It’s a completely meaningless awards show by a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for any kind of ratings. Yet there I was live-snarking the Golden Globes held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast on NBC. 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 “New Star of the Year.”
But the Golden Globes have zero integrity and credibility. Studios and networks lavishly lobby the HFPA to score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. (“That’s the last time I have sex with 200 middle-aged journalists. It was horrible,” Ricky Gervais joked during the show about his own HFPA campaigning.)
The public doesn’t know that the motley group of freelancers who belong to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists employed at the prestige newspapers around the world. NBC and Dick Clark Productions could clean up the Globes but choose not to. Instead, they’re joined by the entire entertainment industry propping up this marketing tool. Which is why I thought last year’s Golden Globes show was the best ever, because it was canceled due to the Hollywood writers’ strike.
Tom Wilkinson, Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti all won for John Adams, HBO’s most boring miniseries ever, which also won BEST MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION. I think the HFPA only chose it to get producer Tom Hanks onstage. I loved the irony of Giamatti calling his fellow actor “Mr. Hanks.” As if.
Laura Dern won BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE FOR TELEVISION for Recount, HBO’s most inaccurate made-for-TV movie. Strange how HBO cleaned up even though its 2008 lineup was among the lowest-rated and least acclaimed.
Anna Paquin won BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES-DRAMA for the abysmal True Blood, another unwatchable HBO show. Gabriel Byrne even won for BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES-DRAMA for HBO’s In Treatment, whose ratings were so low HBO brought in a new showrunner. Anyone want to insist that these awards aren’t bought by whichever company spends the most on the HFPA? This is exactly why promotions guy Richard Plepler now heads HBO.
But BEST TELEVISION SERIES-DRAMA went to AMC’s Mad Men, giving creator Matthew Weiner more bargaining power with Lionsgate since negotiations are at an impasse. “To my friends at Lionsgate and AMC, it’s been an amazing journey.” Was that his way of saying goodbye? Say it ain’t so.
I have milk in my fridge older than the Jonas Brothers, who presented BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM to Pixar/Disney’s Wall-E, which was a shoo-in.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE-COMEDY OR MUSICAL, surprisingly, went to Sally Hawkins for Miramax’s little-seen Happy-Go-Lucky. She kept crying about how Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson were “goddesses” and her win “seems insane when you’re all nominated …”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE went posthumously to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Director Chris Nolan gave an appropriately somber speech.
Supposedly clean and sober Colin Farrell, who won BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE-COMEDY OR MUSICAL for Focus Features’ In Bruges, was suspiciously sniffing onstage and addressed that while presenting BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM to Israel’s Waltz With Bashir. “I still have a cold. It’s not the other thing it used to be …”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES-COMEDY OR MUSICAL went to 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin. Hey, NBC is hosting this shindig and had to win something. “When you do this you want to say, ‘Thank you, Tina. Thank you, Tina. Thank you, Tina,’” Alec continued. Then, BEST TELEVISION SERIES-COMEDY OR MUSICAL also was awarded to 30 Rock. But the HFPA got punked. “Tina Fey and I had an agreement that if Barack Obama won, I would speak for the show from now on in post-racial America,” said Tracy Morgan. Fey won BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES-COMEDY OR MUSICAL, saying, “I really know how very lucky I am to have had the year that I’ve had this year. But if you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet. I’d like to address some of those people now: You can suck it.”
I don’t understand why Steven Spielberg accepted the HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award. People, just say no to dumb Hollywood awards from even dumber Hollywood organizations. Now, if Steven were to get onstage and plead for his DreamWorks 2.0 to get financing before January 15, then I’d congratulate him for the reality check.
BEST MOTION PICTURE-COMEDY OR MUSICAL was snagged by Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which was unexpected. The HFPA must not know that Harvey Weinstein is a has-been.
Jennifer Lopez came out of the Witness Protection Program to award BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE to Kate Winslet for The Reader. Apparently, the struggling Weinstein Co. still has enough clout to buy a Golden Globe. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE-DRAMA also went to Winslet, this time for Revolutionary Road. She was gobsmacked-laughing, crying, hilariously inarticulate. “I’m so sorry, Meryl, Kristin. … Oh, god, who’s the other one … Angelina, forgive me … gather … Is this really happening?”
She refused pleas to wrap it up in order to tell her Titanic and Revolutionary Road co-star, “Leo, I’m so happy that I can stand here and tell you how I’ve loved you for 13 years. And to my husband Sam [Mendes], thank you for directing us and almost killing us. It’s made me love you more.”
Fox Searchlight’s The Wrestler won BEST ORIGINAL SONG-MOTION PICTURE for Bruce Springsteen’s music and lyrics. And Seth Rogen made lame “I was doing cocaine with Mickey Rourke” jokes. But what a redemption for Mickey Rourke to get BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE-DRAMA.
Looking like an unmade bed, Rourke expressed unbridled happiness. “I was almost out of this business, and then a young man put his whole career on the line for me. Thank you David Unger, my agent at ICM, for having the balls. And to his boss Jeff Berg at ICM for not putting him back in the mailroom.” When Rourke praised Darren Aronofsky as “one tough son-of-a-bitch,” The Wrestler’s director flipped the bird on live TV. Finally, Mickey thanked his dogs: “Sometimes, when a man’s alone, that’s all you’ve got is your dog.” I love Hollywood crazies.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE-MOTION PICTURE went to A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire, and BEST SCREENPLAY-MOTION PICTURE to Simon Beaufoy. “There are some directors who shoot a screenwriter’s script, and there are some who make it fly,” Beaufoy said. So BEST DIRECTOR-MOTION PICTURE went to Danny Boyle. So Slumdog also won BEST PICTURE-DRAMA. If only Warner Bros.’ Alan Horn/Jeff Robinov had believed in the film and hadn’t given away half to Fox Searchlight’s Peter Rice. Still, the HFPA’s choice was curious considering the lengths to which Paramount promoted The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and persuaded Brangelina to attend the show — only to be blanked. Maybe the HFPA voted their hearts. Or, more likely, the hacks were holding out for BMWs.