What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night: The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards


Last night, I watched the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.  I also got on twitter and made a lot of snarky comments.  People seemed to enjoy it and for that reason, I say, “Yay!”

Why Was I Watching It?

Because I am an awards show junkie!  Seriously, those glue sniffers on Intervention don’t have anything on me when it comes to craving the excess, glamour, and foolishness of a big, silly Hollywood awards show!  Add to that, this is still a fairly wide open Oscar season and the Golden Globes are, as they always say on E!, a “precursor to the Oscars.”  Winning a Golden Globe usually guarantees at least an Oscar nomination.  Plus — Ricky Gervais was back to host and like a lot of people last night, I spent the minutes before the ceremony asking myself, “What ever will he say!?” in feverish anticipation.

What Was It About?

For the past 69 years, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have thrown a big banquet in January and given out a lot of awards to various TV and movie stars.  Nobody’s really sure who the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are and, to be honest, the Golden Globes always have a slightly unsavory air to them.  There’s always more than a few nominations that mostly seem to be designed to get famous people to show up at the ceremony,  Last year, they nominated the Tourist, this year they nominated The Ides of March.  Anyway, the Golden Globes are distinguished by the Oscars by the fact that they serve alcohol during the show and, in the past, someone’s always ended up giving a drunken acceptance speech or launching into an incoherent political rant and, for the past few weeks, we’ve been told that with Ricky Gervais returning to host the 69th annual banquet, anything could happen and probably would!  Yay!

What Worked

Last night, I mentioned on twitter that if nothing interesting happened on the Globes or if Ricky somehow failed to deliver the expected amount of snark then I would devote this section of my review to talking about my boobs. 

With that in mind, what can I say except that they’re a little big and heavy and they pretty much ended my dreams of being a ballerina but I like my boobs, or as I call them Pride and Joy.  They go great with every outfit I own and I’m pretty sure that they’re also the reason why I’ve never had to pay a speeding ticket.  Plus, they allowed me to say stuff like, “I should be Ms. Golden Globes!” while I was watching the show last night…

Actually, I’m being a little bit unfair to the Golden Globes (the awards ceremony, not my boobs).  The tribute to Morgan Freeman was well-done and was probably the high point of the ceremony but then again, how can you go wrong with Morgan Freeman?  Seriously, when I’m on the verge of doing something silly (like using a review of the Golden Globes to show off my boobs) , I imagine Morgan Freeman saying, “Now, do you really think that’s a good idea?”

Fashion-wise, I saw a lot of red dresses last night and that made me happy because I look really good in red.

Among the winners, Christopher Plummer (Best Supporting Actor for Beginners), Jean Dujardin (Best Actor In A Comedy Motion Picture for The Artist), Martin Scorsese (Best Director for Hugo), and Claire Danes (Best Actress In A Dramatic TV Show for Homeland) all gave good and classy acceptance speeches that made me feel good to be alive.  And Uggie the dog was so adorable up there on stage when The Artist won Best Motion Picture Comedy.  Actually, speaking of The Artist, it was kinda nice to see so many French people accepting awards last night.  (Oh, stop it!  I love France!)

I enjoyed it when Madonna won for best song because she was so shocked that she forgot to speak in her fake accent. 

On an admittedly petty note, Rooney Mara did not win Best Actress for David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and that amused me greatly because I knew that all the little AwardsDaily Fincherites were torn about how to whine about Mara losing with coming across as if they were criticizing Meryl Streep for winning.

What Did Not Work

So, let’s start with the main problem.  Last night’s Golden Globes ceremony was so respectable and predictable and slow that it might as well have just been the Oscars.  Ricky Gervais started out the ceremony by telling us that he had signed an agreement to not make any offensive or outrageous statements and then he did just that.  What’s especially annoying is that Ricky didn’t seem to be neutering himself as an act of protest or anything of the sort.  Instead, he just came across like he was too smug and sure-of-himself to realize that he was bombing.  It was as if he just expected his reputation to convince us that he was being funny and outrageous without actually being funny and outrageous.  Last year, Ricky Gervais skewered Hollywood phonies.  This year, Ricky Gervais was a Hollywood phony.  I sat there waiting for him to say just one thing that could potentially end his career and he refused to do it.

But Ricky wasn’t alone.  Seriously, where were the drunk winners launching into incoherent politically themed rants.  I mean, it’s an election year for God’s sake.  People on twitter were using the occasion to make all sorts of silly and naive political statements but the actual celebrities — the people who we depend on to act like a bunch of dumbasses — just sat there in this sort of placid anxiety like they were waiting for someone to show up for an intervention.

BLEH!

The majority of the night’s acceptance speeches were neither good nor bad.  They were just boring.  Listen, Meryl Streep is a great actress and I have no problem with her being recognized and awarded for her talent but oh my God, I nearly fell asleep trying to listen to her.  Now, if Meryl (or any other winner) had gotten up on stage and started slurring her words or making dirty jokes or something like that, it would have made for great television.  (Though I do have to give Meryl some credit for being the only winner to get bleeped.) 

The Descendants won Best Motion Picture Drama but seriously, it’s hard for me to accept that this well-made but essentially unchallenging and rather forgettable film is now the Oscar front-runner.  Seriously.  Much as with every other award it has won, The Descendants felt like something of a compromise choice and, considering that Scorsese won best director, it’s hard to gauge just how much momentum the Descendants is going to get from this victory. 

Oh!  And another thing that sucked — how did George Clooney win a Golden Globe for essentially playing the same character he always plays while Michael Fassbender’s brilliant work in Shame was ignored?  What type of game is that?

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

To quote Joan Crawford, “I’ll show you a pair of Golden Globes!”

Lessons Learned

This is shaping up to be one of the worst Oscar seasons in recent history.  Seriously, if just one deserving film or performance wins in February, I will be amazed.

A Guilty Pleasure – Tron:Legacy


For January, one of the themes for this month were “Guilty Pleasures”- those films that you simply can’t get enough of, despite how good or bad they may actually be. My first contribution for this is 2010’s Tron: Legacy.

When I look at Tron:Legacy, I see two things. I see a missed opportunity in trying to break new ground for the story, and a hint of promise from it’s director, Joseph Kosinski. I attended the premiere for the movie at the IMAX with a friend and his son, and was totally with it for the first half of the film. However, in it’s second half, it slowed down just like the film before it and admittedly, I almost fell asleep. Let’s face it, Tron as an overall universe was never really that strong.

And yet, I watch it just about every time it’s on, if only for the Lightcycle Race and Clu’s speech. Seeing the grid in an updated view and the new look of the light cycles always brings a smile to my face. Granted, it could be listed just as a Scene I Love, but I find I can tolerate most of the film.

Let’s go with the Missed Opportunities first.

Tron: Legacy’s biggest problem is it really only gave the audience a rehash of the original tale. While the angle with Sam and Kevin Flynn were interesting, along with Clu being a villain this time around, I feel the writers really could have taken the story places. Instead, they went the lazy route and decided to go with what anyone who saw the original film could remember – a problem that I feel plagues many sequels / remakes of old films. I figure if you’re going to do a sequel to film that’s more than 5 years old, be seriously prepared to throw something (at least one thing) new on the table.

When James Cameron made Aliens back in 1986, he took Ridley Scott’s tale and built on it, expanding on the Aliens universe with the addition of the Colonial Marines and the Alien Queen, giving the creatures themselves a sense of heirarchy. For Tron: Legacy, the only real new element would be the ISO’s, but then we’re never really shown just what they’re capable of, within or outside of the grid. It’s an empty element that only serves the purpose for bring Sam and Kevin together.

Tron: Legacy also suffers from a Video Game Tie-In Syndrome, something I’ve hated ever since The Matrix Reloaded. Back when that movie was due to come out, Warner Bros. And Atari came up with the idea of making a Video Game that would bridge the gap between certain elements in the story. If you play Enter the Matrix, you’ll actually have a slightly more complete story than you would by just seeing the film. That robs the audience of content. Granted, they don’t need to know everything, but Tron: Legacy has a few elements that are only really understood in the story for it’s video game, Tron: Evolution.

Then there’s the sense of promise.

Joseph Kosinski was originally a commercial director, his most famous being one for the game Gears of War that featured the Gary Jules version of “Mad World”. Between this and his Halo commercials, it made sense that for the visual style that Tron: Legacy needed, he’d make a perfect fit. Tron needed something new, wasn’t that critical of a franchise to play with and gave Kosinski the freedom to take it wherever he wanted to go (within the constraints of what the writers gave him, of course). For a first time film director, I think he did very well, but that’s just me. It should also be noted that it was his idea to bring on Daft Punk for the soundtrack. If the movie is remembered for anything over time, it’ll be for the music, because that score is just cool.

Tron:Legacy on a visual scale is really beautiful, and it’s cool to see the design updates in the machines, by way of Digital Domain and other F/X companies. That alone is enough for me to watch this repeatedly (it’s on as I’m writing this). I haven’t found myself compelled to pick up the Blu-Ray, but Starz and Netflix have it available to watch.

If he’s lucky, Kosinski may end up getting a project that he’ll really take off with. Maybe it’ll be something of his own making or another remake, but for me it’ll be interesting to see where he goes.