Monday, January 12, 2009

MOVIES- The Golden Globes

Turning 180 degrees from the real life drama of the gridiron, Sunday was also the Golden Globes. I’ve never watched the Globes before (Even though I haven’t missed the Oscars in years. My reasons why are here.) and I have to say that they don’t seem to have the same kind of tension that the Oscars do. What they do have is a much better track record for picking the actual best movies, and performances than the Academy. Perhaps the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have a little more objectivity.

So here are a few stream of consciousness thoughts:

Lots of well deserved love for the HBO miniseries John Adams, winning Best Miniseries. Best Actor was hard, any one of them could have won. But I have to admit that I was rooting for Paul Giamatti as I do anytime he is up for an award. I’ve loved him since before Crumb. This time he beat out Kevin Spacey! Laura Linney won for best actress and Tom Wilkerson for his natural and charming portrayal of Ben Franklin. (Beating another favorite, Neal Patrick Harris for his role as Barney on How I Met Your Mother.)

The other HBO standout was Laura Dern winning for her dead-frigging-on Susan Harris in Recount. I remember wondering if there had ever been a more spot on portrayal of a political figure when I watched it. Even Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin isn’t any closer.

Gabriel Byrne won for In Treatment, beating John Hamm in Mad Men and being the only winner from series. Mad Men was far from overlooked, though. It won for Best Dramatic Series. I reciently saw the first season on Blu-Ray and I highly recommend it. Full review to come later.

Sally Field looked a little different in person than she does in her Calcium supplement commercials, which airbrush her pretty severly. It didn’t wind up mattering that much since Anna Paquin beat her for Best Actress.

Ricky Gervais was charming as usual, beer in hand, giving a call out to Kate Winslet, “Told you to do a holocaust movie and the awards would come.”

Wall-E won for best animated picture, with the Jonas Brothers handing out the award and looking almost but not quite as real as the characters in the clip from the movie.

Emma Thompson (who somehow doesn’t look as much like Pete Postlethwaite as she used to) and Merryl Streep (the only person there with as much respect as Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg) both lost for best actress in a comedy or musical movie. Instead Sally Hawkins (who?) won and virtually broke down crying on the stage. I don’t know who she is but she was lovely and obviously had everyone in the crowd on her side. (for about the first five minutes) It’s moments of genuine emotion like that that make award shows worth watching.

It must suck to be Demi Moore’s daughter. Every boy you bring home falls in love with your mother.

Heath Ledger won for Dark Knight. Anything else would simply be a crime. Ledger’s performance as the Joker was simply one of the most riveting pieces of acting I’ve seen in many years. Riveting in the literal sense of the word. When he’s on the screen you can’t take your eyes off of him.

Alec Baldwin won best actor in a comedy for 30 Rock, which has the best theme music of any show on television. When 30 Rock won for best comedy the whole cast came on stage and Tracy Morgan informed the crowd that since Barack Obama won he would be speaking for the show in post racial America. Just a few minutes Tina Fey got a chance to talk anyway when she won for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Steven Spielberg received the Cecil B. DeMille award. A few years ago during an Oscar broadcast somebody joked that if the building caught fire Spielberg would go first and then everybody else. That’s about the size of it. It’s hard to debate that there has been a more successful or influential man in movies for the last 30 years.

Both The Dark Knight and Doubt were passed over. Slumdog Millionare was the big movie winner of the night, winning for Best Picture and with Danny Boyle winning best director.

Kate Winslet won both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress and also almost broke down on stage. She seemed genuinely surprised to have won.

So that’s it for the Golden Globes. See you on Oscar night.

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