Liz Smith: Hollywood Gets Religion, Sees God (Funny, He Looks Like Harvey Weinstein!)

Our Gossip Girl reviews The Globes: Meryl’s “shock” … Clooney’s dirty joke … Madonna wins, Elton pouts … Jane Fonda — wow! … NYC’s Winter Antiques Show, a “don’t miss” event

“God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” said John Lennon.

Well, maybe that’s why Madonna referred to Harvey Weinstein as “The Punisher” from the stage of the Golden Globes and Meryl Streep later called the rejuvenated producer/mogul “God” in her acceptance speech.

This quip resulted in Harvey’s gracing the front page of the Drudge Report, with “God, Harvey Weinstein!” It wasn’t meant to be a compliment. (Drudge prefers to refer to the Deity usually when commenting on Tim Tebow.)

It was certainly a triumphant night for Harvey, whose company is trumpeting “The Iron Lady,” “My Week With Marilyn,” “The Artist” and “W.E.” All took important awards, and no doubt Miss Streep and Miss Williams will be competing come Oscar night. And “The Artist,” adored by the critics, has an excellent chance to take Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Just two years ago, people were saying Harvey had lost his magic touch, after splitting from Disney and losing the rights to the name of his original company, Miramax.

I was not one of those people. I am happy to see Harvey so energized and optimistic. And he’s going to need all of his energy. The “Let’s Stop Harvey” campaign began Sunday night, believe me. Just like the good old days!

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AS FOR the show surrounding Mr. Weinstein, I’ll have to admit — I didn’t care for Ricky Gervais last year when he was nasty. I liked him less this year, clearly working with shaved down fangs and claws. His pokes at the industry and various stars were lame, and the audience didn’t seem to want him there anyway. Not out of outrage or nervousness over what he might say, just boredom. Maybe even a little disappointment and contempt that he had bowed to convention, and didn’t ruffle feathers. (Some of these stars like to suffer. Guilt over all their success and money, I suppose.)

If you lived on Mars, you might have been shocked by his remarks on Jodie Foster. She herself gave Gervais one of his only really big laughs of the night and a thumbs up!

Nobody else did anything shocking, though Miss Streep had to be bleeped at one point during her loosey-goosey acceptance speech. Meryl expressed shock over her win, and maybe she was shocked. I don’t think she expected to be onstage. It appeared she’d had a hell of a good time at her table, so more power to her. And, of all the winners, Meryl was the only one who pointedly ignored the cue music. “Oh, no!” she said, rambling on charmingly. (She’d forgotten her glasses at the table, which made for more lively confusion.)

George Clooney not only won best actor for “The Descendants” but he joked around about the movie “Shame,” in which Michael Fassbender is often fully, frontally nude. I was surprised that George wasted his thank you on a dirty joke, but I wonder how many people rushed out to see “Shame”? (Next year — George Clooney as the GG host.)

Peter Dinklage, Octavia Spencer, Morgan Freeman (who won the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement), Christopher Plummer and Sidney Poitier offered the most touchingly dignified moments. Michelle Williams was her sugary sweet public self. (Try dealing with her as a member of the press.)

A few people looked a bit of a mess, but those who looked especially glam included Julianne Moore…the incredibly vivacious and funny Sofia VergaraReese Witherspoon in hot, tight, lowcut red … Sarah Michelle Gellar … and Nicole Kidman, whose fashion sense can misfire at times.

Madonna can also misfire but she didn’t Sunday night. Though her arms may still daunt those who prefer a softer look, her gray and black gown, her bling, her bosoms and her face looked appropriate to her station in life — High Empress of Pop. And I was happy my friend M took home a Globe for her poignant song, “Masterpiece.” It was with some satisfaction to M fans that she won. Elton John had said, “She doesn’t stand a f**king chance” when asked about her song on the red carpet. You could see his dismay when the camera cut to him as she was announced the winner.

And then there was Angelina Jolie: always a bit too delicate-looking. Jolie ‘s white gown, with a slash of red near her shoulder, was exquisitely simple, elegant, flattering. And the woman has a regal posture not seen since the heyday of Lana Turner. Her beauty is something from another world, almost alien, everything is supersized: The eyes, the lips, the cheeks. But she makes it work. She does not look like anybody else. (She and Brad looked relaxed and happy as a couple.)

But the GG audience truly “ovated” over one woman, more than any other. I do mean Jane Fonda. If she ain’t quite “Barbarella” at seventysomething, she’s still close enough. Amazing. “Tonight Jane became a star!” one fan Twittered. Hmmm … must have been a very young fan.

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NEW YORK IS GOING wild with social plans for this coming season. But what I’m waiting for is this week’s Winter Antique Show at the Park Avenue Armory on 67th street. This ongoing great event is celebrating its 58th year, with six new exhibitions on loan from the historic Hudson Valley association.

The mighty David Rockefeller, as well as Mark F. and Charles, are the honorary chairs, with banker Keith T. Banks running things. There’ll be a glamorous opening night on Thursday, January 19th, and an exciting Young Collectors Night on January 26th. This “don’t miss” showcase runs until January 29th.

Contact, but it’s $20 at the door and you get a free award-winning catalog. This all benefits the East Side House Settlement, a charity New York can’t do without. Talk about your good deeds in a naughty world!

10 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Lisa Cornell says:

    I thought Gervais was funny at times. His interaction with Depp was priceless, but overall, I thought he was okay as a host. Not spectacular, but okay. What I can’t digest is how or why penis jokes are considered funny or in good taste. It was overdone at the GG’s. That said, the reference to defecating in a sink in the movie Bridesmaids was disgusting and juvenile. That such a movie was even considered for any time of award is unfathomable to me.

    This year I managed to see most of the films that were up for major awards. I still have a couple left, which I hope to see before the Oscars, but I pretty much am a HUGE fan of The Artist. Who would have thought that a silent film made some eighty years after they went out of fashion would be such a hit. I just loved the story and all the actors in it, especially Uggi. Not since Asta has there been such a wonderful dog (okay maybe Lassie). I saw The Descendents and although it wasn’t bad, I have to admit, I don’t get the love affair with it. I thought the star of the movie was the comatose woman and quite frankly come a certain point, I wanted her to just die. I’m sorry, I just don’t get George Clooney’s appeal. He seems like a nice man, he is an okay actor, but to me, he is a one-note performer. I don’t see how one can compare him as an actor to say, Leo DiCaprio. DiCaprio was brilliant in J Edgar. It was a rich performance, and yet he gets locked out. I was happy Jean Dujardin won, because if anyone should win on the basis of a smile alone, it should be Jean. He too turned in a fantastic performance.

    As for the whole Madonna and Elton feud, this time I am on the side of Madonna. Elton and his sidekick David behaved horribly and I understand they have taken to facebook to trash her win. Get over it. I hate sore losers. Quite frankly, Elton’s music is beginning to sound the same, or in Madonna’s words, reductive.

  2. avatar Wiley Canuck says:

    I don’t get George Clooney’s appeal either. The recent movies where he has starred have not been acting in my opinion. The camera focuses mainly on his face or his body. This is acting? Not at all impressed. I think the GG award is more a popularity award. Felt sorry for DiCaprio who was much more deserving. Hopefully his “time” will come.

  3. avatar Ber says:

    I so agree with Lisa on the Descendents.  I just saw it with friends – and some loved it – I found it entertaining but no great shakes.  I finally put my finger on what I didn’t like about it; it was too contrived in its attempt to capture George showing great emotion – so it didn’t quite add up as a story.  It was geared to getting George in the running for an Oscar.

    My comment on exiting the movie was that I wish Beau Bridges had more screen time.  He was a cool character in the film as was the oldest daughter.   

    Alas, I’m a long-time fan of Elton – but agree that I was behind Madonna on this night.  I also admit to liking her comments to the host.  

  4. avatar janie k says:

    Although I like Sarah Michelle Gellar, the gown she wore at the Golden Globes was a mess and yes, just plain ugly. I was watching the show with a bunch of people and NO ONE liked this dress. Of course, it’s all subjective. Kidman, Witherspoon and Vergera all looked great.

    The low point for me was Madonna’s acceptance speech. How ungracious can you be?? While other winners thanked their colleagues and talked about teamwork, Madonna called WE HER MOVIE at least four times. She did mention the female star, calling the lead HER leading lady. I wonder what the crew, investors, producers and the rest of the people it took to put this movie together thought about that. Madonna’s speech revolved around herself. How narcissistic!

  5. avatar Judy S says:

    Can anyone imagine Gregory Peck stepping up to the podium with Ava Gardner and announcing to the crowd that he was hiding a massive erection?

    Lighten up, you say? Well – Can anyone imagine Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio walking up to the podium with, say, Julianne Moore or Cate Blanchett and uttering the same thing?

    Gervais was a joke – and not a funny one. His, predictable bad-boy act reached its expiration date long ago…And frat boy Rogan should maybe stay home and watch it on TV next time. But I guess that’ll never happen, so maybe it’s ME who should stop watching.

  6. avatar rick gould says:

    Funny you should use Ava as an example. A famous story has director John Ford teasing Ava about that 120 pound runt she married (Frank Sinatra). Ava’s famous reply was maybe so, but that 100 lbs of him was…well, in keeping with your Gregory Peck analogy ; )

    Totally get what you’re saying though…we live in such a class-free society these days. And celebrity behaviour is at an all-time low.
    Which is why I stopped watching award shows…depressing.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Rick…

      So many variations on that tale.  So many, one must question its veracity.  However, I heard it first that Ava and Frank were in Spain, during the filming of “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.”  Director Albert Lwein said to Ava, “what the hell do you see in this guy, he can’t weigh more than 120 pounds!”

      And Ava replied, “Yeah, but it’s 20 pounds of cock.” 

      The story has morphed into Ava saying it to British royalty.  The truth?  Frank had a big one.  Ava liked big ones.

      • avatar Judy S says:

        Like a game of telephone….Still, one wishes at least ONE of the versions was real. I’ll take Ava’s sass, real or imagined, over Seth Rogan’s any day.

  7. avatar Judy S says:

    Yeah, Rick, I remember that story. LOL – The connection didn’t occur to me at all till you mentioned it. … But you DO get what I mean. I know the argument could be made that the Golden Globes is a low-key Hollywood party, so what’s the big deal. No big deal, really. I certainly ain’t no prude – but at the end of the day, I guess I prefer class to crass.

  8. avatar rick gould says:

    Ava had more pizzazz in her little finger than 99% of the stars put together at the Golden Globes.
    I breezed through the news re: the GG the next day.
    Though I think Jane Fonda indeed looked great, I love how “serious” stars like her get “oh doesn’t she look great?” when we all know she’s made several trips to the plastic surgeon, while controversial stars like Madonna and Cher get scrutinized and ridiculed with each public appearance. Both the media and reading public are hypocrites when it comes to celebs and plastic surgery.

    Elton John has just confirmed that he is the craziest, cranky old celebrity since Zsa Zsa Gabor. Maybe he will start slapping cops, yet.

    I did see Madonna’s acceptance speech on You Tube. Me! Me! Me! I loved when she went into her laborious anecdote how her manager had to nag her into whipping up yet another “masterpiece” and Madge was like “Oh, okay!” You could practically hear crickets chirping in the audience! There was a reason the music began to cue and swell! Zzzzzz!