It seemed as if Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, sitting at their Hacksaw Ridge table during last night’s Golden Globes telecast, were not enthralled by Meryl Streep‘s anti-Trump speech, which basically castigated the President-elect for his “instinct to humiliate,” coarse manners and generally bullying manner. Even if you didn’t know Gibson and Vaughn are righties, their expressions said it all. At least two news orgs have noticed — Media-ite and London’s Daily Mail
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival has added a rather shady-sounding documentary about Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, TRUMPED: Inside The Greatest Political Upset of All Time, which will screen at the tail end of the festival on Friday, 1.27 and Saturday, 1.28. There will apparently be an earlier press screening somewhere in Park City on Monday, 1,23.
Why the shade? Partly because TRUMPED has been executive produced by Mark Halperin, John Heileman and Mark McKinnon, the trio behind Showtime’s The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which tends to emphasize the nitty-gritty horse race aspects of political battles without focusing much on the ethical or historical underpinnings, which indicates that the basic attitude of TRUMPED may be something along the lines of “wow, what an amazing tactical victory this New York billionaire managed to pull off…gotta give him credit, right?”
Halperin‘s participation troubles me in particular. His reputation, after all, is not just that of a savvy political commentator and author but also, at least in terms of the ’15 and ’16 campaigns, as a Trump shill and lapdog.
Halperin’s Wiki page mentions that last October Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called Halperin’s analysis in the Presidential race “soulless” and “amoral.” A headline for an 8.9.16 Media Matters story by Jared Holt called Halperin a “bonafide Trump apologist.” A headline for a 10.26.16 Media-ite story by Justin Baragona complained that Halperin is “Trump’s Biggest Cheerleader.” An 11.18 Crooks and Liars story by Karoli Kuns noted that “for the past year, Mark Halperin has served as nothing more than a shameless Donald Trump apologist.”
Santa Clarita Diet (Netfix series, debuting 2.3) is a zombie comedy from creator-producer-showrunner Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted) and costarring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. (They presented an award on last night’s Golden Globe telecast.) The single-camera series, debuting on 2.3, will consist of 13 episodes. The basic deal is that Drew and Timothy are Santa Clarita real-estate agents, except Drew has just died and been reborn as a zombie. I’m sorry but how is that even a little bit funny? Question #1 (and it’s a big one): Why allude to a diet of any kind when you’re talking about eating human flesh? Tom Hanks: “There’s no crying in baseball!” Jeffrey Wells: “You can’t lose weight eating meat, organs and eyeballs!” Why not just call the show Santa Clarita Zombies?
Last night’s post-Golden Globe Amazon party, held inside the Starlight penthouse on the eighth floor of the Beverly Hilton, was one of the best Hollywood parties I’ve ever been to in my life. Really! I mean, it was wonderful to just stroll around and say to yourself, “I’m here, this is it, right now, as good as it gets”…”look at these women, ain’t nothin’ like ’em nowhere“…and then to stand on the east-facing balcony and feel the cool night air and look out at the sprawling, humming city in all its moistness and faint fog. Take a moment, be happy, savor the wonder.
Awesome vibe, great air conditioning, creme de la creme attendees (the Manchester By The Sea gang plus Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Amazon super-honcho Jeff Bezos, a nattily-dressed Scott Foundas), great sounds from The Roots along with a superb DJ-ing by Questlove, the prettiest women (most in their 30s and 40s, some 20s)… every element was on a level 9 or 10.
There was a horrible, mile-long line in the Hilton lobby just to get into the Amazon-bound elevators [see video clip after the jump] but Hollywood Elsewhere and the loyal and resourceful Svetlana Cvetko are not line-waiters. We knew what to do! Picked up our wristbands, found a staircase, took a deep breath and walked up the eight flights (i.e., 16 staircases divided by a landing). Ingenuity, lung power, determination, aching calf and thigh muscles.
You can’t just go up to Casey Affleck or Matt Damon without an opening line, and the only one I could think of last night (even though I’ve spoken to them both two or three times) was “hey, guys, Jeffrey Wells…longtime worshipper of Manchester By The Sea going back to Sundance and more particularly a guy who’s been filing left and right (as well as quoted by the Guardian Rory Carroll) about how everyone…uhm, well, I just love the film.”
Svetlana and I spoke to Goliath‘s Billy Bob Thornton for the requisite two or three minutes. (As soon as you start talking to a celebrity at a party like this, a little 120-second kitchen timer is wound up and released….tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick…90 seconds left!…tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick.) BBT told us that he’s looking to shoot a comedy- western later this year about “the first psychiatrist to set up shop in the Old West.” Great idea!
Jimmy Fallon‘s tribute to La La Land‘s musical freeway number, which opened last night’s Golden Globe Awards telecast, was beautifully done — hats off, seriously, to the team behind this. Perfectly done. Not easy to get this stuff right.
Casey Affleck and Emma Stone did well with their acceptance speeches, I thought, which will certainly help as far as the Academy fence-sitters are concerned. Huzzah for La La‘s seven wins. I was sorry about Manchester being blanked except for Casey (Kenneth Lonergan‘s screenplay is absolutely the pick of the litter) but “the HFPA guys live in their own little world,” as one guy commented.
The Golden Globe gathering was the happiest, most full-hearted social gathering…actually, the only truly happy and full-hearted family event I’ve taken part in since the 11.8 election. Hundreds upon hundreds of people who “get it,” who walk the walk, who know how to dress (except the 20- and 30something guys who wore shiny plastic shoes), who all behaved in a well-mannered and super-considerate fashion, and who for the most part despise Donald Trump and perhaps (if they think like me) the mostly downmarket, dull-witted low-lifes who voted for him.
Not everyone, of course. I passed the silver-haired, arch-conservative Jon Voight in the lobby, and I resisted the urge to say “yo, Jon!…you gave some of the greatest performances of the ’70s (Coming Home, Deliverance) and you’re supporting a President who’s appointed a climate-change denier to head the EPA? What’s wrong with you, man?”
All hail Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven, who both won awards last night — Best Actress, Drama, and Best Foreign Language Film.
Hats off and best wishes, in fact, to all of last night’s winners. Except for Aaron Johnson, that is. Yes, I’m sorry but really, I mean this. Sitting through Johnson’s performance in Nocturnal Animals, a no-holds-barred inhabiting of a repulsive scurvy animal of the lowest biological order, was easily one of my most distasteful moviegoing experiences of 2016. And they gave him an award for this? Why? To what end?
Mahershala Ali just before they announced the winner of the Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor: “Okay, be cool…it’s happening. You’re on a roll, dawg, and everyone is with you. And your notes are in your inside breast pocket. Be cool, wait for it, any second now…what?”
Meryl Streep let Donald Trump have it right between the eyes last night, deploring his “instinct to humiliate” and more particularly a “performance” he gave earlier this year that “stunned” her, she said, and “sank its hooks in my heart…not because it was good…there was nothing good about it…but it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth.
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter,” she explained. Everyone knew what she meant, but for those who’ve been living in a deep cave, the video clip is below.
One of Trump’s tweeted responses put Streep down as an “over-rated” actress. Really? Of all the retorts in all the gin joints in all the world, that‘s what he went with?