Two Ends of the Golden Globes

I haven’t quite settled on what I think about Ricky Gervais’ performance of hosting the Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Sunday night. He was typically Ricky. That is: offensive, irreverent, scathing, merciless, relentless, multi-judgmental and over the top. And incredibly funny.

I can’t work out if David Brent is Ricky Gervais’ alter ego, or the other way round. Either way, he steps in and out of both personas with ease. Watching the clips of him, I winced and cringed and sighed and hid my face in my hands. And I laughed. Hard. At times I wondered if I should be laughing. Was my laughter offending anyone? You know what? I think that’s exactly what Ricky Gervais wanted.

He knew exactly what he was doing. He took risks, he knew exactly what kind of reaction he’d get and I think he’s made a huge success of it. He got as much media coverage as the winning performers and, if popular culture is to be believed, any publicity is good publicity. The kind of comedian he is, he probably thought this would be his last shot at the Golden Globes anyway, so why not live dangerously? In all the reports I read ahead of the ceremony, he had stated categorically that he wasn’t going to be reined in and he wanted carte blanche in terms of material. Check. He got that, and then some.

I don’t think anything has changed in the Ricky Gervais camp this week. He’s always been a Marmite kind of guy, as they say over here in the UK: either you love him or you hate him. His performance on Sunday cemented that. Die-hards will continue to love him. Haters will continue to hate him. As for me, I love Marmite but sometimes, if I’ve spread it too thickly on my toast, it makes me choke.

Love him or hate him, Ricky’s in-your-face performance didn’t detract from the highlight of the evening for me: the best actor award. It went to the darling, charming, well-loved and self-effacing British actor, Colin Firth. Mr Gervais’ polar opposite. The awardee’s performance in The King’s Speech was exquisite. We saw the film yesterday.

We went to our favourite area of London – Greenwich – to the Greenwich Picture House, to watch the movie. Don’t you love that it’s called a Picture House? Given that it was a weekday afternoon, the cinema was filled with elderly pensioners and my husband and I brought the average age down significantly. We enjoyed the nostalgic experience of feeling like bothersome youths!

I knew I was going to love The King’s Speech; I cried when I watched the trailer a month ago. A minute into the movie and the tears were rolling down my face! That’s not usually my acid test for movies, but this one is moving beyond words. The central theme is the relationship between the man who becomes King George VI and his speech therapist, one Australian, Lionel Logue. Lionel recognises the King’s pain and his value as a human being and, in so doing, becomes his first friend.

I won’t go into detail about the movie because I hope that you all will go and see it and see what a worthy Golden Globe recipient Mr Firth is. Geoffrey Rush‘s performance is outstanding too. My hope is that they’ll both be nominated for Oscars and win. The movie is poignant, agonising, heartbreaking and extraordinarily triumphant.

Mr Gervais and Mr Firth. Two Englishmen. Two perspectives. Globes apart.

Sunshine signing off for today!


39 thoughts on “Two Ends of the Golden Globes

  1. I couldn’t go online Monday without seeing headlines about how Ricky had crossed the line, and I just didn’t get it. He was Ricky Gervais. He was brilliant. I was alone in the room at the time, and I laughed out loud. “Do you want to go see Cher?” “No.” “Why not?” “Because it’s not 1975.” People said he was being mean, but it wasn’t like he was making fun of widows and orphans. He was making fun of spoiled, thin-skinned multi-millionaires.

    Besides, he’s a lot meaner to Karl Pilkington.

    1. Todd, his comment about Cher was my absolute favourite! He was totally Ricky, and funnily enough, I had that same thought about how mean he is to Karl Pilkington. I think that is just his brand of humour. Love it or hate it, he sure got a truckload of coverage. I’m sure he’s laughing.

  2. What is your opinion of the TV miniseries Elizabeth I starring Helen Mirren? 2005 I have reviewed the historical inaccuracies of here and there, but other than that I thought her portrayal was spectacular, as were costume and settings. For a history teacher as I, it was complete enchantment.

  3. Well, I never developed a taste for Marmite, although I tried. I also tried to watch Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes, but after one cringe too many, I turned it off. Unfortunately that meant I missed Colin Firth. I also loved The King’s Speech on so many levels, especially the bravery of one who is forced to fulfill an undesired role. I could go on, but I’ll only mention that I enjoyed the costume of the Queen Mother at the Golden Globes! Unlike Gervais, her outrageousness wasn’t at the expense of others.

    1. Hey Elizabeth – how lovely to see you again! Glad you loved The King’s Speech too – there was just so much to love. He was so brave.
      I also loved Helena’s outfit – the mismatched shoes were a charm! xx

  4. I didn’t watch the Golden Globes, because I’m not a fan of award shows. However, I am a fan of Colin Firth. I’m glad he won, but I haven’t seen The King’s Speech, yet. It’s on my list of movies to see.

  5. I watched part of the Globes, maybe the last hour. I might be the only person on the planet who didn’t know who Ricky Gervais was, other than that I had heard the name. I thought he was funny, but in that way where you want to laugh but think maybe you shouldn’t. I haven’t seen the Kings Speech but from everything I’ve heard, Colin Firth certainly deserved to win. I was thrilled about Natalie Portman. I have loved her since “The Professional.” She was just a little girl, and she was brilliant. I’ve seen that film at least four times.

    1. I know what you mean, Renee. And Natalie Portman is just delightful – The Black Swan looks very good and she is a wonderful and beautiful young actor. I don’t know The Professional – I’ll look out for it. xx

  6. Hi darling Sunshine! I am so delighted you wrote about the Golden Globes a.k.a. the Ricky Gervais show. I was exhausted, had been up the previous night with my child and was going to give it a miss – it only aired at 9.30pm here in Zim. So glad l didn’t. Ricky Gervais was hysterical – l laughed until l cried and then l laughed again. The Cher comment was very funny but my cracker of the evening was the crack at the “scientologist” – man that was funny. What was also funny was seeing the discomfort on the faces of those who walk the politically correct line! Eish! I probably should not admit this – even to myself (ha ha) but the likes of Ricky Gervais, Graham Norton and Joan Rivers truly make me laugh from my soul! Thanks for another great blog. Loads of love xxxx

    1. Hey Rosy Ro – glad you enjoyed the post and the Golden Globes! I don’t think you get more politically incorrect than Ricky – gosh. I saw him live at Wembley last year, and I found myself laughing till my stomach ached but I had my hands over my face most of the time. I guess he does that to you! Lovely to see you here, big hugs from London xx

  7. Wish I could have watched the Golden Globes, but we have no TV here in Haiti. And the King’s Speech–I desperately want to see, as Sara struggled with a speech impediment as a child. Hope it’s still playing when we return to a country with real likve movie theaters!
    Hugs from Haiti,

  8. 3 cheers on finding a fellow Marmite and Colin Firth devotee!! I was going to say lovers 😛 Marmite lovers are rare in my neck of the woods 🙂 I must say I’m rather out of the loop on TV…don’t watch it and so can’t opine. But I ADORE Colin Firth (In the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice where he’s the BEST Mr. Darcy EVER and then later in Bridget Jones, where he is once again the BEST Mr. Darcy EVER!!!). Please excuse the use of Caps, I just couldn’t control myself! Blame it on the Darcy Effect 😛 I will watch The King’s Speech, as soon as it comes out on DVD, coz it doesn’t sound like a movie I’ll get to see in theaters here. Thank Goodness for Amazon!

    Enjoyed the post Sunshine!

  9. I’ve never seen Ricky Gervais host anything, and I didn’t get around to seeing his movie. I don’t like when people meanly poke fun at people at awards shows, but I know that’s what they hired him to do. It’s funny when stand up comics poke fun at the odd things celebrities do, not when they say things to hurt people or humiliate them. I often got tired of the mean jokes about Michael Jackson, and I’m sure I wouldn’t like to see that done to anyone else. I love a good laugh, but I keep thinking about going to a comedy show and the comedian turning his mike on me.

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about The King’s Speech. I love Colin Firth. Bridget Jones’ Diary was my first time seeing him, and I always admired how he could do both comedy and drama (“serious acting”) with ease. It’s about time he got some recognition.

    1. There are moments of lightness in The King’s Speech where Colin Firth delivers lines with perfect comedic timing. Geoffrey Rush is equally good and acts with such humour too. Enjoy the movie, when you get to see it! xx

  10. There are times when only Marmite will do. And I think the Golden Globes was in desperate need of some Marmite before Ricky Gervais took over. Wondering how he was going to push the envelope next kept me watching through the endless Globes categories.

    Speaking of the Globes, shouldn’t you be able to qualify as Hollywood Foreign Press? You’re writing from a foreign country, and this post was about Hollywood. That qualifies you at least as much as the taxi driver from India I heard interviewed about his votes a few years ago; apparently, just being an occasional stringer qualified him to vote in the Golden Globes! I think you should definitely be able to vote next year 🙂

    1. Hey Amanda – how lovely to see you here! Ricky Gervais is some kind of pioneer, don’t you think – he goes where other comedians fear to tread. Great idea – I’ll see where I can sign up to be part of the Hollywood Foreign Press! Yay! xx

  11. I didn’t watch the Golden Globes, but I’ve heard reports. I happen to love Ricky Gervais and I had watched. As for Colin Firth…well, he stole my heart in Bridget Jones *sigh* and I can’t wait to see The King’s Speech. Hugs, Diane

    1. I think he stole many hearts when he was in Bridget Jones Diary! And in Love, Actually! Glad you’re a fellow fan of Ricky Gervais 🙂
      You’ll love The King’s Speech xx

  12. I think your “As for me, I love Marmite but sometimes, if I’ve spread it too thickly on my toast, it makes me choke.” comment sums up my feeling of Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes. I love his British-style humour, but thought he got a little too personal in his jabs at people.

    I wasn’t able to watch the whole thing – did he say anything nice about somebody?

    1. I thought he was from Reading, but could be wrong. The Office is set in Slough, isn’t it? That explains a lot.
      I think Mr Firth has the undying admiration of many, many of us! xx

      1. Ach, Reading, Slough, all my inglorious neck of the woods!! Although Reading is elevated by Heelas department store: its a cut above Slough. And of course, friendly bombs do not rain on Reading in quite the same way.

        I was born in Reading too. Now I have a Ricky Gervais chat up line if I ever meet him 😀 Thanks Sunshine….

  13. Hi Sunshine:

    I missed the Golden Globes too, but I love Ricky Gervais!

    “The King’s Speech” is on my list of movies I want to see if Jim and I ever get a free night!


  14. Ricky was spot-on if I can borrow the term! He opened the freedom of speech wide open, and Robert Downey Jr. took full advantage of that. Hillarious! We can’t (rather the media) judge Ricky and others behaviour at the Globes – they were all having fun, drinking champagne and eating chocolate. Somebody’s got to keep the tempo up and lively 😛

    1. Wasn’t it just the most amazing movie – I can’t even describe how it made me feel. Colin Firth’s portrayal was sublime. I am so thrilled that he, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter have all been nominated for Oscars, along with best director and best film nominations. They all deserve to win. They interviewed Colin Firth over here after he’d been nominated … oh my goodness, he’s just gorgeous!

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