Category Archives: Golden Globes

Golden Globes 2016: Some Notes After the Big Party

Saoirse Ronan defiantly, and elegantly, posing to her left despite yells to pose to the right.

Saoirse Ronan defiantly, and elegantly, posing to her left despite yells to pose to her right.

First observation: The Red Carpet

You have to watch the red carpet coverage, at least some it, to start off your Golden Globes viewing. I watched the live streaming despite that French woman constantly yelling for celebs to shift their poses “To your right! To your right!” Wouldn’t an off-camera prompt have been so much better? I think it annoyed everyone, including such talents as Saoirse Ronan, nominated for Best Actress in “Brooklyn.” What awards has that French cameraperson won? Maybe she’ll win an award for her photo of Saoirse Ronan defiantly, and elegantly, posing to her left despite yells to pose to her right. I may have nightmares. No more “To your right!” in 2017.

Ricky Gervais, the gift that keeps on giving.

Ricky Gervais, the gift that keeps on giving.

Next Observation: It’s all about Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais seems to have become an overnight sensation from his hosting the Golden Globes which he peppered with his trademark scathing jokes aimed at the Hollywood elite. He was the host in 2010, 2011 and 2012. And now that everyone is in on the act, here are some of the best jokes from the Gervais monologue…

“I just want to go into hiding. Not even Sean Penn will find me.”

“What a role model Caitlyn Jenner is. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers but you can’t have everything.”

“‘Spotlight’ is great for speaking to the five percent of Catholic priests who prey on children. Roman Polanski called it the best date night movie ever.”

“I support equal pay for men and women. I am getting paid the same amount as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got paid to co-host the Golden Globes. Not my fault they had to share the earnings.”

Jonah Hill and the bear hat moment.

Jonah Hill and the bear hat moment.

And then, the game changer, Jonah Hill upstages the salty Gervais:

It was to be a simple presentation for Best Supporting Actress with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill until Hill stepped up as The Bear in “The Revenant.” Hill, wearing a bear hat, riffed about a lot things that were completely bleeped out. It began with Hill referring to a green ribbon he was wearing for Honey Awareness. That was followed by a close-up of a slack-jawed Jane Fonda. Is it possible that Hill was referring to the arguably hyped cameo by Fonda in “Youth”? That’s my guess but maybe it’s too esoteric. He definitely said something.

Rachel Bloom wins for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

What a refreshing and authentic acceptance speech. Bloom shared with the audience the fact her new show had been rejected left and right before the CW picked it up. I like Rachel Bloom!

Amazon wins for “Mozart in the Jungle”

Amazon is in it to win it. Happy to see this show get more viewers from this win.

The best thing about the Golden Globes is supposed to be that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gets to give out well-deserved show outs:

“Son of Saul,” wins for Best Foreign Film.

“Mr. Robot” wins for Best Television Drama.

Lady Gaga wins for her role in “American Horror Story.” She sounded like she really wants to focus on acting.

Aaron Sorkin wins Best Screenplay for “Steve Jobs.” He made a point of saying how he did not expect to win. They all say that, of course, but still.

Denzel Washington wins the Cecil B. DeMille Award. I loved the introduction by Tom Hanks.

And there was a truly bear hat moment for Gervais later on in the show when he got to introduce Mel Gibson. It did not go well the last time he did that and so it went again. After giving it some thought, the best Gervais could say about Gibson was, “I would prefer having a drink with him over Bill Cosby.” Gibson’s response was, “Good to see Ricky every three years. It reminds me to get my colonoscopy.” Gervais’s response was long and bleeped out and appeared to have gotten under Gibson’s skin.

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Movie Review: LINCOLN

Tad Lincoln
It was on a bright day in January in 1865 that the United States, despite feverish opposition, passed the 13th Amendment and abolished slavery in the land. The fight to outlaw slavery, once and for all, is the focus of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Even if the final outcome is already known to the audience, the full story will likely be new. Remarkably, this film, with its familiar director and familiar subject, feels new too. This is a 21st Century Lincoln led by Daniel Day-Lewis’s brilliant interpretation of a man of his time with a keen sense for the timeless.

Mr. Spielberg uses his Lincoln capital wisely as we begin this film. After some scenes of bloody fighting, we cut to a close-up of two African American infantrymen. They are being interviewed about the Civil War. One man seems content. The other lists the injustices suffered by his people. The interviewer is Pres. Lincoln. We then float up to a dreamworld and there’s the tall and lonely figure in a stovepipe hat standing on the bow of a vast ship. Restraint. Elegant restraint. “Lincoln” proves to have the elegant restraint to make such a movie.

After all the hype, and there’s more to come, “Lincoln,” proves to be a very engaging film. It is not a Frank Capra treatment of our 16th president and that is an understandable concern. As we now know, Daniel Day-Lewis turned down more than one screenplay for this film. The one that finally won him over is based on the book, “Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and adapted for the screen by Tony Kushner. It provided a way to maintain that elegant restraint that Mr. Day-Lewis knew was essential.

With the sense of urgency clearly stated, we see a president determined to use all his political capital to steer the country in the right direction. In short order, he means to legitimize his Emancipation Proclamation. The only way to end slavery in the United States is to pass a Constitutional Amendment and the only way to do that is to act immediately. For political junkies, the ensuing dramatization is nirvana. You can almost hear Doris Kearns Goodwin reciting from her popular book in the background. However, this film does offer much more. There is a special urgency you feel in the filmmaking. When Lincoln speaks, everyone listens. We see a jaw drop a bit when the president exercises his distinctive skill to make a point. We feel history being made in a refreshing way as all the players are allowed to live and breathe.

At one point in the film, we see Mr. Day-Lewis in an scene where he ponders over Euclid, the ancient Greek mathematician. It is during a pivotal moment in the war that Lincoln thinks out loud with a couple of young staffers. One of them says he’s an engineer by profession. This sparks Lincoln to quote some Euclidean geometry, “Any two sides that are equal to the whole are equal to each other. Euclid, three thousand years before, stated that this was self-evident.” It is a delightfully low-key moment, one of many, that Mr. Day-Lewis plays masterfully.

In keeping with the restrained vibe in this film, we follow the journey of radical Republican, Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones. At first, we don’t seem to know which side he’s on or whether he can be relied upon to check his ego at the door when he needs to. It’s a great performance. One particularly good scene is when he’s confronted by the First Lady, played by Sally Field. She is greeting visitors at a reception and seizes the opportunity to put Stevens in his place. Coming across as a Hillary Clinton complaining over Whitewater investigations, she chides Stevens for his investigating her overseeing renovation of The White House. We see that Stevens can take a good chiding and take it to heart.

The Spielbergian touch is most evident in what we see from a child’s point of view in this film. There was a little boy who lived in the White House, the President’s son, Tad Lincoln. He’s there so often in the film as to be its anchor, conscience, and sense of innocence. When Lincoln and his men gather for a war meeting, the war map is found to have suffered a burn at one corner. Tad Lincoln was there. When Lincoln is patiently awaiting the final vote of the 13th Amendment, he is entertained by Tad Lincoln building a monument from various books and legal briefs. When Lincoln needs to keep up his sense of purpose, all he needs to do is observe the photographs of slaves that Tad Lincoln has been observing. And, when the President is shot, it is Tad Lincoln’s sorrow we focus upon. This is not Doris Kearns Goodwin’s or Daniel Day-Lewis’s doing. This is Steven Spielberg’s.

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GLODEN GLOBES: ELTON JOHN v. MADONNA and Other Favorite Moments


There was a time, not that long ago, when Gervais was utterly unknown in America. He was where Steve Coogan is now. Actually, it would be quite a treat to have Coogan host! It may still happen. You will become an instant fan if you see him in “The Trip” but I horribly digress. Ah, a perfect time to mention the new Gervais project, “Life’s Too Short,” which begins on February 17 on HBO. The opening line from Gervais: “So, where was I?” And, later on, the greatest line: “And now for the queen of pop…not you Elton,” which brings up this…


This was a great moment not only for Madonna winning for Best Original Score but for that glare from Sir Elton! Both artists were up for the award, Madonna for original music to her own movie and Elton John for a retread effort in a kid movie. On the red carpet, Sir John said that Madonna “did not have a f***ing chance of winning.” And, on the red carpet, Madonna described her coming to write the score as divine inspiration. When she learned about Sir John’s bitchy remark, she joking said that “those were fighting words” and then went on to win the award.


What a charming moment when Williams thanked her daughter for all the weeks she read bedtime stories to her in the voice of Marilyn Monroe.


Critics didn’t like this show, “Boss.” Maybe worth a second look or maybe the Hollywood Foreign Press got it wrong.


Woody Allen! The Woodman is back.


For another show that critics didn’t like, “American Horror Story.” And, again, the Hollywood Foreign Press just wants to support a show that may not be up to the task.


Now, I want to see this movie after getting a full understanding there’s a pooping in the sink scene.


LeBlanc is back…on Showtime with “Episodes!” I don’t get cable but I should. This is a good note-to-self.  Which leads me to another note-to-self:


I was just looking at the offerings on HBO and I need to finally see “Bored To Death” which is explained quite nicely here.


Alright already, I need to get my ass over to see this movie.


Everyone calls him that and he seems to like it. Or maybe you need to be someone as big and powerful as Madonna or Meryl Streep to call him that. Anyway, all in fun.


Wins George Clooney a Best Actor award and wins for Best Movie. Gotta see that too.

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Golden Globes 2011: Some Notes After the Big Party

Just when I thought that Natalie Portman’s outfit was going to be the very best thing about this show, it turned out that Ricky Gervais, as host, was wonderfully hilarious and it’s a shame that he couldn’t have just kept on going uninterrupted. The Hugh Hefner joke was great: “When his wife-to-be discovered Hefner was 84, she said that he lied about his age. She thought he was 94!” After a few interruptions to present awards, another really good joke: “And now, here is Ashton Kutcher’s dad, Bruce Willis!” What good timing for me since I just happened upon “Extras: The Illustrated Scripts: Series 1 & 2.” I’ll have to let you know how much I enjoyed that in a later post. “Extras” was a pure work of genius, a sitcom that came after the original “The Office” and well before the mega-fame that Gervais now enjoys. Of course, it was also lovely to see Portman win for Best Actress in “Black Swan.” She seemed to be channeling Sally Field’s “You really like me!” speech at the Oscars when she mentioned her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, and said he really does enjoy sleeping with her. Ah, well, an odd moment but she managed to say it and make sense.

Best TV mini-series went to HBO’s  “Boardwalk Empire” and not, perhaps to the dismay of fans of comic books, AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” But then there’s the win for “Big Bang Theory” for, and this is a mouthful, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical, to Jim Parsons. This is a show which, over the years, has been celebrated, whether in reality or not, as a geek fave. Or maybe the attraction to the show by geeks is genuine. What really did look for real was the support for Jim by fellow actor, Kaley Cuoco. Those two should get a room.

Something different and substantial that rang true for me was the win for Paul Giamatti as Best Actor in the movie no one has heard of yet, “Barney’s Version.” My take on the Hollywood Foreign Press’s goal is to promote the best in movies, not necessarily the most hyped, so this win sounds very sound to me. When was the last time you considered a novel by the great Mordecai Richler? See this movie, loosely based on his life, and then read one of his works. I’ve never heard of “Barney’s Version,” as most likely you haven’t either, but now you have, at least for the moment. Will you go out and see it or rent it? I will!

“Social Network” won as Best Movie as well it should! It also won for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Score! Very good, indeed. What are you doing if you haven’t seen this by now! And how about the movie’s great screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin? This is one very dapper gentleman. Very cool, very smart and oh so modest. He has a brief role in “The Social Network” and he laughs it off in the DVD extras. But he was actually good. I think I might buy the DVD as well as the soundtrack. That was very cool to see Trent Reznor up on stage accepting his award.

Last good Ricky Gervais joke: “I’d like to thank my family. And a big thank you to God for making me an atheist.”

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