Golden Globe movie wrap-up: It’s an “Avatar,” “The Hangover” kind of a crazy, mixed-up night

First of all, I would like to thank my DVR for allowing me to watch a three hour telecast in less than 115 minutes. Also, Will Harris, you crazy Golden Globes Premium Hollywood TV live blogger, put down the Maker’s Mark and go to bed!

But, before I get carried away with paraphrasing Sandra Bullock‘s Best Actress in a Drama acceptance speech tonight, first of all let me make clear that I’m not going to attempt to one-up Mr. Harris’s live-blog extravaganza. No, I’ll simply start by linking to a complete list of tonight’s results and some (I’m thinking relatively brief) thoughts on the cinematic goings on tonight.

Okay, so here’s that link to the results courtesy of /Film and now on to the bloggy/thinky portion of tonight’s festivities.

Big deals: Clearly, the film headlines tonight are the awards that went to James Cameron’s ultimate-big-deal of a movie called “Avatar” and this year’s ultimate mega-successful modestly budget comedy, “The Hangover“. It’s the kind of comedy that never gets nominated for, much less wins, awards no matter how well constructed, and this was one incredibly well-constructed comedy. I’m delighted to see it get this kind of recognition. I truly couldn’t imagine a better movie with that premise and its success shows that you can make a male-oriented farce that respects its viewers’ intelligence and better natures. As for “Avatar,” does anyone even care what I think? It is what it is. Ask me again in a couple of months.

Biggest non-surprises of the night: The supporting actor twosome Mo’Nique from “Precious” and Christoph Waltz from “Inglourious Basterds” won, yet again, and seem about as big a lock for Oscars as you ever get. Both are sure getting a lot of practice at the art of acceptance speeches. Mo’Nique’s speech was both king of moving and way over-the-top in that actory way some folks (like Drew Barrymore, who praised it one of her typically overwhelmed acceptance speeches) just eat up with a fork. Waltz, who really does seem to be a pretty humble guy, was a bit more low key with a nice riff on the international nature of the Hollywood Foreign Press’s awards. I think we’ve got a buddy-cop movie, possibly directed by Michael Bay, with Waltz and Mo’Nique in our collective futures. “Bad Goys”?

Jeff Bridges Best Actor award is starting to edge into the same kind of category and he’s starting to look like a gigantic Oscar shoe-in. It’s as if everyone suddenly remembered how great he’s been in countless movies all at the same time. “You’re really screwing up my under appreciated status here,” he said. As well they should.

Most endearing off-the-wall remark: Meryl Streep’s wish to be renamed “T-Bone” in honor of fellow Globe winner and freaking musical genius T-Bone Burnett, who accepted the award earlier for “Best Original Song” for a tune from “Crazy Heart.” She was accepting the Best Actress, Comedy or Musical award for for “Julie and Julia” (she was also nominated for “It’s Complicated“),

Biggest disagreement with Will Harris: While I concur that the Martin Scorsese montage prior to his Cecil B. DeMille award was very nice (though lacking in “New York, New York,” “After Hours,” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” footage), I did not find the joke about sex with celluloid creepy. Okay, I’m probably showing my age here but I actually went to film school back in the days when, when you cut film, you actually cut the film. It’s a pretty sensual experience and we film geeks love film for being film. It’s analog, baby and still a beautiful thing.

On the other hand, the physical act of love with 35mm celluloid could have resulted in some very nasty cuts, so maybe Will has a point. Anyhow, I enjoyed the joke about Scorsese and DeNiro spending most of the last ten years presenting awards to each other. It’s funny because it’s true. I also enjoyed the applause for the highly buzzed about restoration of Scorsese’s favorite movie, “The Red Shoes,” and I’m still mad the screening I tried to get into was sold out.

Most honest moment of off-the-cuff humility: Jason Reitman’s confession that he expected to be beaten by Quentin Tarantino for the screenplay category. I haven’t seen “Up in the Air” yet, but, while I remain to be convinced that he’s some kind of latter-day Billy Wilder, Reitman the younger is clearly a solid director and does appear to be something of a mensch.

Interesting stuff I noticed (or possibly just imagined) captured by the cameras:
The bizarre cut to Gov. Schwarzenegger while Michael Haneke accepted his Best Foreign Language award for “The White Ribbon.” It’s true that both are Austrian born, but that’s about the end of the connection and it seemed to throw some in the audience off, too, which in turn threw Haneke’s struggles with the English language off, as well.

It also appeared to me that Quentin Tarantino wasn’t having some trouble hiding his disappointment as it became clear that Christoph Waltz was likely going to be night’s only “Inglourious” winner. He’s quite proud of his movie.

Robert Downey Jr. is, for the time being, Most thoroughly mixed-up award: Don’t get me wrong, I think Robert Downey, Jr. is the bees-knees. (I wrote that bio I just linked to, and this.) However, his “Best Actor, Comedy or Musical” award was wrong-headed first of all because, unless I fell asleep during a big production number or something, “Sherlock Holmes” was neither. Most James Bond flicks have more and better jokes. Also, personally, I didn’t think it was Downey’s best day and it would have been nice to see Michael Stuhlberger of the criminally awards-ignored “A Serious Man” get some recognition. Cute acceptance speech from Downey, however.

Obligatory Ricky Gervais hosting thought: Based on other times I’ve seen him, I was expecting him to be a lot funnier. He just didn’t seem to be up to his usual level of brilliance tonight and his joke about Paul McCartney’s extremely painful and public (and, yes, highly expensive) divorce wasn’t funny enough to justify its lack of good nature, but overal he grew on me. And I’m way jealous that he got to drink while he was working but — since demon booze seems to rush immediately to my brain’s writing center — I’ve yet to imbibe. Time to remedy that.

  

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