Glitz and Glory
'Slumdog,' Hollywood Have Their Day As Awards Season Kicks Into High Gear
Monday, January 12, 2009; Page C01
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 11
After last year's lamest-ever writers'-strike-induced Golden Globes Awards News Conference, even economic catastrophe couldn't squash the excitement of Hollywood A-listers -- their beloved Globes party was back!
Now, more than ever, the huddled masses needed the four-hour-if-you-include-the-red-carpet escape from their unemployment-plagued little lives, to be dazzled by all the tuxedos and five-figure evening gowns, the diamond chandelier (women) and ruby and diamond hoop (men) earrings.
"I think everyone's being fairly conservative -- they didn't buy these diamonds, they borrowed them," Leslie David Baker, a.k.a. Stanley on "The Office," told reporters straining over barriers to talk to celebrities on the red carpet.
"I made this out of my mother's old dress," offered Ricky Gervais about his tuxedo, in keeping with the we-know-people-are-hurting tone of the proceedings.
But, with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. estimating that killing last year's Globes ceremony took $80 million out of the pockets of hoteliers, caterers, makeup artists, hairstylists, paparazzi, limo drivers and Spanxx retailers, it would have been fiscally irresponsible of Hollywood not to party-hearty this year at the silliest of all trophy shows.
"I agree totally," Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman said from the red carpet, noting that watching the Globes was "cheaper than a psychiatrist."
"People need a note of optimism in their lives," he continued. "People need escape. . . . As long as it's done in good taste -- they don't expect dour, ugly people on the red carpet."
The Golden Globes: Yes We Can!
The glam, the glitz, the cleavage -- all here, all broadcast exclusively on NBC, which has kissed and made up with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- that compendium of 90-ish foreign hacks who mostly freelance for publications you've never heard of and yet, brilliantly, have created the sine qua non of trophy shows, mostly through liberal application of liquor both before and during the ceremony.
"This recession is affecting everyone -- Victoria Beckham hasn't eaten in three weeks," Sacha Baron Cohen noted before announcing Woody Allen's "Vicky Christina Barcelona" the surprise Globe winner for best motion picture musical or comedy.
"Charlie Sheen has been forced to have sex without paying for it, and even Madonna has had to get rid of one of her personal assistants -- our thoughts go out to you, Guy Ritchie."