And more from our Gossip Girl: Liz reviews the 68th annual Golden Globes
“I WARNED ‘EM!”
That was Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais after one of his gasp-inducing jokes onstage at Hollywood’s Beverly Hilton Sunday night. Indeed he had warned the Hollywood Foreign Press Association of his low comedy intentions.
I wasn’t fond of Gervais’ brand of humor (or his glass of beer) at last year’s GG. And he was no more appealing this time. Some people — a lot of people! — love this kind of mean-spirited, potty-mouth comedy, especially when it is directed at the monster sacres of the movie world. (“Oh, they are paid so much … they are all egomaniacs … they deserve to be picked on, etc.”) But I feel this sort of thing can be done with more finesse. Bette Midler was a genius at pricking the pomposity of the rich and famous, which culminated in her ultimate flip-off: “Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke!” And once upon a time Kathy Griffin was pretty hilarious. Then the industry got wise to the brilliant serpent they were clasping to their silicone bosoms, and Griffin was more or less expelled from the events that she skewered. She has re-invented herself, but has never regained her edge in La La Land.
But Ricky Gervais? He seems more like the rude, intoxicated guest who will not go home. Certainly the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press wasn’t amused. Though he, too, came off like a jerk. And Sly Stallone didn’t seem wildly impressed by the mocking intro he received from Ricky. However, after Robert Downey Jr. took the stage, following a verbal bitch-slap from Ricky, he showed how to do it right, reading off a list of female nominees. Robert was irreverent and naughty, but a kind of egotistical class act.
Does Ricky Gervais care? Not at all. His jokes, whether you like them or not, were the talk of the evening. He might not be back next year at the Globes, but he made his point. Which was? Biting the hand that feeds you is good publicity. (Others also tweaked the rather blatantly mysterious HFPA. Robert DeNiro was actually funny speaking of how the members mostly pose for photos with stars. (De Niro was wryly great and self-possessed accepting his Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.)
It is also safe publicity, when you are already rich and more or less famous. (Gervais created the British version of “The Office,” which came to the U.S. and has had great success with Steve Carrell. Next up? A Chinese version of “The Office” Gervais says.)
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AS FOR the GG’s themselves, it was the usual “good time had by all.” Nothing is as much fun as the reaction shots and the cameras roaming the aisles during the commercial breaks, so you can catch Angelina Jolie fixing Brad Pitt’s bow tie, and other candid gestures and expressions. (I always intend to brush up on my lip reading skills before the Globes telecast.) Angie and Brad were plenty “together” as she leaned back on into his shoulder during roving camera breaks. Does this give the lie to the tabloid tales of separation? Maybe. They are actors!
And it has to be on purpose that the biggest winners — all the winners, in fact — are placed so far back in the dining room. The better to get a good long look at them as they rush and or stumble to the podium, accepting congratulations and attempting not to trip over the train of their gowns or pop out the front, in an excess of emotion. (Had “Modern Family’s” lively and gorgeous Sofia Vergara won, lord knows what would have occurred; her blazing red gown was so tight, so low-cut, and she is so expressive and excitable … oh, well, there’s always next year.)
I was wrong in predicting “The King’s Speech” would conquer “The Social Network.” But at least the divine Colin Firth — whose ringlets were a bit more tamed than when I saw him last week — took best actor in a drama. (And he gave a lovely acceptance speech nod to a beaming Harvey Weinstein.) And I was thrilled for that very real person, Annette Bening and for the authentically shy Natalie Portman. They took best actress Globes for “The Kids Are Al Right” and “Black Swan” respectively.
I loved “Glee’s” Jane Lynch saying she was not burdened by false modesty, and her young “Glee” co-star, Chris Colfer, whose acceptance speech recognized all those out there who are told they can’t succeed because they are “different.” An emotional Colfer ended with a heartfelt, “Screw them!” to naysayers. But the “Glee” writer who added a plug for school teachers in general and their importance, made the “Glee” win most important!
Christian Bale was joyfully hyped up for his “Fighter” win (and he repeated what this column said in its review — Bale’s over-the-top performance never could have worked without Mark Wahlberg’s generous restraint). It was terrific to see longtime, much-admired character actor Steve Buscemi take a Globe as the leading man of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”
And David Fincher’s tale of Facebook is a splendid movie. Maybe it’s just that I don’t understand Facebook. I’ve never needed the Internet to be “friended.”
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I WON’T dish the fashions. I’ll leave that to the E! network. Okay, wait — Christina Aguilera is a beautiful girl. But she looked like a sofa at a bordello in that lace get-up. Heavily-banged Justin Bieber is only 16, so I forgive his sneakers with a nice tux … Zac Efron has cut his bangs and looked much better (more manly) for the clipping … Helen Mirren wafted onstage like a goddess, as usual … and I thought Olivia Wilde’s ball gown by Marchesa was the knockout of the night.
So, the first round in the battle for the ultimate award is over. The Oscar festivities — February 27th at the Kodak Theater — are never quite as festive as the GG’s. And I can’t imagine that Oscar hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco will go out of their way to bloody the hands that feed them, a la Ricky G.