Thursday, January 14, 2016
Love, Mercy...and the Golden Globes: Conclusion
So, who really won at at the Golden Globes last Sunday night? Hats off to all trophy winners, from Ennio Morricone to Leonardo DiCaprio to Lady Gaga. But many of us were focused on one small part of the show,,,a duel that prove to be savage as hell.
Mel Gibson had been announced as a presenter. And his long-term nemesis, Ricky Gervais, would host the event once again. Since hearing of Gibson's selection, the Brit comic actor and writer had been sharpening his barbs. Later it was reported that he had close to a hundred zingers to choose from. For Gibson, the Globes represented the real start of the comeback trail after a decade of scandals and shame. He was now directing his first film in ten years. And, since 2006, the Very Bad year, his acting options had been limited to two major films that were barely released, a new film (Blood Father) that has yet to be released, and a small number of cameos.
So the Globes were important to Gibson. But could he survive Gervais...and the huge target on his back?
Gibson: convicted in popular opinion of misogyny, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.
Claims to fame before the Very Bad Year:
Acting: Max Max 1-3, Lethal Weapon 1-4, Galipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously, The Bounty, Hamlet, Braveheart
Directing: Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto
Awards: Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture
Gervais: revered by the public for his verbal slicings and dicings of Hollywood greats.
Claims to fame before this night:
Hosting: Serial offender at three prior Golden Globes. Master of the below the belt jab. No one above or beneath his contempt.
Writing and Acting: The Night at the Museum movies. TV: The Office, Family Guy, Derek, The Ricky Gervais Show
Awards: multiple awards for The Office
Gervais' jabs were predictably cruel and cheap. But they were also recycled and tired: shots at Mel's past drinking and--hey, let's fan the flames some more--anti-Semitic remarks.
Now, hear this: Gervais may have had a hundred zingers in his bag. But Gibson only needed three: the shocking opening quip about how seeing Ricky always reminded him to have a colonoscopy. Then, when Gervais snatched his drink as if afraid that the alcoholic might steal it, Gibson responded in classic form: Don't worry. You need something to put you to sleep, I've got something that'll put you out for the whole night. Finally: unheard to the audience, Gervais tried to rile Mel by asking what the f--- he'd meant by 'sugartits' (which Mel allegedly called a female copy). Mel chose not to let it slide, since he's always denied saying the word. "I don't know," he told Gervais, "You'll have to ask the guy who said that."
Life's still not a Hollywood movie. The internet is not abuzz with news of Mel Gibson suddenly swarmed with huge offers. Hosting the Globes was a start, as is directing Hacksaw Ridge. If Blood Father is properly released, and is a first-rate film, it may attract decent crowds. Word of mouth may work its stuff.
But the haters are still out there. And in the end it still comes down to Gibson: his commitment to proving again every day that he really is a changed man.