Bette Midler stole the show at the Golden Globe awards in 1980. After winning an award, Midler told the audience proudly, “I’ll show you a pair of Golden Globes!”
There were fewer memorable moments over the decades than that one. Certainly not Sunday night’s show where British comedian Ricky Gervais, who hosted the show, talked about how small his “willie” is.
Quite a contrast to Midler’s mountainous moment, but Gervais was just going along with other comics who can’t help but talk about their “willies.” The Globes ought to invent another category for that specific talent — call it the Robin Williams Lifetime Achievement Award for the comic who made the most jokes about “Mr. Happy.”
In retrospect, Gervais’ “off-handed” private parts joke — which was about as flat as the beer looked that he kept sipping on throughout the show — was a, uh, tip-off, to the raunchy and hilarious “The Hangover” winning the Globe for best comedy movie.
It came as a surprise to the filmmakers of “The Hangover” that the movie was even nominated. Besides the fact that it was a funny movie and beat out more conventional fare like the musical “Nine” or the indie witty movie “(500) Days of Summer,” the comedy was a mega-hit.
The Golden Globes celebrated the big money-makers on Sunday night.
James Cameron’s innovative space opera won for best drama movie over the critics’ darling “The Hurt Locker” and the George Clooney contemporary comedy-drama “Up in the Air,” which was the favorite going in to the broadcast with six nominations.
No surprise here, since Cameron’s eye candy of a movie is shattering box office records and will probably soon top the highest-grossing movie of all time, “Titanic” — which was also directed by Cameron.
Ironically, “Up in the Air” —– which advertises itself as “the movie of the moment” —- may also be its own worst enemy come Oscar night.
During tough economic times people go to the movies for pure escapism —- to be entertained by being swept away by way of fantasy to other worlds, if need be.
Cue “Avatar.” Which, instead of “Up in the Air,” turns out to be the true movie of the moment.
“Avatar” and “The Hangover” were not the only blockbusters to score Globes. Sandra Bullock won best actress in a drama movie for “The Blind Side” —- which to date has grossed $227 million.
So will the winners of the Globes go on to win Oscars —- or even get nominated?
This year the Oscars will nominate 10 movies instead of the traditional five for best picture. It’s not likely that “The Hangover” will be included. Oscar has been accused of not having a funny bone, which explains why comedies are seldom nominated for best picture.
“Avatar” will receive the most Oscar nominations. It may not win, but the publicity that it will bring to the awards will be priceless. Blockbuster movies everyone has seen will draw audiences to the Oscar telecast to see if it will win.
Bullock is an Oscar-lock for best actress. Maybe some of those fizzy entertainment shows will start calling her Sandra Oscarlock leading up the the awards in March.
Winners and losers at the Golden Globes:
Winners (in no specific order):
1. Governor Ahh-nold: The Governator? Yep, he showed up to introduce a clip from “Avatar.” While doing so he said half of the money made (which would be half a billion dollars) “will go to de state bud-jet in Calyi-forn-e-ah.” If that did happen, it would get the state through to, say, next Tuesday.
2. Paul McCartney: The former Beatle presented the award for best animated feature award to “Up” by first saying that the category is “for children and adults on drugs.” That explains why baby boomers get such a kick watching “Yellow Submarine” with their grandkids.
3. Mo’Nique, in accepting her award for best supporting actress for “Precious,” gave such an empassioned speech that her four competitors for the Oscar in the same category may want to practice that “we lost but we’re maintaining a good frozen smile” because no one is going to beat her at Oscar time.
4. Robert Downey Jr. gave an original and unique acceptance speech after winning best actor in a musical or comedy for “Sherlock Holmes” (which, incidentally, is another major box-office hit.) He said his win was a surprise to a lot of people, including his wife. “I’d like to thank Susan Downey for telling me Matt Damon was going to win, so not to bother writing a speech,” Downeysaid, tongue-in-cheekly.
The affable Downey is always good in whatever movie he makes. Unfortunately for him, he won’t get a best actor nomination for “Sherlock Holmes” —– the field is too competitive.
5. Jeff Bridges, this year’s sentimental favorite, got the only standing O for a performer in an acting category. And deservedly so —- he’s been around a long time and has given a lot of memorable performances. Like Downey, he is always good in any movie, a lot of the times rising above the material he’s given (Bridges made “The Great Lebowski” worth viewing.) Unlike Downey, though, Bridges will get an Oscar nomination for best actorfor “Crazy Heart.” Unlike Bullock, who is a shoo-in for best actress, Bridges is not. Last year’s sentimental favorite Mickey Rourke won the Globe but lost the Oscar to Sean Penn. Then again, Bridges doesn’t carry the baggage Rourke did to the Oscars.
Host Ricky Gervais. The “by-gosh aren’t I just a little imp poking fun at these big shot movie people” routine wore thin. His self-promotion also got tired. One of his jokes about himself (naturally) was ‘what does he care what he says he’s not going to be asked to do this again.’ It wasn’t so much funny as it probably was prophetic.
But the big loser of the night was also the biggest winner: James Cameron.
First when he won the Globe for directing “Avatar” the egomaniac said he wasn’t expecting to win and thought that his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow would win for helming “The Hurt Locker” and added “she should’ve won.” Then he went on to talk about himself and his visionary movie, thank you.
But even he topped himself in the worst moment of the evening — saving the best of the worst for last. Upon receiving the Golden Globe for best drama movie, Cameron went on a self-serving rant telling the millions watching on TV that Hollywood people have the best jobs in the world and that they ought to acknowledge themselves.
You know, give themselves a big round of applause for being lucky enough to be overpaid and pampered and worshipped by fans with no other sense of purpose.
Meanwhile, millions of people are out of work and this guy makes billions by making a movie about blue people.
But that’s what the people want. Escapist entertainment. Politicians keep knocking Hollywood and people keep paying to see something, sometimes anything, that will cheer them up and forget all their troubles and chase all their blues away.
Other notes from the Globes:
1. Worst title for a movie nominated in several categories: “The Hurt Locker.” Sounds more like the name for the place where the Cheney administration used to torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo.
2. If the Golden Globes are going to continue to mix movies and TV awards, pick an auditorium, not a ballroom. Did you notice how far the winners of TV awards had to walk to get to the stage? Had to climb over tables and starlets sitting on laps of fat, ugly producers. None of the TV stars were tipsy, though, ‘cos it took forever for them to get the drinks they ordered.
3. Nobody got political. That’s because Glenn Close didn’t win and yada yada about how women are continuing to dominate the business and that it’s going to be better for children being born without a Y chromosome.
The earthquake in Haiti was mentioned off and on throughout the telecast, and what the Hollywood types are doing to help out.
But it wasn’t turned into a political issue. Luckily, Sean Penn wasn’t a presenter.
Of course, the rain started that night and has been frequent ever since.
In California, they call that El Nino.
Televangelist Pat Robertson would say “Gomorrah is drowning.”
Let’s see Cameron build a movie around that title.
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