Ugh, the Golden Globes—seemed like it was going to be such a non-event this year, didn’t it? I mean, the awards show has always lacked the stentorian and self-important splendor of the Oscars because it tends to give off a more plebian vibe: The Golden Globes are a company who couldn’t get it together to throw a holiday party before the holidays, so it decides to have a little shindig when everyone is back from vacation have never been in a less of a mood to ingest canapés that aren’t worth the calories, and drink champagne with a bunch of people they had, just a week before, happily forgotten they ever knew.
But this year? Yeesh. I’ve never missed Tina Fey and Amy Poehler so much in my life, and believe me, I miss them all the time. Hosting the show for the fourth time Ricky Gervais, who, we were promised, would bring his much-lauded “edge” to the proceedings, couldn’t even be bothered to wear a tie (or quite possibly, take a shower), let alone write some actual jokes that weren’t of the British “oooh, look, it’s a boy in a dress” variety (poor Eddie Redmayne and Jeffrey Tambor, who both ultimately losers in the Best Actor category for their performances in dramatic motion picture The Danish Girl and TV’s Transparent, respectively) who managed to keep their composure by looking utterly, even regally, unamused). The one “comedy” set piece, regarding The Revenant (which believe me, I’ll get to), and its controversial bear-mauling scene, saw Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill half-heartedly improvise with one of those little-kid bear hats it looked like Jonah picked up himself at Walgreen’s on the way to the show.
There were a few bright spots, however. I’m glad Brie Larson won Best Actress in a motion picture (drama) for The Room, because she was wonderful. I liked Jennifer Lopez’s dress, for a change, and hated Kate Hudson’s so much that I don’t even know how to express it short of taking my own life, which of course, brings me great pleasure. (Speaking of Kate Hudson, she’s really becoming the Cher of awards shows in terms of her fashion choices, isn’t she? Except boring. Like if you told Jennifer Aniston, “Design a Cher costume and wear it somewhere.” That’s Kate Hudson.) But all these were overshadowed in horribleness by the victories won by The Revenant, a movie during which I fell asleep for roughly 35 minutes, and, when I woke up, I didn’t realize I’d been asleep—because nothing had happened. I understand it was very difficult for Leo to drag himself across the snow for six months or whatever. All movies are difficult to make. They don’t, as a rule, prove to be just as difficult to watch. Also, I’m not a person who often takes offense on the behalf of others, but if the whole idea behind The Revenant was to honor the experience and history of First Nations people, perhaps it might have been beneficial to include a Native American character who was not silent, raped, and/or murdered in the first 20 minutes of the movie (I think. As established, I was asleep for a good chunk of it.)
There was one undeniable highlight for me, however, a glimmer of what might have been, when Gervais called none other than Mel Gibson to the stage to present. Mel Gibson, as you might remember, has said some unpopular things in the past about, apparently, Harvey Weinstein and Ari Emmanuel, given the number of times the camera cut to them while he was on stage. And Ricky wasn’t about to let him forget it. The palpable dislike between the two men was electric—for a moment, I thought that Mel, what with all the free Moet flowing around the Beverly Hilton ballroom, might actually hit him. Instead, he made a funny yet somehow cruel joke about a colonoscopy, and barreled ahead, as the rest of the world watched and wondered just what the hell he was doing there (spoiler alert: it wasn’t to present the Best Foreign Film award to Son of Saul, although that would have been unspeakably great.) It was performance art, plain and simple, briefly swathing the Globes in an atmosphere of recrimination and fear, just like all our most critically acclaimed television dramas. Next year, they should just let Mel Gibson host.