Frontrunners stay strong at the Golden Globes

Posted by · 4:01 pm · January 16th, 2011

Zzzzz…huh?, wha?  Oh…

First and foremost, I have to note Ricky Gervais’s work as emcee. Last year’s stint was a bit stale, I thought, but this year the gloves were off. Way off. Which, for whatever reason, I was okay with tonight. The difference between Gervais and Armond White, though, if you want to go there, is that one is expected (and paid) to act like a clown. The other is not.

And I have to think “That was my favorite film of the year” was a subtle joke. Not that subtle was in his toolbox.

Anyway, kicking things off, Christian Bale’s speech in acceptance of yet another Best Supporting Actor trophy slid off the rails a bit toward the end as he rushed an impromptu shout-out to actor Robert De Niro. Apparently in the press room he said the legend was “the shit,” so maybe that’s similar to what was censored from the telecast. Earlier in the speech, though, he paid lovely homage to “The Fighter” actor and producer Mark Wahlberg. “You can only give a loud performance like mine when you have a quiet, stoic anchor,” he said.

His co-star, Melissa Leo, also took down another televised Best Supporting Actress award, but the speech was a lot less graceful than Friday night’s, I’d say. Still, I thought Helena Bonham Carter had a shot at that one, so chalk it up to another likely inevitability.

I thought Lee Unkrich did a nice job of at least trying to present Toy Story 3″ as a film that deserves a place at the table by noting “historic” box office numbers and that it “beat with a human heart.” And that “were you two even born when the first ‘Toy Story’ came out” joke aimed at presenters Hailee Steinfeld and Justin Bieber was another nice touch in that vein.  As was seeing Tom Hanks and Tim Allen on stage together.

When Annette Bening’s name was inevitably announced as winner of the award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, my immediate thought was, “This is her chance to turn the corner on this season, if at all.” Playing the Hollywood royalty card so emphatically might have slayed them. Or brought the race tighter. No, seriously…

One almost thinks the HFPA actively voted for anyone BUT Johnny Depp in the comedy actor field, given the added attention paid to perennial star-f***ing this year, but I might have expected Kevin Spacey before Paul Giamatti. So a fresh change of pace was appreciated there.

I had heard going into the night that Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” was the one to watch for an upset in the Best Foreign Language Film category but didn’t bother making a predictions (10/14, by the way) change. Lo and behold…

But the original score win for “The Social Network” was the early sign that the film would dominate the evening.  Wins for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture (Drama) soon followed. Lined up like dominoes through February 27 at this point.

I don’t think words can do justice to Robert De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin-esque monologue in acceptance of the Cecil B. De Mille Award.  Yeesh.  And the HFPA got its TV moment after all with Michael Douglas presenting Best Picture (Drama) after losing the supporting actor category.

Meanwhile, bravo to Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce Willis and Megan Fox for announcing “Alice in Wonderland,” “Red” and “The Tourist,” respectively, as Best Picture nominees while maintaining a straight face. Could “The Kids Are All Right” have lucked out any sweeter?

And by the way, did Brangelina look like Caesars wondering why the lions were taking so long to kill the Christians to anyone else?  Just me?  Okay, just wondering.

Anyway, onnward.  Check out tonight’s full list of film winners at The Circuit.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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181 responses so far

  • 1 1-17-2011 at 3:56 am

    Graysmith said...

    Anyone complaining about Gervais must not be very familiar with his kind of humour, which generally revolves around making you feel as uncomfortable as possible. Of course he was paid to behave like this, it’s his thing. Comparing him with Armond White’s sociopathic tantrum is completely inaccurate.

    That said, it was an odd show. A really odd one. It’d been one thing for Gervais to throw his punches, but everyone else kind of joined in doing it and it was just a really odd vibe.. Like De Niro’s speech, which had its moments but still seemed like a really bizarre speech to give while receiving a lifetime achievement award (even if it’s only at a drunken Golden Globes).

  • 2 1-17-2011 at 4:28 am

    André said...

    was Bale’s speech censored in the US?? here in Brazil I heard everything he said, and it was GREAT!

    weird as hell, but great (which kinda sums up Christian Bale for me).

  • 3 1-17-2011 at 4:51 am

    AnneW said...

    I really liked Ricky in The Office. And despite the Golden globes, i still like him.

  • 4 1-17-2011 at 5:28 am

    Joe7827 said...

    Observations going by the premise that the Globes are not an awards precursor, but an acceptance speech precursor:

    * Christian Bale will win the Oscar. I think he charmed the pants off everyone.
    * Nice smooth-over touch by the “Social Network” people to thank Mark Zuckerberg.
    * I liked David Fincher’s speech. But really, bringing a 3-page typed thesis as your speech?
    * Natalie Portman looked like a deer trapped in headlights up there. What she said was charming and sweet, though. (Certainly more charming and sweet than Annette Bening.) And classy move bringing her parents.
    * Surprise nomination for Paul Giamatti? What a classic speech.

  • 5 1-17-2011 at 7:24 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, I’m curious, what about Melissa Leo’s speech wasn’t graceful? I think she always handles herself well up there (also from Friday, and ’08 at the Indie Spirits, etc.).

    I loved The Social Network. It’s a great film. But I’m sorry. As an avid, unabashed Oscar buzz fan … there’s just very little that’s interesting in the race this year. A TKS or Fighter win here would have made me happy; as Avatar winning last year made me ‘very’ happy because I KNEW AMPAS would go for The Hurt Locker.

    Even the year Return of the King won … we all knew it was cleaning up at the Oscars (for what it was). But that movie sure as Hell didn’t win every critics award down the pike.

    As for Ricky Gervais, who I do not normally love, I thought he was better this year than last because he was more outrageous. Having said that, one moment I was busting a gut at the craziness of his jokes, the next I was cringing because I (and others I know) felt he stepped over the line for a few. Overall, he was fine; better than last year.

  • 6 1-17-2011 at 7:36 am

    Robert said...

    Annette was a class act. Her speech was better than her last win. Like Natalie’s, too, but she did too much giggling at one point.

  • 7 1-17-2011 at 9:15 am

    Graysmith said...

    Gotta say I’m rather bummed that the season is already over. the BFCAs and Golden Globes could’ve provided some drama but now all the major above-the-line categories are a done deal. Picture? Check. Director? Check. Actor? Check. Actress? Check. Supporting Actor? Check. Supporting Actress? Check. Original Screenplay? Check (with reservations). Adapted Screenplay? Check.

    Might as well call it a day already. Well, maybe after tomorrow since the BAFTA nominations should be a bit more interesting in their Brit-centric way.

  • 8 1-17-2011 at 9:54 am

    Kyle t. said...


    I agree that this year was a much stronger year than 2008. And oddly enough, TSN sits at number three on my list (I’m a die hard fan of Toy Story 3, at number 2, and my unpopular number one choice is Never Let Me Go), I still feel like it’s so strange that backlash would start just because it’s dominance makes the awards season ‘boring’ for those who follow the circuit. I put its success up to the fact that very few films are made like it anymore (and are successful, to boot).


    I’m not so sure the Supporting Actress award is a lock. The combination of Leo, Adams and Steinfeld will make for some interesting voting percentages within the academy. After 1996 and Juliette Binoche came out of nowhere to beat Lauren Bacall, I always say anything can happen.

  • 9 1-17-2011 at 9:54 am

    Keil Shults said...

    i don’t think it was a joke, subtle or otherwise

    some people realize it’s a wonderful movie

    end of story

  • 10 1-17-2011 at 10:05 am

    Charlie said...

    I thought Gervais was absolutely brilliant. When the art of acting becomes sacrosanct, I personally take it as a vindication of the 2012 Apocalypse conspiracy – luckily we have someone like Gervais who can come in and remind us all that what these people are doing is great craft but that they are still humans.

    If I saw Gervais host an awards show lauding the accomplishments of aid workers in Africa then that’s when he goes too far.

    Context is everything and in the context of An Awards Show Patting Multimillionaire Hollywood Actors On The Back it is my firm belief that what some take as mean spirited is really only their sensitivity and inability to laugh at themselves in a venue that, outside of the industry, not very many people take particularly seriously.

  • 11 1-17-2011 at 10:07 am

    Charlie said...

    And when you invite millions of people from outside of the industry into your show via television, then that means he is no longer hosting for the room

  • 12 1-17-2011 at 10:24 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    This is the best Golden Globes telecast because of Ricky. Next year will be vanilla; and host-free.

  • 13 1-17-2011 at 10:53 am

    deeks said...

    I’ve just seen Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue on Youtube. Don’t know about the rest of the night but I thought the monologue was brilliant – and to be honest it seemed to go down pretty well with the audience as well.

  • 14 1-17-2011 at 11:10 am

    Speaking English said...

    ***The same thing happened in 2008 with Slumdog dominance. The thing is, though, 2008 was an extremely weak year for film, and Slumdog was the only film most everyone could really agree on succeeded at the highest level of filmmaking.***

    Whenever I hear this I am greatly, greatly perplexed. 2008 was probably one of the strongest years of the last decade, and one of the reasons 2010 looked so poor in comparison was because of the amazing lead-up 2008 and 2009 gave us. The real weak year was indeed last.

  • 15 1-17-2011 at 12:11 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    Really? I thought 2008 was a fairly weak year in general. The films that made my top 10 were extraordinary, but beyond those ten and maybe a few more, everything was so mediocre. I’ve never given out so many B’s as I did in 2008.

  • 16 1-17-2011 at 12:36 pm

    Marv said...

    Over all; I thought Ricky Gervis to be entertaining. He went overboard with the Robert Downey joke’s though. I just thing addiction is something that should be strayed away from; in a public forum like that. But! That’s just me.

  • 17 1-17-2011 at 12:52 pm

    Speaking English said...


    Milk, WALL-E, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Let the Right One In, Man on Wire, Hunger, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Waltz with Bashir, The Dark Knight, Rachel Getting Married, Doubt, The Class, Australia, Burn After Reading, Frozen River, In Bruges, Happy-Go-Lucky…

  • 18 1-17-2011 at 1:17 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    In my opinion, Milk, Wall-E, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Australia were average at best. Doubt, meanwhile, was just terrible (IMO, again).

    2009 was an amazing year, though. I agree with you there!

  • 19 1-17-2011 at 1:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I don’t think “Australia” bolsters any argument in favor of 2008 as a “strong” year.

    I thought 2008 was nearly the weakest year of the decade, personally, eclipsed only by 2005.

  • 20 1-17-2011 at 2:36 pm

    eurocheese said...

    My least favorite year of the decade: 2003. Weak as hell.

    BTW Kris (or someone else), which film did Gervais say was his favorite (the one you mentioned was assumed sarcasm)? I missed that.

  • 21 1-17-2011 at 2:44 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I actually enjoyed 2008 a lot because I really, really enjoyed The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda, Milk, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader, Australia, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Doubt, The Wrestler, Rachel Getting Married, Frozen River, The Class, In Bruges, I’ve Loved You So Long, Man on Wire, Boy A, Revolutionary Road, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Let the Right One In, The Black Balloon, etc..

    I liked 2008 a hell of a lot better than, say, 2009 or 2005.

    But then, every year, I can find 15-20 films that I thought were either really good or exceptional anyway (8.5s or higher out of 10 type movies).

  • 22 1-17-2011 at 3:04 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Ricky Gervais showed last night why he is currently my favorite comedian. Too bad some of the narcissistic people in the room couldn’t lighten up a bit more.

  • 23 1-17-2011 at 4:03 pm

    Zac said...

    “I thought 2008 was nearly the weakest year of the decade, personally, eclipsed only by 2005.”

    If I measured each year by how many masterpieces I saw, 2005 was the strongest for me: Munich, Batman Begins, Brokeback Mountain and Crash. Also by that criteria, 2003 would be the weakest since that was the only year with just 1 masterpiece: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which ironically was my top film of the decade. Maybe because it was so strong, everything else paled in comparison?

    That being said, I think 2008 was the weakest year of the decade. It was the only year where none of the 5 Best Picture finalists appeared on my Top 10. Usually I can count on at least 1 movie in my Top 10 to find its way to the Best Picture race.

  • 24 1-17-2011 at 4:14 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Whatever, I love “Australia” and I stand by it.

    Incidentally, I’m also a big fan of 2005. Any year with “Brokeback Mountain,” “Munich,” “Capote,” “Caché,” “A History of Violence,” “2046,” “Walk the Line,” “King Kong,” “The Constant Gardener,” “Millions,” “The New World,” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.” deserves praise.

    Honestly, I feel if you look thoroughly enough any year will reveal tons of great films. 2010 is an anomaly for me.

  • 25 1-17-2011 at 4:23 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    “Synecdoche, New York” alone makes 2008 a great year for me.

  • 26 1-17-2011 at 4:37 pm

    Ashley said...

    eurocheese: The Social Network

  • 27 1-17-2011 at 6:29 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Thank you, Speaking English. I, too, love ‘Australia’, unabashedly.

    And funny enough, there isn’t anybody I know who’s seen it that doesn’t love it.

    I understand “why” it isn’t universally loved (critically or otherwise). But I definitely enjoy.

  • 28 1-17-2011 at 6:40 pm

    Joe7827 said...

    Can we all agree that this year comparison exercise is all in the eye of the beholder? (By the way, I might not love “Australia”, but I certainly liked it a lot. Exactly the kind of epic filmmaking that we need more of.)

  • 29 1-17-2011 at 7:30 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Agreed, Joe. It is all in the eye of the beholder. And yes, we need the epics around; including The Way Back, dammit. :)

  • 30 1-18-2011 at 9:39 am

    Ligaya said...

    Kristopher and Andrew M: I didn’t watch the GG, but…

    Behold Brad and Angelina smiling, clapping (sitting and standing) and woohooing – seeming to enjoy themselves and cheering others.

  • 31 1-18-2011 at 9:47 am

    Ligaya said...

    Also, Rolling Stone’s account of Angelina and Brad’s other (possible) activities:

    “The funniest moment? Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got busted sneaking back into the room. They were flamboyantly entwined all night, with Angie suggestively adjusting Brad’s bowtie at one point right before a commercial break. Then the camera caught them slipping back to their table together, walk-of-shame-style, after a mysterious absence — perhaps to ‘adjust the bowtie.’ A few moments later, she was conspicuously re-applying her lip gloss. Subtle! No doubt it was totally innocent, right? But they looked suspiciously post-coital the rest of the evening — in fact, they were almost mellow enough to chuckle at Gervais’s jokes. Almost.”