The Devin’s Advocate: Ricky Gervais Wasn’t Mean Enough
Awards season is the enemy of cinematic art. It’s also the enemy of good taste and class; the two month orgy of self-congratulation is stunning in its crass uniqueness - imagine if teachers had a half dozen fancy dress balls to pat themselves on the back. That would at least be deserved, while a good 80% of the films celebrated at last night’s Golden Globes were absolute horse shit. Alice in Wonderland? Red? The Tourist? Get fucked.
It seems like the only person in the room last night who knew that a grotesque farce was happening was Ricky Gervais, and he was shiningly spectacular in his attacks on the smug self-satisfaction rampant among the shallow guests who had just answered, with a straight face, questions like ‘Who are you wearing?’ on the red carpet. And honestly, he didn’t go far enough.
It’s always nice when a film or a filmmaker you like gets recognition, but let’s not pretend that it means much in the longview. I’m almost willing to give the Oscars a pass here just because they have the weight of history behind them, but even at 68 the Golden Globes are a fucking joke. That anyone should get up in arms when a comedian pokes fun at it - and according to an anonymous Hollywood Foreign Press source, the group is furious with Gervais - is befuddling. How can you take this shit seriously? The fact that the HFPA is being sued for breach of contract in what amounts to a bribery situation is enough to make anybody throw up their hands and wonder what the point is.
Worth noting: The HFPA are despicable inhuman shits, who behave like monsters at junkets and who are also seemingly morons. I’ve sat in at a few HFPA screenings and the way they behaved before the film was bizarre - lots of talk about who was fucking who at the junket last night, all from 60+ year old people - but they actually applauded a mention of the Golden Globes in a film. It was surreal to see this group so easily enticed by just a namedrop of their sham awards show.
The Golden Globes, while a farce as a recognition of art, is a treasure when it comes to televised idiocy and silliness. The drunken behavior at the show often leads to magical moments of weirdness and hilarity - that’s why I watch. And for the last two years I watched to see how surgically Gervais cut the pretension out of the room, getting right to the heart of things. It was funny seeing Robert Downey Jr bristling at the old drug addict and jail jokes - didn’t Ricky get the memo that we’ve all moved on and that RDJ’s persona is lovably smug guy? That Tim Allen could even remotely be hurt by the fact that he’s a talentless schmuck is hilarious. Someone get this guy self-awareness.
So bravo to Ricky Gervais for undercutting the pompous self-adulation from an industry that specializes in year-round self-adulation. While few of the Golden Globes winners were in themselves horrifying - the HFPA somehow managed to not suck Johnny Depp’s dick on stage - the entire spectacle is a sad indictment of the second worst part of the movie industry.