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Q&A: Jodie Foster On Her DeMille Award

By | Thursday January 10, 2013 @ 11:47pm PST

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor

Few stars can rival Jodie Foster’s durability. One has to go back to Hollywood’s golden age—to the likes of Judy Garland—to find those who even approach her successful transition from childhood roles to adult parts. And what other child actor started directing after accomplishing that transition? None. Which is why it’s fitting that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is bestowing on Foster its highest honor, the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Foster has been with us so long, it’s almost impossible to believe she’s just 50. Amazingly, it’s been 20 years since she won her second best-actress Oscar (for Silence Of The Lambs). Her first came three years earlier (for The Accused). But her first Academy Award nomination dates back to 1977, for Taxi Driver, in which she played a young teen prostitute, opposite Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Foster says with typical understatement during a recent phone interview. “And it feels like a long time, but it also feels great. I don’t remember ever starting. My earliest memories are doing commercials and TV. And here comes this celebration of my whole life. So now what? Hopefully there’s more to come.”

Related: Golden Globes Film: HFPA Spreads Wealth As Tightest Awards Race In Years Accelerates

There no doubt will be for Foster, who continues to eye both acting and directing projects with an eagerness tempered by discernment. Yet she acknowledges a certain ambivalence regarding her career. “I don’t know if I have the personality for it,” she says. “I’m not sure if I’d not fallen into it, it’s what I’d have done. I mean this mostly as an actor rather than as a director, but I’m one for entirely different reasons from most people. It’s become a psychological evolution. I chose movies based on what I had to learn about myself, not because I had to act. There’s lots of things I’m not interested in, and I don’t want to play parts in those movies.” Read More »

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Golden Globes Trial: Judge Says Future Shows Will Be Under Legal Cloud With Appeal

By | Tuesday July 24, 2012 @ 5:25pm PDT

U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association‘s appeal in the trial over who owns the Golden Globes is going forward (read today’s doc here). But he clearly isn’t happy about it, and he says the process likely will mean upcoming Globes shows will take place under a legal cloud just like the last one. In his order — a procedural ruling that makes way for the HFPA’s appeal against trial winner Dick Clark Productions — Matz as in the past seems frustrated that the dispute between the two parties wasn’t resolved much earlier given the Globes’ value to both, and the case will drag on as a result. Now, “even assuming an immediate appeal … it is unlikely that the parties’ dispute could be resolved before the 2013 or the 2014 Golden Globe Awards Show — which would already be three years into the contested contract period. Delaying … would push back appellate review another one-to-two years, possibly up to (or even beyond) the 2016 Golden Globes”. Read More »

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HFPA Files Appeal In Golden Globes Case, Says It Can’t Work With “Devious” Dick Clark Productions

As expected, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association tonight filed a motion seeking an immediate appeal in the Golden Globes case. The motion (Read it here) derives from April 30 when the HFPA lost to Dick Clark Productions over who owns the TV rights to the annual award show. After a two-week trial, that concluded on February 10, Judge Howard Matz agreed with dcp’s lawyers that a 1993 perpetuity amendment between the HFPA and dcp gave the Red Zone Capitol-owned company the right to make a $150 million 2010 deal with NBC that will keep the Golden Globes on the network until 2018. Today’s appeal took aim at the notion that there could be a conducive relationship between the two parties after the rancor of the trial and 2010 NBC deal that lead to it. “There is no assurance that HFPA’s members will be able to cooperate with dcp on future Golden Globe Awards Shows, given dcp’s deceitful and devious conduct towards its supposed ‘partner,’” HFPA lawyers said in the motion. The appeal motion also made direct reference to dcp’s announcement yesterday that it was hiring the Raine Group investment bank to entertain potential purchase offers. “Even assuming a sale were permitted under the operative agreements, HFPA would be forced to cooperate, possibly forever, with some unknown company with whom HFPA never dreamed of being ‘partners.’” The Globes have been on NBC since 1996. Dick Clark Productions was retained by … Read More »

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HFPA: Start TV Rights Trial Just Before Golden Globes Telecast

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has asked a federal judge to set a trial date for the beginning of January to determine who owns broadcast rights to its Golden Globe awards show — just before the 2012 Globes airs on NBC. The HFPA is fighting Dick Clark Productions for the TV rights, after the organization claimed DCP didn’t have the authority to re-up with NBC to broadcast the ceremony until 2018, a deal they made last year. The HFPA wants the pact invalidated so it can strike a deal with another network, and they want it done in a hurry before any potential new home for the Globes fills up their schedule. The production company, meanwhile, says a trial going on during the ceremony would take focus away from the event. The Associated Press say a conference with the judge who will hear the case is scheduled for November 30, but he has told both sides that a January trial will be tough to fit into his schedule. The HFPA and DCP were able to work out a deal for DCP to produce the 2012 show; that agreement came three days after the case was originally set to go to trial, before a previous judge said she was unable to hear the case due to illness.

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Morgan Freeman To Receive Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award

By | Wednesday November 9, 2011 @ 10:01am PST

Morgan Freeman has been tapped to receive the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, which will be bestowed during the Golden Globes ceremony January 15. The honor is given for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment and is the organization’s lifetime achievement award. Previous winners include Warren Beatty, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Spielberg and Robert DeNiro, among others. The Oscar winner and five-time nominee won the best actor Globe in 1990 for Driving Miss Daisy.

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NBC Will Carry 69th Golden Globe Awards With Dick Clark Prods Producing

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 10:52am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Prods are still battling legally for control over the Golden Globes and still awaiting trial. But the two sides have buried the hatchet temporarily to collaborate on the upcoming 69th annual Golden Globe Awards. The three parties made the announcement today. Despite the fact that HFPA calls DCP’s new Golden Globes deal with NBC that starts in 2012 invalid as it violates their agreement, NBC will carry the awards Jan. 15 as planned. Dick Clark Prods. will produce the awards telecast and a live pre-show with the HFPA. “The parties are pleased to have reached an agreement relating to the 2012 Golden Globe Awards, while preserving their respective positions,” DCP and HFPA said in a joint statement. HFPA’s suit against DCP was set to go to trial Sept. 6, but was postponed for a month because of an illness of Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank who was to hear the case.

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‘Help Wanted’ By Hollywood Foreign Press

By | Tuesday August 30, 2011 @ 12:44am PDT

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is advertising for an “Executive Director”. Now you’d think that position would involve stashing secret studio gifts, cataloguing autographed photos of HFPA members with celebrities, monitoring all the free food and drink provided for these non-journalist freeloaders. But no. Instead these are the duties:

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED is responsible for supervising existing contracts with vendors, overseeing finances and audits, advising in the grant-making process in coordination with the Grants Officer, devising brand-enhancing strategies, increasing alliances within the industry in conjunction with the Board and HFPA publicists, and identifying and pursuing opportunities to do the same. The ED will work closely with the President to ensure the smooth running of the Association by attending every Board and Membership meeting and following up on administrative issues, preserving the institutional memory of the Association.  Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a legal and business background, extensive contacts in the entertainment industry, and superior interpersonal, verbal and writing skills.

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HAMMOND: HFPA Gives Away Record $1.5M

Pete Hammond

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association held its annual lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel and presented a record $1,579,500 in financial grants to 46 film schools and nonprofit organizations. Over the past 17 years, the org best known for awarding Golden Globes in January has awarded $13.5 million through their grants program, according to newly elected HFPA president Aida Takla O’Reilly.

All this philanthropic activity comes even as the sometimes controversial group of foreign entertainment journalists remains embroiled in ongoing legal battles with their longtime Globes production company, Dick Clark Productions, over rights to their annual highly rated awards show on NBC (and an Emmy nominee this year) as well as another legal dust-up with former publicist Michael Russell.

Despite the legal woes and bad Wall Street news, the HFPA luncheon was an upbeat affair, drawing numerous entertainment execs like Fox’s Peter Rice, FX’s John Landgraf, Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley, among others. There was also the usual starry turnout to help hand out the checks including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Walhberg, Gerard Butler, Kevin Bacon, Yoshiki Hayashi, Jessica Chastain, Hugh Dancy, Lea Michele, Taylor Lautner, Elizabeth Moss, Elizabeth Olsen, Jim Sturgess, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Gabriel Macht, who all took turns introducing each other in the fast-paced, breezy presentation.

Over the years, awards-season strategists have also seen the lunch as a great opportunity to get some of their potential awards contenders in front of a captive audience of HFPA voters, and it was no different this year as Butler, DiCaprio, Olsen and Chastain are all actors with upcoming releases expected to figure in year-end awards considerations. Last year at this lunch, for instance, I noticed Annette Bening and Nicole Kidman on the lineup, and both did end up with Globes (and Oscar) nods. The exposure certainly can’t hurt as they say, especially in the overly crowded fall field of contenders. At the very least, the luncheon sort of serves as one of those “unofficial” precursors of the impending season. “I guess it’s all starting all over again,” one awards consultant still suffering battle scars from last year wearily told me. Read More »

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HFPA Hits Back At Dick Clark Prods. For Trying To Dismiss Golden Globes Lawsuit

Nellie Andreeva

Lawyers for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association late last night filed a scathing response to dick clark prods. and Red Zone Capital Partners’ motion to dismiss HFPA’s Nov. 17 complaint against the long-time producer of the Golden Globes and its new owner. The 25-page opposition, filed in federal court, hits back at dcp’s argument that the two sides’ agreement allowed it to negotiate a new license deal with NBC. “dcp’s new owners had seized on a six-word sentence fragment and given it a brand new interpretation, completely at odds with the parties’ mutually shared understanding of the entire sentence and contract, dcp’s prior representations, and decades of the parties’ course of conduct,” the new filing reads. The clause in question is part of a 1993 amendment: Read More »

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HFPA: Next Year’s Golden Globes Will Go On “With Or Without” Dick Clark Prods.

This statement comes from the HFPA, which is responding to reports today that say legal wranglings will prevent next year’s Golden Globes from taking place.

“Regardless of the legal proceedings with Red Zone and Dick Clark Productions, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present the Sixty-Ninth Annual Golden Globe Awards Show as scheduled in January 2012. The show will go on, with or without dcp.”

The battle brewing was legally set into motion on Nov. 17. That’s when the HFPA sued Dick Clark Productions, accusing it of surreptitiously signing an eight-year broadcast agreement with NBC. Dick Clark Productions has already asked the United States District Court for the Central District of California to dismiss the complaint. Whatever happens, the schedule was being called into question now that the fighting has begun, and this statement is HFPA’s response to any doubts as to whether all of this can be wrapped up in time to put on a show in January. As for the trial’s start date, according to filings last week the proposed dates are December 1, 2011 and March 5, 2012.

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Ricky Gervais Explains Going MIA During Golden Globes Ceremony

Nellie Andreeva

Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais’ one-hour absence from the stage last night spawned all sorts of conspiracy theories ranging from him being reprimanded by higher-ups at the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for some of his meaner jabs to him being outright fired. In a statement, Gervais explains what kept him backstage for so long – the pattern of presenters he had chosen beforehand to introduce. And despite the groans from celebrities and HRTS that he may have gone too far with some of his cringe-inducing zingers, Gervais believes that “everyone took it well.” Here is is full statement:

I did every single introduction I was meant to. There just happened to be a long gap. This is because I was allowed to choose who I would introduce in advance. I obviously chose presenters who I had the best jokes for. (And who I knew had a good sense of humour.) Everyone took it well and the atmosphere backstage and at the after show was great.”

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HFPA’s Mixed Reaction To Ricky Gervais: ‘Occasionally Went Too Far’ But ‘Loved Show’

Nellie Andreeva

There is no such thing as bad publicity. And with the Web today abuzz over last night’s Golden Globes more that it has been in years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is “pleased” (Ratings were good too.) Of course there is the issue of host Ricky Gervais assailing half of the celebrity attendees and biting the hand that feeds him by taking jabs at HFPA too. He “occasionally went too far.” Here is HFPA’s full statement.

We loved the show. It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking. When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in your face, sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far. The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we’ve ever had and we were pleased.

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Globes Love ‘Glee’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’, ‘Big Bang’, & ‘Carlos’

Nellie Andreeva

Ricky Gervais Assesses His 2nd Golden Globes Performance
Live-Snarking The Meanest Golden Globes

HFPA’s love affair with Glee continues. For a second consecutive year, the Fox dramedy was the most nominated program at the Golden Globes  with 5 noms. And for a second consecutive year, it was the winner for best comedy/musical series. But this time, Glee was also the biggest TV winner of the night, for best series and best supporting actors Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire emerged as a new awards heavyweight with 2 wins, including best drama series. HBO once again topped the networks’ tally with 4 Globes, followed by Fox (3) and Showtime, FX and Sundance Channel (1 apiece).

After starting off with several big surprises early on, the TV portion of the Golden Globes turned more predictable as the night went on. But overall, it was out with the old and in with the new as, except for Glee‘s repeat best comedy series victory, all other series winners were first-timers, including the wins for freshman Boardwalk Empire, one of the biggest upsets of the night – Katey Sagal’s best drama series victory for FX’s Sons of Anarchy, as well as Emmy winner Jim Parsons’ best comedy actor trophy for The Big Bang Theory. Big Bang already accomplished something a multicamera comedy had not been able to do in 6 years – land a best comedy series Globe nomination. But with Parsons winning the best actor award, Big Bang did something such acclaimed multicamera comedies as Will & Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond could never do – win a Golden Globe. This was the first Globe for a multicamera sitcom in 8 years, since Friends star Jennifer Aniston won in 2003.

Parsons gave a good speech. He thanked a lot of people, including the show’s writers, directors, network, studio as well as his reps and nephew. But he only acknowledged the cast of the show in passing, despite his co-star Kaley Cuoco, who presented his award, literally jumping for joy on stage after reading his name and giving Parsons a warm embrace as he walked up to accept his award.

The ceremony started off with two shockers in the first minutes in the best actress in a drama series and best movie or miniseries categories. Last month, Sagal’s Golden Globe nomination represented hit biker drama Sons of Anarchy’s first mainstream award nomination. Make that the show’s first major award as Sagal won the drama actress category over January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Juliana Margulies, Kyra Sedgwick and Piper Perabo. Read More »

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Live-Snarking The Meanest Golden Globes


I am live-blogging (more like live-snarking) the 68th Annual Golden Globes starting at 5 PM PT tonight based on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 2011 nominations last month. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your comment. Warning: Not for the easily offended or ridiculously naive.

Ricky Gervais Assesses His Golden Globes Performance

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

Scott Rudin immediately pays tribute to the Sony Pictures moguls. “Amy Pascal and I started together as kids 30 years ago. We’ve spent our entire lives together waiting for a night like this.” (She once worked for him.) Rudin then ushers seated Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield onstage to join everyone else associated with the Facebook origins pic. This is clearly The New And Improved Scott Rudin trying to erase his image as the ashtray-throwing abuser and replace it with that of the kindness-embracer. Because he knows full well that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences members don’t vote for people they don’t like. It’s one thing to lobby (or pay off) the Hollywood Foreign Press for a win tonight. It’s quite another to swing Academy members. Rudin’s longtime nemesis Harvey Weinstein, too, is trying for a niceness makeover in support of his Best Picture Oscar contender The King’s Speech. The next six weeks are gonna be ones for the record books as this comedy of manners plays out as a farce.

Cancer-stricken and now cancer-survivor Michael Douglas comes out and the audience leaps to its collective feet. ”There’s just gotta be an easier way to get a standing ovation,” he says. He looks good if a bit unsteady.


Like Natalie Portman, Colin Firth has been the frontrunner and this win just confirms that. “Right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley-Davidson,” he quips and calls his relationships with co-star Geoffrey Rush and director Tom Hooper “my two other sides of a surprisingly robust man love”. Harvey Weinstein is raptly attentive when  Firth singles him out for ”putting me in an improbable number of good films. We’ve had 20 years together which is not bad going for a showbiz marriage. Thank you, Harvey.”

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision, Gilbert Films; Focus Features

A near sweep for this dramedy in this category, which the Golden Globes has and the Academy Awards doesn’t — and should. Funny how the folks onstage can’t remember all the producers’ names. It’s easy: just recall all the managers and boyfriends and brothers involved.

Gervais goes on and on about presenter Tom Hank’s credits. “The other is Tim Allen.” Funny moment.

Hanks shoots back: “Like many of you, we recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian.”

“Neither of which he is now,” chimes in Allen.

It’s official: the room has turned against Gervais. Which is why I’m liking him more and more as the night drags on. But trust me, tomorrow the phones at NBC and Dick Clark Prods will be ringing off the hook with angry agents and managers complaining how this was the meanest awards show in Hollywood history and explaining why their clients won’t attend next year’s Golden Globes because of it. Maybe that will convince the powers-that-be to clean up the most corrupt awards-giving group in Hollywood history. More likely, NBC and Dick Clark Prods will follow the path of least resistance and just fire Gervais and all the writers.


Interesting how the audience gave a big whoop when presenter Jeff Bridges came to Natalie Portman’s name when reading the list of nominees: she now an Oscar shoo-in after what was once considered a very tight race for Best Actress. But Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams also had noisemakers so maybe she’s coming on strong. Portman’s speech was so bloodless until the pregnant actress spoke about her fiance Benjamin Millepied who choreographed Black Swan: “You might remember him in the movie as the guy when they ask, ‘Would you sleep with that girl?’ And says, ’No.” He’s the best actor. It’s not true. He totally wants to sleep with me.” And then she giggles like a schoolgirl.

Interesting how she says director Darren Aronofsky would tell her after a few takes, “Now do one for yourself.” He really does coax extraordinary performances.

Chris Nolan is shown as the Inception clip is played. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Warner Bros waited too long to campaign for this pic this awards season. As a result, it’s already been overshadowed by The Social Network and The King’s Speech and The Fighter and Black Swan and True Grit — which is ridiculous.


And here we all thought the HFPA had promised this award to Johnny Depp for either The Tourist or Alice In Wonderland if he just showed up. Even Giamatti looks shocked. “This is a tiny movie that has done tiny business. “I almost think a mistake has been made because the other gentlemen in this category are my superiors in every regard as men and as actors,” he says humbly,” also warning the audience that “I’m a little jacked up because I ate 5 boxes of the free Godiva chocolates.”

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: GLEE (FOX), Ryan Murphy Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television

So much sucking up at this awards show, so little time. Exec producer Ryan Murphy gives shout-outs to Dana Walden and Gary Newman of Twentieth Century Fox TV and Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice of Fox Broadcasting before he’s rushed off-stage. To jump the shark, no doubt.


This is turning into The Social Network sweep. He’s reading from notes about “popping Propecia like Chiclets” and “Jon Benet Rudin”. The audience laughs, and Rudin guffaws, but I don’t get it. Fincher thanks Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton and refers to himself “as a bitter man with a lot of opinions”. It’s clear that Fincher, who’s one of the most disliked directors in Hollywood because of his relentless arrogance is attempting to recast himself this awards season as warm and fuzzy and most of all humble. “I’m personally loathe to acknowledge the kind of wonderful response which this film has received,” he says, waiting a beat, “for fear of becoming addicted to it. So, suffice it to say: it’s been really nice.”

They let Megan Fox out of the Witness Protection Program tonight to intro The Tourist clip.

Robert De Niro receives the Cecil B DeMille Awards, but Matt Damon at first appears to win the booby prize for worst intro ever. That is until the audience in the ballroom and at home realized he’s just joking. “I actually don’t go to movies a lot because I spend much of my time making them. So I had no idea who Robert DeNiro was until 5 years ago when he asked me to be in his film The Good Shepherd. So naturally I needed to educate myself on who this guy was. So I started asking around.” Then Damon launches into some impressions from DeNiro films — but of other actors, not DeNiro. “And who could forget Taxi Driver where he was literally unrecognizable as a blonde 13-year-old hooker. He just disappears.”

After a clip reel tribute, the camera stops zooming in on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt long enough to spotlight De Niro, who says to Damon, “And I loved you in The Fighter.” He very obviously reads from the teleprompter. He notes that the HFPA made the announcement he’d receive the DeMille award “well before you had a chance to review Little Fockers. I saw those. It’s OK. We all have our jobs to do.” And paychecks to support Bob’s extravagant lifestyle.

De Niro, too, insults the HFPA members “who pose for pictures with the movie stars. I’m sorry more members of the Hollywood Foreign Press aren’t with us tonight, but many of them were deported right before the show… along with most of the waiters … and Javier Bardem.” Ouch! Yup, this is the meanest awards show ever.

De Niro kinda shows himself to be the asshole we always suspected he was. He even goes on to criticize the clip reel shown. Did he hire a dialogue writer to punch up his speech? If so, big mistake, Bob.

Increasingly the stars sitting at the dinner tables look as if they’re in a trance. Or comatose. Or are they just jonesing for their Crackberrys?


“My god, all that and kissed by Jeremy Irons!” Melissa Leo exults. “Look, Ma, I’ve got a Golden Globe!” (Again, someone on stage who thinks that means something. We need to deprogram these thesps.) Leo made a humorous reference to being in a hotel room with director David O Russell. But she hits the career jackpot with a shout-out to Paramount mogul Brad Grey. You’re looking at the next female lead in Transformers 4, trust me.

Increasingly, Jeremy Irons keeps doing an over-the-top impression of Jeremy Irons. Next stop: Danny Gans’ replacement in Las Vegas.


Well, Jim Parsons better have a food tester join him on set Monday after he referred to the writing staff as “my writers” and then tried to correct himself by saying: “…My writers, how crass. The truth comes out.” Remember that the Teamsters supported the WGA strike. So don’t get into any cars to drive you to Warner Bros this week, Jim.


[UPDATE: The reason Linney wasn't there is because her father died.]

Helen Mirren, intro-ing The King’s Speech clip, notes that it was partially funded by ”the British Film Council incidentally tragically no longer exists”. Actually, she’s referring to the UK Film Council and this film appears to have been its swan song. Background here.

OK, this crappy show is going on so long that I have to take a bathroom/feed-the-cat-and-myself/stretch-out-my-legs-and-back break. But you lucky people can just turn the channel. I deserve hazard pay for this because I’m convinced we’ve broken through some space-time continuum and I’ve missed the premiere of Transformers 3. Now I’m the lucky one.

Gervais acknowledges what we all know to be true: the Best Foreign language Film is “a category that nobody in America cares about”. But he notes how it’s an opportunity for the HFPA to showcast young and perfect teeth presenters Robert Pattinson and Olivia Wilde.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: IN A BETTER WORLD (DENMARK), (Hævnen) Zentropa Entertainment; Sony Pictures Classics

This pic didn’t screen for the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences until January 13th but winning the Golden Globe instantly improves its chances since the overall response to this year’s batch of Foreign Language films has been lukewarm. Sudan’s government accused Danish director Susanne Bier — who gives a shout-out to CAA — of making an anti-Islamic film even while she was still shooting. It’s a charge Bier has denied. “The movie doesn’t address religion in any shape or form,” she tells Deadline’s London editor Tim Adler. In a Better World, she says, is set in an unspecified part of Africa and was actually shot in Kenya. Bier wants to steer clear of any religious controversy – only last month 5 men were arrested for planning a machine-gun attack on the Danish newspaper which printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

In a Better World follows a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic Denmark town and his work at an African refugee camp. He and his wife, who have two young sons, are separated and contemplating the awfulness of divorce. The doctor and his wife come together when their oldest son is involved in a dangerous act of revenge. The idea sprang from a conversation Bier had with her screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen about how living in Scandinavia gave you a false sense of security about what the world was really like. Meanwhile, Jensen had already written a few scenes featuring police interrogating children. Bier says: “It asks whether our own ‘advanced’ culture is the model for a better world, or whether the same disarray found in lawlessness is lurking beneath the surface of our own civilization. Are we immune to chaos, or obliviously teetering on the verge of disorder?”

Given its modest DKK30 million ($5.4 million) budget, In a Better World wasn’t overly difficult to finance through the usual Danish soft money sources. “At that budget level, it’s relatively easy to make the film you want,” she says. TrustNordisk, its sales agent, has sold In a Better World to more than 50 territories, including North America. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in April. It has grossed $7.2 million so far, having been released in Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden.


“I am nothing if not falsely humble,” she says, dedicating the Golden Globe to writer Ian Brennan “a deranged young man … who created Sue Sylvester and every heinous insane line that comes out of my mouth was written by him. This is yours too although I will be holding onto it.” The HFPA has jumped on the Glee bandwagon big-time, but so did the Emmys and everyone in media. It’s official: Glee has jumped the shark. (And not just because exec producer Ryan Murphy has okayed that upcoming Bieber-licious boy band episode timed to his biopic.)


Sorkin took the old-fashioned dialogue of The West Wing and married it to young and cool actors in this Facebook founding movie, and for that reason he’s a lock for Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. This more general category could have been a shocker but wasn’t. Sorkin gave shout-outs to Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton “who believe that the people who watch movies are at least as smart as the people who make movies”. WME gets  a big mention as well as Scott Rudin “who is the best living producer of movies and he gives the dead ones a run for their money, too.” He praised director David Fincher for “making scenes of typing and sometimes scenes of just talking about typing look like bank robberies”. He even sucks up to Mark Zuckerberg. In another words, Sorkin gives a real brown-noser of an acceptance speech. Read More »

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2011 Golden Globes: Nikki’s Non-Analysis

Here I am, only for informational purposes, posting the 2011 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with the awards to be broadcast live on NBC on January 16th. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show by a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for ratings. That’s why I opt out of analyzing the nominations every year: because the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. Even the small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who belong to the HFPA won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige newspapers across the world. That’s because the clique don’t want to dilute the financial bonanza they receive from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about the year’s movies and TV shows. NBC and Dick Clark Productions could clean up the Globes but choose not to.

Even the HFPA’s 17-year publicist Michael Russell who no longer has an association with the GGs sent a letter to HFPA president Philip Berk back in March (and only recently sent to me and others) accusing the organization of “a number of questionable business practices of the HFPA which we have brought directly to your attention this year that need to be changed or they … Read More »

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UPDATE: Dick Clark Productions Responds To HFPA’s Surprise Golden Globes Lawsuit

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: Dick Clark Prods. just released a statement in response to HFPA’s lawsuit against it.”The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., knowing it has no case in a court of law, is attempting to try this case in the court of public opinion,” the statement said. “We are confident the case has no merit in either venue. Our respective rights under the contract are clear. The HFPA cannot unilaterally change the basis on which DCP and the HFPA have done business for almost three decades.”

PREVIOUS: This is a sudden and pretty nasty falling out between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods., which had been partnered on the Golden Globe Awards for the past two decades. The HFPA, the organization behind the awards, today filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Dick Clark Prods., the Red Zone Capital-owned company which produces the awards show. In the suit, filed this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, HFPA accuses DCP of “attempting to assume complete control over the rights to the show.” The complaint alleges that on Oct. 29, DCP secretly signed a new license agreement with NBC for the Golden Globe Awards that runs from 2012 through 2018 without consulting with the HFPA. “DCP acts as though it has unilateral right to license the broadcast rights for the Golden Globe Awards on whatever terms it pleases, without HFPA’s knowledge or authorization,” the suit said. DCP … Read More »

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