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Well, the Globes came and they went. And as I stood in the Fox Pavilion viewing party outside the Beverly Hilton hotel, guessing every single win with publicist friends, I couldn't help but smile at the HFPA's gall for being so predictable and so very much…themselves.
Madonna? Really? Of course.
Seriously, though, each and every winner was obvious save for the Best Picture (Drama) field, which I had expected to go to "Hugo." The collective breath of the party seemed to be held until "The Descendants" was called, and the explosion was so intense you had to figure most everyone else in there was expecting it to come up short, too.
The film nabbed wins for Best Picture and Best Actor and set itself up nicely as the competition for "The Artist" at the Oscars. This morning's ACE nomination for the film (which, by the way, there is a big below-the-line effort for it under way) solidifies it further, I'd say.
I was happy to see Shailene Woodley again at the after party for the first time since we spoke at Telluride (her first big interview for the film). Obviously a LOT has happened since that early season festival, where most were clamoring for face time with George Clooney and Alexander Payne. She seems to have settled into the rhythm of the season well. Matthew Lillard and Judy Greer were hanging around, Payne as well. I hung out with actor Nick Krause for a bit. Great guy, actually.
Word was the other parties at the Hilton were winding down early. So I bailed on WB/In Style, Weinstein and Universal/Focus, but the Fox gathering was still quite lively when I finally left to hit up a Chateau Marmont celebration on behalf of "Hugo."
Best Director winner Martin Scorsese was holding court at the modest soiree and I again spent some time just talking about music in movies with him. He told me the use of "Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo" over the opening credits of "Raging Bull" was a last-minute thing and that the music was meant to be used elsewhere in the film, but kind of by accident, it ended up working well as a lead-in.
And I couldn't help but mention the use of "This Bitter Earth/On the Nature of Daylight" in "Shutter Island," which tears my heart out every time I hear it. He gave it up to Robbie Robertson for suggesting that material, a valued music collaborator over the years. Scorsese was there with Sacha Baron Cohen and David Tedeschi, editor of "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," and enjoyed himself quite late into the evening.
Also hanging out at the Chateau was Andy Serkis, delightful as always, clearly enjoying a little break before going back to work on "The Hobbit" in New Zealand.
Getting back to the awards themselves, I haven't watched much of the show outside of Ricky Gervais's opening monologue, which I agree was incredibly tame and a bit of a whiff given all the "will he or won't he" hype. The Fox crowd was of course enthusiastic about the TV wins for "American Horror Story" and "Homeland." The former I bailed on around the Halloween episode. The latter I really do want to see.
There was nothing game-changing about the film awards slate, though I don't know if someone hit their speech out of the park or anything. That's what these big precursor awards shows are good for, really: making an impression on voters should you get the chance to accept an award and deliver a knock-out speech (as Viola Davis did at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards Thursday).
And so that caps off a very busy weekend as we head into the lull between the Oscar voting deadline and the nominations announcement next Tuesday. In the meantime, I'll be heading up to Park City for my first Sundance Film Festival on Wednesday and hope to just find some time to see what I can without worrying about the grind of covering too intensely. Soon enough, phase two will be here, the Santa Barbara Film Festival will play up its featured contenders who happen to still be in the game at that time, the guilds will deliver their winners and soon enough, Oscar night will come…and go.
But at least the dog will be cute.
For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.
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