Massachusetts Daily Collegian

2009 Golden Globes return to form

By Kevin Koczwara, Arts Columnist

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Unlike last year, the 2009 Golden Globes were a spectacle. Last year, the celebration was a non-celebration, a reading of the list of winners, all due to the fact that the writers were on strike (with good reason).

This year, with an actors’ strike looming in the clouds, the Globes had its red-carpet parade, flashy dresses, not so-flashy dresses, and grateful millionaires. Moreover, it redeemed and restored careers. Plenty of tears were shed and more than a few awkward moments occurred.

What makes the Golden Globes more than just another award ceremony is that it brings television and Hollywood together to celebrate their accomplishments. The foreign press gets to tell the entertainment business what they have done right all year, and what far-away people have enjoyed.

The highlights of the night were not the surprise winners ‘- the exception being ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ ‘- but were the speeches.

Everyone predicted Mickey Rourke to win best actor for ‘The Wrestler,’ but no one anticipated that he would look as disheveled as he did. He was expected to look somewhat rumpled, but when he put his hand in his pants while receiving the award he went even beyond presumptions. I am pretty sure he was drunk by the time he was awarded his little statue.

He tripped on his way up the stairs because he was wearing sunglasses indoors and the stairs probably looked like they were moving. Rourke continued on his drunken way with his speech. He thanked his dogs, those here and those who have passed, Axl Rose, Bruce Springsteen and his agents, who took him when he was losing all those boxing matches.

What may not be realized by many is that at one point in his career, Rourke had alienated himself so much from his friends and the business that the only friends he had were his dogs. They didn’t know they were hanging out with a star.

Then he thanked Darren Aronofsky for carrying him along on the project and giving him a chance. In turn, Aronofsky gave Rourke the old bird on live television. This is what makes live television so great: the little glitches that occur that no one can stop.

Colin Farrell sounded a little nervous up on stage when it was his turn. He stuttered and stumbled through his not-so-prepared speech. Farrell apparently loves everyone he has ever met. Apparently he shows great affection for everyone and I feel bad for his future wife, for she will be on the same playing field as someone he’s met just once.

He won best actor in a comedy or musical for his turn in ‘In Bruges’ as a hit man who cannot stand having to spend time in Bruges. His comedic portrayal is one of his best performances and his Irish accent is something that studios should use more often. His native tongue suits him well, while the American accent he tries to sport usually takes all focus out of his role.

Then there was Kate Winslet, winner of not only one award for her acting but two. She took home best supporting actress for ‘The Reader’ and best actress in a drama for ‘Revolutionary Road.’ Her second speech felt forced at the start. Maybe she just didn’t have any tears left after making ‘Revolutionary Road.’ She should be fresh out of emotion for years to come after her stunning performance, but she got rolling and really gave a pretty perfect speech.

Between her and Sally Hawkins, winner of best actress in a musical or comedy for ‘Happy-Go-Lucky,’ the crying thing was a little old. Neither of them could hold it together.

How skinny is Sally Hawkins? She looked as though she hadn’t eaten anything in a decade. And she really is as happy as her character is in the movie, which is weird and a little unsettling.

The big winner of the night was ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ outside of Winslet, the one-woman award machine. ‘Slumdog’ looks like the little picture that could. Hopefully it can get a few Oscars, including best picture and best director for Danny Boyle, after the two Globes it won. It also won best screenplay, which came out of left field. Eric Roth was looking like the favorite for ‘Benjamin Button,’ but Simon Beaufoy of ‘Slumdog’ somehow showed up one of Hollywood‘s most respected and hyped screenwriters.

The film also beat out the likes of Hans Zimmer and Clint Eastwood for best score. Eastwood lost both musical categories, the other to Springsteen’s ‘The Wrestler,’ which won Best Song. Not too bad for a film that looked as if it was going to go straight to DVD.

The big winner for television was the almighty ’30 Rock,’ which took home awards for Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, as well as best television series in a comedy or musical.

Tina Fey had a remarkable idea for a speech: taking on all of her online naysayers and speaking about how wrong they were, shoving their remarks back in their faces. If only more people had speeches like this prepared.

Tracy Morgan didn’t have a speech prepared but he delivered on behalf of ’30 Rock.’ His speech was a slurred mess that consisted of his personal ramblings and feelings. He should be hired to give all award speeches because he speaks his mind, most of it being nonsense. If only he had said something about Maggie Gyllenhaal’s dress, then it would have been perfect.

Ricky Gervais was another highlight of the show with his short monologue. His dry-humor was something needed in the middle of the epic three-plus hour award show. He put a little wit back into something that gets very dry and monotonous. He also broke the string of young up-and-coming actors giving out awards (The Jonas Brothers gave out an award, what is that?). Everyone that watched the Globes should thank Gervais with a letter for breaking up the monotony.

Then, of course there was the somber best supporting actor award that went to the late Heath Ledger. The montage for his performance was short and Christian Bale accepted the award on his behalf. Everyone knew it was a lock for Ledger after all of the press and such a marvelous performance, if only the ceremony gave some more time to his performance with a longer montage.

With Ledger’s and Rourke’s wins it was a year of one star flaming out and another rekindling.

Kevin Koczwara can be reached at [email protected]

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