From Halifax Daily News In Canada: When Talking Globes, Always Mention Bette

Mister D: Love the Bette mention, but she obviously was not wearing a low-cut dress…

And the winner was …
Awards you may have missed at the Golden Globes

By Glenn Walton

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Hollywood staged its rehearsal for the Oscars last Sunday with the Golden Globes, where dinner and, more to the point, drinks are served to the nominees before the awards are handed out. It’s all meant to be looser, more unpredictable, more fun than the Globes’ higher-stakes rival.

This time, Meryl Streep actually said “pleistocene era” in her acceptance speech for Adaptation, and rocker Bono got the f-word out unbleeped. Richard Gere ate his dessert off Mary Hart’s chest, and it was left to a foreigner, Spanish director Pedro Amodovar, prompted by a hotel doorsign, to remind the festive crowd that their country is on the verge of war.

Film awards (unlike films) don’t matter, of course. What matters, as the makers of Titanic knew, is how people behave as the ship goes down, so to speak. To that end, I’ve made a short list of the awards for Sunday night’s event that you should have seen, but didn’t. To wit:

The “Oh-my-God-I-Can’t-Believe-I’ve-Won” Award: Renee Zellweger almost copped this one for her heartfelt histrionics when her singin’ and dancin’ turn in Chicago nabbed the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical award, outdoing even broken-footed, befuddled Jennifer Aniston who hobbled to the stage for her trophy and forgot to thank Brad.

But neither matched the consummate Streep when her name was announced and she demonstrated exactly why she’s the pre-eminent actress of her time. En route from table to stage, Streep took us from amazement to humility to self-deprecation and some schtick with a waiter. Genuinely surprised, she reminded the audience that she’d been nominated 789 times in the past and was looking forward to a long night’s nap at her table.

The She’s-Bustin’-Out-All-Over Award: Even before bodacious Bette Midler leaned over the podium a few years ago in a low-cut dress and crowed, “I’ll show you a pair of Golden Globes, Hollywood,” actresses have been in competition for the most arresting arrangement, in or out of clothing, of their breasts.

This year, the award was Queen Latifah’s to lose, which she did by appearing uncharacteristically demure in a blue suit top. Goldie Hawn, Allison Janney and Debra Messing, who collectively don’t add up to even one Queen Latifah, all unaccountably appeared with the fronts of their gowns missing.

Last year’s Oscar favourite Halle Berry, as usual svelte and sexy, could have racked up a second win in a row in this category, but for Catherine Zeta-Jones, fecundly pregnant yet elegant in low-cut black. The classy Chicago star should have a shot at this award as long as she cares to appear at these ceremonies, that is, if almost-septuagenarian Sophia Loren doesn’t turn up again to show them all how it’s done.

We’re the Gangsters of New York Award: Martin Scorsese finally got a Best Director award, more for past work than the ramshackle meat-cleaver epic Gangs of New York, but as they say, he had it coming. Speaking of gangsters, both Scorsese and Man of Peace Richard Gere thanked Harvey Weinstein, Miramax’s 800-pound-gorilla-producer, who was having a good night, indeed. His traditional awards-season rivalry with Dreamworks was nowhere in sight: Miramax, led by Chicago, The Hours and Gangs of New York, cleaned up.

Winner of the Night: Nicole Kidman, who not only looked fabulous in a sleek silk tube dress cut off at the knees to expose thoroughbred gams, but also won the Best Actress in a Drama award for The Hours, starred in the best clip of the evening as Virginia Woolf, and gave the best speech, thanking writers for creating complex female characters for a change. Take that, Tom and Penelope.

That’s it, until, of course, the Oscars next month. Will oh-so-deserving Julianne Moore break her losing streak? Will Adaptation’s pathologically shy screenwriter Charlie Kaufmann win the big one and have to speak live in front of a zillion people? Will Michael Moore win for Bowling for Columbine and thank Charlton Heston?

Stay tuned.

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