The surreal nothingness of last night’s Golden Globes announcements stirred “a philosophical question,” writes L.A. Times Mary McNamara. “If a winner is announced to the absence of applause, does anyone hear it?
Somewhat less concisely, Variety‘s Timothy Gray wrote that “it raises a philosophical question. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? Similarly, if you win an award in Hollywood, but there is no red carpet, no kiss from the presenter, no acceptance speech and no interviews backstage, did you really win?”
Gray’s piece, augmented by reporting from Cynthia Littleton, Bill Higgins and Steven Gaydos, had more meat on its bones, but McNamara’s rant seemed to catch the enervated, Samuel Beckett-like spirit a little better.
“For those of you who wisely spent the evening rearranging your sock drawers or watching your TiVo queues of reruns, [the Golden Globes awards press conference] was a less than magical night,” she wrote. “Um, evening. OK, hour or actually 35 minutes depending on which network you chose to watch the awards…announcement.
“KCBS, E!, CNN and TV Guide went bare-bones, airing the HFPA news conference, which clocked in at a nominee name-rattling 35 minutes, while NBC got a little fancier, enlisting the talents of Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell and a lot of film clips to create what played like an award-show farce on YouTube. Wayne’s World, meet the Globes.
“I cannot stress this strongly enough: We must never let this happen again.
“Gil Cates, producer of this year’s Academy Awards, if you are reading this, I don’t care if you have to kidnap every member of the studio alliance and lock them in with the WGA until the two sides reach a deal, but you cannot let anything remotely like this happen to the Oscars. Cancel them if you must, or inform the winners by mail, because the only thing worse than all the over-hyped, over-covered awards shows the media loves to hate is the stripping bare of the process.
“You know something has gone seriously wrong when even wins by Daniel Day-Lewis and Julie Christie seem somehow diminished, their names just, well, names on a meaningless list. Daniel Day-Lewis! Julie Christie! We need the exclamation points!
Especially, she said, “when that silence is filled by the bloviations of Billy Bush. ‘You know, I thought it would be Amy Ryan,’ he said one beat after Cate Blanchett was announced as the winner of best supporting actress while calling Javier Bardem‘s win ‘a no-brainer. He’s one of the best villains ever, right up there with Darth Vader.’ Javier, try to contain your gratitude.”