In a night of very few surprises, “The Social Network” continued its dominance of the 2011 awards season, racking up four Golden Globes for Best Picture (Drama), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), and Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). Along with “Social Network,” Fincher, and Sorkin, most of the Oscar frontrunners showed no signs of slipping from their positions in their respective races. Colin Firth won best dramatic actor for “The King’s Speech,” while Natalie Portman took home best dramatic actress for “Black Swan” and my personal award for the Most Endearingly Awkward Moment of the night when she cracked herself up delivering a joke about her meeting her fiance on the set of the film.
The best supporting performances both came from David O. Russell’s boxing movie, “The Fighter” — Christian Bale won on the male side and Melissa Leo won on the female side, besting her co-star Amy Adams — while Annette Bening won best comedic actress for “The Kids Are All Right.” Really, the only true shocker of the night came in the category of best comedic actor, which went to Paul Giamatti in “Barney’s Version” over two Johnny Depps (“The Tourist” and “Alice in Wonderland”), Jake Gyllenhaal, and Kevin Spacey. Giamatti also netted my personal award for Most Uncomfortably Awkward Moment of the night for the sheepish pass he made at presenter Halle Berry during his acceptance speech followed by the cut to a shot of Berry expressing what I would charitably describe as disinterest.
Here’s the full lineup of film winners at the Globes:
Best Motion Picture – Drama: “The Social Network”
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Actor – Drama: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actress – Drama: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Actor – Musical or Comedy: Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”
Best Actress – Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World”
Best Animated Film: “Toy Story 3”
Best Original Score:Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”
Best Original Song: Diane Warren (“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me”), “Burlesque”
Since the actual awards yielded so few surprises or memorable speeches, what people will be talking about around the water cooler tomorrow — or Tuesday if they’ve got tomorrow off for Martin Luther King Day — is the hosting job delivered by Ricky Gervais. When he hosted last year, Gervais was so fearless in attacking the stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that I was certain he’d never be invited to host any awards show again, much less the Golden Globes. To my shock, the Globes invited him back and he delivered a monologue for the ages, equally brutal and brutally funny. Here it is:
As the night went on, Gervais’ introductions didn’t grow any warmer (he welcomed Bruce Willis to the stage by rattling off a list of credits of his worst movies including “Hudson Hawk” and “Color of Night” and describing him as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad”). After slaughtering one celebrity after another, Gervais vanished completely from the show’s final hour, prompting quite a few viewers to begin wondering aloud on Twitter and Facebook whether the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had kicked him off the show in mid-broadcast. I’m reading descriptions from journalists in the room that the jokes played poorly in Beverly Hills, and that’s not surprising: Gervais’ targets are so pampered they aren’t used to even hearing the word ‘no,’ much less getting teased for the terrible movies they occasionally (or often) make.
I have no idea whether Gervais will be back for a third tour of duty on the Globes, but I admired his effort. While long bubbling claims of impropriety about the HFPA resurfaced in the days leading up to the awards, all any of the winners had to say was “Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this incredible honor.” Someone had to address the elephant in the room, and it clearly wasn’t going to be Colin Firth.
Awards mean very little; I want to say awards mean nothing but that’s not true. They do mean something, and that something is money. That’s why people
bribe lobby so hard for these awards; because they look good on ads that encourage people to go to the theater. And if they get a reluctant viewer to go see “Black Swan,” they’ve served a purpose. But we make too much out of them, and Gervais did a fine job of reminding us of that. I — and I suspect a lot of people — watch the Golden Globes for two reasons: out of obligation and to make fun of them. Gervais is the perfect Globes host because he understands both those impulses.