(Live updates throughout tonight’s telecast – refresh for updates)

 

Tonight kicks off the Hollywood awards marathon as the 2019 Golden Globes are being presented. We have been told the politics will be tamped down, which hs become a tradition in the run up to most awards shows, as they then become steeped in activism.

Last year was a flashpoint show as it was occurring in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the launch of the #MeToo movement. This time around it almost seems inevitable to be less political, but this is the entertainment industry — not everyone will be able to control themselves.

The Globes, for the uninitiated, are put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. This is a cabal of foreign corresponedents, many of whom challenge the the convential definition of “journalist”. Some qualify as a HFPA member by hosting an entertainment blog, or only submitting a handful of articles or reviews each year. This is a cloistered group that often excludes far more legitimate entertainment journalists from their invite-only club.

The open secret is that many celebrities and industry workers have little respect for HFPA members, but they realize the promotional purpose The Globes serves. Also many work with the orginaization in a backslapping fashion for charitible donations and the like. The good news is that few take the awards too seriously and the liquor and champagne will be flowing during the show, making for a less stiff crowd.

07:15

A sign of the need to politicize anything was seen a couple of weeks back when actress Sandra Oh was announced as co-host, along with Andy Samberg. Variety made this rather sweeping declaration:

This bit of obliviousness was soon deleted once they realized the levels of idiocy behind such a statement. 1) It ignoredd the continent of Asia, which has staged awards in the past. 2) It failed to grasp how many countries comprise the continent, and that some persons of Asian interest have in fact hosted shows prior. 3) Sandra Oh herself had in fact served as a hostess in her native Canada before this year. Well done, paper of record in La La Land!

7:30

Lady Gaga, a nominee for her performance in “A Star Is Born” was on the red carpet talking about her “process” in acting for the film. She referenced her “alchemy“, and that she learned to reach “the nectar of her being“. She actually said those things for other people to hear.

 

7:40

Sam Rockwell was asked about playing the role of George Bush in the film “Vice”. As a takedown of Dick Cheney the film was lauded heavily by the Foreign “Press” of course, despite being largely scorned as essentially agitprop. Rockwell said that he was surprised to learn that Bush actually had a charming side. I guess when you are innundated with constant notifications then man is the Devil, finding out he is a decent human could be seen as a surprise.

8:01

The hosts make a crack about race, and Samberg mentions a Hollywood marathon really upsets him, mainly for traffic problems. Get it?! Race – marathon?? (Ugh) So I guess they are actually scared to be edgy.

 

8:07

They made a crack about “Vice” being a drama, but appearing with the Musical-Comedy nominees, because it invaded the category based on false intelligence. Hey, based on the softball gags so far in the monologue, I’ll take it.

 

8:10

One decent bit had Jim Carey sitting near the front in the film section, and they mandated that he relocate to a table in the back with “the TV people”.

 

8:12

Andy Samberg was announced to be reading Sandra Oh’s lines from the teleprompter, and he said, “Holy cow, now I know what it’s like to be white-washing. What a learning experience!” Finally, a little bit of the knife’s edge. It was a bit forced, but let’s applaaud the bravery.

 

8:14

Michael Douglas wins as Best Actor in a Comedy for “The Kominsky Method”, causing a rush of Google searches for What the hell is the Kominsky Method???

 

8:18

Winner for best animated film was “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse”, which may be seen as a bit of an upset, considering “Inredibles 2” just became the biggest animated release of all time. But this is the Hollywood foreign press, and it was a film with a minority lead character.

 

8:26

There was a mention the cast of “The Big Bang Theory”, presenting in a category, were actually there to deliver a takedown of Les Moonves, the deposed former CEO of CBS. This is refreshing! There are actually barbs being delivered within their own industry!

 

8:29

The FX drama “The Americans” won Best Series, and I am slightly surprised the HFPA even nominated a program with that title. Granted, being about Russians looking to undermine the country is probably a driving factor.

 

8:41

Oddest pairing of the night so far – Ben Stiller and Jamie Lee Curtis. He mentioned how “Halloween” was the most successful film with a female lead who was over 50 years of age. I see that Hollywood is beginning to lapse into the arcane statistics that baseball relies upon. (Has to be an agent who dreamt up that metric.)

 

8:49

A clunky outro to commercial had the hosts mentioning they had to have a compulsory segment to show how star aare just normal people. But ordering pizza won’t work, since they are all served a dinner – so it is flu shots for everyone! Rather lame, but I’ll give one Bonus Point for mentioning any anti-vax-ers in the crowd.

 

8:55

Steve Carell was introducing Carol Burnett and mentioned she is so nice that she manages to make Tom Hanks appear “like an asshole”. The network actually BLEEPED that last section. Things have really gotten tighter in the last year!

 

9:03

Okay, newest odd couple, and a tough one to beat – Idris Elba and Taylor Swift, presenting for Best Film Score.

 

9:06

It takes Lady Gaga about 5 minutes to get up on stage. Ladies – if your gown reaches the floor you can wear shoes that allow you to navigate four steps on the stairs. Just trying to help!

 

9:21

Hostess Sandra Oh won for her role on “Killing Eve”. She looks genuinely surprised and elated, which kind of shows just how much acting goes on during these shows.

 

9:41

In accepting her award Patricia Clarkson said of her director, “You demanded everything out of me, except sex, which is the way it should be.” Interesting this was said in a manner that sounded like it is the industry norm.

 

9:44

Annnnnnd, there it is, ater a relatively light evening of politics, “Vice” managed to bring out the daggers. In accepting his award for Best Actor in a Film for his portrayal of Dick Cheny Christian Bale went as low as you could. He thanked director Adam McKay for trusting him to play his character “Charisma-free and reviled”, and next proposed they take on the Mitch McConnell story. Then continuing he actully thanked The Devil. “I thank Satan, for giving me inspiration.” Because Dick Cheny is exactly the same as Satan, you see. He seemed to have forgotten his first name in that thank-you speech.

 

9:53

I don’t want to imply that members of the HFPA are out of touch – I want to show you. Here is one of the members, who has been in the group for 4 decades, stating her favorite film in that tenure was “The Terminator”.

9:57

Seems Amber Heard could not get the sunroof to close properly in the limo on the way to the auditorium.

10:04

A bit of rare brilliance going on here at the Globes. In showing the Career retrospective of Jeff Bridges they have his scenes being narrated by Sam Elliot, in the manner he did for “The Big Lebowsski”. Great touch.

 

10:13

Harrison Ford presenting for Best Director sounds like he needs an oxygen tank with him at the podium.

 

10:24

Hahaha – I’d forgotten the ever-politicised HFPA had nominated Candice Bergen for “Murphy Brown”, which was cancelled due to lack of interest.

 

10:38

In accepting the prize for Best Limited Series the producer Brad Simpson called for us to “resist in the streets, and resist at the ballot box”. Because the rich and privileged in Hollywood have it so tough, you understand.  Do you really need to virtue signal AFTER you have won your award? You already won approval, brother.

 

10:55

The Best Movie Musical-Comedy goes to “Green Book”. Peter Farrelly, the director of  “There’s Something About Mary”, who concocted the scene with seminal hair care products, just won a Best Picture trophy.

 

10:59

Maybe Christian Bale’s admission of drawing artistic inspiration from Old Scratch is a growing trend of thoe admitting the derive from the Underworld. One performer showed up to the awards with cloven hooves.

11:18

In what has to be a big upset of the night “Bohemian Rhapsody” wins Best Picture – Drama category. (the producer even says it was unexpected.)

Well, the politics were (somewhat) muted, but the end result was a mostly tepid affair. It seemed that in the effort to tamp down some of the activism they also watered down much of the humor. Decent enough job by Samberg and Oh, but let’s bring back Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.