Thursday, January 12, 2012

Backstage at the Golden Globes

By Steve Evans

Every year Hollywood royalty strut the red carpet outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awards the Golden Gobes.

The HFPA does this in January to beat the Academy Awards in February, since passing out Golden Globes after the Oscars would be even more irrelevant than passing them out at all.

It's a little-known fact that a mere 90 people are voting members of the HFPA. They would have you believe that this minuscule gathering of opinion is a barometer of quality in the cinema and on television, since they also dish out TV awards each year. In reality, the awards ceremony gives HFPA members an opportunity to rub elbows with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and the Kardashian sisters, whose names I cannot be bothered to look up right now. HFPA members take lots of pictures posing with celebrities and send these digital images back to their respective publications in some 55 nations, where the magazines and newspapers publish them to a fawning audience. This annual activity also helps mollify the editors and publishers at the home office, who might otherwise grouse about the high cost of their correspondents living large in L.A.

They also distribute some philanthropy as a result of revenues generated from televising the show, “more than $12 million in the past seventeen years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals,” according to the HFPA website.

But the principal reason so many stars turn out for the event – and one of the main reasons you may want to watch it – is the open bar that flows continuously from well before the ceremony to some indeterminate time thereafter. A crowded ballroom of celebrities drinking heavily makes things a bit loose and funky. You may find it amusing. The Academy Awards are a dry affair, figuratively and literally, but at the Golden Globes movie and TV stars get down.

Here’s a clip of Liz Taylor high as a monkey and presenting the Golden Globe (or in her words, “the Golden Glow”) for Best Drama in 2000:

Comedian Ricky Gervais returns this year to host the Globes. He’s one of the funniest comics working today, but the herpity-derp expressions on the drunken faces of his targets will provide far more hilarity come show time. Check those reaction shots when Gervais gets rolling. He was so acerbic last year, he wasn't invited back -- until the producers saw the Nielsen ratings.

So that is the “why” behind the Golden Globes. As for the when, you can watch the awards Jan. 15 on NBC. Show starts at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Above all, keep an eye on Jack Nicholson.

Cinema Uprising © 2012 by Steve Evans. All rights reserved.

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