Sunday, January 15, 2012

Golden Slumber

So, the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards have come and gone. After a promising opening monologue in which host Ricky Gervais claimed he was going to flaunt the rules set for him by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the show quickly devolved in the usual yawn-fest that most awards shows usually devolve into.

The evening's first award went to Hollywood legend Christopher Plummer for Beginners, a film I have not seen but which I understand is quite good. It's about a man who comes out to his son after his wife's death, only to also reveal that he's dying of cancer. It's exactly the kind of role that wins actors awards. Plummer, of course, is neither gay nor dying of cancer. So let's award him for pretending to be so. I have known plenty of gay men who have died from some horrible disease or other, yet I see no awards on their family's mantels. 

Next was Laura Dern for "Enlightened," a cable show I have never seen. In fact, most of the night's TV winners were for cable shows I have never seen. Idris Elba; Kate Winslet; Peter Dinklage; Kelsey Grammer and Matt LeBlanc all won for shows that air on premium cable channels which many people have never seen. There were a few surprises. Jessica Lange won a well-deserved award for her over-the-top performance on the decidedly deranged "American Horror Story" and Martin Scorcese won an equally well-deserved award as Best Director for the amazing Hugo (though I will never understand how the film made by the 'Best Director' doesn't win 'Best Film'). 

When I was a kid (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), Hollywood Awards shows had a glamor that seems sorely missing today. Can you imagine Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn showing up in a gown that revealed their tattoos (not that either of them had any), as Angelina Jolie (among others) did? No. If Joan Crawford had shown up wearing a single driving glove (as the pretentious and grammatically incorrect Madonna did), she would have been laughed off the red carpet.

OK - I know that fashion has evolved. I also know that that tattoos have long-lost the stigma they once had - Hell, I have three of my own. But mine can easily be hidden under the cover of a fashionable tux, should the occasion arise. 30 years ago, Johnny Depp would have washed his hair; Brad Pitt and Jake Gillenhaal would have shaved and Robert Downey, Jr. wouldn't have acknowledged the father that gave him marijuana when he was child.

Maybe I just miss the days when stars were stars; winners were gracious and deserving; ladies & gentlemen looked like ladies & gentlemen and awards actually went to those who deserved them (Pia Zadora notwithstanding). Or maybe I've just turned into a crotchety old man. 

Either way, tonight's show was one big bore, which I turned off halfway to watch a DVR'd episode of "A Gifted Man."

More, anon.


Pam said...

I agree about it being a snooze-fest. I watched a little then went back to watching something pre-recorded. Many of the stars look messy, so un-classy.It seems they think they're too cool to be bothered to look nice or maybe they're afraid we'll think they're too vain if they shine too much?
I have no other explanation as to why someone as handsome as Brad Pitt always looks like Willy Nelson. Maybe he thinks we'll take him more seriously if he looks less handsome?
I can't believe Kelsey Grammar won over Steve Buscemi and Bryan Cranston. His show Boss, was boring, in my opinion. I haven't watched Homeland either-maybe I should try it. Glad Peter Dinklage won thought. I am obsessed with Game of Thrones on HBO. While waiting for season 2-I'm reading the novels upon which the series is based. I'll probably zip through the rest of the show on TIVO, so I can skip the boring parts.
Great essay as usual.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I didn't catch a good majority of the Golden Globes as I went over to my friend's house for dinner. But in Mr. Plummer's defense, he may not be dying of cancer...however, I've read in medical journals that if a person lives long enough he will eventually get cancer. I guess it is inevitable. So maybe he just hasn't lived long enough.

Prospero said...

Michael _ I wasn't attacking or criticizing Mr. Plummer. Rather, I was criticizing the whole "Awards" system. Art is completely subjective, and it makes me crazy that anyone can say that one work of art is better than another. Yes, I review movies and TV shows and give my opinion about them. But it's just my opinion. Yours or someone else's may be very different. I just hate the fact that we award artists for being "the best."