just stood there frozen. You realize if it weren’t for writers, the whole three-hour show would be that? Most actors can only ad lib “me” or “journey.”

Case in point: In Kevin Costner’s acceptance speech he wanted to say how this ceremony helped “illuminate” movies that the public hasn’t seen and instead he said “eliminate.”

Wearing clothes is sometimes better than being nude. And I’m not just talking about Lena Dunham. For example: Kerry Washington looked so much sexier in that slinky gown than she did naked in a pit in DJANGO UNCHAINED.

On the other hand, J-Lo looked smashing in her dress made entirely of doilies stitched together by some Brownie troop.

Nicole Kidman must really be furious. Lena Dunham wins two awards for taking her clothes off while she pisses on a guy and doesn’t win even one.

Annie thought she bought her dress at Hot Topic.

Line of the night was Tina Fey after Lena’s somewhat patronizing acceptance speech. “I’m glad that we got you through middle school.”

And in the future, please put Lena at a table closer to the stage. Watching her clomp up the aisle was like seeing Bugsy Malone shot in the back trying to make it out to the street.

Even though it means nothing, I was glad ARGO won. Jon figured the pro-slavery DJANGO voters cancelled the anti-slavery LINCOLN voters.

Or Spielberg used a Group-on for his $55 lobster at the Palm and only tipped on the reduced amount.

MAD MEN wasn’t even nominated for Best TV Drama. That’s what they get for killing off the English guy.

Not only did NBC, the televising network, not win a single award, none of the four broadcast networks did.

There’s only one screenplay award. They don’t distinguish between original and adaptations. But as Jon said, “What do you want? They have Sofia Vergara and Maggie Smith in the same category.”

If the HFPA really wanted to make noise they would have let Mel Gibson be a presenter. I mean, there he was – in a room filled with alcohol and Jews.

I liked Anne Hathaway’s short hair. She looked like a young lucid Liza Minnelli.

There was no question she was going to win. As Annie said, “She had the ugly thing, the prostitute thing, the dirty thing, the chopped off hair thing, the lost weight thing, the can-sing thing, the crying thing, and the dying thing.” All Nicole Kidman had was the “urinating thing.”

Something I have in common with ARGO producer and speech-giver, Grant Heslov: We both acted together in an episode of THE MARSHALL CHRONICLES in 1990. And yet, he didn’t thank me.

No one missed Ricky Gervais.

They have a Best Foreign Film category. Considering who the voters are, shouldn’t any movie made in America be considered a foreign film?

Jennifer Lawrence (who looked gorgeous in her coral gown) had the two best acceptance speech lines: “I beat Meryl!” And to Harvey Weinstein: “Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today.” I look forward to her Oscar speech.

If their titles were THE BEST EXOTIC MIAMI HOTEL and SALMON FISHING IN SEATTLE would either of those pictures get any nominations?

I can’t imagine there were many Republicans watching after forty-five minutes. First Julianne Moore wins for playing Sarah Palin and then Bill Clinton shows up.

Great line by Amy Poehler: “What a special guest. That was Hillary Clinton’s husband!”

Annie was hoping Clinton would co-present with Clint Eastwood.

And instead of introducing LINCOLN, Annie wanted him to present the award for Best Animated Film.

She also thought a good pairing would be Sofia Vergara and Salma Hayek. Dueling ‘Eye yie yies!”

Both Sofia and Salma looked spectacular, as did Megan Fox, Halle Berry, Lea Michele (now darker than Halle Berry), Jessica (is she still in the business?) Alba, Julia Roberts, and pretty much everyone other than Lucy Lui. What was with that print gown? Annie said, “Isn’t that bubby’s tablecloth?”

What was with that handlebar mustache Bill Murray was sporting? Now that’s played Franklin Roosevelt is he looking to do Teddy?

Typical Will Ferrell bit. Hilarious for the first thirty seconds, tedious for the next eleven minutes.

Aziz Ansari was bombed and DID bomb. Don’t drink and present.

Jodie Foster was also smashed. Her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award (given to any actor whose heard of Cecil B. DeMille) was eloquently incoherent.  But honest and touching.

Scariest moment of the night was watching Sylvester Stallone’s face melt.

Personally, I thought this was their most entertaining Golden Globes ceremony in years. Good luck to Seth MacFarlane trying to top Amy & Tina. Overheard at the valet stand as Steven Spielberg climbed into the limo with Tony Kushner: “Goddamnit, Tony! I told you. Lincoln should free the hostages, not the slaves!”

See ya at the Oscars!

photos via L.A. Times


Murray said...

It's fascinating. I've stumbled over a couple of bloggers who are as derisive about the Oscars as you are about the Golden Globes. Not that they hold the GG up to be particularly signficant, but that the Oscars are a ponderous, dull example of inbreeding.

I can't really fault either of your viewpoints. I rarely watch award shows and care little about the results. They're the most tedious of reality shows...

But in an industry where the whole measue of success is "putting bums in seats", isn't any award's status hinged on public perception. If any award, regardless of the majestic provenance of who votes, fills the theaters with people wanting to check out the winners, isn't that the Award Worth Winning?

Jeremiah Avery said...

Thank you, Ken, for watching the Golden Globes so the rest of us don't have to!

Don't really care for these sort of shows. The awards certainly aren't given out by merit all that much nowadays. Emmys were no better this year but that's another rant for another time.

Though I guess there is some schadenfreude to see how NBC got shut out from the Golden Globes (again).

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I was wondering if the lack of nominations for LINCOLN had something to do with the fact that Lincoln himself doesn't have the same cultural resonance/reverence outside the US.


Mike Bell said...

Jennifer Lawrence's line about Harvey
W. was up there with Emma Stone's line about Harvey W. at the Oscar nom

A_Homer said...

Nicely put, I mostly agree, and it was a great opening monologue and certainly the best G Globes in terms of not taking themselves too seriously. But "lucid" and "Liza Minnelli" clash. Hathaway has to do some damage control on her ego - she's not yet so good, certainly not film-wise, to go into overdrive-Liza. I cringed when she insisted on adding something to the moment when Les Mis director and cast went up to accept an award. And then it was just about HER HER HER, leaving no time for the director. Seriously meds-on.

Bg Porter said...

I had to have it explained to me that "I beat Meryl" was a callback to Hugh Wilson's 'First Wives Club'.

Brian Phillips said...

Don Cheadle!

That was the summary of people of any color winning for Golden Globes this year.

Last year, there were some accolades for "The Help". This year, the help is where you'll find some variety of ethnicity at the Beverly Hilton.

deanareeno said...

Tina: "Quentin Tarantino is here, the star of all my sexual nightmares."

Tina and Amy were terrific, but sadly underutilized -- it was like a cheesy awards show kept getting in the way.

Stormin 93 said...

Best DAGGER of the night: Sacha Barron Cohen (who ruined my favorite song in the movie (MASTER OF THE HOUSE)) when he said they gave Russell Crowe four months of singing lessons: "That was money well spent."

I was a Talent Escort/Seat Filler at numerous award shows (including seven times at the Oscar's). The only one I never made it to was the GLOBES - the fastest three hours in award-show television. LOVED IT!

Brian Phillips said...

By the way, "journey" was mentioned in the very first acceptance speech!

Michael said...

Do you think Tina Fey could have gotten away with the James Cameron/torture joke if it was directed to a male director about his ex-wife?

Roger Owen Green said...

Apropos of WTF, not the GGs:
Los Angeles Times | January 14, 2013 | 9:11 AM

A new Los Angeles County coroner's report into the death of Natalie Wood, who drowned near Catalina Island in 1981, questions original findings that led investigators to conclude that the actress died accidentally, sources close to the investigation told The Times.

The report concludes that bruising on the actress' wrists and other areas could be more consistent with injuries from an assault prior to when she entered the water, the report and sources said.

The new findings -- which Sheriff's Department sources said they have known about for some time -- stop short of classifying her death as a homicide.

Anonymous said...

Tina and Amy were great - as good as any awards host(s) in a long time. and yes, better than Ricky Gervais.

Are Lena Dunham's 15 minutes up yet? Please?

I can't tell if Stallone had bad plastic surgery or badly needs plastic surgery. Ditto for Arnold.

Costner did say "illuminate" and pretty clearly - you need a better example there. Moreover, his speech was restrained compared to most of the gas emitted on that stage last night.

While I like George Clooney, his smugness at these trophy events is becoming insufferable. Dial it back, George.

Are Sasha Baron Cohen's 15 minutes up yet? Please?

I enjoyed "Lincoln" but I also enjoyed seeing Spielberg get a smack down. I admire Bill Clinton, but calling Clinton in to introduce a movie nomination on an awards show as cheesy as the Globes is overkill. To put it mildly.

Does Tommy Lee Jones have no sense of humor? Or was there some specific reason he seemed to be simmering with rage all night?

I admire Jodie Foster and her speech was touching if incoherent. But - isn't her resume a little thin for a lifetime achievement award? She had a small but important role in a great movie when she was a child ("Taxi Driver") and a starring role in a good movie as an adult ("Silence of the Lambs.") Beyond that, the rest of her movies, including the ones she directed, range from middling ("Panic Room," "Inside Job") to awful ("Sommersby," "Nell.") She has two Oscars, including one for a movie that nobody in their right mind would watch a second time ("The Accused"), so it's not as if she has been award-deprived.

Larry V

lizfinnarnold said...

Can someone tell me why the heck J.Lo was there? Was it simply to remind Ben Affleck not too get too big for his britches...that it wasn't too long ago he was slumming it in Jersey Girl and Gigli?

Jennifer Garner is a class act, though. I love that Ben asked her to thank Heslov and Clooney...must be hard to remember everyone with the sign flashing "Wrap it Up."

Hollywoodaholic said...

Tommy Lee Jones face when Christopher Waltz won best supporting actor was a foreshadowing. It had "Aaarrgggooo" written it all over it.

Anonymous said...

Big winners: Ben Affleck, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.

Big losers: James Cameron, Seth McFarlane and whoever the f@@k hired Seth McFarlane to host the Oscars.

Breadbaker said...

I actually liked Anne Hathaway's remarks to Sally Field. But I preferred Anne with curves. It's not like they're about to do Les Miz II: Electric Bugaloo.

Matt Patton said...

At least the Globes folks gave Jack Black a nomination for the movie "Bernie," which is one of the funnier movies I've seen in a while (Shirley Maclaine was also great in the movie, and she didn't have to get herself up like a wig that made her look like her head was covered with potato chips and trade cheap insults with Maggie Smith).

Elf said...

@Michael: Do you think Tina Fey could have gotten away with the James Cameron/torture joke if it was directed to a male director about his ex-wife?

Yes, as long as the ex-wife is a confirmed monster like Rosanne Barr, for example.

RCP said...

Thanks Ken, Annie, and Jon.

I was lured to the show by Tina and Amy, and was always glad to see them return to the stage. The biggest laugh for me was Tommy Lee Jones's murderous face while Will Ferrell was doing his thing(you guys nailed it: tiresome after 30 seconds.)

Is Lena Dunham really short? She moved like she was wearing Mae West's elevator shoes. Thought Jodie's acceptance speech was pretty moving in parts, if a bit defensive. Tarantino's spit take: lame. Loved the line about torture and James Cameron. Overall - better than I expected.

Brian Pollack said...

About 20 minutes into Jodie Foster's speech I had the thought "Thank god there's a mute button"

Tomas said...

"Annie noted that the clips from LES MISERABLES just showed people running. But that makes sense. Other than Anne Hathaway they can’t show anybody singing."

Les Miserables offers several opportunities for jokes, but I'm not sure that the singing abilities of people like Hugh Jackman and and Samantha Barks is one of those.

Anonymous said...

Mel Gibson's reaction to J. Foster's speech was priceless. As was Tommy Lee Jones' while listening to Will F. and Kristen W. The camera kept going back to Gibson, but not TL Jones.

Why can't all presenters present like Bill Clinton? Listening to JLo read cue cards is like having a root canal done without novocaine.

chuckcd said...

I think you summed up Will Farrell's career perfectly.

Steve said...

Nice job, Ken. Looking forward to any thoughts you might have on Tom Shales' review of Jimmy Kimmel's move to 11:35.

Jim said...

Your comment about Will Ferrell - Hilarious for the first thirty seconds, tedious for the next eleven minutes - just summed up my reaction to most SNL sketches.

Wrion said...

Wasn't Aziz's whole bit that he got super high off the cast of Downton Abby's pot? I thought he was clearly playing high, not actually drunk.

Alan McKone said...

The most disappointing thing about reading this blog post is the sad realization that Ken Levine is slowly turning into Tom Shales...

And did you really have to steal - er, I mean, "adapt" - a joke from Ellen DeGeneres' monologue at the 2001 Emmy Awards?

Simon DelMonte's Escape Hatch said...

I won't ever complain that the Hugo Awards are silly again.

Unknown said...

Wow are you on the money!! Too bad you're not gettin any for this blog! Your writing is stunning! Being in the music biz this is the only time i like the internet, when you get the greatest talent instantly without ads. We miss you!
Bill ( and that chick from Sheepshead Bay ).

btw what are HTML tags?

DwWashburn said...

I thought the words about Sally Field were well deserved. Unlike actors who accept stereotyping, this lady took chances and they paid off.

My favorite line from Tina and Amy was Amy's "Merryl Streep cannot be here tonight because she has the flu. And I hear, she is marvelous in it."

I found Jodie Foster's speech to be very upsetting. If you're a teacher, you shouldn't complain about low pay. If you're a baseball player, you shouldn't complain about the travel. And if you're a major entertainer, you shouldn't bitch about your lack of privacy. You knew the characteristics of your profession. If you value your privacy, you sure picked a stupid job.

Chris said...

Friday question: does WGA have any rules about who goes first on a writing team credit? Peter Tolan and Denis Leary kept switching theirs on the "created by" credit on Rescue Me. Seemed it was a fair way to handle the issue.

How did you guys decide?

Chris said...

Friday question #2: single camera shows, especially cable ones, sometimes to go through a large number of directors, cinematographers and editors. Did you ever have that problem and can it really affect the show?

I've heard several people complain about noticing the difference between episodes but honestly I can't tell.

D. McEwan said...

I disagree on Aziz. It was a bit, and it was one of the few moments in the whole show without Tina or Amy that really made me laugh. Coem o, he scorfed the pot from the cast of Downton Abby. That killed me right there. In fact "I can't feel my ears" was to me one of the funniest lines of the night. I think you got fooled by his performance.

I also disagree on Will Ferrell. I always find him totally tedious, no good 30 seconds, and not helped by being teamed with the annoying Kirstin Wiig.

As for Jody Foster, well I was not touched, I was offended. I'm not going to rail on at her here. It's all in Tallulah's blog for anyone interested in it, but of course part of it is her bringing along homophobe, anti-semite, wife/girl friend abuser and drunk Mel Gibson. His loathesome presence was a real damper on the evening for me.

But I liked Hugh Jackman winning, and Ben Affleck, and a few others. Not Tarantino though. Ew.

myrna said...

How did NBC manage to get Smash nominated for a Golden Globe? Season 1 had so many problems that vast changes were deemed necessary for Season 2. Characters and storylines were removed; a new person was chosen to run the show.
Then there were endless commercials for the new season of Smash.

Johnny Walker said...

I was really impressed with Jodie Foster's speech. She seemed nervous but eloquent and honest. Quite moving.

Mel Ryane said...

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the best women hosts....

Couldn't we agree best hosts of any gender?

VP81955 said...

Ah, the Bill Clinton appearance and Fey/Poehler quips shows Hollywood is greasing the wheels for Hillary in 2016. Joe Biden seeks the presidency at his peril; he should know by now not to mess with the Ivy League power structure when it comes to the top spot (in other words, more jokes about Biden gaffes from Harvard-educated writers -- remember, he's not one of them).

Ron Rettig said...

TV wrestling, Gorgeous George, et al, and roller derbies kept the nascent TV stations on the air with ad dollars. TV wrestling was once very serious business for broadcast TV.

D. McEwan said...

Wilson Crus posted these words today: "The part that pisses me off is that she got up there and mocked the risk all of the other people who came out while she was hiding for decades and made it possible for her to get up there and act as if it was a non issue. It's a non-issue because people risked their careers and yes, their lives, to make it so. So, on behalf of all those people, Jodie, you're welcome, and Fuck you." I must agree with Mr. Crus 100%

Chris said...

Friday question: what's up with the "developed by" credit? It seems to be used a lot in animated shows these days.

Unknown said...

They were very good hosts!

Read this outfit post for the red carpet!

Susan of Texas said...

Cruz came out when he was 19 and before starting a career. When Foster was 19 she had had a career for 16 years--and John Hinkley had just shot Reagan. So it is no surprise or shame that she would have a different view on privacy.