Hollywood’s award season is in full swing. It began last week with the lowly People’s Choice Awards and continues though Feb. 26 with the handing out of the prestigious 84th annual Academy Awards. In between, we get award show telecasts of varying import, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Jan. 12 on VH1) to the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 on IFC).
The week, the Idiot Box unleashes what is arguably the most entertaining of the reputable awards shows, the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes are handed out every year by the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (all 93 members). Foreign journalists seem to have a measurable level of taste (certainly compared to the People’s Choice Awards, which has no compunction about handing nominations to Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Hangover Part II). The Golden Globes have become a fairly reliable prognosticator of Oscar night glory. They’re also wise enough to separate drama and comedy into two separate categories, ensuring a more equitable distribution of winners. Plus, the yearly ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel in California includes dinner and drinks—which puts most of the nominees in a much better mood. Many of the winners (particularly for the big categories later in the evening) are half in the bag by the time they mount the stage, resulting in far more memorable moments than your average statue-fest. (Christine Lahti rushing out of the bathroom to claim her prize in 1998. Oliver Stone being hustled off stage for his anti-drug-policy rant in 1979. Sacha Baron Cohen describing the “anus and testicles” of his co-star in great detail in 2008.) Just goes to show you, even rich and famous movie stars appreciate free booze.
Returning to the hosting dais is tart-tounged British comedian Ricky Gervais. Gervais stirred up a tempest in a teapot last year for his vigorous roasting of the various celebrities in attendance. At one point during the 2011 telecast, he referred to the Golden Globes as “a night of heavy drinking, or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” Accusing Charlie Sheen of being a tippler? Shocking! Although a handful of lamewad critics took Gervais to task for his jokes, producers of the show obviously got what they paid for, because they’ve invited him back for more of the same. Drunk movie stars, a rude host and Martin Scorsese duking it out with Woody Allen for the title of Best Director. Now that sounds like a Hollywood party.