I managed to avoid Joan and Melissa, Star and Kathie, and Al and Lisa and all the witless, inane banter from people who have no idea what they're talking about, and then I did the little live blogging thing for all three hours. It turned out to be way easier than expected, probably because the show overall was relatively boring.
I'm going to be giving some thoughts about the Globes over at The Conversation, but overall I must say that with the exception of The Aviator win, there weren't really any big surprises among the major film prizes. I do think this signals good news for Sideways and not as much for Million Dollar Baby. These wins definitely play in to Oscar-race campaigning, and when those nominations come out nine days from now, Sideways will be touting its win louder than ever.
For my almost minute-by-minute thoughts on tonight's show, click below and head past the jump. It's all there in all its glory ... or something, including a little something for those of you confused by Annette Bening's little pizza comment.
8:00 PM: Well, once again they manage to create a completely annoying opening segment with cheesy music incorporating shots of the arrivals. The Globes this year have no host again, so Renee Zellweger came out to announce the first award for "Best Motion Picture Supporting Actor," and holy shit, they actually gave it to Clive Owen. Might I have been too cynical in doubting the HFPA's ability to make the right choices? We'll see. I doubt it.
8:05 PM: Wow. Natalie Portman wins "Best Motion Picture Supporting Actress." That's actually a huge deal. The Globes may wind-up loving Closer, which would be a major surprise to me. But I'm really shocked that Cate Blanchett didn't take this award. She has received universal praise for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Even people who don't like the film mention her performance as the one redeeming feature. The only reason I can see Portman grabbing this award from her is because the HFPA membership just loved Closer. Could we be seeing awards for screenwriter Patrick Marber and Mike Nichols on the horizon? That won't be until later in the evening, but if Marber does win, I wouldn't be surprised to see Closer sweep director and "Best Picture Drama" too. And if that happens, it dramatically changes the current conventional wisdom of the Oscar race.
8:16 PM: I really wish Oliver Platt had gotten the win, but William Shatner actually is deserving. His performance and character on Boston Legal is the only thing other than James Spader that really makes the show not just watchable but even enjoyable.
8:26 PM: OK, see this is why in some ways you really do have to love the Golden Globes. Mariska Hargitay for "Best Actress - Drama series"? I mean, she's fine, maybe even a stand-out on an ensemble show like Law & Order: SVU, but really, compared to the rest of the field? I may not think she deserves it as much as some of the other nominees, but that's what makes this show actually fun to watch.
Meanwhile, is it just me, or does Clare Danes look awesome. And I don't want to start talking about 16 year olds, but uhm ... should someone have helped the young Eastwood choose a more flattering dress? Sorry, moving on ...
And there you go ... cynism does lose out. Ian McShane deserves this recognition maybe more than any of the other actors nominated for TV work this year. I'm shocked that Shatner won and Spader didn't, but who cares. Hopefully this also bodes well for a Deadwood win later tonight.
8:39 PM: Unfortunately, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers had more name recognition, cache and a bigger PR push than another nominated HBO Films production, Something the Lord Made, a quietly profound and well-made film that was much better than the more experimental but ultimately empty Peter Sellers.
8:43 PM: See, there we go again. I guess I really am too cynical to play Golden Globe prognosticator. The right guy won "Best Actor - Comedy Series," and hopefully that will signal a win for Arrested Development in the series category as well. Yay Jason. He plays the best straight man on TV, and his comic abilities and timing couldn't be showcased in a better vehicle. I've said this before and I'll continue to harp on it until it's a top 10 show (which will never happen, unfortuantely): Arrested Development is the best show on TV, better than most highly successful movie comedies, and deserves every award or critical praise it receives.
8:49 PM: As I said, I didn't watch the arrivals, so please answer for me, what the fuck is Halle Berry wearing? I suppose on the positive side, there's every chance her right breast will pop-out, but in a post-Swordfish and Monster's Ball world, that's not all that exciting anymore.
8:52 PM: Yay! Cynicism wins out. I said Annette Bening would win, and what do you know. Kate Winslet gives one of the best performances of her career in what will likely be one of the best films of the decade, and Bening wins for one of the most tedious, boring, misguided films I saw all year. She was great because she's a fantastic actress and consumate professional, but neither this performance nor this movie deserves this recognition. The HFPA rightfully loves Bening, but this is just wrong.
8:58 PM: Well, I figured if it wasn't Lost it would be Nip/Tuck. The Globes have a proclivity for films in their second seasons, and my guess is that's why it beat ABC's big hit. I can't really say anything negative about the FX show because I've never been able to get into it. I watched several episodes in season one and thought it was fine, but it didn't keep me interested enough to make it appointment viewing. I know a lot of critics and normal folk really love it. Still, it's hard for me to imagine that it could be better than Deadwood, a truly remarkable television creation.
9:05 PM: A commercial for The Contender? You mean, NBC's finally going to put this boxing reality show on the air after the utter failure of Fox's show? I don't think anyone can actually expect it to do well, but who knows. Mark Burnett has been known to create reality magic before. Still, they've postponed the show three or four times. Don't count on any huge hit.
9:07 PM: That's nice that they let Eva Longoria come onto the show to since she's the only one of the Desperate Housewives who didn't get a nomination. But what happened? Did Nicolette Sheridan copy a storyline from the show and fuck with Teri Hatcher's hair? Who the hell styled that big poofy helmet?
Oh, the award? This had to be one of the most easily predictable choices of the night. I didn't like the movie, but Geoffrey Rush was brilliant in his transformation, literally becoming Peter Sellers.
9:20 PM: Did anyone else just notice during the mid-commercial bumper a shot of Quentin Tarantino talking Martin Scorsese's ear off? That's something that you don't see every day. Actually, I would love to see a panel discussion involving QT and Scorsese talking movies. It would be absolutely fascinating, although I worry it could cause the world to explode. That much manic energy and fast-talking on one stage is bound to be combustible.
9:27 PM: Out of the three "Best Foreign Language Film" nominees I've seen, I thought The Sea Inside was the third best. I still need to see The Chorus and A Very Long Engagement, but I just found both House of Flying Daggers and The Motorcycle Diaries to be much more effective. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the biggest tear-jerker, centered around the best performance of the three -- Javier Bardem is incredible in the main role -- came through as the winner, but I am disappointed. I know a lot of people loved The Sea Inside, but when the film was over and other people around me were sniffling, I realized that I just found it lacking.
9:33 PM: Sadly, I now have to hate Minnie Driver because her introduction of nominated film Phantom of the Opera brought back memories of that horrible experience. Anyone watching notice that you heard no singing or dialogue in the entire trailer. Think about it. It's such a piece of shit, they had to edit the thing as tightly as possible and not actually show you any of the movie. Assholes.
9:35 PM: I knew I wasn't too pessimistic. I do love Sideways, but the screenplay award really did belong to Charlie Kaufman. I'm happy that there isn't a Closer sweep on its way, but I'm sticking with my prediction that since Sideways won this, Eastwood will get director.
Meanwhile, just like that the "Best Actress -- Comedy Series" award went to Teri Hatcher. I guess I was thinking optimistically when I suggested not only that Marcia Cross should win but actually would win. Teri Hatcher is the biggest name in this cast, and that would obviously be the one the HFPA would gravitate towards. I love Hatcher on the show -- as I also love Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria -- but Cross really does provide the standout performance week-in and week-out. I hope one of these days she gets recognized for doing so.
9:42 PM: I just realized what's been a bit weird about the show this year. You know all those mid-commercial bumpers announcing what's coming up? There was just one mentioning Robin Williams receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award. Well, there's some anonymous announcer doing the voiceover this year, and normally, that's the job of Dick Clark. The Golden Globes are a Dick Clark production, and he usually stands around backstage giving platitudes about what a wonderful evening it is and how nobody has ever seen so many stars in one place before. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But hey, it's Dick Clark! Clark is still recovering from his stroke, and it was announced a couple weeks ago that he wouldn't be on the Globes telecast, but I forgot until just now. Get well soon, Dick. It really isn't the same without you, even when your presence is cheesy as hell.
9:50 PM: I was stupid. You nominate a Rolling Stone, a Beatle or Bob Dylan, and chances are nobody will beat them. Too bad for Wyclef: "Million Voices" is a really great song, and one very appropriate for its movie, which is what this award really is about. I suppose "Old Habits Die Hard" probably works for the themes of Alfie, but since I didn't see this remake, I can only judge from my knowledge of the basic story.
9:57 PM: Naomi Watts loves Prince. I know because apparently, she speaks so well, it's easy to read her lips, and she made the very profound statement, "I love Prince."
10:00 PM: I feel vindicated. Sometimes these things do go by the book. I'm sure Filmbrain is tearing his hair out in disgust right now. I'm not too bothered by Clint's win -- I actually think he did a wonderful directing job even with the flaws that do exist in the movie. Still, I'm just going to keep pretending that this award was won by Michel Gondry, even though he wasn't nominated.
10:04 PM: See what I mean. It feels like paint-by-numbers predictability right now. I don't begrudge Foxx for winning. I think he's proving to be a phenomenal actor, and he absolutely embodied Ray Charles in Ray. I never expected Jim Carrey to win, but if you really look at what he accomplished in Eternal Sunshine, I think he had a much more difficult role to play than Foxx did. Sadly, Eternal Sunshine simply doesn't get the respect. But that often happens to great films the year they come out, and 10 years later, they're remembered much more fondly than the stuff that wins.
That was pretty incredible though. Jamie Foxx struts and laughs and does his thing, but then came one of the most real moments I think I've ever seen on an awards show. That was a moment of uncontainable true emotion that simply exploded from him no matter how hard he really tried to contain it, but it wasn't in some annoying violently aggressive way. It was quiet and dignified. It was watching an actor who didn't necessarily want to stop performing but couldn't help himself. Congrats Jamie.
10:15 PM: Ah, the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Robin Williams. Bathroom break!
10:27 PM: I'm sorry if I'm a sucker, but I still enjoy the manic Robin Williams. Was it just me, though, or did he look really almost depressed while Pierce Brosnan and Mike Nichols did his introduction. It was almost as if you could hear inside his head, and all that he could say was, "Damn, how did I get so old. I'm getting a lifetime achievement award? Is my life over?" But then, he got on stage, and it's obvious he just turns on a switch. The somber almost sad face they kept cutting to during the introduction changed to the manic performer who makes tangents seem like straight lines.
10:34 PM: I'm sure if George from A Girl and a Gut was watching the Globes (which I'm not too sure he is, he would be tearing his hair out right now. But I'm actually excited that DiCaprio just won. His performance was extremely accomplished and helps hold the movie together. In a film with underwritten characters and a less-than-perfect script, DiCaprio did his best to show all sides of Howard Hughes. He was aggressive when necessary but also subtle when required. The insecurities created by Hughes' OCD was a flat contradiction to the cocksure audaciousness of his business practices and consistent risk-taking, and DiCaprio made both of these qualities existing within one man completely believable. DiCaprio blew me away years ago in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, but he's grown as an actor since then, and just because he became a matinee idol because of a sinking ship doesn't mean his acting talent should be overlooked.
10:41 PM: I'm not going to begrudge a Desperate Housewives win. I think it's one of the best new shows to hit TV in the last several years. If the show hadn't been passed on by HBO, it would get much more respect than being called a surprising sensation and guilty pleasure. It's a phenomenally written and ceaselessly clever show, and hopefully it will sustain this artistry for years to come. The only problem is, Arrested Development already has sustained the highest level of writing for more than one year and is an absolutely brilliant show that has changed the face of what can be done within the half-hour format. This Desperate Housewives win is really an example of the HFPA wanting to be accepted by the popular kids of the class; they want to be trendy, and they want to be the first to recognize a show's greatness. They can do that for Desperate Housewives; the recent Emmy win made that impossible for Arrested Development. But congrats DH. It's not that you didn't deserve it. It's just that someone else deserves it slightly more.
10:47 PM: Snore. No schock here. Hilary Swank wins. I knew Staunton wouldn't get the award, but she should have. In my book, it was hands down the performance of the year.
10:51 PM: Adam from the great pizza-blog Slice (hey, this is NYC; of course there's a pizza-blog!) just sent me an email. For all of you curious about Annette Bening's "pizza" comment during her acceptance speech, Slice has the lowdown. Apparently, she and Warren Beatty had their first date by going out for pizza!
10:58 PM: I'm shocked. Seriously, seriously shocked. I guess I shouldn't be, though. The Globes are actually somewhat known for spreading the wealth, and have on more than one occasion awarded the director prize to someone other than the helmer of either Best Picture winner. The Sideways win was expected. It is unfortunate that the HFPA really showed no respect for Eternal Sunshine, but that was expected as well. But The Aviator winning for "Best Picture - Drama"? Wow, wow, wow! Especially after Eastwood's directing prize, I just couldn't believe it. I have to say that I'm happy about it because out of the six nominees, I did consider it the best film -- it was the only one that made my actual Top 10 list. And I'm sure somewhere in his own little corner of hell, as he cried that Eastwood got the prize, Filmbrain feels a bit relieved that The Aviator beat Million Dollar Baby in this fight. Still, I think this just really helps the chances for Sideways to bring home the Best Picture Oscar. I'd be very surprised if The Aviator got it, and as stupid as it sounds, the loss for Million Dollar Baby really hurts its chances.
11:01 PM: Goodnight Nicole. Suave send-off you gave there. You know, with maybe the exception of the Jamie Foxx moment and a little of Robin Williams' speech, this had to be one of the most boring Golden Globe shows in years, even with some awards that I found surprising. As bad as hosts can be, they definitely help move the show along and can sometimes add a bit of fun when everything else is just blah.
THAT'S a wrap folks! On to Oscar!