Well. Fincher, Sorkin and party better give us some damn good acceptance speeches come Oscar time. They can’t say they didn’t have time to prepare.
Not even the Hollywood Foreign Press, that reliably kooky bunch of…well, I really still have no idea who the hell the Hollywood Foreign Press are, but NOT EVEN THEY could give us some kind of speed bump in “The Social Network’s” steamroller campaign. Even when “No Country for Old Men” and “The Hurt Locker” were inevitably bound for Oscar glory, the HFPA at least stirred things up with “Atonement” and “Avatar.” For God’s sake, when “Slumdog Millionaire” was plowing through everything in its path, at least the critics decided to mix things up. “The Social Network” has now been named by the #1 film of the year by the Golden Globes, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics’ Circle, the LA Film Critics Association, the National Society of Film Critics, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Washington critics, the Boston critics, the Chicago critics, the Florida critics, the Online Film Critics Association, the San Francisco critics, the St. Louis critics, the Toronto critics, the Vancouver critics, the Detroit critics, the Dallas critics, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, the African-American Film Critics Association, and pretty much every major individual critic in the world, including the super-snobs over at Sight & Sound (OK, maybe not Armond White, but Armond White pulls that shit on purpose). Wins from the Directors Guild and Writers Guild are going to follow. The only possible hitch left is SAG, maybe. Incredible.
Anyway, the Globes had a slightly odd vibe this year, with host Ricky Gervais pulling out all the stops, throwing barbed jokes at everyone from Charlie Sheen to Tom Cruise, Robert Downey, Jr., Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. No awkward celebrity incident or rumor of the past decade was left unturned. The reaction from the audience seemed to hover more around “disbelief” than “amused.” It certainly made for a fascinating evening when the awards themselves were so ho-hum. I have to say, after two years now, that I don’t think Gervais’ routine works as well as host; as a presenter, he brings a brief breath of fresh air with his incisive and biting wit, but as host, it turns the whole atmosphere toward “awkward,” which I don’t think is what most ceremonies are going for. I’ll make my annual plea that SOMEBODY hire Tina Fey, who once again had the best bit of the night when she co-presented with Steve Carell, and move on.
Christian Bale’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor started out energetic and gracious, but had gone on a little too long by the time he was desperately clinging to the microphone in order to inform us that Robert De Niro is the shit (at least I assume that’s what he said; damn censors). Her co-star Melissa Leo’s speech was not as good as her one Friday night at the Critics’ Choice Awards, but still solid and she seems a good bet to repeat on Oscar night, though that category is probably still the most open of all the major races. What started as a nice tribute to De Niro by Matt Damon went rapidly south as the Cecil B. DeMille Award winner hijacked the Globes to practice for his stand-up routine at the Comedy Club next Saturday.
“The Social Network’s” domination became clear early on with a (deserved, I concede) win for Original Score. The victory for “The Kids Are All Right” in the Best Picture – Comedy/Musical category, meanwhile, became clear back in December the day the nominees were announced. Kudos to the presenters who introduced “The Tourist,” “Red,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Burlesque” as Best Picture nominees with a straight face.
Meanwhile, Natalie Portman and Colin Firth continued their march to eventual Oscar wins with the kind of grace and charm we’ve come to expect. And I’m all for Portman cracking as many sex jokes as possible in her speech come February, by the way.
Anyway, any thoughts on the night’s winners? Elated? Bored? Angry? Confused? Oh yeah, and go elsewhere for your TV side of things. I’m too lazy to type that stuff up.
Best Picture – Drama: The Social Network
Best Picture – Comedy/Musical: The Kids Are All Right
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Best Actor – Drama: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actress – Drama: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Actor – Comedy/Musical: Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”
Best Actress – Comedy/Musical: Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Foreign Language Film: In A Better World (Denmark)
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Original Score: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”
Best Original Song: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” from “Burlesque”