For my first significant This Multiplexed World post, I thought I’d pay tribute to the best sports columnist in the country – ESPN’s Sports Guy – by doing a running diary for last night’s 63rd annual Golden Globes awards. As a disclaimer, I should state that I dislike awards shows in general, and the usually bloated, pointless and indulgent Globes in particular. And I should also say that, after enjoying all four sterling hours of the new season of 24 immediately beforehand, the thought of sitting through my Tivo’d copy of the Globes had me in something of a grouchy, snarky mood.
But enough excuses. Let the transcripted mayhem begin!
8:01 Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell kicks things off with highlights from the pre-show red carpet coverage I deliberately skipped. Although it appears I didn’t miss anything, here are the finest moments:
Matt Dillon, his hair standing completely upright, arrives at the show looking a bit dazed. Meaning he looks just like Matt Dillon.
Foul-mouthed fictional badass Ian McShane and phone-throwing real-life badass Russell Crowe briefly shake hands. McShane’s smile indicates he’s thinking something along the lines of, “I could take this Aussie punk.”
8:02 Apparently, the Ian McShane-Russell Crowe meeting was so momentous, the telecast felt it necessary to replay the clip. The fact that we’re two minutes into the broadcast and they’re already regurgitating material doesn’t bode well for the forthcoming three hours.
Discussing his new album (which is #1 on this week’s Billboard charts), Jamie Foxx gives credit – and thanks – to Ray Charles. Hasn’t anyone told Foxx that he isn’t obligated to name-check Charles ad infinitum? Ray was LAST year.
8:06 We’re finally inside. Queen Latifah begins the show by linking this weekend’s box office – Glory Road and her movie Last Holiday, both about African-Americans, were the highest grossers – to Martin Luther King Day. I smell a theme!
8:09 A boyish Natalie Portman and an ascot-adorned Adrien Brody give out the globe for Best Supporting Actor, Drama to George Clooney for Syriana. In his speech, he praises writer/director Stephen Gaghan’s screenplay by saying it “asks a lot of difficult questions” and “these are tough questions to ask.” Then he makes a crack about Jack Abramoff’s name (namely, that his first name is Jack and his last name ends with “off”). This both solidifies his liberal cred and makes Mel Brooks laugh. Given that Brooks was partially responsible for the movie version of The Producers, however, this seems to indicate that the joke is, in fact, not funny.
8:11 Michelle Williams unjustly loses the Best Supporting Actress globe to Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener, probably indicating that we’re in for a night of unbridled liberal back-patting. She praises director Fernando Meirelles for his “equal parts talent and humanity.” I guess I didn’t get the memo that defined humanity as “making a specious conspiracy theory movie that’s wholly condescending to Africans.”
8:18 Luke Wilson and Jessica Alba appear on-stage to announce the Best Supporting Actor, TV Series or Miniseries Globe, begging the age-old question: If we need to combine the drama and miniseries categories, then doesn’t this prove that the categories are too thin to warrant an award in the first place? And why are the Globes COMBINING these particular categories when they gratuitously separate films into comedies and dramas, thereby nominating undeserving people in the comedy category (this means you, Sarah Jessica Parker)? Anyway, Paul Newman wins for the HBO miniseries Empire Falls but hasn’t bothered to attend. Wise move.
After a botched presentation pairing of Superman-to-be Brandon Routh and former Lois Lane Terri Hatcher, Grey’s Anatomy’s Sandra Oh wins Best Supporting Actress, TV Series or Miniseries. Somehow, she gets laughs for acting flummoxed and admitting that she doesn’t remember any names to thank. How liquored up have people gotten in the last ten minutes?
8:27 Three things about the bra-lass Drew Barrymore’s presentation of Good Night and Good Luck, one of five Best Picture, Drama nominees:
1) She’s wearing an absolutely hideous green dress
2) Her nipples are clearly showing
3) Her boobs are hanging all the way down to her belly button.
GN&GL’s David Strathairn, sporting a nicely skuzzy beard, looks at Drew with stern perplexity. Like many of us, he’s probably wondering if there are any mirrors – or non-blind people – in the Barrymore household.
8:30 Philip Berk, the “hunk of the Hollywood Foreign Press,” claims that voters watched all of the nominated movies and TV shows TWICE. This seems, to put it mildly, ludicrously unbelievable. He then says that all the nominees deserve to win two or three Globes each. Considering this show’s lax standards, I find such a suggestion not just possible but probable, and now put the odds of Ang Lee leaving with five Best Director Globes at 3-to-1.
8:31 Geena Davis wins Best Actress, TV Drama for Commander-in-Chief, prolonging that show’s life by another season. But likely no longer. In her acceptance speech, she recounts a heartwarming story about a little girl telling her, out on the red carpet, “because of you, I want to be president some day.” It’s the type of pure treacle the show’s directors have been waiting for, but then Davis admits that the mushy tale never happened. Nice. I now like Davis almost enough to watch Commander-in-Chief. Almost.
She then ends the joke by saying that the story could have happened if she had been “in the farmlands of Nebraska…” WHA?!?!? Why Nebraska? Is this because in L.A., girls only dream of working for the Lakers or Vivid Video? I’m now insulted, and officially off the Geena Davis bandwagon.
She finishes by thanking her husband, making me think that somewhere, Renny Harlin might be crying. This thought makes me happy.
8:35 McShane and Lilly! Sending fanboys into a tizzy! Yes, I just thought of that rhyme. And no, I don’t feel good about it. As Chuck Klosterman might say, ANYWAY, how is McShane handing out the Globe for Best Actor, TV Drama? He should be accepting it for himself instead. I don’t see how this makes sense. To compound my outrage, House’s overacting Hugh Laurie wins instead of Keifer Sutherland! This is a protocol violation even I can’t stand. During his foreign accent-inflected speech, Laurie uses the word “trouser.” Seriously. I want Keifer to destroy Hugh Lorie like he did that Christmas tree a few weeks back.
8:46 An odd pause proves that Matt Dillon and Queen Latifah can’t speak without a teleprompter. No one seems surprised. Also, one of the nominees for Best Miniseries is from BBC America. Since when does THIS count? Regardless, I’m rooting for Warm Springs, the HBO show about FDR’s battle with polio. Not because I saw it, mind you, but because I once begrudgingly visited the actual mineral baths where FDR received treatment. Unfortunately, Empire Falls wins instead, leading to a shot of star Ed Harris looking mighty bored.
8:55 “SAAB – Born from Jets.” Is this the strangest advertising tagline ever? It just conjures up images of awkward-looking sub-BMW sedans being squeezed, with great difficulty, out of the cargo compartments of fighter planes. Which, come to think of it, is a commercial I’d gladly sit through.
9:02 In the past few minutes, an unkempt Tim Robbins laughably called The Constant Gardener “impeccable” and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress, Comedy for Walk the Line. Now Chris Rock is making a joke about today’s almost-over holiday by saying, “You only have to be nice to black people for two more hours.” Wait. Is today Martin Luther King Day? Then he says that Weeds is only watched by Snoop Doggy Dogg. Ouch. Shouldn’t he know that Snoop Dogg dropped the “Doggy,” like, a decade ago?
Rock’s ribbing doesn’t stop Mary Louise Parker from winning Best Actress, TV Comedy for Weeds, but she’s cut off after paying tribute to the late John Spencer (of The West Wing). I, however, refuse to cut myself off from eating M&Ms, figuring I need the sugar to stay awake for the show’s remaining two hours…
9:10 Emma Thompson introduces a clip from Pride & Prejudice because, you know, she’s British (and can’t get away from Jane Austen). All I can think is, “Who puts together these movie clip montages? And are they full-blown devils, or just minor minions of Satan?”
9:12 Eric Bana and Kate Beckinsale take the lead in the race to be the night’s most attractive presentation pair. Their combined hotness, in fact, is almost enough to keep me interested in the turgid Best Actor, Miniseries category. Given the liberalness of the proceedings, I’m putting money on Bill Nighy for Girl in the Café, the thinly veiled advertisement for the G8 Summit that HBO forced on an uninterested public. But Jonathan Rhys-Meyers wins for Elvis, forcing him to act interested in some disposable TV movie he made before his current calling card, Match Point.
9:16 I’m guessing that Kelly MacDonald will win the Best Actress, Miniseries award (for Girl in the Café) for the same reasons as above, but I wind up totally missing the announcement – the winner is the actress from Lackawanna Blues – because I’m too busy re-reading the article about Keifer fighting the Christmas tree. It is, without question, the frontrunner for my favorite celebrity tabloid story of 2006, far outdistancing that whole Colin Farrell sex tape thing, which seems less like a scandal than like a pathetic ploy by PR people to amplify Farrell’s bad boy image.
9:25 Colin Firth introduces the London-set Match Point. Because, you see, he’s British. These Hollywood Foreign Press guys are good. Even though they do wind up ruining the film’s third-act twist with their stupid clip montage.
9:27 Maybe it’s because he’s still reeling from presenter Virginia Madsen’s exposed chest. Or perhaps it’s because he wants to shore up his good ol’ boy hick cred. Regardless, there’s no excuse for Larry McMurtry – upon winning Best Original Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain – wasting everyone’s time with a pathetic shout-out to his typewriter. Great, you’re an old-fashioned technophobe. Want a cookie?
9:35 Upon winning Best TV Comedy, the Desperate Housewives actresses elevate their phony “we’re all girlfriends enjoying each other’s company” shtick to near-apocalyptic levels. On stage, Hatcher hogs the spotlight for a second, causing Nicollette Sheridan to give Felicity Huffman a disparaging look that says, “There she goes again.” No one seems happy standing behind the doofus producer at the mike.
9:38 Penelope Cruz should not be allowed to speak English in public. Ever. The threat of tripping hasn’t been this strong since Chevy Chase was on SNL.
9:39 Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker come out to announce the Best Foreign Language Film. There’s a quick shot of Parker’s hubby Matthew Broderick winking at the stage, but it remains unclear exactly at whom he’s winking. Paradise Now wins, not only further confirming the proceedings’ left-leaning tilt, but also causing director Hany Abu-Assad to claim, to tepid applause, that the award is “a recognition that the Palestinians deserve their liberty and equality unconditionally.” This makes me almost as queasy as the subsequent commercial for the Pink Panther remake.
9:46 In an effort to continue their subversive collaboration (or merely to steal a piece of Brokeback’s magic?), David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen share a kiss after Best Picture hopeful A History of Violence gets the clip montage treatment.
9:49 A tubby Mariah Carey shows up to give Brokeback Mountain the Best Original Song award. I, however, vote for my own song, which I wrote during the last commercial break:
I hate that f--cking Christmas Tree/
The tree HAS to come down/
I’m smashing it!/
Can I pay for it?/
I’m absolutely sure you can, sir/
Ooh sorry about that...you're so cool/
This f***ing hotel rocks."
(Yes, I’m obsessed. Protocols be damned)
9:56 Newly impregnated Gwyneth comes out to introduce Anthony Hopkins, who’s being given the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. She repeatedly pronounces his name “Antony,” and calls him both “the Olivier of your time” and, at speech’s conclusion, “the greatest actor of our generation.” A goofy clip of the actor as Hitler from The Bunker seems to prove otherwise. A later snippet from Audrey Rose does the same. So does the footage from Bad Company and Meet Joe Black. In fact, the bad movies in this montage outnumber the good approximately 4-to-1.
Thankfully, Hopkins is classy and understated while delivering his acceptance speech. I could have done without his thanks to “the anonymous people who work harder than anybody” (which seems nice but a bit out-of-place), but I mostly find his speech modest and touching, right down to his soft-spoken admission that “it’s been a wonderful life.”
10:11 Mandy Moore presents The Squid and the Whale, bringing up one of the film year’s most vexing questions: Has there ever been a single-movie turnaround as great as the one perpetrated by Jeff Daniels with Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama? Poor-to-terrible in everything he’s been in for the past two decades, Daniels was phenomenal in The Squid and the Whale, delivering one of the year’s finest performances. If you’d told me I’d be writing those words twelve months ago, I would have laughed. Now, with my world turned upside down, I think I have to start preparing for the very real possibility that, in 2006, Bill Pullman will become my all-time favorite actor.
Well, maybe that’s going a bit far. But you catch my drift.
10:13 Ang Lee wins Best Director, thereby solidifying this year’s Globes’ focus on Really Big Issue films. More surprising, however, is Lee saying he’s honored to receive the award from Clint (a.k.a. “The Man”), followed by a hilarious shot of Eastwood looking like he has no clue who Lee is.
10:17 John Travolta thanks the Best Actor, Comedy or Musical nominees for raising the bar for all thespians (including himself), and then immediately follows up such pretentious, self-important blather by calling Pierce Brosnan, “Pierce Bronson.” Very classy. Joaquin Phoenix, meanwhile, wins for Walk the Line, although how a biopic about a musician qualifies as a “musical” is beyond me.
10:24 Tim McGraw arrives to introduce Best Picture finalist Walk the Line. Because, duh, he’s a country singer. Witherspoon sabotages McGraw’s gushing gibber-gabber, however, by being caught on-camera laughing with husband Ryan Philippe and then going “Oops” when she realizes it’s time to act like she cares.
10:29 Walk the Line wins Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, and the film’s producer claims that his wife introduced him to Johnny Cash’s music. Who is this woman, millions wonder. Why, it’s British beauty and former Dr. Quinn Jane Seymour! This may very well be the weirdest moment of the night.
10:34 Lost wins Best TV drama, but I miss most of the speech because I’m too busy checking out the official website of Rocco DeLuca, the band Mr. Sutherland was promoting when he decided to demolish that hated Christmas tree.
10:41 Winning Best Actress, Drama for her slight performance in the even-more-slight Transamerica, Felicity Huffman says that film “heals and brings understanding.” She forgets to mention that it only does this in a worst-case scenario.
10:48 In the night’s funniest euphemism, Hilary Swank – while listing the Best Actor, Drama nominees – calls Terrence Howard’s Hustle & Flow character “a neighborhood player.” Yeah, that’s one way to describe a drug-dealing pimp.
10:55 It’s finally the end! A stunned Denzel Washington announces that the Best Picture Globe goes to Brokeback Mountain, then checks the card again to make sure he read the winner correctly. Only polite applause greets the news, as well as a shot of star Heath Ledger having his laughter stifled by an under-the-table hand squeeze and disapproving look from girlfriend Michelle Williams.
A few boring thank you’s later, and the whole thing is done. I wish I could say I learned something – like the fact that gay cowboys need love too, or that movies that teach us stuff are, like, good, or anything else worthwhile about out Tinsletown-obsessed culture. But truth be told, the only thing I really got out of this Golden Globes diary is a newfound appreciation for celebrities. Or, at least, the ones who occasionally decide to scuffle with Christmas trees.