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Gayety at the Golden Globes
January 18, 2006

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

In contrast with the Academy Awards, where approximately 6,000 voters pick the winners, about 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association determine the outcome of the Golden Globes.

The Globes are thought to be fairly reliable predictors of the Oscars. We'll have to wait until March 5 to see if the pattern holds true.

The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards show proved to be a politically charged affair. The first award set the tone for the evening. It went to George Clooney for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in "Syriana."

During his acceptance speech, Clooney said, "I thought Paul Giamatti was gonna win ... this is early. I haven't had a drink yet."

Then he added what has come to be the perfunctory political reference. Clooney said: "I want to thank Jack Abramoff ... you know, just because. First one up, get the ball rolling."

Rachel Weisz took home the Supporting Actress prize for "The Constant Gardener," a liberally distorted conspiracy thriller.

Geena Davis won Best Actress in a TV Show for the incessantly promoted Hillary conditioner, "Commander In Chief."

Davis focused on the cuddly woman-as-president theme in her carefully prepared acceptance speech. She said, "As I was coming in, I felt a tug on my skirt and it was a little girl 8 or 10 in her first party dress and she said, ‘Because of you I want to be president someday.'"

The audience responded with a collective "Awwwww" and Davis added: "Well, that didn't really happen. But it could have."

An awards show these days wouldn't be complete without a drug reference. Leave it to last year's Oscar host Chris Rock to do the dishonors.

While introducing the nominees for Best Actress in a TV Series, Rock explained that Mary-Louise Parker of "Weeds" "plays a suburban mom who deals dope." He added the commentary: "Ain't that what America's all about? Yeah."

Parker was up against four of the "Desperate Housewives" stars. Rock quipped: "You kinda feel sorry for Louise Parker. ... ‘Desperate Housewives' is one of the biggest shows on the planet and ‘Weeds' is only watched by Snoop Doggy Dogg."

Much to Rock's and everyone else's amazement, Parker beat out the four inquisitive residents of Wisteria Lane.

As expected, the most politically correct flick, "Brokeback Mountain," snagged the biggest awards. The "unconventional" cowboy film won Best Picture-Drama, Best Director for Ang Lee, Best Screenplay and Best Song. (The song was co-written by Bernie Taupin and titled "A Love That Will Never Grow Old.")

Ang Lee's win makes underdogs of George Clooney and Woody Allen for the Best Director Oscar. Adding to the gender-jumbled theme of the evening was Felicity Huffman's Best Actress in a Drama win for her role as a male who seeks to become a female in "Transamerica."

Philip Seymour Hoffman took the award for Best Actor in a Drama for "Capote."

The Globes picked the anti-American "Paradise Now," a sympathetic portrayal of suicide bombers, as the Best Foreign Language film. In an apparent aberration, "Walk the Line" was the big winner in the Motion Picture Musical or Comedy category. The Johnny Cash biopic won Best Picture, Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon.

Watching the awards show I thought now more than ever, cinematically speaking, we're not in Kansas anymore. And likewise the Kansas farmhouse is swirling farther and farther away from Hollywood.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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