Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Globes Experience (and Levi Kreis)

Well, this year's Golden Globe Awards came and went without a hitch, and with no real upsets in the bunch to speak of.

What is most interesting about this year's crop of winners was that there was no real big winner among them. True, Brokeback Mountain walked away with four Globes, the most of any other winner, but I wouldn't call that a "sweep" by any means. Which can only mean one thing: The Oscars are going to be all over the place.

My experience with the Globes got off to a shaky start. I did my predictions before the show started, but didn't get any of them right until about half-way into it. Which is odd for me. I'm usually right on the mark with most of my awards predictions. But this is one of those years when everything is simply unpredictable. I did score on Film, Director, TV Show (Drama), Actress in a TV Comedy, and several others, but missed just about every supporting actor category there was. I was convinced that Michelle Williams would have won for her brilliant turn as the long-suffering housewife in Brokeback, but I was pretty surprised when Rachel Weisz won it for The Constant Gardener. To be fair, Weisz was excellent in that movie, but for my money, nobody could beat what Williams pulled off in that one moment afer she looks out her front door and catches her husband in the arms of another man. What she conveyed in the following moments was absolutely stunning, and it was all without words. Oh well.

And George Clooney for Syriana? When Paul Giamatti deserved it for Cinderella Man? I mean, come on, folks. Obviously, Clooney was given this award to make up for the fact that he was not going to walk out with trophies for Film and Director, but still... Just what do voters have against Giamatti anyway? God knows he carried Sideways last year, and his work in American Splendor was absolutely out of this world. Perhaps voters are waiting for him to build up enough of an ouevre of work before they give him the love he deserves, but I still think it's a shame that he was overlooked yet again.

I was a little bummed that Heath Ledger didn't win Best Actor, but I suppose that Philip Seymour Hoffman deserved it for his showy but brilliant work in Capote. And hey, at least it went to someone playing a gay role. I was extremely sated, however, that Felicity Huffman got the top honors for her work in Transamerica, another film with major ties to the gay community. And, yes, with Brokeback snagging Best Film (Drama), Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana) and Best Song ("A Love That Will Never Grow Old"), this was probably the gayest Golden Globes show ever.

But what was up with all the accolades for HBO's Empire Falls? I mean, Paul Newman winning Supporting Actor in a TV Series or Mini-Series for his phoned-in work in EF over Entourage's Jeremy Piven??? And Best Mini-Series or TV Movie over Warm Springs and Lackawanna Blues? Sheesh. Enough with the love for Empire Falls already. It wasn't that good.

I was also a bit disappointed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to award Best TV Series (Comedy) to Desperate Housewives when its competition consisted of both Everybody Hates Chris and Weeds. Now, I love me some Housewives, but it's been a spotty second season for them so far, and Everybody Hates Chris is one of the most consistently funny, most well-written shows on television. Ditto for the brilliant Weeds. At least there was some justice when Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker (one of the most brilliant actresses working in film and television today) took home the Best Actress in a TV Series (Comedy) award, beating out all four of the nominated Housewives. (But where was the love for Elizabeth Perkins, who, frankly, should have beat Sandra Oh for Best Suporting Actress in a TV Series. Oh well, at least Joanne Woodward didn't win for Empire Falls).

Gotta love that Steve Carell won Best Actor in a TV Series (Comedy) for his hilarious work on The Office, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers for Elvis? Beating out Kenneth Branagh for Warm Springs in the Best Actor in a Mini Series or TV Movie category? Again, what gives? And, while I love Geena Davis on Commander in Chief, I really thought Kyra Sedgewick should have taken home a trophy for her work on The Closer. (Major kudos to Davis, though, for a hilarious acceptance speech. In fact, a lot of Monday's speeches were awesome, including those by Clooney, Carell and Hugh Laurie.)

Speaking of Laurie, I suppose it was no surprise that he won Best Actor in a TV Show (Drama) for House, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix were both locks for Walk the Line, which I must admit, I still haven't seen. But even though Walk the Line won in the Musical or Comedy Film category, I doubt it carries that momentum with it to the Oscars, where I predict Brokeback to emerge victorious.

All in all, the show was pretty good, and I had a lot of laughs even among all the yelling and throwing popcorn at the TV screen that took place in my living room.

Before the Awards, I was actually down on Melrose checking out a show by the brilliantly talented singer-songwriter Levi Kreis, whose gorgeous piano ballads are some of the most soothing and enriching songs I've heard in ages. Levi played to an almost-packed house in the Zephyr Theatre, with incense and candles burning all around him as he crooned some of his haunting love songs and breakup songs. Some of you may have seen him recently on TV's The Apprentice, or heard his song "I Should Go" on Days of Our Lives, or even caught him in the movie Frailty, but if not, I recommend that you keep your ears and eyes open for this one, 'cause I predict that he will be going places. ANd he's hella cute to boot. :)

The pic above is of me (left), Levi (center) and writer Dennis Hensley, whose book Misadventures in the (213), was incidentally the book that I read on my first airplane flight over to Los Angeles four and a half years ago. Now Dennis is a good acquaintance of mine, and I can't wait for his next project to come out!

Anyway, that's it for me this time around. Gotta head on outta here. Talk soon!

Hollywood Ken


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