When Ricky Gervais is on auto-pilot mode and he’s still the most watchable element of the Golden Globes, then you know it was a rocky broadcast. (“Rocky” meaning, well, boring.) Alright, maybe he wasn’t the absolute best part. Sidney Poitier’s presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Morgan Freeman was endearing in every way, even if Helen Mirren’s voicing-over of Freeman’s career highlight reel was randomly chosen and completely unnecessary. (Seriously, it’s Morgan Freeman — let his clips speak for themselves.) And George Clooney (The Descendants) was predictably suave-as-ever in his Best Actor acceptance. They should just let him speak for each winner — these evenings would go much smoother.
Which brings me to a bone I’d like to pick. Meryl Streep, while receiving her surprising win for The Iron Lady, went about listing the names of her fellow nominees — from memory, to be fair — and, aside from throwing in an assortment of comedy-category acting nominees (which I’m not sure was by design), she referred to Tilda Swinton as “Gilda.” Wow. I had to restrain myself after hearing her say that. I mean, let’s be honest — Meryl could learn a little something about which scripts to choose if she sat down and watched a few of “Gilda’s” movies. Not only was Swinton the most deserving nominee in the Best Actress category, but her film, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, is one of the year’s best. The Iron Lady, um, isn’t.
Elsewhere, The Artist, for the most part, confirmed that its perceived industry love is no myth. (I’m still baffled at how awe-stuck and blown away people are by a movie without dialogue. It’s a visual medium, believe it or not.) Director Michel Hazanavicius did get sidelined in favor of Martin Scorsese (Hugo) — which actually stunned me quite a bit — but my instinct at the moment is that the Oscar will still go Hazanavicius’ way. And let me just make a quick plea for Oscar night: if the film takes home Best Picture, which appears to be all but a formality at this point, I’m hoping for a quick, painless two minutes of playtime between Jean Dujardin and the film’s dog, Uggie. That went on for about five seconds last night before the programmers realized they actually had something good, and then they changed focuses as briskly as possible.
To consult my predictions from Saturday, I ended up erring in just three categories: Best Director, Best Actress (Drama), and Best Animated Film. The Streep win legitimately took me by surprise. I really thought crowning Viola Davis (The Help) in the category would’ve been the “cooler” pick for the HFPA, but I guess not. (Hopefully Streep’s speech will turn them off to, or at least get them to second guess, such default rewarding in the future.) And even though The Adventures of Tintin was the best film in its category, it’s not, strictly speaking, pure animation, so I predicted the well-received Rango to distance itself from the pack there. Perhaps I gave too much credit to the HFPA’s thinking on that one.
Best Original Screenplay, which I wasn’t quite sure about, did indeed end up going to Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The trophy-earning scribe wasn’t in attendance, but I was glad to see the film get some recognition. And my prediction of Madonna’s “Masterpiece” (W.E.) ended up working out. As I predicted, rewarding her for Best Original Song was a far safer star-power bet than glorifying Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood Honey over the critically-adored A Separation in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Celebrity or not, Jolie’s film is simply something that I suspect most HFPA members wouldn’t respond to.
That’s all the recapping I’ll do. A pretty forgettable staging, unfortunately. But it’s not like I was expecting to be swept off my feet. The next awards extravaganza I’ll be watching: the Screen Actors Guild Awards, on January 29. Bless that show. It’s shorter than the rest.
The full list of Golden Globes winners and nominees can be found by clicking here.