I have railed against the "legitimacy" of the Golden Globes ever since I started this blog, but really, whether it's a group of 75 questionable foreign journalists or a few thousand members of the Motion Picture Academy, all of these awards shows come down to the opinions, biases, preferences, and baggage that flawed human beings bring to the process. It’s sort of dumb to call one show more “legitimate” than another, they’re all sort of ridiculous. And yet, there I am every year, watching them and getting excited about many of the winners (when I'm not cowering under a table cringing in embarrassment). I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that—I love movies, I enjoy seeing how these things play out, and it’s fun to see my some of my favorite actors getting honored. And now especially, I tell myself, I have to watch them because of my writing gig for MSN Movies. I have to "stay informed" even though it’s frustrating that many of the smaller films I love the most will never be represented.
The key to watching awards shows is to view them as entertainment only and not as something real or important. Watching the Golden Globes last night, I'm amazed at the A-list star power gathered in that room, laughing at host Ricky Gervais' jokes about the scandal-plagued organization that is doling them out. I'm sure it's fun for most of the movie folks to be feted and honored, and for those who would rather stay home, I'm sure there’s tons of pressure to show up to boost ticket sales and PR for whatever film is nominated.
Here is a list of ten issues that I posted on MSN this morning that came up for me as I watched the awards:
1. Does hiring Ricky Gervais, who lives to skewer the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, reveal a certain kind of self-hatred among Golden Globe executives? Like hiring Rick Santorum to host the GLAAD Awards? Or is it just a shrewd marketing move to get higher ratings? I enjoy Ricky’s irreverent patter but maybe it’s time for the HFPA to retire the comedian and get some self-respect back. How about Viola Davis as next year’s host?
2. Jodie Foster is an excellent sport. Anyone who can look that relaxed and amused during Ricky’s R-rated bit alluding to her private parts must be a really fun gal. And with her two young children right there with her? Oy.
3. Is Madonna the most humorless woman on the planet? She makes Meryl Streep’s “Iron Lady” seem like a laugh riot. And hold it, did I miss something? Why were none of the songs from “The Muppets” nominated?
4. I’m glad that Ludovic Bource won the award for Best Original Score for “The Artist.” But all I could think of was how Kim Novak must be going ape shit right about now.
5. Kate Winslet is one of the most talented and beautiful women ever to appear on film or TV. I would never begrudge her any accolade, but wasn’t “Mildred Pierce” made a million years ago? I remember when she won the Emmy for that same role—wasn’t that during the Clinton administration?
6. Can Meryl Streep be hired to give every winner’s speech? She is perfect. Her humility, her grace, her self-deprecating humor. I love how she honored not only the other nominees but also the stars of smaller films (such as “Pariah”) whose performances she admired.
7. Michelle Williams won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy or Musical. I'm a big fan of her performance, but I would never call “My Week With Marilyn” a comedy OR a musical. For that matter, I feel the same way about “The Artist,” which won the Best Picture award in this category. Am I crazy or do the members of the HFPA simply not understand film genres? Is it a foreign thing?
8. Isn’t it time to retire the antiquated “Miss Golden Globes” concept? Andie MacDowell’s daughter looked painfully uncomfortable in the role and the whole thing feels like something out of “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
9. Did they really have to cut to the actors from “The Help” when Ricky Gervais made the joke about Colin Firth being racist?
10. Should the HFPA consider splitting the TV and Movie awards into two separate broadcasts? The TV categories seem so truncated and like an afterthought just to get more stars crammed into the Beverly Hilton. As much as I love Tina Fey, I was glad to see someone else win for a change. I need to watch Laura Dern’s “Enlightened.” (Oh, SEE, winning a Golden Globe really does work! I guess these shows will never go away.)
Did you watch the show? Despite my love-hate relationship with these broadcasts, I won't even pretend that I won't be riveted to all things Oscar, especially since I will be writing about it for the movie site.