Monday, 14 January 2008

I'll Let St. Patrick and St. Michael Do My Talking For Me!

The Golden Globes happened very quickly last night, and though it featured some lovely justice (yay Tina Fey, Javier Bardem and the Coens for their writing!), it also had some real headscratchers. Atonement as best dramatic picture? Over No Country For Old Men? Not only is that a very peculiar choice (possibly caused by a split in the vote between the 82 members of the HFPA, as mentioned elsewhere by Anya-from-Buffy fan swsa), but its win (and that of Extras and Longford) means that tomorrow's newspapers will be filled with "Brits triumph at Golden Globes!" Quick drinking game; down a bottle of Old Cliche's 50-Year Old Rum for every article that has the phrase, "The Golden Globes, long considered a barometer of which movies will be successful at the Oscars..." or some derivative. If you went through all of the papers, you would die from alcohol poisoning. The triumphalism of the UK press after a big American award ceremony always strikes me as hypocritical. While happy to paint Americans as knuckle-dragging galoots, the UK press gets all, "Look! The Americans noticed us!" when someone British wins something more prestigious than Best Sound Effects Editing.

However, the biggest shock of the night (for me and a bunch of other 30 Rock fans) was David Duchovny getting best comedic actor instead of the mighty Alec Baldwin. I honestly thought that anyone involved with the creation of The House of D was ineligible for any award ever again. Isn't there a rule? That movie stained our TV, it was so bad. Well, so wonderfully bad. As mentioned in the Worst Movies post I made recently, a truly bad movie is a thing of joy forever, and The House of D is right up there, what with the practically seismic tonal shifts, mawkish sentimentality, and lowest-common-denominator intentional humour (the best laughs are to be had when the film is trying to be serious). It is required viewing, even if only to try to figure out what was going on with Robin Williams' teeth. Or Duchovny casting his real-life wife as his onscreen mother. That's not creepy at all. (!)

Actually, I can't really hate on Duchovny. I always thought he was a hugely likeable actor, especially on The X-Files, and I know that Canyon was a BIG fan way back when. Plus, no one who was that great on The Larry Sanders Show can be hated. Besides, it's not really about him. Quick admission; I have yet to watch Californication (Canyon has watched it and thought it was passable), but my main beef is how anyone can win in the same year that Alec Baldwin performed his Redd Foxx impression. That alone was justification enough for a win, and that is only one of the many incredible things he did this year.

It's as if Mystic River won the Academy Award for Best Picture in the year that Return of the King won everything. It had to win everything, coming at the end of three years of magnificent filmmaking, as if the Academy was awarding Peter Jackson awards for everything he had done to make that wonderful trilogy. That's how I feel about Baldwin this year. He is Aragorn to Duchovny's Faramir. Oh well. Sincerely, congratulations to David Duchovny. It pains me to see Baldwin go without for once, but I do like the fact that people who hate Duchovny (and there are many) will be horrified by this. Leave his Speedo-wearing ass alone!

Besides, at least he got to win over Ricky Gervais. Ugh! The man sickened me this morning, being interviewed on the ever-hapless Breakfast. After being asked if he was happy to have won (a typically stupid question from Bill Turnbull, the anti-Paxman), he said, "Yes, I am pleased to have won. For the third time. Ahem!" Later on he said, "I'm looking forward to putting it on my shelf. Next to my two other Golden Globes. And my two Emmys. And my seven Baftas." That's not a misquote. Then he bragged about getting his first lead role in a major Hollywood motion picture, and also writing a new film with Stephen Merchant. Nice to be living in the UK where the writers aren't on strike, eh? He must have realised what he'd said because he then stressed, over and over again, that he was working in England, okay? England! Not LA! Not a scab!

I didn't want to bring my massive antipathy towards Gervais onto this blog because it's more complicated than "Bleh Gervais", and seems to be borne of poisonous jellusy. He is obviously hugely talented, and The Office was wonderful, and he can make me laugh, for which I thank him, but this "shtick", that he's satirically arrogant, pretending to be a parody of self-absorbed celebrities, is not that funny a joke, especially when told with his obnoxious Brentian mannerisms. There doesn't appear to be any difference between Ricky Gervais and "Ricky Gervais, popular entertainer and commenter on celebrity hubris" any more.

I gather that Extras eventually becomes his Munchian wail of horror at the celebrity culture, but does he really have an antipathy towards it? Or is it just his fans and the public in general? I'm simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by him and his ego. It's very confusing. Anyway, congratulations on his win. Now can he please get a new act and knock that self-satisfied shit right off? Oh, and Mr. Gervais, you've only won one Golden Globe and four Baftas, but don't think that getting that wrong on purpose makes it a meta-comment. It's just... just so... Oooooh! Blood pressure! Rising!

ETA: New supercontributor Masticator has pointed out, in the comment section, that Gervais did indeed get seven Baftas, and yes, he is right. That'll teach me to look at the number of awards and not the number of years he won awards (What??!?! I was counting the number of times it had the word Won. Is that wrong? Well, okay, it's wrong, but is it WRONG?!?!?!). Good for him. Mind you, that makes him like the Walt Disney of the Baftas. Which makes me... makes me so... Anger! Increasing!


Masticator said...

Just to help lower your blood pressure, I'll point out that Gervais probably does have seven BAFTAs on his special Aren't I Blimming Wonderful shelf - four for Best Comedy Performance (three Office, one Extras) and three for Best Sitcom (The Office 2001, 2002 and 2003). I discovered this little fact by, er, clicking your link.

I can understand why a lot of people said that Californication was mediocre after the first three episodes or so - Episode 1, Duchovny Shags; Episode 2, Duchovny Shags; Episode 3, Duchovny Shags And Emotes Briefly - but it actually got better, and turned into one of the more grownup and entertaining shows around currently. It isn't subtle, and it isn't particularly sophisticated, but it treats its characters like real people with real flaws (even the Duchovny character's pedestal-residing dream woman, although admittedly not the weird Japanese-cartoon daughter) and for that it should be congratulated. And hey - it provided gainful employment for Evan Handler, and god knows he needs it. I worry about that guy.

Masticator said...

I should hastily add, of course, that this is no reason to give Duchovny a Golden Globe over Jack Donaghy. No sir. I love him so much in 30 Rock that I'm going to take him behind the middle school and get him pregnant. Etc.

Admiral Neck said...

Thank you for the Bafta correction. I have now amended my erroneous post. Between you and johnilf correcting my Rocky mentions, this is rapidly becoming the You Got This Wrong And I'm Going To Let You Know It section. Man, I've got to start researching these posts a lot betterer. [/crestfallen and ashamed]

You've made me want to watch Californication, which mean you occupy a space in the cosmos opposite that awful awful title, which totally turned me off. Canyon tells me she heard about the improvements, so we will definitely check it out. We'll have time. Soon the only thing on will be Torchwood, and... well, you know how I feel about that dogshit show.

sjwoo said...

We were watching the NBC show (starring the terrible twosome of Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell of Access Hollywood -- to go from the lavish, alcohol-drenched ceremony to this...lord, it was depressing beyond words), and we were also surprised that Baldwin lost, but someone commented that the HFP like to spread their wealth around (lead TV comedy actor: Duchovny this year, Baldwin last year, Carell in '06, Bateman in '05, Kerry in '04 [not]), and last night's show certainly seemed to echo that sentiment. I know you're a big Baldwin fan, but Duchovny was quite good in the show, and I agree with you 100%, Masticator -- Californication got better after the first three. The finale was a bit off (especially the last two minutes or so), but it seemed like the creator of the show thought maybe it wouldn't be picked up for a second season and wanted to make sure the series, had it ended there, would stand on its own.

I still haven't seen House of D, and for my own sanity, I never will.

As someone who didn't think too much of No Country, I can't say I'm disappointed that it didn't win best picture. Haven't seen Atonement yet, so I can't say whether it deserved the win, but at least The Great Debaters didn't. I can't believe that film was even nominated.

Tonight we see Juno.

Have you seen Away from Her? It's a real fine film. And some unexpected moments of humor, too.

Almost couldn't get through I'm Not There. Entirely too amorphous. I'm sure Dylan fans will love it, but for a movie about music with some meat, give me Control any day.

I'd never even heard of that Longford movie, but if it got Samanta Morton an award, I'm all for it.

Tina Fey was all the networks were able to muster -- every other TV award went to cable. Lost didn't even get nominated.

How about Mad Men? Best show on TV. And Hamm getting best actor. It's a bummer these first-timers didn't get a chance to have their say.

Persepolis: great movie. And on the subject of graphic novels, Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings is excellent; I'm reading Summer Blonde right now. And Shaun Tan's The Arrival is a work of art, pure and simple.

Further off the tangent, have you ever seen a show called Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law? It's a fifteen-minute show (11 minutes with the commercials cut). It premiered with the launch of Adult Swim, way back in 2000, and the final episode aired this summer.

sjwoo said...

Just caught Juno. Tough getting into it for the first half hour, but then it picks up, and by the end, everything's motoring right along. Top 10? Probably. Calling it Little Miss Sunshine of 2007 seems about right. Ellen Page was wonderful, but I actually thought Michael Cera was the standout.

So far, the best movie I saw last year is still Once. We'll see if Atonement, Sweeney Todd, or whatever else that remains can top it.

And for me, the most entertaining film of 2007 is still Enchanted.

Admiral Neck said...

someone commented that the HFP like to spread their wealth around (lead TV comedy actor: Duchovny this year, Baldwin last year, Carell in '06, Bateman in '05, Kerry in '04 [not]), and last night's show certainly seemed to echo that sentiment.

You have a point. I thought Piven had won before, but in fact he was nominated three times before and didn't win. It feels like he's the only person who has ever won the award, so I'm surprised to find that was not the case. I still feel bad for Chi McBride, though.

I still haven't seen House of D, and for my own sanity, I never will.

Wrong! You must see it immediately.

Just caught Juno.... Calling it Little Miss Sunshine of 2007 seems about right. Ellen Page was wonderful, but I actually thought Michael Cera was the standout.

We saw it last night and liked it a lot, but weren't blown away. The entire cast was great (I especially loved Jason Bateman, JK Simmons and Alison Janney), and despite going too far every so often I thought Diablo Cody's screenplay was fantastic. And that final shot! It was pretty much perfect (and yes, it made me cry a little). It was ballsy of Jason Reitman and Ellen Page to play Juno as such an unlikeable jerk for most of the movie. I went back and forth on her performance, but in the end I thought it was very bold. It reminded me of Rushmore, which is a good thing.

have you ever seen a show called Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law?

You're looking around for a replacement for Drawn Together, aren't you. I've seen a bit of it and it looks like the kind of thing I would enjoy, but if you're looking for something to fill that gap, there's nothing better than The Venture Brothers. It's the best cartoon on TV by a mile. There's two seasons out so far, and then the third should be coming later this year (I hope). It is impossible to praise it too highly. IMPOSSIBLE!