Golden Globes Do Not Disappoint

It’s not only flu season but also awards season. I don’t know which is worse. If you haven’t got the flu, you’ll get the awards fever.

Actually, there’s a reason why we—yes, we—like Jodie Foster, we have something to confess or admit or ramble on about—watch these shows. Exhibit A turned out to be the Golden Globe Awards, which were on display and televised last night, fulfilling its mission of handing out best this and that awards to nominated film, cinema and television artists in its own peculiar fashion.

The awards—televised on NBC and preceded not one but two red carpet shows—managed to be a perfect antidote to the flu panic now occurring across the country, causing people in the Washington area to scurry about all weekend in search of a flu vaccine—Safeway seemed to be the only place where you could get one, although not without waiting for hours. Not that the flu didn’t make an appearance at the awards show: apparently Meryl Streep was homebound with the flu, although, as co-host with Tina Fey Amy Poehler said, “she played the flu perfectly.”

The Golden Globes, handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press community—some dozens strong it is rumored—nevertheless have a certain impact, anointing favorites—or not—in the upcoming Oscar Awards, the nominations for which were only recently announced.

Still, it’s television, it’s musicals and dramas, it’s different, it’s a sit-down dinner and open bar, a combination that gives the occasion a certain Titanic beginning to sink quality. People say the strangest things and the oddest people show up. It’s Les Mis, can you hear the people wing it, it’s Ann Hathaway scrambling on stage when the movie won “best musical and/or comedy” award, looking for someone to hug.

Who would have thought that President Bill Clinton—now that his party animal days are in recession—would show up at an event where cleavage vied with “Argo” for attention. Clinton, in fact, gave the introduction to Steven Spielberg’s “Clinton…”, sorry, “Lincoln”, for which Daniel Day Lewis won the best acting awards. Clinton noted that the film depicts Lincoln, in trying to achieve larger goals, had to make compromises not to his taste. “I wouldn’t know anything about that,” Clinton quipped, obviously expecting the Hollywood folks to remember him passing welfare reform legislation. Lewis, not known for his standup banter, said “who knew two ex-presidents would be here tonight.”

And so it went—that’s why we watched. We watched the tremendously gifted British blues singer and super Grammy Adele deliciously gush about receiving an award for song-writing for penning the James Bond movie theme this year and had a quick glimpse of the also-nominated Taylor Swift with that “they took away my award” look on her face.

Red and nude, according to the experts, were the dressy look for the ladies, all of whom got to answer the question of the night: “whom are you wearing”, when collared by Savannah Guthrie or the three young women on the mysterious first look segment on the red carpet that appeared mostly devoid of stars.

I’ve really got to get around to watching “Homeland”, the national security thriller on Showtime which swept all the television drama awards. So far I’ve only seen the funny version on Saturday Night Live. Claire Dane looked fabulous in red, Mandy Patinkin looking like a thinker in brown beard.

The big surprise of the night beside the appearance of Lincoln/Clinton was the award for screenwriting to Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”, his take on slavery, and carnage, Southern-style, beating out Tony (“Angels in America”) Kushner’s screenplay for “Lincoln”. The Golden Globers of course like to be contrarian at times and Tarantino is as contrarian as they come. He was last spied on camera spitting out the contents of a drink.

Less surprising and very popular was the best director for drama award to Ben Affleck, snubbed by Oscar, for “Argo” and an award for best drama for the film, although, as his wife pointed out, he did forget to thank the producers, one of whom was George Clooney.

Jodie Foster was given the Cecil B. De Mille award, a life-time achievement kind of thing, and proceeded to puzzle and move everyone watching with a speech that rambled, sometimes sounding like a retirement speech, sometimes like an auto-biography, sometimes like a coming-out speech, but never quite any of them. Still it was evocative, touching, strange and, oh, heck, this is Hollywood, and we love Foster—a two-time Oscar winner. Friend Mel Gibson as well as her children were at her table, among other folks.

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