Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Monday, January 16, 2006

Golden Globes and The Spirit Awards

Of all the red carpet award shows I had to attend as part of my job in TinselTown there were only two that I truly loved:

The Spirit Awards - held in a tent ON the beach in Santa Monica. The awards were given to films made at $10 million or less;small inde films that were strong on character driven stories.

I loved the "New York " young hip urban and cool feel of this Industry event. Everyone wore funkier outfits, lots of black jeans with great graphic t-shirts, and footwear included runners, boots, or ballet flats. Low key, great food, limited seating capacity created a more intimate event. For me personally this event, like no other, was and remains a way to honor the art and and spirit of film making - the blood sweat and tears that inde films require in order to make it to the screen - and to acknowledge the tenacity of those who drive creativity in the film biz.
During the three years I attended the event I sat at tables with Aaron Eckhardt, Declan Quinn, Kasi Lemmons, Elizabeth Pena mingled with Billy Bob Thornton, William Macy, Roger Deakins, Stanley Tucci, Ally SHeedy, Darren Aronofsky, Mathew Broderick, Ed Burns, Elizabeth Shue, Bryan Singer, Hilary Swank, Peter Greene, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Tilley, Chloe Sevigny, Sarah Polley, Reese Witherspoon, Spike Jones, Christine Vachon, David Staithern, and saw films like The Usual Suspects, Happy Texas,Leaving Las Vegas, Election, American X, , Guinevere, Fargo, Slingblade, GO, Welcome To The Dollhouse, Eves Bayou, The Apostle, The Sweet Hereafter, Boys Don't Cry, Being John Malkovitch, Tumbleweed, all get much deserved recognition in a variety of different categories.

The Golden Globes - which will be aired tonite. It was always interesting to see how the Foreign Press (FP)would vote and while the FP doesn't always reflect The Academy(those who vote fo the Oscars) tastes in films and filmmakers, it does serve as a good indication of what might happen on Oscar nite. Plus the event and the parties are held at The Beverly Hilton.
Making schmoozing and party hopping so much easier!!

Inquiring Minds what to know " Will Brokeback Mountain win a Golden Globe for Best Drama?" And if it does, what's the message being sent?

Let's remember folks that this is the FOREIGN PRESS, and therefore they view homosexuality, sex, nudity, and violence differently than Americans. This critically adored Ang Lee film has become a pop culture event. It's won first prize at the Venice Film Festival, Three Critics Choice Awards, an it's been nominated for 7 Golden Globes.

The performances are believeable and heartrendering, and Brokeback Mountain is so much more than just a "gay cowboy love story". While the right will see this as a morally offensive film ( and I do respect their viewpoint) that appears to endorse homosexuality, they are too quick to pass judgement on a story that is deep, complicated, thought provoking, emotionally heartwrenching, visually beautiful, and exquisitely directed. While the carnal acts are very limited , they have managed to become the focus for discussion about this movie.

This film by NO means endorses homosexuality nor does it condone it. But that won't stop right wing Christians from politicising the film. While I agree that Hollywood is out of touch with the mainstream...it is by its very nature LEFT of center....as most art tends to be. I have no problem with this film..I do not view it as " politically correct piece of anti family and anti American propoganda aimed at poking a finger into the eye of 128 million Christians who go to church every week."(Dr. Ted Baehr-WorldNetDaily).

Likely he hasn't seen the film or he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand its meaning. While it certainly won't be nominated at the 14th Annual Faith and Values Awards, in a democratic society, one has the option to view the film or not. I'd like to see a better balanced blend of films and tv shows that promote both conservative values and liberal values, I do not advocate that Hollywood suddenly leans completely right. While its true that the conservative voice is not as loud as the more liberal secular voice, it still exists.

Let's not confuse a movie in which two rugged cowboys struggle with their surprising feelings towards one another with being a film that endorses gay relationships.

Brokeback Mountain does not bash America, Conservatives, Christians, Muslims, Jews, or Gays.

The Office for Film and Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops labeled the film "morally objectionable," but added that "while the actions of Jack and Ennis cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true." I think thats a very fair and honest way for any Christian to view this film!

Brokeback Mountain is the story of a tragic romance between two men that brings pain to everyone including themselves.

Set in the vast expanse of Wyoming Mountains which visually reflect the remoteness and isolation these men feel internally, the film vividly contemplates the anguish of an unexplainable love between two scarred souls that, in 1963, can never be publically acknowledged and must remain hidden as these two men try to let go and live more conventional yet passionless lives. The women in this film are treated sympathetically, yet Brokeback Mountain doesn't whitewash pain; instead it digs deep and vividly captures the bleeding man beneath the stoic Ennis, the rage and betrayal felt by his wife, and exposes the wounds within the men's families as they come to terms with the unspoken realization that these two men love each other deeply.

There is no happy "Hollywood true love triumphs" ending - this relationship has a crushing impact on both these men and their families, and ends in tragedy.

Heath Ledger deserves the Oscar for Best Performance hands down and I have no doubt that after he wins the Golden Globe for Best Performance By An Actor, he will go on to win a much deserved Oscar.

My Picks

Charlize Theron - Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama
Mrs Henderson Presents - Best Film - Musical or Comedy
Dame Judi Dench - Best Performance by an Actress - Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp - Best Performance by an Actor - Musical or Comedy
Michelle Williams - Best Supporting Actress - Drama
Ang Lee - Director

Prison Break - Best Television Series - Drama
Glenn Close - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Drama
Wentworth Miller - Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series - Drama (over Kiefer Sutherland)
Desperate Housewives - Best Tv Comedy
Teri Hatcher - Best Actress in Tv Comedy(beating out her castmates)
Jason Lee - Best Performance by an Actor - Comedy ( I love him -he deserves this award -but I suspect the FP will disagree)

I have no opinion on the other awards up for grabs. I suspect Donald Sutherland will win for Best Supporting Actor - Drama. The FP is no fan of Republicans and Donald portrayal of an nasty manipulative not to be trusted Republican feeds into a stereotype they believe to be true.



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