10:55 “The Descendants” wins, blows up Oscar race
I am not a professional Oscar clairvoyant. But it seems like any movie nominated for best picture could win. The nominees are announced on January 24th. We’ll see. Thanks for following. Let’s meet back here for the Oscars (The 84th Academy Awards are Sunday, Feb. 26) and do it all over again. This time with Billy Crystal as host. If you need a taste now, here you go.
10:37 p.m. La Streep! Le Clooney!
So Meryl Streep wins the dramatic actress award for “The Iron Lady.” She doesn’t need any more of these, but television needs more of her speeches, which are always award-worthy. She begins with what looks like real shock. She probably expected Viola Davis to win. Before Streep leaves the stage, she tells Davis, “You’re my girl,” which is basically like one political candidate throwing her weight behind another, thus ensuring Davis an Oscar. Anyway, Streep then mentions a bunch of performances she liked, including Adepero Oduye’s in “Pariah” and Mia Wasikowska’s in “Jane Eyre.” She fretted that she’d left her glasses at the table, meaning she wouldn’t be able to read her speech. But Harvey Weinstein passed the glasses forward, and they wound up in George Clooney’s hands. Perhaps not wanting to upstage Streep, he hands them to someone else who hands them to her. Could he be that much of a gentleman? When he wins the dramatic-actor award a few minutes later, Clooney first salutes Brad Pitt’s global contributions and then admires Michael Fassbender’s genital endowment. So, yes he could be.
9:48 p.m. The cognitive-dissonance of Octavia Spencer
She just won the supporting actress award for her work in “The Help” and the applause is loud. Maya Rudolph and Queen Latifah stood up. Paula Patton looked moved. Other people were on their feet. The woman she just beat, Melissa McCarthy, is in tears. I mean, what can you do? This is a woman a lot of people in that room have worked with, passed by, overlooked. She now has a career that, in a year, has totally changed. She’s One of Them. It’s an amazing movie-business moment, this win. So do you have to look past her playing a maid in the 1960s? Does it matter? Her speech is moving and gracious and a good rehearsal for her Oscar win next month, before which there will be plenty of time to work through what all of this means, what it portends. Or maybe I’ll just revisit it in a few minutes when Viola Davis wins the best actress award.
9:31 Madonna hits back
Ricky Gervais just introduced Madonna by saying that she was “just like a virgin,” to which Madonna, in a persuasively improvisatory moment, retorts that he do something about that and that she hasn’t kissed a girl in a while. It reminds you that Madonna can still be fun, even though the movies have never told the truth about that. Moments later, Dustin Hoffman gives Claire Danes the Golden Globe for actress in a TV drama, while her-almost-as-amazing costar, Damian Lewis, watches in awkward admiration. I’m afraid that’s the face I might make under the same circumstances.
9:10 p.m. George Clooney makes fun of Brad Pitt...
… by taking the stage with Pitt’s cane. As if Clooney could seem like more of a throwback to 1930-50 something. I like the incongruous comedy of following Clooney by immediately sending out Jessica Alba and Channing Tatum, like moving from a mint to a lumberyard. They give the animated-film award to Steven Spielberg, who only reaches Alba’s shoulder. So she’ll always have that.
9:01 p.m. Marilyn Monroe wouldn’t approve
Before giving Michelle Williams her Golden Globe for actress in a movie comedy for her Marilyn Monroe, Seth Rogen tells us that Kate Beckinsale has given him an erection. His bluntness is both actionable and funny. But it puts into perspective how much public speech has changed. I mean, Jimmy Durante or Bob Hope might have wanted to tell Monroe she turned him on, but they would never have done it. It would have seemed more than obscene in the 1950s or 1960s. It would have seemed blasphemous. Williams, with her short haircut, was an altogether different breathy star in her acceptance speech: Mia Farrow.
8:45 p.m. Humorlessness!
I’m sorry, but when you write a song about how many women you can get with your ability to dance like Mick Jagger, you need to just let Jimmy Fallon make fun of you since that is the absolute very least mankind can do to you. Instead, Adam Levine, host of “The Voice” and lead whiner of Maroon Five just turned sulky on Fallon, his co-presenter for the two music awards. I turn my hydraulic chair on you, Mr. Levine. The score winner is Ludovic Bource, who did the music for “The Artist.” “I’m sorry, I’m French,” he says of his accent, which people seemed to be laughing at. (Hollywood, just like high school.) Madonna wins best song for the movie she made, “W.E.” Her dress appeared to be doing Pilates on her chest. I, at least, couldn’t breathe.
8:33 p.m. Seriousness and memo to Hollywood
Jake Gyllenhaal has just walked out in a decent double-breasted tuxedo. He looks like he’s going to a dinner at the UN. Why so serious, dude? At 8:34, Ricky Gervais returns to the stage. Is it bad to say we didn’t miss him? He brings out Melissa McCarthy and Paula Patton to present Kelsey Grammar his dramatic series award and “Homeland” its TV drama award. I don’t know why they’ve spared us the stage banter about the buddy movie/body-swap comedy they obviously need to make, because, you know what, I would totally watch that movie. Until it became too appalling to go on, of course.
8:23 p.m. Kate Winslet wins best miniseries, etc. actress
It’s strange to see an actress so honored to win an award she’s won many other times. But Kate Winslet is classy that way. She thanks Todd Haynes, who directed her in HBO’s “Mildred Pierce.” Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories of last year: that this great director poured himself into this grand, multi-hour production? The usual movie channels are both dead and alive in a new, exciting way. If you missed “Mildred Pierce,” not all of it works, but it’s worth seeing.
8:13 p.m.Laura Dern wins the comedic actress prize
Laura Dern wins another Golden Globe. It’s so easy to roll your eyes at the Hollywood Foreign Press, but the “right” people usually win. Dern has a part that you’d almost never see in the movies. That she thanked Frank Capra and Lucille Ball is cool, since it made me realize that “Enlightened,” her show, really is “I Love Lucy Goes to Town,” or something like that.
8:03 p.m. The house reacts
I think Amy Poehler’s scrunched-up face says everything. Everyone is bracing themselves for their turn. But they’re all a little afraid and exasperated. I don’t think Gervais is really a bring-down-the-house kind of comedian. He’s a make-you-squirmy comedian. If Gervais plans to greet and banter with each presenter, the night will be interesting. Someone will hit him or give him the “Bridesmaids”-bridal-show-sequence treatment. But his material is better than the writers have typed to try to keep up. Gerard Butler and Mila Kunis seem pained to speak it, but they seem happy to give Christopher Plummer the supporting-actor award he deserves.
8:00 p.m. -- The show begins
The show begins with a countdown we’re not meant to hear, presumably it’s a clock for the bombs Ricky Gervais is about to drop. He’s just insulted NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Kim Kardashian, Eddie Murphy, black people, and the color burgundy (that tux!).
7:51 Claire Danes has arrived
She’s wearing Bulgari jewels and, presumably, Latisse eyelashes. I’m not into predicting who’ll win at this show -- the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is weird and buyable -- but, Emmy, please: Claire Danes needs an Oscar for “Homeland.” Meanwhile, Elle McPherson just said something very one-percenty about horses and a house in L.A.
7:40 p.m. -- Madonna fields a “predictable” Super Bowl question
So the best-song nominee and filmmaker, Madonna, has told Ryan Seacrest that she’s working on her 12-minute halftime show. She calls him Playboy Maximus, which is not a magazine I’d want under my mattress. She’s immediately followed by Maya Rudolph, who’s wearing wallpaper I’ve seen in the lobby bathroom of a French hotel. It’s black, and it’s beautiful. Just, um, like her.
7:38 p.m. -- Uninsurable houses
Dianna Agron just said that all her jewels would make her house uninsurable. She and Lea Michele are wearing the same dress in different colors. (It seems that way.) They both look like a wallpaper in a knight’s house. I don’t what that means, but neither do they. In other news, Kelly Osbourne looks like someone smoked her and stubbed her out.
7:33 -- Reese Witherspoon has turned voluptuous again
Reese Witherspoon is in a tight fishy dress. She’s appears to have graduated from the Penélope Cruz new curves school. Ryan Seacrest remains unfazed by her strange new hotness and asks about hotness’s foul-mouthed cousin (and E! employee) Chelsea Handler.