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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 14, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Reasons to love (and hate) the Golden Globes

Like some of you (though a decreasing number, according to this New York Times piece), I’ll be watching the Golden Globes on Sunday night; in fact, I’ll be most likely doing a bit of blogging about it. But I really have no good reason for doing so. Let’s face it: the Globes are silly.
From an award-season perspective, the Globes are meaningless. (That’s assuming you think movie awards have any meaning in the first place, which is arguable, though at least the Academy Awards are voted on by peers and have a certain cachet.) I’m sure the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are a bunch of fun guys and gals, and according to their website they raise a lot of money for various charities ($1.2 million last year, and good for them), but the bottom line is, they’re a bunch of journalists who want a bunch of celebrities to come to their party. So they have a lot of silly extra categories, splitting things up into drama and comedy/musical so as to up the movie-star quotient, and everyone drinks a lot of champagne and makes speeches that are too long (Shirley MacLaine, receiving a lifetime achievement award a few years back: “This show has been longer than my career!”) and nobody remembers, a week later, what happened. Like I said, silly.
And yet. All that champagne tends to result in speeches that are genuinely entertaining, unlike the Oscars where everyone gets all serious thanking their agents and their attorneys and their moms. (A few years back, Meryl Streep lost to Natalie Portman — I mean, really, how silly is that? — and then, when presenting later, said “Congratulations, Natalie” in a voice so hilariously bitchy she should have gotten, well, a Golden Globe for it.) And the fashions for the Globes tend to be over-the-top and wonderful, and lots of actresses trip on their gowns going up on stage, which is always entertaining. And Ricky Gervais is hosting this year. And, for heaven’s sake, Emma Thompson once made an acceptance speech that was structured as a diary excerpt from Jane Austen.
So yes, I’ll be watching. I can’t defend it, but I’ll be watching. See you there.

Emma, as Jane. Just perfection. Maybe there’ll be a speech this good on Sunday.

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