76th Golden Globe Awards

After fourteen days of double booking, I have an evening to myself with a rugelach and coffee, so instead of finishing The Great Believers I’m blogging the venality of the Golden Globes. How fun! Let’s see how well A Star is Born does. Let’s see if Ethan Hawke’s intensity can stand steady against the force of Bradley Cooper’s drawled bearded sincerity.

11:18 p.m. I can’t.

11:14 p.m. Rami Malek wins for his strong work channeling Freddie Mercury in a film that’s as comfortable ceding ground to Mercury’s bisexuality as Green Book is about ignoring the White Savior. It’s frustrating watching good, ambitious artists get rewarded by gatekeepers for reaffirming the gatekeepers’ most meretricious instincts.

11:04 p.m. When given a role demanding the tartest expressions of a brittle personality (Dangerous Liasons and Reversal of Fortune supreme among them), Glenn Close brings a theatrical bearing uncommon in modern American movies. The Wife, though, is Terence Rattigan-type claptrap. She may win the Oscar for this thing, and it’ll be her Iron Lady. Her acceptance speech has more vitality than the film and performance.

11:01 p.m. Green Book outscored If Beale Street Could Talk and BlacKkKlansman. White Savior Film triumphs again.

10:58 p.m. As Ann Powers noted, Green Book‘s audience consists of the white septuagenarians at a Boca Raton golf club. It reminds them that courtesy, divorced from any sense of social policy or civic commitment, is the supreme virtue.

10:53 p.m. Mike Myers is the perfect person to introduce Bohemian Rhapsody. He knows about meretricious depictions of musical history (ahem, 54)

10:44 p.m. Rooting for Charlize Theron in Tully, not surprised that category fraud champ Olivia Colman wins Best Category Fraud for The Favourite. She thanks “my bitches,” co-stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

10:35 p.m. A biography of Dick Van Dyke, from Mary Poppins to Matlock, would fascinate me.

10:32 p.m. Green Book winning for Best Screenplay is typical Hollywood Foreign Press crassness but also a reflection of the organization’s idea of itself as tolerant, inclusive, and so on in an evening devoted to tolerance, inclusion, and so on.

10:22 p.m. Sam Elliott looks like a man who knows from colognes.

10:15 p.m. Winning Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón has the unenviable task of following Bridges and Ford but compensates by taking a long-ass time sashaying to a stage he climbed twenty minutes ago.

10:14 p.m. Harrison Ford, given the task of following up Jeff Bridges’ Dude impersonation. The problem: Ford is often gobsmacked in public appearances.

10:13 p.m. was about to ask, “Why haven’t Beau and Jeff Bridges made more movies together?” We know the answer, and The Fabulous Baker Boys answered it, i.e. one of the more gimlet-eyed films about sibling rivalry.

10:12 p.m. I could drink whiskey with Jeff Bridges and let him ramble about trim tabs for hours.

10:05 p.m. Do you people know how beautiful a young man Jeff Bridges was? How comfortable he was with the camera’s gaze? In Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Fisher King, to name two, he stole the movie away from his top-billed co-star. On the list of long-lived American actors goes, he’s one of the three or four best, and Gene Hackman has retired.

10:02 p.m. So Jeff Bridges, nine years after winning a much delayed Oscar, reverts to being best known for playing The Dude.

9:57 p.m. Darren Criss has a natural screen presence and speaks well and not glibly. Is The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story worth the watch?

9:51 p.m. Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, a film about using black and white photography, wins Best Foreign Film. He looks powerfully moved as he accepts the award. He reminds the audience of our common humanity, a message more resonant than ever since 2016, but a message inapposite to what Roma achieves or even intends: whatever else, Roma is about a woman in a particular time and place.

9:50 p.m. Antonio Banderas, thank you for Law of Desire and Matador. That’s all.

9:45 p.m. No, Mr. Bale, I don’t want a Mitch McConnell biopic unless the late Chantal Akerman had directed a 345-minute motion picture of closeups of blow fish in tanks.

9:42 p.m. I know most of us have never known a moment when Republicans haven’t been ghouls, but Christian Bale, winner of Best Actor — Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical for Vice, gives an airless performance as Dick Cheney. He does dangle the possibility of a Mitch McConnell biopic. Meryl Streep?

9:41 p.m. “You demanded everything of me but sex, which is exactly how it should be in our industry” — winner Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects) to her director.

9:34 p.m. The authors of that excrescence Green Book win Best Screenplay — Motion Picture.

9:33 p.m. What’s happening now

9:28 p.m. Best Supporting Actor — Motion Picture introduction gets another mothballed script. Mahershala Ali wins for Green Book, a movie that mocks the pleas for more fully dimensional representation of queers and people of color we’re hearing tonight.

9:16 p.m. Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture goes to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, becoming the Oscar front runner in this category. Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the flawed James Baldwin novel, I should note, resonates now like it didn’t two weeks ago. Shaming the producers who want to cut her off with orchestracl cues, King promise the audience that “everything I do” will be “fifty percent women.” If King gets twenty percent women, it’s a step.

9:11 p.m. Imagine an A Star is Born in which a powerful, charismatic female star is tethered to a has-been male lover yet she is the focus, not him. She discovers him and has to roll her eyes when he embarrasses her.

9:06 p.m. A Star is Born‘s “Shallow” wins Best Song. As I wrote at the time, although Diane Warren’s name isn’t on “Shallow,” it’s as blank as any of her biggest hits. Ally becomes a huge, meaningless star because, co-write or not, she yielded to Maine’s ideas — a man’s idea — about sincerity. Co-writer Mark Ronson, however, gives Gaga her due.

9:03 p.m. Why can’t Taylor Swift have said, “You look good, Idris”?

9:02 p.m. Someone give this woman a script, a show, a role, a cameo — anything.

8:58 p.m. Wow. A cut to Bill Murray, moved and clapping without a trace of snark.

8:53 p.m. On WCIX Channel 6, reruns of The Carol Burnett Show were a fixture of my early Reagan years. Although the humor soared past me, gleefully, the sight of Burnett, Tim Conway, and Harvey Korman in costume put sketch comedy to shame.

8:51 p.m. I haven’t watched Crazy Rich Asians. Yeah.

8:48 p.m. I wonder if reading The Great Believers wouldn’t have been a more worthwhile way to spend the evening.

8:46 p.m. A crew of white-smocked men holding flu shots flits through the hardly bemused crowd. The spirit of David Letterman lives.

8:43 p.m. Winning her second Golden Globe four years after her first Oscar (for Boyhood), Patricia Arquette implicitly reminds viewers that movies have an easier time rewarding work instead of sustaining careers.

8:40 p.m Ben Whishaw wins Best Supporting Actor for A Very English Scandal but not Best Hair. He praises Norman Scott, the man he played, using “queer,” surely the first time the word’s been uttered at these ceremonies.

8:35 p.m. Adam Driver, as stiff as a wooden Iroquois version of himself, introduces BlacKkKlansman with co-star John David Washington. It’s a film that has a strong chance of scoring a Best Picture nomination at those other awards; it has lingered longer than I expected.

8:35 p.m. Meher Tatna, who has a whiskey-soaked Patricial Neal rasp, delivers one of those speeches about freedom of the press, of creative expression, and so on that reassures the reassured.

8:30 p.m. An eighties-themed Walmart commercial using Knight Rider, Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters tropes with Gary Numan’s “Cars” as soundtrack is as much a reason to call for holy war against Generation X as the persistence of Eagles songs on satellite radio is for boomers.

8:26 p.m. Johnny Galecki! He rolled his eyes charmingly through National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, smoldered in Roseanne, and played an imbecile in The Opposite of Sex. He should have as many job offers as Meryl Streep by now.

8:23 p.m. The Favourite‘s star trio appear to trade 1973-worthy banter about “the body politic.” Dean Martin and John Wayne’s toupees would’ve laughed.

8:16 p.m. The cast of Black Panther pats itself on the back for appearing in “a global, cultural phenomenon.” They present Best Animated Feature Film to Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, itself a global, cultural phenomenon, a subtle rebuke to A Star is Born and how the evening, I suspect, will unfurl.

8:13 p.m. Cooper and Lady Gaga present Michael Douglas his award for Best Actor, TV Series for The Kominsky Award. He sounds querulous, for the first time in his career his age instead of glib.

8:12 p.m. The jokes ended before the cane ended them.

8:10 p.m. How would these comedians respond if they sat in the audience responding to the emcees’ jokes?

8:08 p.m. Claire Foy, nominated for Best Supporting Actress, is singled out for First Man, about which a comedian with better material than Oh could have wrung the pungency out of its title and Hollywood’s preference for male directors; instead, Oh goes for toothless mugging, letting the audiences off the hook.

8:07. Oh: “Vice…is the most intense film of the night.” I’ll say.

8:05 p.m. Seen in a cutaway, Bradley Cooper, in a white tux, has hair the color of flax and with the texture of a Pottery Barn carpet. I want to sleep away the last two weeks on it.

8:03 p.m. Oh and Samberg, riffing on names and slathering puns like I did ketchup on sandwiches when I was six, keep putting quotation marks around their jokes in an obtrusive manner.

8 p.m. Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg receive a hero’s welcome. Samberg looks like Jesse Eisenberg after an intrepid agent put him through the Adam Levine Machine.

7:58 p.m. Some bullshit NBC Sports thing has delayed the Globes. No one cares except for those who stare at men’s shoes.

3 thoughts on “76th Golden Globe Awards

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