Golden Globes 2010

I love quotes.  So instead of checking out who wore who, I was more interested in who said what as I watched the Golden Globes last night. Of course, I was curious to see who won what.  There was no major sweep, but Avatar took the two most coveted ones, Best Picture and Best Director.  And then there were the unexpected ones.  For a list of the winners, you can click here to go to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s official website.

But here are the quotes of the night that I find most interesting.  Among all of Ricky Gervais’ jokes, prepared and improvised, which can be dismissed the next minute, this one seems to have a stronger aftertaste. When introducing the Best Screenplay Award, referring to what’s more important, he quipped, “It’s not the words but how good you look when saying them.”

And for the winner of that writing award, I’m glad to see Up In The Air get to bring home the Globe, shared by both Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, in their adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel. Montreal born Reitman delivered an endearing speech, giving credits to the most important people in his life.  “… people like how I write women.  I can never write women who wasn’t for my wife. You are the fuel to my creative fire, Michelle.”

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And to his parents, director Ivan Reitman and actress Genevieve Robert, he left with these words: “… you taught me how to be the man I am… to be the storyteller that I am.  I love you.  I thank you for everything.”  I think his films show his parents had done a pretty good job.

Meryl Streep won the Best Actress Globe for a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, for her role as Julia Child in Julie and Julia.  She started off with this most interesting line: “I just want to say that in my long career, I’ve played so many extraordinary women, I’m being mistaken for one.”

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Remembering her mother, who was not unlike Julia Child, Streep noted her ‘joy in living’.  And if she ever needed a new image, she wished to be called ‘T-Bone Streep’.  Ah… the power of Julia Child.

And then there’s this line from Robert Downey Jr., who won the Best Actor Award, Comedy or Musical, for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, quoting Arthur Conan Doyle:

“Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.”

Of course he was just joking when he said: “I don’t have anybody to thank.” But besides the people he did mention, he forgot Sherlock himself.

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The most thought-provoking speech of the night comes from Martin Scorsese, who received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his contribution as an iconic filmmaker.  He quoted William Faulkner’s words:

“The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.”

I like his perspective in acknowledging that they are all living history, continuing and in debt to the works of pioneers and pathfinders in filmmaking.  “We’re all walking in their footsteps everyday, all of us.” Herein lies humility, a most apt reminder for all in attendance at the glitzy Beverly Hilton ballroom.

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All photos from

Up In The Air (2009)

UPDATE February 21: Up In The Air just won Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards.   CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

UPDATE February 2nd OSCARS NOMINATIONS:  Up In The Air has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in the coming 82nd Academy Awards.  Jason Reitman gets a nod in the directing category, George Clooney in the Best Actor category, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick for Best Actress.  Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner also received nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

UPDATE January 17th: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner have just won the Best Screenplay Award at the Golden Globes tonight.

Now that we’ve entered the new year, the awards season has arrived.  Only two weeks to go before the Golden Globes presentation, and about a week after that the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the buzz now is around the nominees.  And this one is a good start for the new year.

Watching Up In The Air is like reading an O. Henry story.  The twist at the end makes it hauntingly poignant. But O. Henry probably would not have imagined that a story could be told in such a visually dynamic way.

Following Oscar nominated Juno (2007) and Golden Globe nom Thank you for Smoking (2005), director Jason Reitman, together with screenwriter Sheldon Turner, have created a screen adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel.  Reitman has crafted an apt and relevant contemporary tale with just the right pacing, suitable for those too rushed to stop for a story.  I’m sure they’ll enjoy this one.

‘I fly, therefore I am’ … that could well be the philosophical stance of Ryan Bingham (George Clooney).  He flies from city to city, doing something most bosses shy away from: laying off people.  Apparently Ryan loves his job.  It gives him the reason to be constantly on the go. One time on the plane, he is asked “Where are you from?’  With just the slightest hesitation, he answers: “Here.”

Ryan Bingham is also a motivational speaker.  He brings a backpack to the podium, an object lesson too vivid to ignore:  the more you put in, things and people the same, the heavier it’ll get, the more bogged down you’ll be.  His warning to his audience: ‘The slower we move, the faster we die.’  He’s the guru of non-committal living.

Goerge Clooney is perfectly cast as Ryan Bingham.  His suave, urbane sophistication is tailor-made for the role. Add in the nonchalant nuances, no wonder his performance earns him a nom for the Golden Globe.

But just when Ryan is performing so well with his air ballet — even his carry-on-suitcase-packing manuevers look sleek and stylish, thanks to some fascinating series of shots — Ryan gets notification that he’ll soon be grounded. Thanks to newly hired, Cornell grad Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), who has developed a video conferencing system for the company, Ryan can now do his job without leaving his office.

To phase in, Ryan is to bring Natalie along to familiarize her with his job.  It’s most amusing to watch the foil between the experienced and the naive, the callous and the tender.  At the same time, the plot thickens as Ryan meets another frequent flyer, Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), in a hotel lounge.  Meeting Alex, who seems to share his airborne lifestyle, Ryan’s outlook on life soon faces a major turnaround.

As the film unfolds, you’ll find the title ‘Up In the Air’ not so much refers to the obvious: air travel, but a more metaphorical meaning.  It points to the existential limbo in which we sometimes find ourselves, always moving but never arriving, constantly twirling in the transitory, never coming to a rest.

Further, the film deftly deals with the questions most relevant to us all:  Is the rootless and ungrounded life worth living?  Does the ‘airborne’ phenomenon define the modern man/woman? What makes life meaningful after all?

The dramedy explores these issues without being didactic.  You’d be gratified to see Ryan’s awakening, and empathize with his situation as his path twists and turns.  With its slick editing, catchy music, witty dialogues, and great acting, the movie offers some worthwhile and enjoyable entertainment.

Up In The Air is nominated for 6 Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress (both, Farmiga against Kendrick), and Best screenplay.  I think this will be a strong contender comes January 17th, and will likely soar to the Oscars.

As to which O. Henry story particularly stood out in my mind as I was watching the movie? Without giving out any spoilers, let me just say: when we know we need to change, let’s just hope that we’d get the chance to do so.

~ ~ ~ Ripples

The Oscar Results 2008

Kodak Theater L.A.

CLICK HERE for Oscar Results 2010

CLICK HERE for the 2009 Oscar Results.

Well I didn’t get to see my favorites winning an Oscar, as expected. But it was exciting seeing them walk down the red carpet and seated in the Kodak Theatre as nominees. For a full list of Oscar winners, you can go to the official Oscars website.

I’m glad to see Juno’s Diablo Cody getting the Best Original Screenplay, and Atonement receiving a nod for Best Original Score. As predicated by many, this year’s Oscars belong to those that portray the killer instinct, with No Country for Old Men grabbing the major ones: Best Picture, Best Director(s), Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Daniel Day-Lewis winning the Best Actor Oscar for There Will Be Blood. The Bourne Ultimatum getting three golds, that’s a little surprise.

I’ve enjoyed the E Talk pre-Oscar show with Ben Mulroney interviewing stars on the red carpet. I just love 65 year-old Julie Christie’s answer to the question about the age disparity in her friendship with Sarah Polley, the 29 year old director of Away From Her: “She’s the old one, I’m the juvenile.” The lady sure has some wit.

What impress me most are the credits and tributes many of these Hollywood celebrities give to their mother and father for their achievement. My admiration goes out to them for that. Here are a few that I’m really fond of:

  • It’s heart-warming to see Javier Bardem honoring his mother and thanking her in Spanish during his acceptance speech.
  • Another one is Daniel Day-Lewis, acknowledging his grandfather, father, and his sons. How sweet is that?
  • While still on the red carpet, Jason Reitman, director of Juno, gives the ultimate credit to his mom and dad, acknowledging that everything he is today he owes it to his parents, and getting a kiss from dad Ivan Reitman for that.
  • And Diablo Cody, screenwriter for Juno, thanking her parents for accepting her the way she is…

These are just some examples I remember, and I’ll remember them for a while.