The Conversation: The unpredictable Golden Globes
Forget the razzle-dazzle of Angelina Jolie's and Anne Hathaway's sequin dresses, or even who won awards at Sunday's Golden Globes. Two days later, people are still talking about the program's most unexpected moments. And by moments, we do mean Ricky Gervais' jokes that left the room of celebrities squirming but viewers at home riveted.
Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes Insurrection, by Time's James Poniewozik: "The Golden Globes are most entertaining when watched in the company of someone who knows that the awards and the awarders are best not taken too seriously. Last night, that person was host Ricky Gervais, who — hilariously and to Hollywood's apparent discomfort — didn't so much host the awards as he conducted a three-hour roast of them." But, writes Poniewozik, there may have been one joke that went too far for comfort.
Gervais and De Niro make a bit of showbiz history at Golden Globes, by the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein: "For years, Hollywood has had a sham marriage with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a motley group of little-known international journalists and critics. [...] On Sunday night, Ricky Gervais and Robert De Niro set politeness and decorum aside, and viewers across America were treated to a Golden Globes show worth watching. Not because the awards actually mean something, but because this was a bit of showbiz history in the making: a public breakdown in the carefully cultivated but thoroughly cynical "see no evil, speak no evil" relationship that Hollywood has with the HFPA."
Defending Gervais: Why Every Awards Show Should Now Hire the Caustic Host, by Mediaite's Colby Hall: If television programmers and award show producers are smart, they would consider Sunday night's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards as an historic night. Much has already been made of the controversial comedic styling of host Ricky Gervais, and his brave choice of forgoing a predictably convivial route for a more caustic road less traveled in hosting the show. And God bless him for it. Not only did he single-handedly make an otherwise boring and predictable program seem surprising (if not dangerous?), but the viewership rewarded his bravado, scoring record ratings for the fledgling show."
Gervais wasn't the only unpredictable performer in the room. From our editorial pages, Best eccentric at an awards show goes to... "Still, there were a few signs that the show hadn't lost all of its refreshing wackiness, such as Natalie Portman giddily noting that choreographer Benjamin Millepied, the father of her unborn child, really does like sleeping with her. And then there was Helena Bonham Carter. She wore two different colored shoes. Red and green. Bonham Carter, the respected actress who was nominated for her performance in "The King's Speech," often arrives at gala events dressed and coiffed as if she had tumbled in a clothes dryer just before she got there. But two different colored shoes is a new level of eccentricity even for her. Not since Bjork slung a fake swan around her neck and went to the Oscars has there been that high-profile a display of goofiness."
-- Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Host Ricky Gervais during the Golden Globes show in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Credit: AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater