April 21, 2014

Film: Are You There, Oscar? It’s Me, Ben…

 

Film: Are You There, Oscar? It’s Me, Ben…

This was a great weekend. Football going strong and start of cinema’s postseason. In case you missed the 70th Golden Globes (I don’t know why, but still…), here are the things you should know for the water cooler.

THE HOSTS

A host(s) can be a great host by- you know, actually being funny rather than being obnoxiously snarky. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were absolutely terrific.

They were funny, congenial and sharp (everything Ricky Gervais was supposed to be). With that said, here are the duo’s three best zingers, just in the monologue mind you:

• “Meryl Streep couldn’t be here tonight because she has the flu but I hear she’s amazing in it.”

• Poehler to Ben Affleck. “Hey Ben. You’re from Boston? I’m from Bawston too. You look great…YOU’RE NOT BETTER THAN ME!”

• Poehler to Kathryn Bigelow. "I haven't been following Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture, I trust the woman who was married for three years to James Cameron." Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of Poehler and Fey in this capacity.

JODIE FOSTER

You know you’re watching compelling TV when in the middle of “multitasking” (eating, taking notes, scrolling facebook for reaction) you drop everything you’re doing and think to yourself, what the hell is happening? Nell Steensma, er…I mean Jodie Foster did just that—I have never been so gripped to hear someone coming out as …”single.” It was ten minutes of odd energy from Robert Downey, Jr.’s funny intro to Foster’s manic acceptance speech. While the whole “single” thing will be overblown (partly because she announced she was a lesbian five years ago), she made great points about the lack of privacy and using celebrity as a pulpit for bigger causes. Whether you agree with her, it was the most palpable moment award shows have seen in a long minute.

Changing Of The Guard (sort of…)

Besides the whole Tina-and-Amy-can-be-funny-at-award-shows thing, it’s nice to see the Hollywood Foreign Press Association change out some old blood for new. Here are the new arrivals.

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook—Talk about her performance has surpassed the number of people who’ve actually seen the film (If you haven’t, please do so…). Now come the accolades. It was a no brainer that she’d win. Between Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games, she’s a representation of art and commerce meeting. Lawrence said it best, “Take that, Meryl Streep!”

“Homeland”—Damian Lewis, Claire Danes and the show itself won a clean sweep of its major awards, which hasn’t been done this century (seriously, look it up). TV fans have been blessed with such a cache of shows (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Dexter”) that the winners circle has almost been on rotation. To win two years in a row could be the start of a dynasty for the franchise. Speaking of which...

Lena Dunham, ”Girls”—Yeah, she sounded like a giddy 26-year-old in the presence of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Yeah, she looked like a pregnant woman trying to walk in those high heels. But damn, Judd Apatow’s heir apparent has arrived. You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of Lena Dunham than myself (who has a penis).

Dunham and Louis C.K. are the faces of postmodern comedy.

AND…LAST BUT NOT LEAST.

Film: Are You There, Oscar? It’s Me, Ben…

Ben Affleck, Argo—What better double deuce is there for Affleck to win both picture and director categories? Frankly, there isn’t. And it wasn’t a weak year either. Affleck beat Lee, Bigelow and Spielberg to win the award. He’s batting a thousand between The Town and Argo. It’s time to forgive him for Gigli.