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Judge Brett Cullum's Blog
• Location: Houston, TX
The 800 pound gorilla in the room at the Globes... and no, it's not KONG!
Today I was getting ready and watching Good Morning America, and Joel Segal came on with his usual trivial observations on the Golden Globes ceremony. He said "You know I've noticed a trend..." My ears perked up because I thought I just knew what he was going to say. "Anyone that plays a character based on a real life person who's last name ends with the letter C wins a Globe!" Hunnh? Okay, that's not what I was thinking Joel. The obvious trend I noticed this year that all you pussy PC media types are NOT talking about... anyone that played a GLBT character this year walked home with a nomination or a Globe.
Let's face it... surest way to critical acclaim and "you're so brave" comments from your peers is to go "gay for pay". Phillip Seymour Hoffman could burst in to flames on-screen from sheer acting force, but the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press wouldn't even pee on him to put him out untill he started lisping and doing his dead on Truman schtick in Capote. I thought it was ironic given last year Jamie Foxx lead the crowd in a sing a long of a Ray Charles number, and I half expected old Phil to swish up onstage, do some cocaine from a silver spoon, and start a sing a long of "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real" in Truman's best Studio 54 voice. But no, he butchly accepted the award in his manliest voice and sported the lumberjack beard so that everyone would know he was just acting!
And then there was Felicity Huffman who is such a doll. She won for Best Actress, and let's face it folks... she was playing a man technically. To me 2006 is THE YEAR OF THE TRANSSEXUAL. Felicity made sure to say in her speech "The real heroes are the people who face being ostracized to become who they really are." Or something like that. She wanted to make sure everybody knew she was ACTING, and that she was in no way affilliated with these people who struggle with their sexual identity.
Cillian Murphy didn't win, but after a year when he was stunning in everything... the nomination he got was for... a transsexual. He was THE smartest most elegant Batman villain ever, the creepiest reason to see Red Eye, but his seal of approval involved donning a wig and a dress for a role. You got to play gay to get noticed this year.
That brings us to the real snub of the night... Mr. Heath Ledger. Brokeback Mountain walked away with a pile of Globes, but nothing for him or his true love Michelle Williams. Both of them MADE that movie what it is. Don't believe me? Try imagining Jake and Anne getting the awards and see if you don't kind of cringe. It's not that they weren't good (they were sublime), but standing next to Heath Ledger who was consumed in his role was too much. Heath did give the best performance of the year. He wasn't impersonating a famous figure, and he didn't have to wear a dress or pretend he had a penis, but he was shockingly so real it hurts in his role. And Michelle was the one you walked away caring about. They both deserved the recognition and didn't get it. Instead Ang Lee, the writers, and producers all got statues for being "brave" enough to make a gay romance.
Much was made of how ugly Charlize Theron was in Monster, but didn't she win because she was gay in that film? I find it funny that an industry that is supposedly run by gay people slaps the "brave" moniker on anyone who dares to lock lips with the same sex on screen or play gender confusion. It used to be playing the handicapped was the surest bet to awards, but I think now in an era where the GLBT community is once again the political underdog the most shocking role you can play is one that asks you to speak the love that dare not mention its name.
Don't think I'm offended or anything. I think it's great, but I do find it disturbing that in Hollywood the most brazen move you can make boils down to this. Casting directors could just scour West Hollywood and find hundreds of thousands of real gay cowboys or real transsexuals, but they hardly get any respect when they try and break in to the industry. Because somehow it's okay to be gay for pay, but you better bring your opposite gender escort to the awards show. Unless you're Ian McKellan, and just too cool and old enough not to care about the double standard of working in the gayest profession on Earth that still doesn't let its stars really be who they are. And not that any of the above people are actually gay or hiding anything, I'm not inferring that. I just find it ironic their careers are made suddenly by playing it on screen. They are playing humans who just happen to love people they can't marry. What's so brave about that?
At any rate when the broadcast ended last night I turned to a friend and said "Gayest Golden Globes ever!" And anyone else notice Sandra Oh thanked a girl as her "rock" last night? Is she going against the grain and playing straight like Portia DiRossi? Now that would be brave.